Life, Travel and Retirement in Ecuador.
Web Hosting

 
 


 
Don't Miss
 

Expat Retirement Communities in Ecuador

Retired Couple in Salinas, Ecuador

Many retirees are moving to expat retirement communities outside the United States and Europe to enjoy what they hope will be the best years of their lives. People are finding that their pension does not go as far as it did in the past.

For most individuals in the U.S., a $2000/month pension covers the bare necessities, with little or no money left for leisure, or tragically, emergencies. However, the same amount of money in Ecuador will cover all your living expenses and health care coverage, with about $1000 a month left for travel, entertainment and whatever you want or need. Naturally, a couple would need a lot more than $2000/month for living expenses in the U.S., but in Ecuador that amount would cover a couple’s living and health care expenses plus be able to provide a few frills on the side.

Many retirees also consider the move an escape from the long, cold winters of North America and Europe. By moving to a location on the Equator, retirees can benefit from consistent weather patterns, 12 hours of daylight every day, and mild temperatures all year round.Retired couple rides bike outside Vilcabamba, Ecuador

By some estimates, more than 100 people a day are now moving to Ecuador to experience its amazingly varied climate, unique cuisine, vibrant culture and comfortable cost of living.

Currently the three most popular cities in Ecuador for expat retirement are Cuenca (a high-elevation city in the Andes), Quito (the capital), and Vilcabamba (in the spring-like “Valley of Longevity” to the south). Other attractive locations include Cotacachi, Bahia de Caraquez and Loja.

Cuenca

The city of Cuenca oozes Old World charm with its cobblestone streets, colonial-era churches and stately mansions with wrought-iron balconies. Colorful flags and pastel-painted murals adorn the many markets where residents shop for locally grown vegetables, coffee and other household goods. Cuenca has a very “European” feel in its architecture and culture, and the city attracts a steady stream of homebuyers from that part of the world.

At 2,560 meters (8,400 ft.), the weather in Cuenca is somewhat cool due to the high altitude, and you may see more rain here than other areas of Ecuador. However, the dry season from June to December is an absolute delight, with temperatures averaging 50° F (10° C) at night and 70° F (21° C) during the day.Domes of the New Cathedral, Cuenca, Ecuador

Cuenca is the cultural heart of the country. In this center of art and literature, you can attend the orchestra, a play, a tango performance, or an art opening, and these activities are usually free. There are many historical attractions like the Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes, which houses thousands of Incan artifacts dating as far back as 500 B.C., or the Museo del Banco Central, a massive museum complex with everything from colonial art to exhibits on Ecuadorian currency to botanical gardens. The Ingaprica — the largest Incan ruins in Ecuador — is also nearby.

Retirees here enjoy strolling through this very walk-able city or grabbing a coffee near the tree-lined Parque Abdon Calderon (the central square). The festive open-air markets, which sell locally made crafts (the Panama hat is primarily made in Cuenca), and food attract residents from nearby towns, and the flower market off Parque Calderon is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. Expats and tourists who like the nightlife enjoy Calle Larga, a more sedate version of New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, with its many bars, discotecas and internationally inspired restaurants.

Cajas National Park outside Cuenca, EcuadorMore athletic folks can hike in the nearby Cajas National Park — something you can do nearly year round due to the mild weather. The entire El Cajas region, which includes the park, was recently named a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Cajas is a perfect example of Nature’s masterful design, where the wind-swept paramos and over 200 lakes (lagunas) unite to create a natural temple. If you are bird watcher, fishermen or avid hiker, this is the place for you.

Cuenca is sometimes called the “Athens of the Andes” because it is a mecca for people who love culturally significant places, the arts, and learning. UNESCO named the historic district of Cuenca a World Heritage Site in 1999. Cuenca is also a great place to learn Spanish as the Spanish spoken here is clear and precise, and the costs to study the language are among the lowest in South America.

But while Cuenca is best known for its cultural contributions to Ecuador, the city also has plenty of modern conveniences, including 18 hospitals, four universities that attract students from all over the world, and a large indoor shopping mall (Mall del Rio) complete with Burger King, Pizza Hut and many other American fast food joints. The nearest international airport with flights to the U.S. and Europe is in Guayaquil, about 243 kilometers away (four hours by bus).

Although the city has many modern attractions, expats find the pace of life in Cuenca less hectic than in cities like Quito or Guayaquil. Cuenca is also affordable: most retirees can live for well under $2,000 per month. You can rent a furnished apartment for as little as $400 per month, an unfurnished apartment from $300 per month, or buy a small condo outright for less than $40,000. Thanks to the comfortable year-round climate in Cuenca, you won’t have to worry about heat or air conditioning, which is another important reason why retirement in this city is as affordable as it is.

