Ecuador Expat Forum

The coast or the interior?

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4/23/2017 20:55 EST

My wife & I are planning to move from the US, possibly later this year. It is her dream to find a house or condo on the beach & just swim or walk the sand whenever the urge strikes. It seems though, just from my casual browsing, that the coastal cities are not the favorite among expats in Ecuador & that most tend to choose the interior cities such as Cuenca, Quito, Vilcabamba, etc. I'm sure that she's not the 1st and only one with this sort of dream; I'm just curious why coastal life wasn't attractive to more expats.

If you've chosen NOT to live on the coast, would you mind revealing your main reasons? I'm not trying to win (or cause) an argument here; I just wonder if there is something we are missing by focusing primarily on the beach towns. (For whatever it's worth, I'd do anything I could to make her dream come true.)

Also, I guess, if you ARE a beach bum (j/k) & wanted to choose a quiet, laid-back city, where would be your 1st choice? 2nd? That's my only criteria for this group: I can do research into the recommended cities & decide which would best suit us later.

Thanks in advance!

4/24/2017 02:22 EST

Some reasons why most Ecuador Expats do not live at the beach...

1. mosquito-borne diseases

2. lack of the sophisticated healthcare available in big highland cities

3. few Expat meetups in most communities

4. heat

5. Ring of Fire seismic events

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4/24/2017 06:38 EST

The mountains or the coast.

I like the mountains. Doesn't mean I don't like the coast (a coast, any coast)

One thing here in Ecuador you can do is live inland and take long stays by the Ocean vs living there all the time.

Or you can do the opposite and come up here. Here being 5,000' high in the southern Ecuador Andes. We are less than two hours from the upper upper Amazon yet about four and a half hours from the Pacific.

Vilcabamba specifically. Clean air, inexpensive, the village is very international and mildly old/young hippie them'd. Suits me.

In local terms we are well off. I get only $1200 from uncle but here I have lots of discretionary $$. I just don't choose to go to the coast (or anywhere else) but I could do several multi week expeditions annually and not notice the cost.

Try both. It is personal taste with me.

Anyway in the summers I am living about ten minutes from the mid-coast of Maine, a major tourist and rich retiree locale. Maybe I am sating my coastal needs that way.

You don't have to do one or the other, you can switch back and forth - you should too, that way you can decide. The first six months really don't tell. Like shoes or spouses it takes years til they fit comfy and we know wither or not the rough edges are going to wear down or continue to irritate.

Ya, it takes years. I was three years in Cuneca and that got old. Now i've been here three and its ok, no urge to leave Vilca.

both are good. Don't cast a decision in stone, remain flexible for years and explore. We are programmed, I think, to root deep and permanent - not appropriate in Ecuador for us at this time of life, not necessary, just habit.

see you in Vilcabamba some day

good luck


4/24/2017 08:10 EST

We live in Rio Chico, Ocean View Hill, we love it here. 45 minutes from Salinas. We have access to beach and pool. It is a quiet gated community with all ex-pats.

4/24/2017 09:02 EST


Good to know! This is the 1st that I'd heard about the mosquito issue & not something I would have suspected. Around home (Michigan), the mosquitoes are worst where there is standing water. The seaside would never have occurred to me to be a problem area for the little buggers. Further investigation is definitely called for! Full-body mosquito netting would create a funny looking tan...

No real surprises in items 2-5. We would probably be willing to deal with them all, IF the dream stuff would still work.

Thanks much!

4/24/2017 09:33 EST

If you have to have the ocean, I would suggest that you look at the North coast. Not crowded, dirty, or polluted. Great beaches and not much competition.
The South coast, dirty, polluted, crowded, and dangerous. Guayaquil, the highest crime rate in the country.

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4/24/2017 09:36 EST

sinego, thanks for the very thought-provoking reply!

I'm not sure we could handle the itinerant life though, following the hummingbirds. We surely can't afford to keep 2 houses, so it seems that we'd have to find a place to plant roots eventually. Until then, we very well may look at the higher altitudes. I'm willing to let my wife make that call since either one would probably suit me.

Not to pry into your finances, but is it really that inexpensive to live in Vilcabamba? I understand that lifestyle would be a huge part of that equation. I'm more wondering about the staples: rent, utilities, transportation & peanut butter.

