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Cumbayá Guide

Author: Johan Klok | Last update: January 7, 2022

Introduction

Cumbayá is an affluent suburb of Quito where many professional expats who work in Quito live.

Climate & Environment

Climate

Cumbayá has a semi-tropical climate year-round with a rainy season from January to May. Because of its lower elevation Cumbayá's temperature is about 3 to 5 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature in Quito. It's also somewhat drier than Quito.

Elevation

The town has an elevation of 2200 m (7200 ft) above sea level. Although the elevation is lower than in Quito, this can still cause altitude sickness.

History & Society

Cumbayá used to be a rural village but is now a suburb with a US lifestyle vibe.

Eating & Drinking

Cumbayá has a wide variety of restaurants, including a Pacari restaurant.

Entertainment & Nightlife

There are several movie theaters in Cumbayá. They usually offer movies in English and Spanish in the first two weeks. Thereafter, movies are only shown in Spanish with English subtitles.

Shops & Markets

Cumbayá offers excellent shopping options, from a local market to large shopping malls.

Market

The Mercado Cumbayá is a traditional indoor market where you can buy meat, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Shopping Malls

  • Scale Shopping Mall (among the stores: Adidas, BebeMundo, United Colors of Benetton, Chaide, Converse, Crocs, De Prati, Desigual, Dior, El Español, Esprit, ETAFASHION, Forever 21, Hugo Boss, Jugueton, Marathon, MaxiTec, MegaMaxi, Mango, Mr. Books, NAF NAF, Nike, República del Cacao, Samsung, Sukasa, Super Paco, The North Face, Think (Apple Premium Reseller), and Tommy Hilfiger)
  • Paseo San Francisco
  • Centro Comercial Cumbayá

Superstore

Cumbayá has a Megamaxi superstore in the Scale Shopping Mall.

Housing

In Cumbayá, you can choose from a wide variety of housing options: from villas and townhouses to luxurious apartments. There are several gated communities. Several country clubs which provide housing are located in or near Cumbayá. One of the most prestigious country club is the Malactos Country Club.

Real Estate Investing

The new apartments that are built in Cumbayá are popular investment objects for Ecuadorians.

Expats

Cumbayá is a popular place to live for expats in the Quito region.

Cost of Living

Cumbayá has one of Ecuador's highest cost of living.

Security & Safety

Although Cumbayá is relatively safe compared to big cities like Quito and Guayaquil, it's necessary to take precautions that are normal in Ecuador. Like everywhere in Ecuador, you will see high walls and high fences everywhere in Cumbayá. There is also a lot of security staff employed in this town. In 2021, an expat couple published a video on YouTube about being robbed at gunpoint after withdrawing money from a bank in Cumbayá.

Health & Medical

The private hospital Hospital de los Valles is the main hospital in Cumbayá. This hospital has a good reputation. For more specialized services you may go to a hospital in Quito.

Education

Because many professional expats live in Cumbayá, the city has several (private) international schools. The Deutsche Schule Quito, the British School Quito, and the Colegio Internacional SEK - Los Valles are the best-known examples. The Universidad San Francisco de Quito, one of Ecuador's best universities, is also located in Cumbayá.

How to travel to Cumbayá

It's take about 30 minutes (25 km) to get from Quito Airport to Cumbayá.

The travel time to get from Quito to Cumbayá depends on the time of the day. Outside of peak hours traveling from Quito's historic city center to Cumbayá will take about 30 minutes. During peak hours this can easily be an hour.

How to get around Cumbayá

Cumbayá is a walkable city. Although most people have a car in Cumbayá it's not strictly necessary.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available. You can also order unofficial taxis with Uber and inDriver.

Sports & Leisure

Country clubs

Several country clubs are located in or near Cumbayá. One of the most prestigious country club is the Malactos Country Club.

Trails

In Cumbayá is the starting point of the first leg of the Chaquiñan trail. This trail was created on the former railroad from Quito to San Lorenzo (on the coast in the province of Manabí). The first leg is 20 km long and runs from Cumbayá to Puembo. The trail is excellent for biking, walking (also with a dog) and jogging, and offers great views.

Gyms

Cumbayá is packed with good gyms.

Swimming

Several apartment buildings have swimming pools.

Government

Cumbayá is part of the Distrito Metropolitano de Quito (Administración zonal Tumbaco).

Pros, Cons & Alternatives

Cumbayá is expensive

Tumbaco is less fancy but a cheaper town next to Cumbayá. Within minutes you will be in Cumbayá, with all its amenities. Next to Tumbaco is Puembo, which is also a cheaper town. Further south is the Valle de los Chillos, which is also a cheaper suburban area east to Quito.

Traffic congestion

Cumbayá is a congested town, with cars and also with pedestrians. An alternative is to live further away from Quito, but that also means that you will be further away from amenities.