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Expat Exchange - 15 Best Places to Live in Ecuador
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Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Cuenca


15 Best Places to Live in Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're dreaming about living in Ecuador, here are the 15 Best Places to Live in Ecuador in 2023.

Cuenca

Cuenca

Cuenca is a charming city nestled in the Andean highlands, approximately 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of the capital, Quito, and 125 kilometers (78 miles) east of Guayaquil. The city boasts a well-organized public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for locals and tourists to navigate the picturesque streets. Cuenca experiences a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 7 to 20 degrees Celsius (45 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), making it a pleasant destination year-round. There are numerous recreational activities available in Cuenca, catering to a variety of interests. For nature enthusiasts, Cajas National Park offers stunning landscapes, hiking trails, and opportunities for birdwatching. History buffs can explore the city's rich cultural heritage through its many museums, such as the Pumapungo Museum and Archeological Park. For those who enjoy golf, the Cuenca Tenis y Golf Club provides a beautiful course for a leisurely round. Additionally, the city is home to several parks, including Parque Calderon and Parque de la Madre, which are perfect for picnics, strolling, or simply relaxing in the fresh Andean air.

Expats Talk about Living in Cuenca:

"Take your time to look around and if you find something that just jumps out at you take it. You will know if it feels right. Don't wait as if you do when you go back it will probably be gone. If you are looking and coming back to live here at a later date you can always rent it out to other expats. Rentals are in short demand for expats here in Cuenca," said one expat living in Cuenca.

"Gringos are the preferred tenants in Ecuador. The reasons why will be of interest. 1. Ecuadorian law is ALL in favor of the tenant. So Ecuadorians will often not pay and it takes ages to evict them. 2. Though the leases may say different, the Law takes precedence. For example, if they turn your water, gas, electricity off, they are breaking the Law and liable for all damages. My suggestion is to: A. stay in a B&B (there are many at 25$ a day) B. Scope the areas suggested here to find one that suits you. C. if necessary, hire a facilitator (they are bilingual translators at 4$/hr+) to help with the language or suggestions. https://yapatree.com/cuenca-facilitators-make-life-easier/ D. Go to buildings in the areas you liked and ask the doormen if anything is for rent. The search investment is well worth your time," wrote a member in Cuenca.

Local Recommendations:

Tantalize your taste buds in Cuenca with a visit to Tiesto's, a culinary gem offering mouthwatering dishes like the trout ceviche and the tenderloin with blue cheese sauce. For a more casual dining experience, head to El Mercado, where you can savor traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, such as the delicious llapingachos and hornado. Don't miss out on the scrumptious desserts at La Compañía, a charming café with a delightful selection of pastries and sweets. After a day of exploring, unwind at the elegant Mansion Alcazar Boutique Hotel, a beautifully restored historic building with luxurious accommodations and impeccable service. Alternatively, enjoy the cozy atmosphere and stunning views at the Santa Lucia Hotel, a charming colonial-style property nestled in the heart of Cuenca.

Quito

Quito

Quito is a vibrant city with a population of approximately 2.7 million people. It is located about 173 kilometers (107 miles) south of the popular tourist destination, Otavalo, and 285 kilometers (177 miles) north of Cuenca. Quito offers a variety of public transportation options, including buses, taxis, and the recently inaugurated Quito Metro. The city experiences a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) throughout the year. Quito offers numerous recreational activities for visitors and locals alike. Some popular recreational spots include Parque La Carolina, a large park in the city center, and Parque Metropolitano, which is the largest urban park in South America. For golf enthusiasts, Quito is home to the Quito Tennis and Golf Club, which offers a beautiful and challenging course. Additionally, the city's proximity to the Andes Mountains provides opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor adventures.

Expats Talk about Living in Quito:

"Come visit first, stay in a travelers hostel if you want to meet people, doesn't matter your age...see where you want to live, then check the local paper to find rental listings..," said one expat living in Quito.