I'm still looking at other possibilities besides the seashore in case that doesn't work out for us. So maybe we actually will see you in Vilcabamba some day.

Muchas gracias!

4/24/2017 09:43 EST


I'm not sure where that is & can't seem to find it on Google Maps. How's the weather in your area?

A 45 minute drive might end up being an acceptable compromise, we'll keep it in mind!


4/24/2017 10:09 EST

it is between Cadeate and Manglaralto.

4/24/2017 10:11 EST

It is beautiful. Warm with sea breezes. Feel free toprivate message me with any questions..

4/24/2017 11:46 EST

Here in Vilcabamba I rent a nice house with one bedroom for $200 with another $25 for utilities, internet, water, electric etc. The gas is $2 a bottle which lasts many months, one for the shower hot water and one for the cook stove.

Veggies at the market on Sundays are a quarter to a sixth what they are in the states. And these really are farmer's markets. Fresh too, like in the fields on Saturday for the Sunday market.

Meat is a couple of dollars a pound. Beer $1.50 a bottle and coffee $1.25 at the several watering holes. Fine ground coffee in the store that would be $12+ in the states a pound is $3 here. This is world class coffee too, not the brown sawdust in the big cans up north. I do like the cans for the shop after they're empty.

Gasoline for the 250cc motorcycle is $1.50 a gallon and a gallon lasts me about ten days....90km/gallon. I look forward to running down a gallon so I can justify the longer ride to the next town where THE gas station is.

A person who wants to live frugal and doesn't associate spending big with living large can do fine. Have a hobby that doesn't involve spending money and the time will pass and the money accumulate in the account. You don't need a car if you live near a town, taxi's are cheap, buses too.

Up in Maine I have an in-law apartment over the garage at the family finca (small farm) with a little space in the garage for my 650 motorcycle. My mother and Sister are in the big house. I paid off the garage years ago.

My income is $1272 a month these days and among the retired gringos on SS this is slightly on the low end. None of us is out begging. Every year I have a surplus couple of thousand for a trip somewhere.

I think people in the US are conditioned in many ways and being compelled to spend money might be one of them. The compulsion to eat too much is fairly obvious and I note that contrast every year as I go back and forth while my weight goes up and down.

I brag about how little I spend but many gringos are aghast at this...they brag about how much they spend like it was a virtue. Conditioning from the north.....loose it asap. Like the nit-wits walking around with gold chains dangling from their necks.

Much of this is adjusting to a new reality - it is much cheaper here....believe it. but if a person insists there are those willing to take the money burning a hole in your pocket.


4/24/2017 12:30 EST


Now that's more than a little discouraging to hear. We were leaning toward the area between Olon & Playas. Originally Bahia & Manta were in consideration, but after digging online I found that they both appear to have been heavily damaged by the earthquake in 4/2016.

Actually, in any of the coastal areas, we would much prefer to stay away from the heaviest tourista havens.

In a quiet, oceanfront neighborhood, with prices in the 5-digit range. That's not too much to ask, I hope! (big j/k)

Thanks for the warning!

4/24/2017 12:36 EST


OK, I have seen Manglaralto, so I guess I have a pretty good idea now. I appreciate the offer of further info & will likely take you up on it before we make our 1st visit to Ecuador, sometime in July.

Thanks again!

4/24/2017 13:51 EST


You may be asking a lot. Most of the playa areas ARE tourist hubs. Many of the other areas on the coast are fishing villages or industrial areas or commercial ports. Not exactly the type of tropical paradises people dream about or are pictured in the slick magazines geared to gringo real estate sales.
Still, life on the coast is easy going and inexpensive - away from the gringo enclaves. I disagree with the poster regarding medical facilities. The are many new hospital facilities being opened here on the coast as well as, some excellent clinics ( think private hospitals ). For example, IESS just opened a fantastic new top-of-the-line hospital here in Machala.

My little patch of paradise is an industrial port city, far south of Guayaquil. In order to get to our "playa", you need to take a 3o min. boat ride from Puerto Bolivar to Isla Jambeli ( about $5 round-trip per person ).

The beaches here are not like Florida or the Caribbean, so your idea of finding your little patch of paradise make need to be adjusted a bit, but if you like moderate temperatures and cool breezes and an abundance of low cost seafood, and a cornucopia of fresh fruits, produce and dairy products, than the Coast of Ecuador may be for you.