To be able to enjoy all that the city has to offer, plan on a budget of $1,500 a month per couple if you’re renting and $1,100 per month if you own your home. You could certainly live here for less, but these estimates will allow you to make the most of your new life in Cuenca.

Quito

Quito, named the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, is a beautiful, sophisticated city supported by a modern international airport and world-class restaurants, museums and shopping. The Spanish influence is everywhere, especially in the colonial architecture and cathedrals.

While just 22 kilometers from the equatorial line, Quito has a climate that is often compared to an English springtime, with temperatures averaging 50° F (10° C) at night and 70° F (21° C) during the day. You can expect afternoon rainfall from October to May.Virgen del Panecillo at night

Quito is roughly divided into three sectors: El Centro (or colonial Old Town) is at the center; North Quito (or New Town) is adjacent to Old Town and is the hip, modern section of Quito; and South Quito, the work-a-day residential district. The greatest concentration of attractions for expats is in the Old Town and New Town sections of Quito.

Like most bustling cities, Quito is crowded, but it is easy to find what you want or need. Public transportation is cheap and readily accessible. Just take it easy until you become acclimated to the high altitude – 9,300 feet takes some getting used to.

Quito offers perhaps the best health care available in Ecuador, with outstanding hospitals, the most modern equipment and technologies, and top-notch doctors and specialists, many of who have been trained in the United States.

Vilcabamba

The healthy lifestyle, amazing year-round weather, plentiful organic food production and clean, abundant mountain water are just some of the reasons so many expats are enjoying their “golden years” in this lush valley in southern Ecuador. It is said that many residents here live to be 100 years old or more, so the region is often referred to as the “Valley of Longevity.” Residents of the area attribute this longevity to low-stress living in a near-perfect climate.Vilcabamba-j-trail

Vilcabamba is situated about 40 minutes from the colonial town of Loja, another popular expat retirement community. At an elevation of 5,000 feet, this area has average daily temperatures between 65° F (18° C) at night and 82° F (28° C) during the day. There are plenty of local activities that allow expats to enjoy the fine weather. Horseback riding and bicycle tours are popular and fun. And the nearby Podocarpus National Forest is a bird watcher’s and nature photographer’s paradise.

The number of permanent foreign residents, as well as part-timers, keeps growing. As a result of Vilcabamba’s growing popularity, some costs have increased in recent years. Still, it ranks as one of the least expensive retirement havens in the world.

Vilcabamba-Church-FountainOne couple that owns their home says they live comfortably on less than $800 a month, even though costs in Vilcabamba have risen in the last five years. They don’t go out often, and they do much of their own vehicle maintenance and home repairs. However, if they need help, the going rate for a common laborer is just $10 a day.

Rents are often higher due to a shortage of affordable housing. However, current residents report paying less than $1.25 a month for gas for cooking and hot water; monthly water bills are just $1.70. Electricity adds another $30 per month. Thanks to the temperate climate, there’s no need for heating or air conditioning. Gasoline in Ecuador costs less than $1.50 a gallon, so even if you must drive to Loja for shopping, it is still affordable.

Cotacachi

About an hour and a half from Quito, the little town of Cotacachi, with a population of about 9,000, is attracting expats who are seeking a gentle, less stressful life. With its friendly people, incredible mountain and valley views, Cotacachi offers low-cost living and most of the comforts you are accustomed to at home.Cotacachi Volcano towers over Parque Calderon

Due to its 8,000 ft. elevation, and being tucked away between two volcanoes, the city’s temperatures tend to stay between 50° F (10° C) and 70° F (21° C), much like Quito. When the sun is shining, which it usually is, Cotacachi is a springtime paradise – warm and inviting – all year round. When the sun does slip behind the clouds, the weather cools, so it is wise to carry a jacket and hat.

Retirees report that a new apartment can be purchased for less than $80,000, and that a couple can live comfortably on less than $1,500 per month for all the basics, including money for travel and dining out regularly. Expats can visit the local market with $5 to spend and return with more produce than you can carry. If one needs modern appliances and gadgets, larger stores are in Ibarra, about 20 minutes away by bus.

Owning a car isn’t necessary – taxis cost only a few dollars and buses travel to many other cities. Cotacachi has a medical clinic; however, most people go to the nearby towns of Otavolo or Ibarra for anything other than minor treatment, or to Quito for major procedures.

A market in Cotachaci, EcuadorCotacachi is known for its handcrafted leather goods and local markets. The town also offers unique immersion into a different culture: Cotacachi is a community hub for the indigenous Quichua people, many of whom wear their brightly colored traditional garb daily, engage in traditional healing practices, and speak their own language.

