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Pros & Cons of Living in Vilcabamba

Planning a potential move to Vilcabamba? Delve into this comprehensive article, which delves into the various pros and cons of calling Vilcabamba home.
|-Pros & Cons of Living in Vilcabamba

Thinking about moving to Vilcabamba? Below we highlight some of the pros and cons of living in Vilcabamba.

Known as the “Valley of Longevity,” Vilcabamba, is a small town nestled in the Andes Mountains. It’s a place where the pace of life slows down, and the natural beauty is breathtaking. But like any place, living in Vilcabamba comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let’s delve into the specifics of what it’s like to live in this unique corner of the world.

Pros of Living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

One of the most significant advantages of living in Vilcabamba is the climate. The town is located in a valley at an altitude of about 1,500 meters, which gives it a “perpetual spring” climate. The average temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), and there’s plenty of sunshine throughout the year. This climate is not only pleasant but also beneficial for health. Many locals and expats believe that the combination of the climate, the clean air, and the mineral-rich water contributes to the longevity of the residents.

Another pro of living in Vilcabamba is the cost of living. Compared to North America and Europe, the cost of living in Ecuador is significantly lower. For example, a meal at a local restaurant can cost as little as $3, and a one-bedroom apartment in the town center can be rented for around $300 per month. This affordability extends to healthcare as well. Ecuador has a public healthcare system that is free for residents, and private healthcare is also affordable. For instance, a visit to a private doctor can cost around $30.

Vilcabamba is also a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by the Podocarpus National Park, which offers numerous hiking trails, bird watching opportunities, and stunning views. Horseback riding is another popular activity, and there are several stables in the area that offer guided tours. For those interested in gardening or farming, the fertile soil and the year-round growing season make Vilcabamba an ideal place.

Finally, the community in Vilcabamba is another big plus. The town has a mix of locals and expats from around the world, which creates a diverse and vibrant community. There are numerous events and gatherings, such as the weekly farmer’s market, where people come together to socialize and exchange ideas. There are also several volunteer opportunities, such as teaching English at the local school or helping out at the animal rescue center, Vilcabamba Animal Lovers.

Cons of Living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

While there are many pros to living in Vilcabamba, there are also some cons to consider. One of the main drawbacks is the remote location. The nearest city, Loja, is about an hour’s drive away, and the nearest international airport is in Cuenca, which is about four hours away. This remoteness can make it difficult to access certain goods and services, and it can also make travel to and from Vilcabamba more challenging.

Another con is the language barrier. While English is spoken by some residents, especially among the expat community, Spanish is the primary language in Vilcabamba. This can make everyday tasks, like shopping or dealing with bureaucracy, more difficult for those who don’t speak Spanish. It can also make it harder to integrate into the local community.

The pace of life in Vilcabamba is also significantly slower than in many Western countries. While this can be a pro for those looking for a more relaxed lifestyle, it can also be a con for those who are used to a faster pace. Things often take longer to get done in Vilcabamba, and this can be frustrating for those who are not used to it.

Finally, while the cost of living is generally low in Vilcabamba, it’s worth noting that prices have been rising in recent years, especially for real estate. This is largely due to the influx of expats, which has driven up demand. While it’s still possible to find affordable options, it’s not as cheap as it once was.

In conclusion, Vilcabamba, Ecuador, is a unique place to live, with many pros and cons. It offers a beautiful natural environment, a pleasant climate, a low cost of living, and a vibrant community. However, it’s also remote, there can be a language barrier, the pace of life is slow, and prices are rising. As with any place, it’s important to visit and spend some time there before deciding to move, to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Joshua WoodJoshua 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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