"THis process esp with minimal Spanish is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, trust me. I have struggled at times and have lived before out of the United States in South America. Visit, do your homework, trust that you will be taken advantage of (as I have several times with trusted Ecuadorians) and you REALLY have to WANT TO MOVE HERE sometimes to simply stay here. I am overall happy with my move/immigration to Ecuador but it is tough and challenging esp as a soltera at times, very tough," wrote a member in Quito.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Quito with a visit to the renowned Urko Cocina Local, where Chef Juan Sebastián Pérez crafts innovative dishes using locally sourced ingredients. For a taste of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, head to Achiote, where you can indulge in mouthwatering ceviche and llapingachos. If you're craving Italian fare, be sure to stop by Romolo e Remo, a cozy trattoria offering homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. After a day of exploring the city, unwind at the luxurious Casa Gangotena, a beautifully restored historic mansion overlooking Plaza San Francisco. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the charming boutique hotel, Carlota, located in the heart of Quito's Old Town.

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Guayaquil

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is a bustling city located along the Guayas River on the Pacific coast. It is approximately 420 kilometers (261 miles) southwest of Quito, the country's capital, and about 193 kilometers (120 miles) northwest of Cuenca, another popular destination. Guayaquil offers a variety of public transportation options, including buses, taxis, and the Metrovía, a rapid transit bus system. The city experiences a tropical savanna climate, with average temperatures ranging from 23°C to 31°C (73°F to 88°F) throughout the year. Guayaquil is known for its vibrant recreational activities and attractions. One of the most popular spots is the Malecón 2000, a riverfront promenade featuring gardens, playgrounds, and restaurants. The city is also home to the Parque Histórico Guayaquil, a park that showcases the region's history, culture, and wildlife. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Cerro Blanco Protected Forest offers hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities. While there are no golf clubs within the city limits, the Guayaquil Country Club, located about 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of the city, offers a golf course and other sports facilities for its members.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, head to Lo Nuestro, a charming restaurant set in a beautifully restored colonial house. The menu features traditional dishes like ceviche, encebollado, and guatita, all served in a cozy atmosphere with live music. If you're craving seafood, make your way to El Caracol Azul, a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. Here, you can indulge in fresh ceviche, shrimp, and lobster, all while enjoying the vibrant ambiance. For a more upscale dining experience, visit Zazu, a trendy fusion restaurant that combines local flavors with international flair. When it comes to accommodations, the Wyndham Guayaquil is a top choice for its prime location along the Guayas River and its proximity to the Malecón 2000 boardwalk. This modern hotel offers stunning views, comfortable rooms, and excellent service. For a more boutique experience, consider the Hotel del Parque, a luxurious retreat nestled within the lush gardens of the Parque Histórico Guayaquil. This 19th-century property boasts elegant rooms, a serene atmosphere, and personalized service, making it the perfect escape from the bustling city.

Loja

Loja

Loja is a charming city nestled in the southern part of the country, approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) south of Cuenca and 380 kilometers (236 miles) south of Guayaquil. The city is known for its rich history, beautiful architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. Loja's climate is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 16°C to 20°C (60°F to 68°F), making it a pleasant destination for visitors year-round. There are various recreational activities available in and around Loja, catering to a wide range of interests. Nature lovers can explore the nearby Podocarpus National Park, which offers stunning landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and numerous hiking trails. For those interested in history and culture, the city boasts several museums, such as the Museo de la Música and the Museo de la Cultura Lojana, as well as beautiful churches like the Cathedral of Loja and the Church of San Francisco. While there are no golf clubs in Loja, visitors can enjoy other outdoor activities such as horseback riding, bird watching, and mountain biking. Additionally, the city's public transportation system, consisting of buses and taxis, makes it easy to navigate and explore the various attractions that Loja has to offer.