The nearby lakes and hot springs are major benefits for retirees, and the incredible scenery is beyond compare. Expats and tourists alike can enjoy a hike to the top of the Cotacachi Volcano in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, or explore the reserve’s 750,000 acres of protected forests. One can walk along the shores of Lake San Pablo, the largest lake in Ecuador, or Lake Cuicocha, which to this day Quichua shamans use for ritual cleansing. Guided four-hour hikes around the perimeter of the lake make for a great way to spend a morning.

Lake Cuicocha, outside Cotachaci, Ecuador

Lake Cuicocha

There are also delightful hot springs located less than an hour from Cotacachi where, for around $4 a person, you can soak away the hours in thermal pools and enjoy a eucalyptus sauna.

Cotacachi is known nationally for it’s parades and festivals, such as Inti Raymi, a celebration of the sun, yet it’s off the major tourist routes, which allows it to stay a place of serenity – perfect for retirees who simply want to relax and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Bahia de Caraquez

Situated on a sandy peninsula in the Manabi province on Ecuador’s Pacific coast, Bahia de Caraquez is drawing retirees from around the world.

Bahia, as the locals call it, is a sleepy little beach town that is a popular vacation spot for wealthier Quito families. This clean, relatively safe town was once a thriving seaport, but the harbor suffered major erosion, and some of the shipping industry moved elsewhere. Today you will find lovely homes with manicured gardens and many top-notch restaurants and resorts, including the world-class Casa Ceibo Boutique Hotel & Spa.Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

The local population of 30,000 enjoys year-round warm weather. Shorts and light shirts are the “dress of the day” most of the time. A long sleeved shirt and a pair of jeans would be sufficient for even the coolest evenings.

Earthquakes devastated Bahia de Caraquez in the late 1990s. Since then, residents have rebuilt and improved the town, calling it an “eco-city,” with modern recycling and conservation programs, and bicycle taxis being a popular means of getting around town. Today the city enjoys the reputation of being the cleanest city on the coast of Ecuador.

Bahia de Caraquez seems focused on sustainable growth and development. The city now has a hospital, and the roads are being resurfaced and rebuilt; residents are able to get to the Manta airport in about an hour for flights to Quito and Guayaquil. A new bridge connects Bahia to San Vicente, another beach town.Bahía_de_Caráquez

Expats can enjoy plentiful outdoor recreation, and its location on the coast makes Bahía one of the main tourist centers of the province of Manabi. Of course, there’s the beach, with Bellaca and Playa del Pajonal beaches being favorites with local residents. Retirees and visitors will also enjoy hiking through the Cerro Seco, a tropical forest that surrounds Bahia. Bird watching is a popular activity in Isla Corazon, a mangrove-shaded island across the bay that’s home to birds like the snowy egret, striated heron and white ibis. Plus, Bahia is within relatively easy driving distance of charming small fishing towns like Canoa, San Clemente, San Vicente and Jamal.

Bahia also has a rich cultural tradition. The Bahia de Caraquez Museum was built to showcase the region’s Incan history and archeological findings dating back many centuries. Cabanas Chirje, a rustic resort on a secluded strip of beach that is only accessible by car at low-tide, also has an on-site museum displaying ancient artifacts dating back centuries.

Expats who are looking to buy beachfront retirement property at a bargain will find Bahia de Caraquez a sure bet. This area of the Ecuadorian coast boasts some of the cheapest beachfront property for sale in the world. There are plenty of homes available for under $100,000, as well as condos for less than $50,000.

Loja

Until recently, Loja has been largely overlooked by expats. But Loja is no backwater. Situated in Ecuador’s southern Sierra region with a population of about 200,000 people, Loja offers all the modern big-city services while, at the same time, offering a cultural richness that makes it unique in Ecuador.

Puerta de la Cuidad in Loja, EcuadorIn some ways the local expat community enjoys Loja’s small-town anonymity. It’s their little secret and they like it that way. But now the secret is getting out. As Canadian expat Steve Chorney, who retired to Cuenca, puts it, “If I were to plan my retirement to this country today, Loja is where I’d live.” All things considered, Loja is a perfect choice for retirement.

First off, the weather is ideal. The average high temperature in Loja is 73° F (23° C), with a seasonal variation of only one degree. Nights are always cool, with an average low of 45° F (7° C). So you don’t need heat, you don’t need air conditioning and you can put away your winter clothes and your snow shovel for good.

The people of Loja are friendly and welcoming, and it’s easy to become a part of the community. The town has a small but growing expat community, meaning that a foreign retiree here is still accepted into the local community on his or her own merits, rather than being stereotyped as part of the American enclave.