4/24/2017 14:21 EST


I guess that means no peanut butter...

Your mention of hobbies & motorcycles bring up a couple of other issues for us (me). I am currently pricing all my woodworking & mechanics tools for our mega garage sale. I'm also uncertain what to do about my scooter. It's a 250cc Piaggio MP3 & I will certainly regret selling it; I just don't know if it would be possible or even smart to try to bring it to Ecuador, once I apply for a pensionado visa. Both of these are kind of painful, as least for now.

Good to know from a source other than IL that many things actually ARE that affordable. We should have a budget of a bit over $2k/month. It sounds like we could well live within that much there. We cheap out everywhere we go as it is & once we are forced to forego our one semi-extravagance (golf), life should be even more thrifty.

You're really making the life in Vilcabamba sound good; I'm still going to give the beach a try even though it is sounding less than idyllic. She's a smart woman & if it won't work, my wife will admit it. So we'll just have to wait a bit & see.

$1.50/beer, eh? I bet they don't have Negra Modelo though...

4/24/2017 14:43 EST


See, this is the kind of stuff I really need to know ahead of our 1st visit! I doubt my SO would be very comfortable in a party town, or commercial/industrial district. The fishing village, maybe - but we're not quite ready to be plopped into the middle of local, Ecuadorian-style life. I'd want to do quite a bit more work on my Spanish & the wife would need to expand upon her 2-word Spanish vocabulary. (inside joke: baño is 1 of them)

The rest of what you write sounds much better! With medical care improving & the lifestyle you describe, it could work out great for us! Dependent upon finding the right location at a price we can afford, of course. So how bad are the skeeters and such around Machala & Isla Jambeli?

Much obliged!

4/24/2017 15:18 EST

Quiet - not so much; Laid back - Manta is. My husband & I have lived here in Manta for 7 years now. We live in a high rise condo on the ocean, so our "back yard" is the beach. We walk out the back of our building right onto the beach. Your wife's dream was the same as mine when we came here. I always wanted to walk out of the back door of my house onto the beach and walk to my neighbors' house. When I got here, I found out that if I wanted a house on the beach, I would have to live in one of the small villages along the coast - of which there are many. But the small villages do not have the amenities we were used to coming from the states. We realized - thank God before we bought a house on one of those beaches - that we would not be happy living in one of the small villages and having to travel into a larger town when we needed to do any shopping. We thought we would give Manta a try and 7 years later we are still here. This past week Manta became even more desirable - They opened the 3rd largest mall in Ecuador here:).
If you would like to know more about our new - or not so new now - hometown of Manta, check out the website:
I wish you the best of luck in your search for your new home in Ecuador and hope you are as happy with your decision as we have been.

4/24/2017 17:40 EST


Sounds like I was wrong about Manta then. Has the town mostly recovered from last year's earthquake?

We may end up in a condo; my wife doesn't want me to have to do home repairs & maintenance any longer. I basically agree but it's been quite a while since I've had neighbors. I would be another huge change from where we live now. Possibly we'll rent a condo for 1 of the 2 trips we're planning for later this year just to see how well I fit in with other human beings.

OK, just read some of the news on It looks like things have improved in Manta & we may just check it out for ourselves.

Thanks for the info!

4/25/2017 02:31 EST

Never fails, the information about the coast from those who live in the mountains is always a touch "off".

My favorite errors are of course about where I live, Montañita.

Montañita has an area about 5 block radius with discos, bars, and cocktail tikis. Great fun and on the weekends goes til 4 am!

Then there is the rest of Montanita.

... We have our occasions when a communa member has a party, or May 15 which is Founders day. Expect a typical village fiesta! Otherwise, expect the usual sounds of waves, dogs, motos, music from the house next door.

I think the best description is living in Key West but more authentic, because you can't drive up A1A to the Walmart in Homestead.

Is it for everyone? Absolutely not!
This is a life for a Bohemian spirit and no strings attached.

You will never hear about this sort of experience in IL because there is no financial gain for anyone. It's La Vida Pura.

The gain is a quality of life you can't find anywhere else.

That's how I see it, from my 3rd floor balcony looking out at the ocean from the corner of church & park in a little surf town on the coast.