Expats Talk about Living in Loja:

"We are retired and wanted a change from the U.S. at least for a few years, perhaps longer. That being the case we considered and visited several countries. We came to Ecuador at the start of August spent some time in Guayaquil which we liked and enjoyed and then moved on to Loja our target city. We absolutely love Loja, have rented an apartment and have started on our papers. Jona Poma of Life in Loja has assisted us greatly in showing us around the city and even found our apartment for us. Maite Duran of Gringo Visa is looking after our visas. Loja is a very walkable city so we wonder around daily to the markets, the parks and enjoy the artwork and monuments of the city. The people have been very pleasant and accepting of us and recognize us when we visit their market stalls, restaurants etc. People we pass on the street greet us and we respond with our limited Spanish. This is not North America and yes service can be slow. You have to learn how to work with it as the pace here is indeed slower. Come and see and decide for yourself. We love it here in Ecuador and hope that you will too. Good luck," said one expat living in Ecuador.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Loja, by indulging in the local flavors at restaurants like Mama Lola and Shanta's Restaurante. Mama Lola offers a cozy atmosphere and a menu filled with traditional Ecuadorian dishes, while Shanta's Restaurante is known for its fusion of international and local cuisine, with a focus on organic ingredients. After a day of exploring, unwind at the elegant Grand Victoria Boutique Hotel, which boasts luxurious rooms and top-notch service. Alternatively, opt for the charming and eco-friendly Zamora Huayco Lodge, nestled in the lush greenery just outside the city, for a serene retreat.

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With Offices in BOTH Ecuador and the US, Ecuador Visas with Attorney Sara Chaca is the No. 1 Visa Law Firm for Your Move! Specializing in Ecuador Residency Visas plus converting from Temporary to Permanent Residency, Containers, Real Estate Closings, Wills and Estate Planning, Driver Licenses, Opening Businesses & Citizenship!
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Vilcabamba

Vilcabamba

Vilcabamba is a charming small town nestled in the southern region of the country, known for its stunning natural beauty and pleasant climate. It is located approximately 42 kilometers (26 miles) south of Loja, a larger city with more amenities and attractions. The climate in Vilcabamba is often referred to as the "Valley of Longevity" due to its comfortable year-round temperatures, which typically range between 18-28 degrees Celsius (64-82 degrees Fahrenheit). While there is no public transportation system within Vilcabamba itself, buses and taxis are readily available for travel to and from nearby cities such as Loja. The town offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and residents alike, including hiking, horseback riding, and bird watching. The surrounding area is home to the Podocarpus National Park, which boasts an impressive array of flora and fauna, as well as numerous trails for hiking and exploring. Additionally, the Rumi Wilco Nature Reserve is another popular destination for nature enthusiasts, offering well-maintained trails and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Although there are no golf clubs in Vilcabamba, the town's laid-back atmosphere and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and outdoor adventure.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the lush valley of Vilcabamba, you'll find a culinary scene that's as vibrant as its surroundings. For a taste of local flavors, head to Shanta's, where you'll be treated to traditional Ecuadorian dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients. If you're craving something more international, Sambuca Café offers a delightful fusion of Italian and Mediterranean cuisine, with a focus on homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. For a more casual dining experience, visit Charlito's, a popular spot for delicious sandwiches, smoothies, and a laid-back atmosphere. When it comes to accommodations, Izhcayluma is a top choice, boasting stunning views of the valley, a relaxing spa, and a variety of room options. Alternatively, Madre Tierra Resort & Spa offers a serene retreat with comfortable rooms, lush gardens, and a rejuvenating spa experience.