Loja is a safe city, with less crime than you’ll find in Ecuador’s bigger cities of Quito, Guayaquil or Cuenca. If you use your common sense, strolling the downtown streets during the evening hours is practical and safe. Still, no matter where you are in Ecuador it is always advisable to walk in groups at night.The city of Loja, Ecuador

The countryside surrounding Loja is dramatic and beautiful, with green mountain peaks, idyllic valleys and rushing rivers. There are a number of attractive areas for owning a larger tract of land or a farm. The nearby towns of Malacatos and Vilcabamba are popular vacation spots, with warm climates, charming villages and a pleasant rural atmosphere.

The city of Loja itself is completely walkable, and anyone who can walk a couple of blocks will not need a car for day-to-day life. When you need a taxi, you’ll find them plentiful and cheap. Most rides around town cost a dollar.

For travel between provinces, there is a modern but cheap bus system with routes connecting to the rest of Ecuador, and into Peru. Loja is served by Camilo Ponce Enriquez airport in Catamayo, 30 kilometers (30 min) distant. From there, it is possible to fly to Quito or Guayaquil.

Loja's famous town squareLoja is built around a number of attractive town squares, which serve as the classic city social centers that the Spanish intended them to be. They are great places to relax, meet up with new friends, and people-watch. You can also enjoy a $2 three-course lunch, or just sip locally grown coffee as the crowds drift by your table.

Music plays a big part in Lojano culture, and Loja is, in fact, the undisputed music capital of Ecuador. Many of the country’s best musicians and composers came from Loja, and the city currently boasts two orchestras and a noted music conservatory.

Loja is also a great place to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Fresh tropical fruits and vegetables are always available in the markets at very low prices. It’s easy to make fresh-squeezed fruit juices so rich and wholesome that you’ll never again be happy with the canned or bottled juices you find almost everywhere else. And there are even a few well-equipped gyms throughout the city, at prices that even the tightest budget can afford.

 

Recommended Immigration Attorneys

EcuaAssist (U.S.: (347) 298-2947 or (917) 387-1069; Ecuador: +593 (95) 977-4377; Av. Diego de Almagro & Pedro Ponce Carrasco, Edificio Almagro Plaza #311 in Quito) is a bilingual consulting company focused on the needs of expats in Ecuador, whether they are just arriving or already well established. Here at EcuaAssist we specialize in immigrant and non-immigrant visas; we know the process inside and out and can make the visa experience a fast, efficient, and stress-free process. We have representatives in the United States so everything can be taken care of here in Ecuador, at our offices in Quito, Manta, Bahia de Caraquez and Cuenca. Explore our website to find out all that we have to offer. The EcuaAssist team is made up of people who have experienced being expats, both in Ecuador and abroad. Because of this, we treat each case as if it were our own life. We employ a team approach to case evaluations, and our results reflect our commitment and passion. We assist hundreds of people each year and pride ourselves on our ability to provide our clients with affordable, effective, and lasting solutions.

Ecuador Visas (U.S. toll-free: 1-800-655-1581; Cuenca: 099-296-2065; Acropolis Building, Office #303, Ave. Jose Peralta & Ave. 12 de Abril in Cuenca). With offices in both Sarasota-Florida & Cuenca-Ecuador, “Ecuador Visas” can quickly process ANY & ALL Ecuador visa types for you, so that you easily and reliably get your Residency Visas in Cuenca, Bahia de Caraquez or Manta (other cities of Ecuador are available now as well). $950 ALL-INCLUSIVE “ECUADORIAN RESIDENCY VISA INCLUDING YOUR ECUADORIAN CEDULA ID CARD” (you naturally pay the Ecuadorian Government required $550 Visa fee directly to the Ecuadorian Immigration Ministry). Providing ABSOLUTELY Comprehensive Processing of ANY permanent Ecuador Residency Visa type. We can even get you your Residency Visa BEFORE you arrive in Ecuador, with the very popular “Visa Via Cable” option! Finally, we can also facilitate for you ANY Container Shipping and Customs issues, as well as any Real Estate Closing or other Legal Services needed or wanted by you here in Ecuador.

