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living in Ecuador

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Dayton Ohio
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29 posts
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living in Ecuador

My family and I are considering spending a year (or more) in Ecuador and are trying to figure out where to settle and how to go about settling. We have been reading a lot of books and looking things up on the web. We're considering Cuenca and/or the Otavalo area. My family consists of my 73 year-old mom and 2 year-old daughter and me. Any suggestions on how to find a good rental would be especially appreciated. Muchas gracias!

Amber

Beirut, Lebanon
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1. Re: living in Ecuador

No suggestions about rentals - if you go to Cuenca, I am sure there are PLENTY of real estate agents that could help you. I wanted to post simply to encourage you to consider Cuenca as a top choice - you would be closer to more activities - I would think living in the Otavalo area could be pretty isolating for you all. Much more to see and do in Cuenca (and I *love* the Otavalo area). Also has its own medical facilities, which is great for both older folks and little ones - in Otavalo there are clinics, but you're not going to find the same quality of health care as in a major city I don't think.

Dayton Ohio
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2. Re: living in Ecuador

Thanks so much for your advice, I do appreciate it! My mom is really interested in Otavalo and though I think I would like it there I am also concerned that I would feel too isolated. I'm leaning more toward Cuenca and think we might try a combination of both (maybe six months in Otavalo and six in Cuenca, or something like that). Any other advice you have about Ecuador will be welcome, i.e. what to bring, anything to be concerned about, what not to miss, etc. Thanks!

Amber

Fayetteville...
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3. Re: living in Ecuador

I have to second what American in Quito said. I lived in Cuenca for 5 years. We loved it there. I love visiting Otovalo and the people are fascinating, but I would not choose to live there. It does not have the beautifull architecture that Cuenca has nor all the activities. In cuenca you can see a ballet, concert, art exhibit, the movies or go to the mall. There are alot of gorgeous rural areas to visit as well. There are good clinics and excelent doctors. And several grocery stores if you do not like to shop the market. I love shopping in the market, but it is not for everyone. There is an english speaking real estate agent, www.cuencarealestate.com, if you speak spanish here are a few more agencies.

www.mandatoparedes.com

www.bienesraicescatedral.com

www.bienesraicesamazonas.com

Some times they have rentals listed. There are always properties to rent in Cuenca. Lots of owners are in the states! Apartments are any where from $150 and up. A nice house is about $300 and up. If you do decide to go there, let me know what area you are looking at renting in, there are some I would not like to live in.

Dayton Ohio
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4. Re: living in Ecuador

Thank you both for your replies. I appreciate you sharing insights and information. What's your advise regarding visas? Do you think it will be fairly routine to apply for a twelve month tourist visa? Thanks again!!

Fayetteville...
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5. Re: living in Ecuador

I don't think there is a 12 month tourist visa. I know there is a 6 month thourist visa. There is visa info at www.ecuadorexplorer.com

Dayton Ohio
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6. Re: living in Ecuador

Thanks for your reply. I found visa info at the site you listed but no links for the applications. I will see if there is a website for the Ecuadorian embassy; maybe they will have applications that can be downloaded. We're going to start getting our vaccinations next week! We are really excited about starting this new adventure.

Amber

Fayetteville...
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7. Re: living in Ecuador

If you are planning on staying in the highlands, especially the major cities you really do not need any vacinations. Only travel to certain parts of the jungle and the coastal areas are they needed! Wish I was going too! Remember if you end up in Cuenca I would be glad to help you with the areas you may consider living!

Dayton Ohio
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8. Re: living in Ecuador

Hi Rulkell,

Thanks for your most recent post. What about typhoid? And all the heps? I know my daughter has had her hep A already just through her regular vaccinations but the county advises a B series, and I think a C as well. Don't have my notes in front of me right now.

We are still thinking of spending six months in the Otavalo area and six in Cuenca, starting in Otavalo, even though you and American_in_Quito advised otherwise... I figure we can always leave earlier if it's not that comfortable.

I would love to get your input about Cuenca once we get closer to getting there. I have been emailing Kathy (from Cuenca real estate) and she also offered to help. They focus on high-end apartments, and I don't know if I can convince my mom to live in an apt, and I don't think we need anything that high end, either. We think it would be fun to live in a place with an inner courtyard.

Do you know anything about Las Palmeras Inn near Otavalo?

Thanks again, any and all advice/opinions/etc. are welcome!!

Amber

Beirut, Lebanon
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9. Re: living in Ecuador

I have two little kids - there is one more vaccination needed here than is standard in the US - one of the Heps I believe. So if A is standard in the US, you also get B here or something. Also, for kids under 4, some pediatricians recommend getting TB shots as well. I gave them to my newborn, but my ped didn't think it was necessary for my older child once he turned 3.

I haven't stayed at Las Palmeras but I know lots of folks love it. Not quite close enough to walk to and from town with a 73 year old and a 2 year old, since it's up a hill. I've heard that you can also smell the pesticides on a nearby rose field, but I don't know if that's true. If it were me, I'd stay in town, but I'm a city girl. Does Ali Shungu have any apartments? It is a nice place.

Dayton Ohio
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10. Re: living in Ecuador

That's good to know that there aren't many other vaccinations required there vs. here.

We have contacted the folks at Ali Shungu and have been waiting to hear back from them re: rates for longer stays. I guess it's a busy time right now. We are also waiting to hear back about possibly renting a house at Casa Mojanda. One of the great things about Las Palmeras is they answer their email right away! ;-) Pesticides on a nearby rose field would not be good, though. The organic gardens and doing things sustainably are what attracted us to Casa Mojanda. I've read about other EcoLodges in Ecuador and think it would be fun to visit all of them (or at least most). There's on on the beach that sounds great and I've exchanged a few emails with the owner (or one of the owners, not sure how that's set up).

My mom and I are both hoping to get in better shape and think the walking to and from town and around would be good exercise, but you are certainly right that my daughter isn't going to last too long, although of course she has five times my energy! We are considering getting some kind of jogging stroller. What do you think?

Do you have any other advice for traveling with a toddler in Ecuador?

Thanks again, as always!

Amber