Salinas

Salinas

Salinas is a beautiful coastal city located approximately 144 kilometers (89 miles) from Guayaquil, the largest city in the country. Known for its stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife, Salinas is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike. The city enjoys a tropical savanna climate, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year. In terms of recreational activities, Salinas offers a wide variety of options for visitors to enjoy. Water sports such as surfing, jet skiing, and sailing are popular activities along the city's pristine beaches. For those who prefer land-based activities, the nearby La Chocolatera nature reserve offers hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities. While there are no golf clubs within Salinas itself, the nearby city of Guayaquil offers several options, such as the Guayaquil Country Club and the Puerto Azul Golf Club. Additionally, Salinas is home to the Malecón, a lively boardwalk area filled with restaurants, bars, and shops, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a night out on the town.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of the sea, head to Mar Azul, a popular seafood joint in Salinas. This bustling eatery offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including ceviche, shrimp, and fish, all served with a side of ocean views. If you're craving Italian, don't miss out on Ristorante Pizzeria Casanova, where you can indulge in authentic wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta dishes. For a more casual dining experience, swing by La Lojanita, a local favorite for its delicious Ecuadorian cuisine and laid-back atmosphere. When it comes to accommodations, the Royal Decameron Punta Centinela is a top choice for its all-inclusive amenities, private beach access, and stunning ocean views. For a more intimate stay, consider the Hosteria Ecológica El Faro, a charming eco-lodge nestled on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, offering cozy rooms and a serene atmosphere.

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Manta

Manta

Manta is a bustling coastal city with an approximate population of over 200,000 residents. It is located about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of Guayaquil, the country's largest city, and 105 kilometers (65 miles) south of the popular beach destination, Montañita. Manta boasts a well-connected public transportation system, including buses and taxis, making it easy for locals and tourists to navigate the city. The climate in Manta is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year. Manta offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, such as Playa Murciélago and Playa Santa Marianita, which are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports like surfing and kiteboarding. For those interested in golf, the nearby Montecristi Golf Club & Villas provides a challenging 18-hole course with stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, a protected area home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including howler monkeys and various bird species. Additionally, Manta's Malecón Escénico offers a picturesque waterfront promenade lined with restaurants, shops, and parks, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Manta, by indulging in the culinary delights of these top-notch restaurants. Start your gastronomic journey at Restaurante Martinica, where you'll be treated to a fusion of Ecuadorian and international cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood. For a more casual dining experience, head to Las Velas, a beachfront eatery offering a variety of seafood dishes, including ceviche and grilled fish, all while enjoying the stunning ocean views. Finally, don't miss out on the authentic Italian fare at La Trattoria Ristorante Italiano, where you can indulge in homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. After a day of exploring Manta, unwind at one of these highly recommended hotels. The Wyndham Manta Sail Plaza Hotel & Convention Center offers luxurious accommodations, a stunning infinity pool, and easy access to the city's attractions. For a more intimate experience, consider the Balandra Hotel, a charming boutique hotel with a beautiful garden and personalized service to make your stay truly memorable.

Cotacachi

Cotacachi is a charming town nestled in the Andean highlands, known for its stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage. It is located approximately 110 kilometers (68 miles) north of Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, and about 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the popular market town of Otavalo. The climate in Cotacachi is mild and temperate, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 18 degrees Celsius (50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year. While there is no formal public transportation system within Cotacachi itself, buses and taxis are readily available to travel to nearby cities and attractions. Cotacachi is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve, which offers hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities. The town is also known for its leather goods, with numerous shops selling high-quality products at affordable prices. For those interested in golf, the nearby Llano Grande Golf Club in Ibarra offers a challenging course with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. In addition, the nearby Cuicocha Lake, a volcanic crater lake, is a popular destination for hiking and boat tours, providing visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience in the heart of the Andes.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, head to La Marqueza Restaurant, where you'll find a cozy atmosphere and a menu filled with traditional dishes like llapingachos and cuy. If you're in the mood for something more international, try Serendipity, a charming spot offering a fusion of Mediterranean and Ecuadorian flavors. For a more casual dining experience, visit Solid Rock Cafe, a popular expat hangout with a diverse menu and live music on weekends. When it comes to accommodations, consider staying at the elegant La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa, a luxurious retreat nestled in lush gardens, or opt for the cozy and affordable Loma Wasi Village, where you'll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

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With Offices in BOTH Ecuador and the US, Ecuador Visas with Attorney Sara Chaca is the No. 1 Visa Law Firm for Your Move! Specializing in Ecuador Residency Visas plus converting from Temporary to Permanent Residency, Containers, Real Estate Closings, Wills and Estate Planning, Driver Licenses, Opening Businesses & Citizenship!

Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Ecuador Visas - Law office of Attorney Sara ChacaEcuador Visas - Law office of Attorney Sara Chaca

With Offices in BOTH Ecuador and the US, Ecuador Visas with Attorney Sara Chaca is the No. 1 Visa Law Firm for Your Move! Specializing in Ecuador Residency Visas plus converting from Temporary to Permanent Residency, Containers, Real Estate Closings, Wills and Estate Planning, Driver Licenses, Opening Businesses & Citizenship!
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Click connect to have our partner contact you via e-mail and/or phone.

Otavalo

Otavalo

Otavalo is a vibrant city known for its rich indigenous culture and famous artisan market. Located approximately 110 kilometers (68 miles) north of the capital city, Quito, and 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the Colombian border, Otavalo is easily accessible by bus or car. The city enjoys a mild climate, with average temperatures ranging from 10 to 18 degrees Celsius (50 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit), making it a pleasant destination year-round. Otavalo offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy, including hiking, horseback riding, and exploring the surrounding Andean landscapes. One popular destination is the Peguche Waterfall, a beautiful natural site located just a short walk from the town. Additionally, the nearby Cuicocha Lake, situated within the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, offers stunning views and opportunities for boat tours. The city is also home to the Condor Park, a sanctuary for rescued birds of prey where visitors can learn about and observe these magnificent creatures. While Otavalo may not have golf clubs or large parks within its city limits, its rich cultural experiences and breathtaking natural surroundings make it a must-visit destination for travelers to Ecuador.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Otavalo with a visit to La Cosecha, a charming restaurant offering a fusion of traditional Andean and international cuisine. Don't miss their quinoa soup and llapingachos, a local potato dish. For a more casual dining experience, head to Mi Otavalito, where you can indulge in authentic Ecuadorian street food, such as ceviche and empanadas. If you're craving Italian, Pizzeria La Hacienda is the place to go for delicious wood-fired pizzas and homemade pasta dishes. After a day of exploring, rest your head at the elegant Hacienda Cusin, a restored 17th-century estate surrounded by lush gardens and cobblestone courtyards. For a more budget-friendly option, consider staying at the cozy Hostal Doña Esther, known for its warm hospitality and delicious breakfasts.

Bahia de Caraquez

Bahia de Caraquez

Bahia de Caraquez, is a picturesque coastal city located on a peninsula where the Rio Chone meets the Pacific Ocean. It is approximately 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Manta and 264 kilometers (164 miles) west of Quito, the country's capital. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, lush mangroves, and vibrant wildlife, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The climate in Bahia de Caraquez is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year. Recreational activities in Bahia de Caraquez include surfing, kayaking, birdwatching, and hiking. The city is home to the La Segua Wetland, a protected area that offers a unique opportunity to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Additionally, the nearby Cerro Seco Biological Reserve provides a great spot for hiking and birdwatching, with several trails that showcase the area's biodiversity. While there are no golf clubs within the city, the nearby city of Manta offers the Montecristi Golf Club, which is about an hour's drive away. For those looking to relax and enjoy the sun, the city's beaches, such as Playa del Coco and Playa de los Sueños, are perfect spots to unwind and take in the stunning ocean views.

Local Recommendations:

Discover the culinary delights of Bahia de Caraquez by indulging in the mouthwatering seafood at Las Olas Restaurant, where you can savor the freshest catch of the day while enjoying the stunning ocean views. For a taste of authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, head to Restaurante El Eden, where the warm and welcoming atmosphere perfectly complements the delicious traditional dishes. If you're craving Italian fare, look no further than Trattoria da Gabriele, where the homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas are sure to satisfy your appetite. After a day of exploring, unwind at the luxurious Casa Ceibo Boutique Hotel & Spa, a beautiful retreat nestled amidst lush gardens and offering top-notch amenities. Alternatively, opt for the charming and eco-friendly Saiananda Hosteria, where you can relax in the serene surroundings and enjoy the company of the resident wildlife.