4/25/2017 07:01 EST

The whole South American coast from Colombia to Chile is on the Pacific Ring of Fire.

The fact that the North Coast of Ecuador got socked by earthquakes starting one year ago .. is not predictive of what part of the coast will be hit next time.

The point: You're on the right track renting to start. The days when it supposedly was a good idea to buy a condo on the EC coast are over.

Quake-proof construction is a dream, not a reality.


4/25/2017 07:08 EST


I hope I didn't open an old wound. It was just curious that the seashore didn't 'seem' to attract more expats than it did.

I've never been to Key West, but do understand the reference. That type of atmosphere can be a lot of fun!

Thanks for the honest peek into Montañita from an actual resident. If we can, we'll try to spend some time there & see it for ourselves. It's unlikely you'll see either of us with the 4am weekend revelers though; those days are long in the past...

Thanks much!

4/25/2017 09:21 EST


Sobering thoughts, for sure. It's probably similar to the bet that many Californians have made, that (maybe) it won't happen in my lifetime. I'm not really a gambler but I'm not the 'bubble-wrap & helmet' type either.

This is an issue that is entirely foreign to the mid-west US & will now need to be considered. We'll certainly have to weigh this in when try to decide where to settle.

Not my favorite piece of news, but still appreciated.

4/25/2017 12:13 EST

Having lived both on the coast and inland I can't actually give you an answer to your question.
What I can tell you is that the sierras can be to cool for some folks since it stays in the high 60's most of the time.
But if you're thinking of beaches and ocean like the Caribbean you will be disappointed. Nowhite sand beaches and water clarity is not close. Also if you live in a large city, the beaches will be crowded. If you live in a village near a large city the beaches will be crowded on the weekends.
If you want a coastal village that's away from the hustle and bustle but still has an active Gringo community, you might try Crucita or San Clemente. Quiet areas that are within 40 min of Manta, Portoviejo and Bajia.
I had a condo in Crucita and in Cotacachi at the same time. Spent most of 3 years in Crucita and 5 years in Cotacachi. If you have any questions PM me and I'll answer best I can
Also be aware that the idea of beach front for under 100,000 it"s very hard to find a nice condo.

4/25/2017 13:24 EST

My husband and I have lived in both the sierras (Cuenca, near Quito and Cotacachi) and the coast, in Bahia de Caraquez. We have found that both areas have advantages and are desirable for different reasons.

We prefer small towns and quiet living. Most of the time Bahia is quiet and very tranquil. Manta is a big city, but as several people have commented, it has advantages in that you can find tranquil spots and you have a lot of amenities that the smaller communities don't have.

Since we have spent the past 4 years trying out different parts of Ecuador, I agree with those who recommend that you pick a spot where you can rent for a year and then venture out to the other locations of interest to you and stay for several weeks or a month or more. That way you can really get a sense of what life is like. It may cost you a bit to travel and rent different places, but in the end, you will have a deeper sense of what you prefer. Living in Ecuador is not like living in the US, in many ways it is better, in some ways it is frustrating. It takes time to realize what you really can and can't live with.

We are now living in Cotacachi, which is small town in the Andes, and we will also return to Bahia when our condo is repaired. It is important to know that while there was damage from the earthquake many of the buildings were structurally fine, the damage was to interior walls. So, many of the buildings are safe and if they withstood a 7.8, smaller quakes should not be a problem in the future. Bahia, Manta and Canoa are too beautiful and desirable to be written off because of the earthquake. There are developers who are still coming to the coast and the government is continuing to invest there.

The richest experiences we have had are with the other expats we have met where we have lived and the relationships that we have made with the local Ecuadorian people. Each town has a slightly different vibe, again, finding out what is most comfortable for you is the key. Our friends are now living in Ayambe, which is a small ocean side community south of Porto Cayo, they love it. It is a kind of throw back to the 60's kind of lifestyle. So have fun exploring!!

4/25/2017 13:25 EST

Fly down, get a tourist visa, mosey around, see the sights and learn what you need to know to make a comfortable decision. It's a small place. I prefer hotels on a scouting visit like that, mainly because a good front desk knows pretty much every local thing a traveler might want to know.

