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What Is the Safest City in Ecuador? Is the Country Safe In General? 2022 Update


Although small villages in Ecuador are the safest places to visit, Cuenca is considered the safest city for travelers or retirees. It has a relatively low crime rate, especially for a larger city, and a large influx of retired expat inhabitants.

In addition to being very safe, Cuenca is a hotbed of beautiful scenery and rich culture. The city is in the Highlands of the Andes mountains, and it is a city of the UNESCO World Heritage site. In other words, there are tons to see and do in this safe Ecuadorian city.

If you want to learn more about Cuenca, its safety, and more, scroll down.

divider 5The Safest City in Ecuador – Cuenca

The full name of Cuenca is Santa Ana de Los Cuatro Rios de Cuenca. It is the capital city of the Azuay Province, located in the southern center of the country’s Highlands. Cuenca is about 8400 feet above sea level and has a pretty urban population, complete with about 661,685 inhabitants.

Cuenca is believed to be one of the oldest cities in the Americas. The region has been occupied by native empires, including the Canari and Inca empires. There is even evidence that inhabitants were in this area as early as 8060 BC.

In the 1500s, the Spanish settled the city and named it after the city of Cuenca in Spain. During the colonial era, the city continued to grow. Cuenca became an important part of Ecuador’s independence, and Cuenca got its own independence in 1820.

Today, Cuenca is a favorite city to visit in Ecuador. Natives love the city because of its cultural, economic, and educational benefits. The city is so wonderful that many expats from the United States, Canada, and Argentina have moved there as well.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Crime Rates in Cuenca

Based on most crime reports, Cuenca has very low to moderate crime rates in practically all sectors. his makes Cuenca much safer than many other cities in Ecuador and cities in other countries. Even if you compare crime rates in Cuenca to crime rates of cities in America, Cuenca comes out safer.

The most common crime reported in Cuenca is vandalism and petty theft, such as pickpocketing. According to Numbeo, the city’s crime rate is 55.43 for vandalism and petty theft, which is moderate in comparison to other cities in the country and world.

Crimes related to stolen vehicles, physical attacks, and verbal insults are very low. Physical attacks based on religion, gender, nationality, and skin color are especially low in this area.

Because Cuenca has relatively low crime rates, it has a safety rating of 78.82 when walking alone during the day. This means that your safety rate is considered high in Cuenca. In other words, it’s unlikely that you will become the victim of a crime during these times.

Just like in any other city, walking alone at night isn’t quite as safe. The safety rate for walking alone during the night is 45.17, which is moderate. This is about the same safety rating as any other big city in the world.

All around, Cuenca is the safest city in Ecuador because of these low crime rates. For a city the size of Cuenca to only have very low to moderate crime rates means that you don’t have to worry too much about being the victim of crime, but you should still practice safety precautions.

What to Do in Cuenca

Whether you are looking to visit or move to Cuenca, there is a lot you can do. This city is beautiful and filled with historical sites and gorgeous natural scenery.

Cuenca is a favorite for its historical significance. This city is listed as a World Heritage site because its buildings and historical sites are still standing today. Some of the more popular sites include the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and the Parque Abdon Calderon.

Aside from the historical buildings, the city itself has a small-town atmosphere. This allows you to immerse yourself in the culture. There are tons of local artisans and restaurants that visitors and expats alike love. You can even find plenty of Panama hat makers here.

If you are more of a fan of natural scenery, Cuenca has that too. Just 10 minutes from the city, you can find the Tomebamba River. Of course, going a bit further from the city, you will get to see the Andes Mountains and some of the most gorgeous peaks on the planet.

Cathedral Cuenca
Image Credit: Pixabay

Other Safe Cities in Ecuador

In comparison to many other South American countries, Ecuador is very safe. Over the last few decades, the government has made tremendous strides to eradicate dangerous crimes, especially those associated with gangs and drugs. As a result, there are actually quite a few safe cities in Ecuador.

Most obviously, all the small villages in the country are relatively safe. The downside to these villages is that they are incredibly small, and you will almost always have to speak Spanish, but they are a fantastic site to visit if you want to backpack through the authentic Ecuadorian villages.

Some larger cities are safe as well. Much like Cuenca, Vilcabamba, Salinas, and Cotacachi are popular locations for expats and retirees, making the cities safe for locals and travelers.

In comparison, Quito and Guayaquil are more dangerous. This is primarily because the cities are much larger than the others, making them more popular for thieves and criminals. Additionally, areas around the Colombian border are much less safe because there are more problems with drug trafficking and gang violence. These areas are restricted for traveling, though.

How to Stay Safe in Ecuador

Even though Cuenca is a very safe city, you still need to exercise caution and good judgment when traveling around. You will want to keep your possessions out of sight and secured so that you are not the victim of a theft or pickpocketing scheme.

You also want to be careful when walking around by yourself. This isn’t very dangerous during the day, but it becomes less safe during the nighttime. If you can, try to avoid walking around the dark city by yourself at night.

In most respects, staying safe in Cuenca is similar to staying safe in any other big city. Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution to try to keep yourself safe.

divider 5Conclusion

We hope you have enjoyed reading about the safest city Cuenca. This medium-sized city has a small-town atmosphere and is home to many retirees and expats, making it an incredibly safe city. You can also get to experience local culture, history, and nature, but still exercise good judgment since crime isn’t nonexistent.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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