Crucita

Crucita, Ecuador is a charming coastal town known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. Located approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the city of Manta and 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Bahía de Caráquez, Crucita is easily accessible from other popular destinations in the region. The climate in Crucita is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for sun-seekers and beach lovers. Recreational activities in Crucita are centered around its stunning coastline, with water sports such as surfing, kiteboarding, and paragliding being particularly popular. The town is also known as one of the best paragliding spots in South America, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. For those who prefer more leisurely pursuits, the Malecón, or beachfront promenade, is perfect for strolling and taking in the picturesque ocean views. While there may not be any golf clubs or large parks in Crucita itself, the nearby city of Manta offers a variety of recreational options, including the Manta Golf Club and Parque El Palmar. Overall, Crucita is a delightful destination for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty and relaxed pace of life on Ecuador's Pacific coast.

Expats Talk about Living in Crucita:

"We have always been told by people who live here, to come down and rent for at least a year. Doing this, allows you to see the area and lifestyle of the area before you spend a lot of money buying a property. We have found that to be very good advice. Good luck. Don't worry, you will love Ecuador," said one expat living in Crucita.

Local Recommendations:

Savor the flavors of Crucita, Ecuador, at the highly recommended Restaurante La Pergola, where you can indulge in mouthwatering seafood dishes while enjoying a stunning ocean view. For a more laid-back atmosphere, head to Cabana Don Willy, a beachfront gem offering delicious ceviche and other local specialties. After a day of exploring, unwind at the charming Hotel Crucita, boasting comfortable accommodations and a serene pool area. Alternatively, treat yourself to a luxurious stay at the elegant Boca Beach Resort, where you can relax in style and take in the breathtaking coastal scenery.

Canoa

Canoa is a small coastal town known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere. It is located approximately 275 kilometers (171 miles) northwest of the country's capital, Quito, and about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Bahía de Caráquez, another popular tourist destination. The climate in Canoa is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year. While there is no public transportation system within Canoa itself, buses and taxis are readily available to travel to nearby cities and attractions. Canoa is a popular destination for recreational activities such as surfing, paragliding, and horseback riding along the beach. The town is also home to the Canoa Beach Hotel, which offers yoga classes and beach volleyball. For nature enthusiasts, the nearby Machalilla National Park provides opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring diverse ecosystems. Although there are no golf clubs or specific parks within Canoa, the town's stunning beach and surrounding natural beauty offer plenty of opportunities for relaxation and outdoor recreation.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of the local cuisine in Canoa, head to Amorfino, a beachfront restaurant that serves up delicious seafood dishes like ceviche and shrimp encocado. Another must-visit eatery is Surf Shak, where you can enjoy mouthwatering burgers, wraps, and smoothies while taking in the laid-back surfer vibes. If you're craving Italian, don't miss out on La Terrazza, which offers homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas with a stunning ocean view. When it comes to accommodations, the charming Sundown Beach Hotel is a top choice, boasting comfortable rooms and a lovely pool area just steps from the beach. For a more luxurious stay, consider the stylish Rio Muchacho Organic Farm & Eco-Lodge, where you can immerse yourself in nature and participate in sustainable living practices while enjoying modern comforts.