4/25/2017 16:27 EST

My husband and I have a nice home on the beach in Atacames which is in Esmeraldas. A few more expats hace built homes outside of Tonsupa. There is not much of an expat community as Atacames has a bad reputation but guess what, no home invasion robberies, etc. That being said, I think Puerto Lopez or somewhere .near Manta would be good for most expats. We arefine here but I think it helps if you speak Spanish. Good luck and feel free to check out Esmeraldas.

4/25/2017 23:30 EST

I currently live in Manta, just moved here. We visited Manta for the first time 3 weeks after the earthquake. We saw alot of damage to buildings, but wasn't end of the world level. In the last year there has been construction, but nothing that effects day to day life. The new mall is awesome. But for sure but Manta back on your list, especially if you want things like malls, grocery stores, hospitals, golf course, hardware stores, vets all near by. $1.25 cab ride away, anywhere you want to go. As others have mentioned, set up a trip and visit a bunch of locations. For you can find such a wide difference in each area of this beautiful country. If you have questions about Manta, you can PM me and I can see if I can help answer any questions.

4/25/2017 23:42 EST

I live on the coast; and I love it. If you want expats you can find them here. There are not as many as Cuenca but we have our share. Depending on where you want to live on the coast really depends on what lifestyle you want and can afford. If you would like to talk in depth with me, just let me know.

4/26/2017 00:38 EST

I have to clarify something here.

The Pacific Rim of Fire, refers to the Fire of Volcanic activity.

Volcanic activity is seismic and earthquakes do not just occur at the coast but everywhere on the Pacific Rim.

That would be the plate from the Andes, running like a spine down the continent, to the ocean.

So earthquakes, mudslides, and volcanic eruptions, ie seismic activities, do take place in the Sierra of Ecuador just as much if not more often in the mountains as on the coast.

Institute geofisico for more info and to view both the earthquake and volcanic activity maps.

By the way, the most recent quake was centered in the Oriente, the Amazon. That was on the 18th of this month.


4/26/2017 07:04 EST

Thanks to all who have offered information & advice on this question! It looks like we will take some time & check out as many coastal cities as we can before making the big decision on where to plant roots. Several interior locations would also merit a visit as well.

This isn't exactly how I pictured our first year or so in Ecuador, but after talking about it we both feel that it could be fun, interesting & most likely the smartest thing to do. So, instead of immediately scouting for our dream home, we'll first look for a rental in an area that would be convenient as a base to do our traveling from.

We also very much appreciate the several offers of further answers via PM. I know we'll have more questions as the time of our 1st visit gets nearer.

4/26/2017 08:00 EST


You have the right idea, renting. The instinct to grab something and make a $$ commitment early should be resisted. What is attractive today will be less so in a year.

Generally it is best to go where you have other expats for support and reassurance. Learn the ropes and language and things will begin to look different. Its then a longer term decision can be made.

I have been hosting a new potential expat resident the last couple of days. She said she wanted to integrate into the local population and culture. Doesn't speak the language. I told her, many of us start that way but after a while realize the gap is too great. Culture makes people different. It makes their view of reality different. Its not just language. Sometimes I think language is the least of it. So hanging with your familiars early is the best way to begin.

And....after you find the place and get comfortable and things will have time on your hands. Have a hobby or interest to pour hours into. So many reach that goal of the stable living situation and only then go nuts from sitting on their hands.

You'd think some of the expats you encounter here were members of the Chamber of Commerce. There ain't one.

good luck


4/26/2017 08:53 EST

Cuenca and Loja have not had a major earthquake and has much less risk than the coast or the northern Andes.
From CuencaHighLife:

An overview of relative risk is shown in a earthquake risk map developed by the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGA is currently revising the map based on data collected in the 2016 earthquake. A USGA spokesman said that, based on information gathered after 2016, the extreme danger zone will be extended south on the coast to include the Santa Elena peninsula.

One of the six most powerful quakes in history struck the northern coast of Ecuador in 1906, killing 2,000 near Esmeraldas and sending a tsunami across the Pacific Ocean that killed hundreds more in Hawaii and Japan. The quake measured 8.9 on the Richter scale, equaling the powerful 2014 quake in Chile.

The town of Pedernales, the epicenter of the 2016 earthquake, suffered a 7.8 quake in 1942 but, because of its depth and lack of population in the area at the time, no deaths were reported

Several other strong earthquakes have occurred near the Ecuador-Colombian border during the last century. A powerful 8.2 earthquake 20 miles north of the border generated a tsunami in 1979 killed an estimated 400 people, mostly in Colombia.