372 Comments


  1.  
    Jim Milner

    12/03/2016 Not sure I’m posting properly as there have been no response. In the travel section under “Buses” there is no information on travel from Cuenca to Loja. Any help there would be appreciated as any recommendations for a hostal in Loja.
    Thanks in advance
    tahoemilner@gmail.com




  2.  
    Jim Milner

    Doug, I just arrived in EC 3 days ago. I’m from a small mountain town in the USA and want to live in a small town in EC. I have my permanent resident visa and will go to Cuenca on 11/30/16 to get my Cedula. I am currently in Cotacachi and will be coming to Banos for a quick overview as well. It will either be Banos or Cotacachi for me as all others are too big for my liking. Can you make any comparisons between them that may not be obvious on my first over view and impressions. Any thoughts, suggestions etc. would be greatly appreciated.
    I’ve enjoyed reading your forum and look forward to your reply.
    Thank you in advance




  3.  
    Bill

    I have lived in Cotacachi, Ecuador for about 7 years now and travelled throughout Ecuador a few years ago. I live in a 2 story 4 B/R home in a very quiet area. My neighbor is the General of the National Police, so I can assure anyone the area is very secure. II am totally retired and do very little, but am very good at it. If you future expats have any questions you can call me on my Magic Jack, which should be a free call from anywhere in the US., 941-244-7560. I finally got talked into Whats up, but do not know much about it, and my cell # here is 099-099-2392, feel free to call, but will be better to email first with an approximate time that you will call and I will try to be here then. I have 3 empty partially furnished bedrooms on the second floor I do not use, with a private bath and HOT water as well as a living area and a small Sun Room. I would be willing to rent the larger B/R to a single person or a couple.You would have access to the kitchen and dining area. I live totally on the first floor. If interested email at wrh6133@yahoo.com or call.




    •  
      Jim Milner

      Bill, just read your post and I am currently here in Cotacachi doing my first quick overview. Very impressed. I have to leave tomorrow to meet Sara in Cuenca to finish my Cedula. I arrived with my residence visa in hand. While in Cuenca waiting for her to finish that, I will travel to Banos for a quick overview as well.
      It will be one or the other as all others are just too big for me. I’m 69, single, quiet very neat and organized. If I decide it’s going to be Cotacachi, I will be here till the end of May, return to the USA for 2 months, then come back again. As you know I must be here 9 months for each of the first two years. Please let me know and possibly we can meet later today, Monday, or tomorrow morning before I catch the bus to Quito.
      Let me know…..tahoemilner@gmail.com




    •  
      Bill

      This is Bill, I would like to change my contact email to —mongo9421@gmail.com, thanks.




  4.  
    laura slater

    I am looking to move to Ecuador this coming March 2017. I am not sure where I want to live. I will be there Feb 1-10th to check out Guayaquil, Banos, Salinas and maybe Manta. I don’t like high humidity nor super hot temperatures, so I’m thinking bsnod might be good. Is it safe there for a single woman in her 50s? If anyone knows of a good place, I guess in the mountains would be better — could you write me so I’ll look at the right cities and towns? I currently live in the high desert in California.




    •  
      Bill

      I live in Cotacachi in the mountains and there are many single women here in their 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s who are very happy and satisfied with their lives up here. I prefer the mountains, virtually every day the temp at 5AM is 50+ or – a few degrees and gets up to 70-80 during the day with very low humidity, I wear sweats almost all the time with no discomfort. The weather is mostly sunny or partly cloudy and when it rains it is a gentle rain and almost always at night 8PM -6AM. In my opinion the coast from Manta south is OK, the coast from Manta north is rather dirty and not a place I would want to live. Maybe take a week and do Salinas to Manta to get a good idea of what the different coastal towns have to offer.Maybe 2 weeks to do Loja, Cuenca, Quito, Cotacachi, Ibarra, Otavalo. I think they are all nice, each offering a slightly different life style. All in all, safety should be no problem so long as you use common sense, much safer than most medium to large cities in the uS.




  5.  
    theresa foecking

    Hi, I am considering moving to the Otavalo area July 2017, can someone contact me and give me a more personal insight on the possibilities. I am a single women, retired in reasonable health. I would like a nice apartment in the mountain area with semi cool weather. I will be making a trip down there in March 2017 to scout about. My email is tf3jjj@aol.com. Would really love some input.




  6.  
    Edward

    My experience is a bit different than many expats here and I am available should you find yourself in Guayaquil. I am a retired police officer from the States and am very safety conscious. I have lived in Ecuador for several years now. I have lived in Cuenca, Esmeraldas and I currently live in Guayaquil. I am married to a native ecuadorien and I speak English and Spanish fluently. We have a very large home in the very northern part of Guayaquil in a very safe neighborhood. Outside of Cuenca, i can’t say that I have met other Americans while living here. I have my own automobile and drive wherever we travel. I came to Ecuador with the intention of making some financial investments and so have spent the majority of my time in areas not populated by expatriots.