Montanita

Montanita

Montañita, Ecuador is a small coastal town known for its vibrant atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Located approximately 180 kilometers (112 miles) northwest of Guayaquil, it is easily accessible from other popular destinations such as Salinas and Puerto López. The climate in Montañita is tropical, with average temperatures ranging from 21°C to 31°C (70°F to 88°F) throughout the year. The town is famous for its recreational activities, particularly surfing, with the annual Montañita International Surfing Championship drawing surfers from around the world. Other popular activities include scuba diving, snorkeling, and yoga. Montañita is also home to the Machalilla National Park, which offers visitors the opportunity to explore diverse ecosystems, including tropical dry forests, coastal cliffs, and pristine beaches. While there are no golf clubs in Montañita, visitors can enjoy a variety of other outdoor activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, and birdwatching.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of Montanita's vibrant culinary scene, head to Tiki Limbo, a lively restaurant offering a fusion of Ecuadorian and international flavors. Their ceviche and coconut shrimp are must-tries! Another great option is Pigro, an Italian-owned eatery serving up delicious homemade pasta and wood-fired pizzas. Don't miss their tiramisu for dessert. When it comes to accommodations, Balsa Surf Camp is a popular choice among travelers, offering cozy rooms and a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for surfers and beach lovers alike. Alternatively, for a more luxurious stay, consider the Montañita Estates, which boasts modern amenities, a beautiful pool, and stunning ocean views.

Olon

Olon is a charming coastal town located approximately 195 kilometers (121 miles) from the bustling city of Guayaquil and just 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the popular tourist destination of Montañita. The town is easily accessible by bus from nearby cities, making it a convenient destination for travelers. Olon enjoys a tropical climate with average temperatures ranging from 20°C to 32°C (68°F to 90°F), providing ideal conditions for outdoor activities year-round. The town is best known for its beautiful, expansive beach, which offers a variety of recreational activities such as surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. In addition to the beach, visitors can explore the nearby Machalilla National Park, which offers hiking trails, birdwatching, and the chance to spot humpback whales during their migration season. While there are no golf clubs in Olon, the town's laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty make it a perfect destination for those seeking relaxation and outdoor adventure.

Local Recommendations:

For a taste of authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, head to Rincon de Olon, a cozy family-run restaurant that offers a variety of traditional dishes, including ceviche, encocado, and seafood rice. If you're craving Italian, La Casa Rosa is a must-visit, with its delicious homemade pasta, wood-fired pizzas, and a romantic atmosphere. For a more casual dining experience, Roadhouse Bar & Grill is the perfect spot for juicy burgers, cold beers, and live music. When it comes to accommodation, the luxurious beachfront Rincón d'Olón Boutique Hotel offers spacious suites, a beautiful pool, and top-notch service. For a more budget-friendly option, check out the charming Hostal Oloncito, which boasts clean rooms, friendly staff, and a prime location just steps from the beach.

Tumbaco

Tumbaco is a charming town located approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the capital city, Quito. It is situated in the Tumbaco Valley, which is known for its pleasant climate and beautiful landscapes. The average temperature in Tumbaco ranges from 14 to 20 degrees Celsius (57 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit), making it an ideal destination for those seeking a mild climate. The town is well-connected to Quito and other nearby cities through public transportation, including buses and taxis. Tumbaco offers a variety of recreational activities for visitors and residents alike. The town is surrounded by lush green hills, perfect for hiking and mountain biking. Additionally, the nearby Chiche River provides opportunities for rafting and kayaking. For those interested in golf, the Quito Tennis and Golf Club is located just a short drive away in Cumbayá, offering a challenging course with stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Tumbaco is also home to several parks, such as Parque Central de Tumbaco and Parque de la Moya, where visitors can enjoy picnics, playgrounds, and sports facilities. With its combination of natural beauty, outdoor activities, and proximity to Quito, Tumbaco is a delightful destination for travelers seeking a taste of Ecuadorian culture and adventure.

Local Recommendations:

Nestled in the picturesque valley of Tumbaco, foodies and travelers alike will find a delightful array of culinary experiences and cozy accommodations. For a taste of authentic Ecuadorian cuisine, head to Hacienda La Carriona, where you can savor traditional dishes like llapingachos and locro de papas in a charming, rustic setting. If you're craving Italian fare, Trattoria da Piero offers a mouthwatering selection of homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas, all made with fresh, local ingredients. After a day of exploring the beautiful surroundings, unwind at the luxurious Casa Aliso, a boutique hotel set in a lush garden, or the charming La Casa del Suizo, a quaint bed and breakfast with stunning views of the valley.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


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