Another powerful earthquake, measuring 7.2, hit 80 miles south of the 2016 quake, in 1998, devastating Bahia de Caraquez. Sixteen years later, many buildings in Bahia still showed the scars of that quake when the 2016 quake occurred.

In the Andes, Riobamba, Ambato and Ibarra have been destroyed by large earthquakes in the 19th and 20th century while Quito has suffered serious damage on three occasions. Ambato still shows the scars from a 1949 quake that registered 6.8 magnitude and killed more than 5,000.

“No area of Ecuador is entirely free from danger except for the eastern Amazonia,” says Institute director Hugo Yepes, “but we know that some areas, because of geology and geography, are in much more danger than others and that is where we need to focus our attention. Even though we put the Northern Andes in the same zone as some of the coast, the coast is actually much more vulnerable,” says Yepes. “Not only will the quakes there be of greater magnitude but because they often occur offshore, there is a risk of tsunamis.”

According to Yepes and Geophysical Institute records, the area least vulnerable to earthquakes, outside of the Amazon, is the southern Andes. “In recorded history, Cuenca has not suffered a destructive earthquake and it has been more than 400 years since Loja has seen serious damage.”

Yepes explains that the southern Andes are older, with more settled geology and are consequently less seismically active. Cajas National Park, to the west of Cuenca, is one of the oldest regions of the Andes mountain chain.

Institute officials say that Cuenca has seen a number of earthquakes over the years estimated in the 3.9 to 4.5 magnitude range, the most recent in 2010. The strongest, estimated at 4.5, occurred in 1885 and destroyed several mud structures in the historic district. “Since the Spanish arrived almost 500 years ago, Cuenca has probably not had an earthquake above the mid-4’s magnitude,” says Yepes. “This is why so many of its historic buildings remain intact.”

4/26/2017 10:44 EST

Sorry to be off topic but i am headed for Ecuador for the summer, July to October.
Then back to Mexico for the beach life.
Mexico has great beaches and not just by scenery but by weather(no rain and between 75 & 80 degrees-f) during the 6 months between November and May.
So i am going to fly into Cuenca to escape the northern summer heat and then back to Mexico for the beach. lots of beach options here in mexico too. Just left a beach town in Puerto vallarta area and now in a beach City Mazatlan, Driving back to USA with 3 day stops in various places.
Hurricanes are more a risk than Earthquakes in comparison to Ecuador. But things change -from climate to tectonic movements,
Oh also, i get to drive my van down into Mexico for 6 months with toys and goodies packed to keep me cozy & entertained .
Also i have the option to just keep driving into Belize, Guatemala and possible all the way to Panama if i don't mind the border hassle with a car. Personally, the weather gets unfavorable any farther south than Belize and Guaremala.

I was in Peru and Ecuador before, 2013-2014 and i know somewhat about what to expect.
I am going to visit Vilcabamaba and will stay there if the fresh clean mountain air effect hits me like a dream come true. I will have to exit Ecuador for a while ,while there because i have to make my 4 month stay fit into a 90 day tourist welcome. I will have to spend a month in Peru or somewhere outside of ecuador.

Anyway, for me, a budget of less than $1400 a month lets me travel around as long as i stay 3-6 months in one place living cheaply or below $1000 a month. The balance $ adds up to savings to get me to my next destination. I managed to stay 6 months in Mexico for $700 a month all living expenses. So i had quite a bit saved up to pay my return to USA, a round trip to Ecuador and then a return to Mexico next winter.

The best option for me to know where i would want to be? Was to settle No where. Just stay travelling, get around, live as cheaply as bearable and let any fustrations i find in cheap living -do the prompting towards upgrades.
I plan on splitting time between Mexico and Ecuador and every once in a while stray to places on my list, like Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Europe and maybe even Africa.

Anyone with more than $2k income and an interest in cheaper countries, can make exploration travel lifestyle work out. Nothing better than first hand expereince and getting to go back and redo a place that was appealing. May e eventually settling but settling down with first hand knowledge of what you are missing or not missing.
Of course, you need some youth oeft in your bones. I know some real old timers who insist that gettting up and going is what keeps the youth in their bones.