    If you are on a budget and intend to visit Guayaquil or currently live here, I Am willing to help anyway I can. If you live in other parts of Ecuador, and travel to Guayaquil, I would also be happy to help. I can help you with information, transportation and even temporary housing should that be needed. My wife and I travel often throughout the country and are familiar with most of the cities. We are LDS and have few friends outside of church and family. Happy to help however we can.




    •  
      Denise King

      Edward,
      I am a single woman and am planning a move to Ecuador when I retire. I will be 62 in two years. Is it safe for a woman on her own there? I would like to relocate to a beach town. It is has always been my dream to sit on the beach and read while listening to the ocean.
      I was going to hire an immigration attorney to get all of my papers in order and rent a place before purchasing a home. But I am concerned about safety and perhaps being “taken” when trying to purchase a home. I read somewhere that if one pays cash for a home it can be purchased at a discount of 30 – 40%. Would that be true?
      Thank you for posting your offer to help. I am getting so excited about this move. My plans are to visit in March of 2017 and then again before I make the move.




      •  
        Edward

        Denise,
        Single or not, any where you go, a person is always safer when accompanied by friends.

        Some beach towns here in Ecuador are safer than others. Property values in many beach towns are really quite low when compared with properties in the States. Even many beach front properties can be had at very low prices. The economy here has taken a real dip recently and so many property prices have lowered accordingly. Beware though that there are many pitfalls in purchasing properties here. Obliviously the people will see a gringo buying and may raise prices considerable. Other problems in many cases include the inability to obtain a clear title to the land, lack of title insurance, Real-estate agency corruption, imminent domain property seizures, etc.

        It is important to use a good Real-estate attorney. I have made several property purchases in Ecuador and in each case there have been some problems. And in two beach front properties I looked into purchasing, one in Mompiche and the other in Muisne, I am now very very grateful I did not purchase. In Mompiche, after 2 years the property no longer exists as the sea has taken over the properties at a rate of about 10 yards per year. And in Muisne, the City is being relocated a large distance from the beach and the island abandoned and condemed along with thousands of homes due to flooding and poor city services of water and sewer.

        After saying all that, I must say that does not mean that beaches in other Cities are at risk of the same problems. They probably are not. I live in Guayaquil, The nearest beach is about an hour north west of Guayaquil, in Playas Villamil. Salinas is another nice beach town located about an hour and a half away. I have two non profit companies and one hotel here in Guayaquil and so am tied to this City. Were that not the case I would relocate to another part of this wonderful country.

        A few of the things that I most dislike of Guayaquil are the very high crime rate (as with any really large City), the smog, the heavy traffic and a very hot and humid climate. On the plus side though, Guayaquil is located between s the Beach towns and the Andes Mountains. Cuenca is located a mere 3.5 hour drive.

        I would suggest you not travel alone But if you must, we will help you so you wont be alone. Let me know when exactly you are coming to visit and we can help you and give you some tips about safety and about things to do and places to visit. You can also reach me through a free whatsapp phone application at +593991330127 or email me at tebs1962@gmail.com.

        Most sincerely,
        Edward




      •  
        theresa foecking

        Densie, I too am a single women considering moving to Ecuador in July of 2017. I would love to communicate with you about the experience. I am thinking about Otavalo, or another mountain community.




        •  
          Lisa

          This is funny. I, too, am considering moving to Ecuador in the next two years and planning a visit next year. I’m single. I am thinking of Cuenca.




      •  
        Dennis

        I will be moving to Santa Marianita in February. I would love to talk before I leave. My email is bigd3086@gmail.com




      •  
        Bill

        Purchasing a property here can be a daunting experience as can the immigration paperwork nightmare. I have used an honest and very knowledgeable attorney in Quito who is, believe it or not an ethical, dependable lawyer and speaks English. When First arriving here 7 years ago, used several lawyers who were in reality HYENAS, as most are here.If you would like her name before you arrive, email me at imbauto69@outlook.com, I will be happy to help you.




    •  
      Leonard Lipps

      Hello, Edward.

      My wife and I are going to be in Ecuador from Sept. 28 thru Oct. 11.

      The primary purpose of our visit is to scout out American retirement communities in which to relocate.

      For our trip, I would like to hire a driver and car for a circular route from Quito south as far as Vilcabamba and on to the coast at Salinas, north along the coast as far as Esmeraldas and then back to Quito.

      Is there a car/driver service you can recommend and what might I expect to pay for it, all-inclusive?

      And how safe is Esmeraldas? I’ve read varying reports.

      As first time travelers to Ecuador, We’ll take any advice you can give us about what to bring with us.

      We are both retired and live in Sacramento, Calif. I speak very limited Spanish and my wife was raised in Waco, TX and speaks no known language.




