Quito or Cuenca?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 1:52 PM Last Post By: lanilani
Feb 18, 2013 9:51 AM
Quito or Cuenca?We are planning a 7 week immersion trip to learn Spanish. My primary objective is quality of teaching and practicing Spanish, so having a true full immersion environment is most important. I will stay with a host family. Which city will provide the better full immersion environment? Quito or Cuenca? Or somewhere else? I am concerned that due to increasing popularity, there may be so many foreigners that I may not be forced to practice my Spanish. Is this an unrealistic worry? Thank for any insight you may have. Also, if you have recent info on a particularly great school or teacher, I'd love to hear it.
Feb 18, 2013 4:59 PM
1Both cities have outstanding colonial architecture. Quito is more cosmopolitan with beautiful old town and La Mariscal which is modern. Cuenca is smaller and quieter.
No reason to worry about too many foreigners in either place - it's your choice who you want to socialise with.
Feb 19, 2013 6:41 PM
2Both cities are wonderful and you will have no problem immersing yourself in the language. There is a fair number of expats from Australia and US in Cuenca but this is still a small% of the city. I think the choice is really between smaller and quieter in Cuenca or a more bustling city. Quito has some beautiful sites and is near some great short trips such as Lake Cuicocha and Otavalo and these kind of bus adventures are a great way to practice Spanish. We meet a couple who were in an immersion program and staying with s family in the Quito area and they had a great experience. Enjoy where you end up.
Feb 20, 2013 6:00 AM
3You could always do this in both cities, but I would do the most time in Quito. There is a whole lot more to do and see, and day and weekend trips much easier. The director of Terracentro Spanish School was my private tutor for over two years and I can recommend the school highly; they can devise a personalized program for you, rather than rely on a lockstep curriculum that may or may not meet your needs. http://www.terracentrospanishschool.com/ They can assist with finding a host family, provide you with a "traveling classroom," or set you up with volunteer work.
Feb 20, 2013 8:00 AM
4Both cities are absolutely stunning. I have lived in Quito for 6 months and visited Cuenca, and prefer Cuenca as a city much more than Quito. Fresher air, more beautiful (in my opinion), the people are much friendlier in my experience and you will have more opportunities to chat. There are a lot of Europeans who live in Cuenca and I find more people can speak english - but it is your choice what language you speak. If someone speaks to you in english, speak back in spanish and they will most likely respond in spanish! There are tons of good schools in Cuenca, but I am not familiar with a specific name. A great spanish school in Quito is right in the Foch called Casa Blanca.
Feb 20, 2013 8:02 AM
5But I agree with the above... living in Quito makes traveling a lot easier. There are TONS of places to go that are within 1-3 hours of Quito... depends what your desires are. But you could very well split your trip in two and live for half in Quito and half in Cuenca! It's pretty easy to find host families through Spanish schools. They always have a registry.
Feb 20, 2013 1:52 PM
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