4/26/2017 12:49 EST

Just for the record, the law in Ecuador has changed. If you ask they will give you a 180 day visitors pass. This allows you to come and go, and not be charged for the days you are out of the country.

4/26/2017 14:47 EST

Isn't very hot on the coast?

4/27/2017 02:00 EST

If you stand outside in the direct equatorial sun without a breeze, yes.

If you are in the shade of a tree, a veranda, a balcony or a cloud and have a fan or a breeze, no.

I lived in South Florida for 25 years. I know hot and humid and lived in air conditioning.

Here, a fan. On high during the day, low at night. Windows open and the sounds of the waves.

I honestly have never lived better.

Who would have guessed I am a beach bum at heart?


5/12/2017 13:49 EST

I arrived 15 months ago on the coast Salains area after checking out Cuenca. I decided Cuenca was was not for me ( altitude & weather a detractor ) I decided to rent and try the coast Salinas area before making any permanant decisions. i alsolike the weather here never higher than 85 degrees days and 10 degrees cooler at night. I rent a 3 br 2 ba furnished condo in luxury a highrise condo in Porto Lucia with a magnificent view of the Porto Lucia Yacht Club with the commercial fishing fleet anchored in the bay ( beach is at my door step, pristine and very quiet ) my rent is under 700 per month and my building is considered a luxury building with every service you want 24 hr security, concerge included & maid service at extra cost ( $ 15 a day) nice commerical shopping center with most services you would want including a large modern grocery store all within walking distance or a 1.50 taxi ride. Salinas is 10 min away with lots of seaside activites restaurant & tourist attractions and plenty of gringos if you want that @ 3..00 taxi ride or .45 bus ride . My suggestion is that you rent for six months or more before making a permanant decision and travel to other citys wherever you wish to check out . There are always plenty of furnished rentals available and from April to December is the low season so rentals are less expensive & plenty to choose from . In this way you have time to decide where you want to be located on a long term basis Hope this helps good luck Jim

5/12/2017 15:50 EST


Uh-oh. I think my wife just found EXACTLY what she was hoping for. Tell me that you didn't take the last one available!

A couple of further questions:
Is it that price year-round or will it go up during peak season?
How long of a lease would you need to get that rent rate?
Lastly, how's the water - do you drink bottled, filtered or straight from the faucet?

Thanks much!

5/13/2017 01:07 EST

You can find some excellent places to rent in Salinas.

Do be careful, if you use a real estate agent or apartment finder, as we have "some" in Salinas who are less than scrupulous in their professionalism and specifically fiduciary duties.


5/13/2017 08:51 EST

To answer your quesrions : There are plenty of rentals available from Salinas to Montanita. I chose Porto Lucia due to the location & privacy as well as services nearby both in Salinas as well as La libertad ( which Porto Lucia is a part of) We have the local fish market where the fishermen fish all night and sell the catch in the huge market in the morning. They will fillet anything you buy whole for no extra charge, shrimp peeled and deveined are 4.00- 4.50 a lb I have a favorite Trupmet fish ( long slender fish obviously named after the instrumet they resemble), a very mild white fish with almost no bones sold skinned for 1.25 a lb. You can also find all poultry meat & eggs plus vegetables & fruit anyone would want in same market area .
Water: I drink botled water the cost is so low( 2..00 a huge bottle delivered to the door ) but wash produce in water I boil just to make certain. I shower in water form the tap & I have never had any probelms and find most restuarants use filtered water for making drinks and juices, again never had any probelms. Restaurants: (Almuerzo - Ecuadorian lunch ) so many to choose from at from $ 3.50- 4:00 including, usually soup, main plate of meat & rice & small salad juice all close by the condo. I like to try at least one new one a week. There is also a ceveche cart that passes the building almost daily for 3:00 you get a nice portion of ceveche made fresh that morning. . Longostinos are also available on weekends our freindly Longostino man barks his arrival in the mornings on the malacon in front of the building with fresh longostinos at usually 5.00 a pound (huge usally no more than 4-5 per lb )
TRANSPORTATION: Salinas is 1.5 hr drive from Guayaquil where the large international airport is located as well as well as the bus terminal located close to the airport where you can get to anywhere in the country from. There is express bus service from the GYE termanal to the beach ( Santa Elena) which services our local area cost is about $ 4.00 or 2.oo for senior citizens then you can take a taxi for 3.00 to Salinas or Libertad area always available at the bus terminal.
hope this gives you some insight as to why I chose the coast . If U have any other questions perhaps I maybe able to provide some answers my email is : / good luck hope this helps Jim

5/13/2017 10:01 EST


Thanks for the advice, I'll keep it in mind. It's a shame, but no surprise; that general type is certainly not exclusive to Ecuador.