      •  
        edward

        Hi Leonard.
        It sounds to me as if your marriage has flourished through the years even with the difficulty you must have had communicating as she speaks “no known language.” 😉

        I am happy to share with you my opinions but you must know they are only that and may not be shared by others in this forum.

        It sounds as if you will be arriving through Quito. I have only been in Quito a few times and really have no contacts there. It’s a beautiful area. As far as a reputable tour guide and chauffeur I would have to defer to others more knowledgeable in this forum.

        The City of Esmeraldas is not too bad but don’t be on the streets late in the evening as there are many robberies and thefts. I have found the City to be very unattractive, horrible, unmaintained streets and a lot of trash. There are a couple of beaches there but nothing to be excited about. Don’t waste your time there. Be warned. Avoid San Lorenzo de Esmeraldas, located near the border of Columbia. Quite dangerous there.

        Atacames is a good beach town about a half hour south of Esmeraldes and is safe enough.

        How much time do you plan to be in Ecuador? We currently live in the City of Guayaquil. I wouldn’t recommend Guayaquil as a retirement option unless you have other motivations.

        Sincerely,
        Edward




      •  
        Panache

        “my wife … speaks no known language.”

        Where can I find a spouse like that? :))




    •  
      Robert westhoff

      Hi Edward
      I am just looking around as to a very low budget retirement place. I am 73 and only have about 1800 a month social security money. I have a much younger girl friend in the philippines. She has 2 kids. Age 11 and 13. But i cannot really handle their high humidity and heat. I am also LDS but not super active. Sorry. Attend church here and there so to speak. But have a testimony of the gospel. Was looking at Cuenca or Loja. Apparently a little cooler and lower humidity i think. Mosquitoes always search me out so higher altitudes work better for me. My email is soaringthesky@gmail.com if that is allowed to give that here.




    •  
      Steve

      Hi Edward – Your post is warm and encouraging and although I am not LDS have lived amd worked with many and hold them in high regard. I have thought about retiring to Ecuador but 1 thing holds me back – I have glaucoma and put drops in my eyes twice a day, Timolol 0.5% and Latanoprost .005%. Both medications are expensive here in the US. Most people could not afford them w/o insurance and some insurance companies are starting to drop then from their formularies. If you know any retirees in Ecuador with glaucoma could you ask them how they treat it in that country? Many thanks ….




      •  
        Bill

        To help you out, I went to the pharmacy here and the price for a bottle of both ( 1 each Timolol & Latanoprost ) would be $51 and a few pennies. That is for the dosages you specified and I assume all are the same size bottles.




    •  
      Monica Hess

      Edward, can you please tell me a bit about your experience in Ecuador related to the Church (I’m a member too)? Thanks.




  7.  
    Patty

    Thank you for answering so quickly!




  8.  

    Prices range between $150,000 for a 1 bedroom to $200,000 for a 2 bedroom, but goes up depending upon your finishings. It is more expensive than many other places in Ecuador, but you are paying more for living within a beautiful botanical garden. There are no regular rentals here, but some do occasionally come up when someone buys a unit and wants to rent it out for a few years until they are ready to retire.




  9.  
    Patty

    What is the price range of Pakakuna?




  10.  
    Andres Ramos

    Hi folks, I am in Houston, TX and would like to start visiting the area to locate a suitable place to retire. I am still about 5 years from retirement, but I want to start doing my homework now. One thing I would like to know from folks that travel to/from the US is related to airfares. Does anyone have any tips for saving money traveling to Ecuador?

    Gracias,

    Andres




  11.  
    Alene Gauthier

    As someone else who has been reading this site for awhile and thinking about it, I would definitely recommend at least a quick trip there to see whether you will like it, especially if you have a child.




  12.  
    bee lord

    Hi. From what I’ve been reading and researching, me and my husband and 13 year old are thinking about moving there. We want to be close to the beach. My husband is retired from the army and gets a pension. We’re only 38. Anyways, what do we need to do first to move?




