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Places to live in Ecuador

Chapin, South...
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Places to live in Ecuador

My husband and I are thinking about moving to Ecuador and are planning a trip this fall. We want to mix vacation with scoping out real estate in our itinerary. I know we will be staying in Cuenca for a few days. But I was wondering where on the coast is a possibility of living. Someplace where it still has the flavor of Ecuador and is not overrun with Americans but is safe too. Thanks for any help you can give.

Second, does anyone have a name of a good tour company that can arrange our plans or is it easy to schedule the stuff myself including finding a driver?

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Tucson, Arizona
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1. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Manta and Salinas are being pushed as expat havens.

Your best source of information would be the expat forum on Yahoo. See the Top Question on the right about living in/retiring to Ecuador, then click the first link listed.

Munich, Germany
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2. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

We recently went to Olon and met some expats there - apparently it's very safe and the housing prices are great. They were planning on moving to Quito though because they missed a bigger city and the convenience that comes with it. I would recommend Olon if you like coastal towns, as it is indeed very safe, and beautiful. Santa Elena in general is very nice. Salinas I have heard great things about but have not been - Esmeraldas also.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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3. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Lisa - I know this is no help, but my wife and I are thinking some what the same. I have been researching different places for a good year and a half. We decided to visit Costa Rica this summer with hopes of that being the place - just didn't get that feel. We are from US - lived in Texas and Az - now we are in Abu Dhabi, UAE where my wife teaches and this will be our final year (3 yrs). Looking, looking, looking and have come full circle back to Ecuador. Seem to have this desire to not go back to the states right now. Anything you learn and can share would be awesome and us, too. Our son is fluent and has always led us to Latin America for whatever reason. We have also focused on Panama??? Good Luck on what you decide.

Steve

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

I'd be interested in how ex-pats manage to integrate into a Spanish speaking community. One of my concerns is that my husband and I are in our 60's and our Spanish skills are not great. I know we could learn more Spanish, but it's very unlikely that I'd ever be as fluent as I am in English. Sure there are lots of other ex-pats, but I don't like the idea of spending all my time with a bunch of older people who are just like me :) OTOH, as much as I enjoy my life in Toronto, it's expensive and I really don't want to spend winters here. Right now, I still work full time, but hopefully that's going to change in the next couple of years.

I'm not expecting any answers to my concerns, just wondering how others handle their retirement years.

Edited: 6:55 pm, September 11, 2013
Canada
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5. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Hola Steve and others,

We have been looking for our retirement pardise for the last 10 years (almost there in 2017) or so. Been to many countries in the Carribean, Central and South America looking for what we want (bucket list). For the best bang for your buck Ecuador and the USD as the national currency is our first choice. Much to read and then pick your climate from the mtns to the coast. We have bought a large lot in a development overlooking the Pacific Ocean.......... Paradise Found!!!!!!!

All the best in your travels and decisions.

Abu Dhabi, United...
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6. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Gracias - I am glad that you found that perfect location - 'Paradise'. We are also lovers of the Caribbean, but have found most places to expensive. Can you give a more specific location you chose in Ecuador and why you think it is paradise found? Loja came up recently as being a good place to land in Ecuador, but know very little about it. Our first choice is also to be by the ocean, but Loja is in the middle of southern Ecuador. Visited Costa Rica this summer thinking it might be the place, but even though beautiful just didn't seem to fit. Also, looking into Panama?????? We should of started looking 10yrs ago!

Canada
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7. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Paradice Example- Property tax comparison~ in Costa Rica most property tax is 1% of accessed value of full price paid which is many times more expensive to EC. In EC, in Manabi province the accessed value usually is 1/3 of half the accessed value. So lets use an example to explain. Same style of home overlooking ocean- in Costa Rica $1million+ USDA (high end) and Ec around $250-$400K but moving up with influx of gringos. Property taxes in CR- 1% of 1M and in EC 1/3 of 1% on half the accessed value of what you paid or cost to build. So taxes are a few hundred $'s various a few thousand in CR. This is just general but you can see the saving in just property taxes. Lastly, inflation is in better check in EC with the USD wheras other SA and CA countries and their $$$$$ inflation is much higher. For example, look at CR over the last four years.... do the math.

Saludos,

Edited: 10:43 am, September 13, 2013
So Cal
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8. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

This was a wonderful thread to the very question I have been asking. My mother and I want to get out of America before the next big crash that seems to be looming right around the corner. However, when researching this, and talking to other ex pats, I've gotten information that was really concerning to me. My first draw was Cuenca, because it's just so gorgeous. Then I find out that the temperatures are often around 30F (unless the person misspoke) due to the very high elevation. Many people agreed that there is a lot of pollution due to heavy traffic and diesel exhaust. So thin air combined with diesel exhaust sounds like it would be very difficult on me with my asthma. They also mentioned that the streets are dirty and often dotted with animal feces and major potholes. Next I looked into Salinas, for it's very cheap housing prices off the beach. I was informed that it can be a bit hotter there, has the same rainfall as Tucson AZ, (which is practically nothing) and just off the beach the houses look very poor and have a "shanty town" look to them. This seems to be confirmed by the extreme lack of Google Images that aren't of the beach. I've yet to find anything that shows me what the rest of the town looks like. So then I research Guayaquil considering it's large, has an airport, good hospitals, and should have all the amenities we need for ourselves and our pets. Unfortunately I'm told by many that it sits on what is really swamp land, is extremely humid, very hot, and has terrible bug problems. Then I look into Cotacachia (?) and it looks wonderful, pleasant, clean, and inviting, however it has no hospitals and the nearest one is 2 hours away. Not a good idea for elderly or people with medical issues!

I haven't given up my search for a good place, with good properties that are low-cost, and will offer a good investment value, but it's looking very hard to find something that will actually work. Not be a "little America" but that will be clean, comfortable, affordable, and ideal.

Tucson, Arizona
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9. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

Cuenca does not have temps that low. Being on the equator, temps stay fairly mild in Andean Ecuador.

No third world country is going to have the '"clean, comfortable, affordable, and ideal" infrastructure that the U.S. has. You will have to be ready to make some concessions. If potholes, litter, or poor-looking shanties bother you, you might as well stay home. Or take a look at Chile, the closest to a first-world country in Latin America.

pacific northwest
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10. Re: Places to live in Ecuador

I have to question someone looking to leave the U.S. before "the next big crash." However affordable and charming may be some parts of Ecuador living, Ecuador has a long history of economic and political stability, and a very short (maybe 2 decades) history of increasing prosperity and stability. Besides that, Ecuador has very little diversity in the economy and is mostly dependent on oil. It's much more likely to suffer badly through a "crash" than the U.S., although the relatively well-heeled ex-pat might come through that just fine.

To think Ecuador will be a more secure location than the U.S. is foolhardy. This is not meant as a judgment on those who have considered their future and decided that Ecuador is a good place to be. Just sayin'