It's a little early for this yet, but do you have any trusted resources in the area, say from Salinas to Olon?

5/13/2017 11:55 EST

Earlabs: That was a superb run down of living in Salinas/Libertad.

Having lived in Anconcito for 8 years which is in the canton of Salinas (I managed Ocean Hideaway) I can say that was an accurate description, right down to the langostino (prawn) seller!

Thank you,

5/13/2017 12:04 EST

I do, Amy Prisco who owns ReMax Salinas - Pioneer


5/13/2017 12:26 EST

SUSAN: Yes I agree with you using caution and a few reccomedations from locals renters can avoid getting ripped off. I also dont understand the Gringos who expect that they can find exactly what they are leaving in the states. Which is why everyone shuold try out a place before making any decisions. If they want excatly what the states has why leave? We all know one has to make some adjustments when moving abroad not expect everything we had in the states only on Ecuadorian economy prices. I traveld in other parts of the world extensivly for a few years before deciding on Ecuador & have never regretted it for one min!~ i also dont seek out Gringos as I do love the Ecudorians and the culture and also accept & enjoy the differences in Latin and American culture.
Ciao Jim

5/13/2017 19:57 EST

NOT DIRECTED TO OCEAN....OCEAN IS RIGHT BUT...YOU NEVER KNOW: We recommend Amy at Re Max....but..."you never know" what extenuating circumstances, totally unrelated to your business deal can come into play. We've dealt with Amy for years and recommend you do your homework and make your own decision. : > ))))

5/13/2017 20:07 EST

EAR...Dead on. If you're not looking for an adventure in life...stay where you are.
: >))))) Volunteer.

5/16/2017 20:11 EST

Hey Roscoguy....

Small detail from above: there is no lack of peanut butter here.

At the Supermaxi it'll run 10$ for a big jar (2 lbs?) of the big local name brand, "Shulle" (sic?). However, down at the mercados it's typically 2$/lb. In Quito its all nicely packaged and ready to go.

In Cuenca you need to bring your own jar, otherwise they'll slap it into a plastic baggie, as it's sold bulk. I prefer a storefront directly to the right as you exit the east door of the 9 de Octobre mercado (e.g., off its northwest corner). It's busy, but that means a good turnover, and they dip the stuff out of bit blue tub. You can also pick up stuff like bulk oatmeal there for 5o cents a lb, versus $2+ for the nice package at supermaxi.

BTW: The dictionary says you want 'mantequilla de mani', and they'll understand. But the locals call it 'mani molido' (ground peanuts).

5/16/2017 22:20 EST

At super maxi in Ibarra you can buy a pound of Peter Pan for 6.00. Peanut butter easy to get. So if you're worried about peanut butter move inland up north

5/16/2017 22:47 EST

How about peanut brittle?


5/17/2017 07:29 EST

Kimac & remoore2001,

I'm very relieved to hear that. (joke alert!) I thought we may have made a huge mistake in considering Ecuador for a while there! As long as all the staples of life are covered, I guess it's safe to come look around. (cancel alert)

I don't have a peanut butter 'problem' & can quit whenever I want to. I'm just not ready.

5/17/2017 07:30 EST


Tried that once, tore the HECK out of my Wonder Bread.

5/17/2017 20:39 EST

Peanut Brittle...

Why yes!

Manabi on the coast is known for sweets. Peanut brittle, coconut brittle, sesame brittle... And all of these mixed with manjar (soft caramel) are among the typical sweets.

5/17/2017 20:44 EST


Some peanut (Mani) molido is cooked, some not...

You want to have cooked peanut butter because, as a ground but, it will have a high level of bacteria.

Mani molido is used in recipes here so it is cooked, but if you are going to use it on bread and you buy it at market, take an extra step: cook it.

When you do yo also improve texture and flavor plus you can add salt and honey to taste.

Store in a clean jar and you are good to go!

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