Your first experience with Ecuador should be more about Ecuador than finding the perfect property to rent or buy so a real estate tour or conference is not a great idea in my estimation.
As you read more about Ecuador you will learn we have four major areas, coast, mountains, amazon and Galapagos -- discounting the last two most folks live on the coast or in the mountains. Those are the areas you want to visit.
Keep in mind that the entire country is about the size of Nevada -- and that buses travel everywhere for about $1 an hour. And planes can whisk you from the mountains to the coast in about 30 minutes for about $60.
Next: Land of Eternal Spring... yeah...you've probably heard this right? Here's the catch, spring where? It's not the temperature, it's the daylight -- we have 12 hours of sun every day -- sun up at 6:30 and down at 6:30 with a variation of 15 to 20 minutes throughout the year depending on how many degrees from the equator. Depending on your altitude, you have cooler or warmer temps and rainfall. Also temps on the coast are effected by proximity to the ocean and the Humboldt currents -- or as I like to say the worlds biggest air conditioner. It is cool and breezy most of the time by the ocean -- hot in the sun, cool in the shade and a constant breeze. It is not Florida.
Creating your own "tour" -- the expat community is really quite welcoming and you can find a lot of us hanging out on the internet at places like FaceBook at Ecuador Expats (lots of folks in Cuenca there) Ruta del Sol Mates (those of us on the coast) and other groups for women, gardeners, folks who wanna whine and gripe (Trash Talking). These are the real deal -- real folks who are living here. Join and make friends and get invitations to meet for dinner and ideas of places to stay and how to get around.
About the language -- we speak Spanish here...do you need a lot to get by? Not as much as you used to but enough to be polite, count, know right from left, find the bathroom, and get help if you need it. Face it -- if you are over 5'4", have freckles, blue eyes and anything but straight black hair, you are a gringo -- you will stand out. But you will also be welcomed, it is that sort of place. And smiles are universal and laughing at yourself is a good ice breaker -- this also ain't Paris, they appreciate your trying to communicate in their language and take it as a sign of respect
Another benefit of touring this way is you will learn all about things you may not have thought about in making your leap to live in Ecuador: doctors and insurance and medications for conditions you have; veterinarians for your fur kids; places to do your hobbies; charity work to entertain your time; internet availability and speeds for day trading or ebay side line and skying with the grand kids; discounts for seniors for heading back to the states for graduations and weddings.... things you won't learn on a real estate tour.
...and the truth is you will find out who the better real estate agents are (like say the ECUADOR LICENSED ones who pay their taxes and have positive reputations) from your fellow gringos rather than from an internet site selling a tour.
and now for my self promotion:
It's been 6 years since I first came to Ecuador and in June, 5 years since i moved here permanently. I run a B&B on the coast near Salinas called the Ocean Hideaway and it has been my pleasure to introduce a lot of folks to Ecuador as their first stop and first experience. And i am very proud to say that many expats who enjoyed their stay here in the beach countryside meeting the local folks of our little fishing port have chosen to move here -- and have become shining examples of the very best of who we Americans are (when you are on Facebook, check out Expats Helping Kids In Ecuador -- Tod & Mary's foundation... ). The fur kids, Poochie the intrepid traveling boxer and Gina the reef romping rescue rotti and I would love to introduce you to the southern coast.
...oh one other thing...look for your lodgings on TripAdvisor.com and through your new expat friends. You are looking for hostals, B&Bs and hotels (the difference is the number of rooms) -- "motel" in Ecuador is a euphemism for brothel...
And on that note...go forth and start looking for air fares...personally I love flying LAN.com .... just a suggestion.