We found a lovely little treasure called Hostal El Cafecito, just off Calle Larga, near the southern edge of Cuenca's El Centro. This hostel is a favorite with students, backpackers and budget-minded travelers. To us, it felt like being home, hanging out with friends.
The staff are very friendly and ready to provide you some awesome food in the restaurant, all served with big smiles.
If you don't sleep well with a lot of noise around you, you may not want to stay here. The partying in the courtyard bar sometimes goes on until the early hours.
You'll usually find classic American rock music playing in the courtyard of this restored colonial home.
The courtyard is well lit during the day, and kept fairly comfortable at night, with its clear plexiglass roof. Under that big sky, you'll find couches and tables where visitors and locals alike meet for coffee.
There's also a back garden, where some of the rooms are located.
Rooms here are inexpensive, ranging from $7 to $25:
Note that the El Cafecito website lists cheaper prices than the ones we were told in person. The web prices may be only for the Quito hostel.
The IVA (tax) of 12% is extra.
Each room is painted with bright colors and decorated with art. A closet is available in each room. The charming second floor rooms have views and very old wood floors.
There are no TVs in the rooms, so you'll have to make do with talking with people in the courtyard!
Cafecito, the restaurant, serves at least 15 different types of coffee.
An American breakfast is included in your room price. Make your choice from hash browns, huevos rancheros, french toast, pancakes, muesli, fresh fruit salads, plus coffee, tea or juice.
You can drop by the restaurant without being a guest. And you'll want to, to enjoy a pizza, or lasagna, salads, pasta, crepes, and great desserts.
Unlike other restaurants in Cuenca, Cafecito doesn't add a 10% service charge to your food bill. So please consider adding a tip when you leave.
The bar in the courtyard is open late.
Wireless internet is available throughout Hostal El Cafecito, including the courtyard and all the rooms.
There's someone on staff 24 hours a day. Laundry service is available, as well as a book exchange. Most important for packpackers, there's a storage area for your pack or luggage.
Hostal El Cafecito is located on Honorato Vásquez at Luis Cordero, one short block from Calle Larga. The phone number is 593 (7) 2832337 (inside Ecuador, call 07-2832337).
The website is www.cafecito.net/espanol/ECuenca.html. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I just want to thank you both soooo much for creating this web site. I am originally from Cuenca but moved to New York 11 years ago and have not being back since. My husband and I are planning on visiting Cuenca over the Summer and this web site has helped me a lot.
When I came to the US we still had the "sucre," the bus ride cost 1,000 sucres and a pack of trident gum would cost 3,000 sucres. I am very nervous to go back, but thanks to your web site I now know what to expect.
My husband is American and Captivating Cuenca has taught him a lot about what my great city has to offer, things that I had forgotten about myself! :)
Thank You both so much! I cannot wait to visit Cuenca!!