    •  
      Carolyn Cannon

      Hi. My daughter, granddaughter & I have been in Ecuador for 4 years. I recommend you consider very carefully what your needs are for your child’s education. The educational system is very different here than in the U.S. &, mostly, very inferior. The only way to ensure a good education that will allow your child to go back to the U.S. & do well in a college or university is to put him/her in an international baccalaureate school. That seriously limits your choices of where you can live. There are supposedly now 120 IB schools in Ecuador, but I would still question the quality of the majority of those schools. Here, just because a particular label is given to something, does not mean that’s the reality of it. The other thing to consider is that, unless you put your child in an English language IB school, he/she will be learning a new language, a new culture, & a completely new educational system all at the same time. Additionally, the schools here are not prepared or particularly willing to give additional assistance to any child outside of the ‘norm’ unless they are severely handicapped, then they receive services. I’m not meaning to be discouraging, just to say this is a huge issue to consider before moving here. We came on a wing and a prayer & things have worked out pretty well for us. We do like living here, but the adjustment was not easy. My granddaughter was 8 when we arrived & we decided to put her in a local school. We had her placed back a year to give her the opportunity to learn the language & deal with the culture. She has done well, but it has not been at all easy for her. We pay a private tutor $80/month to work help her improve her math & reading skills & help with her homework. And, I anticipate she will need that additional support for several more years. It is not easy to find a good, reliable tutor here & we have had 4 different tutors in 4 years, 2 of whom we consider good ones. Remember that South America is an emerging region, which means a lot of change is happening rapidly, some good & some not so good as they pull themselves into the 21st century. The educational systems in almost all of the countries are undergoing extreme change.




  13.  
    Jeffrey Forrest

    Hello everyone! I’m Jeff, age 66 have been studying various countries for retirement within the year and Ecuador tops the list. I live in Ft Lauderdale, Florida now and want to remain in a warm-hot climate (80-90 degree high temp F).Am planning an exploratory trip in mid August. Was thinking of Guyaquil or Manta because of warm climate. Any other suggestions? Cuenca sounds nice but much too cool for me LOL. Looking to retire with partner on max $2000 a month incl rent, health care, etc. Is this possible and live decently? Also, partner is male.. we are not looking for gay clubs, nightlife etc, just a location where we wouldn’t encounter much hostility. Would love to make a couple of contacts now in WARM cities so can have someone to visit and help guide us thru the process. Thank you all so much!




    •  
      Carolyn

      Hi Jeff. I’ve lived in Otavalo for 4 years, which is not where you want to be, obviously, since it’s in the mountains. However, I just want to say that the 7.8 earthquake we have here earlier this month did tremendous damage on the coast & there are many displaced families. It is going to take a long time to recover/rebuild, so if you are planning to come in August, you might want to check what condition the places you want to visit are in. Regarding Guayaquil, I have friends who live there & they are very, very street-wise. It is both the largest & most dangerous city in the country. A smaller city outside of Guayaquil might be a good choice because then you would have a safer environment with the option of making day trips to Guayaquil when you need to. For us, we make occasional day trips to Quito, which is 2 hours away by bus. The Coastal Region here includes a lot of areas a couple of hours inland from the actual coastline. One fairly nice place that is decent sized & warm/humid is Milagro. You can definitely retire on $2000 a month in a lot of places. The larger cities will be more expensive, but there are lots of smaller cities where it is very doable. You do want to avoid liviing out in the country. That almost guarantees that you will experience a home burglary or invasion; it’s just a matter of when. A really good place for information is the U.S. State Department’s website. Well, good luck with you plans!




      •  
        Ed

        Hi Carolyn

        I am visiting Ecuador in about 2 weeks for a 2 week retirement scouting trip. I have read about Cotacachi and noticed that you live close to there. Are their wooded areas in the mountains there? I like trees but I haven’t seen many in the images from Ecuador. Also, are their long term single bedroom rental condos/apts available in your area? Or, would I go to Quito to rent a condo and make day trips to the special areas like Cotacachi?

        Are their many expats in your area and Cotacachi area? And last question, does it rain every day?




    •  
      joe Nelms

      Happy to read your post. I just “found” Bahia de Caraquez. Trip planned for the first week of June. First stop is Medellin and searching for a second possible location to live. Not gay though some are best of friends.
      Considering Thailand, Chiange Mai, or Philippines, Cebu where I currently reside. There is no stigma to any lifestyle or way of life here. 69 Las Vegas, single with g/f.
      I’m just getting started with Latin America, so no help with your quieres but if you have narrowed possibilities of cities I would appreciate your input.
      Bahia de Caraquez is looking pretty good for a stopover




  14.  
    simon

    Hi. I have been living in Portoviejo have been for some time. I hope everyone is ok who lives here. It has been something we will never forget, but for now I am trying to help those who have nothing. I can’t help the whole of Portoviejo but I am trying to help so many. Please, all I ask is for you to share this post with as many people as possible. The country is working so hard to help, but they can’t do everything and still so many have not received anything. I hope you can all get this out and make the post count.

    Regards, Kendrick




  15.  
    Patty

    Wow, I hope everyone is ok after that awful earthquake in Ecuador! My heart goes out to everyone there.




    •  
      Michael Benjamin Adams

      Hi, I am Michael. Looking to move to Ecuador. Need some contact info for communities in Ecuador. Concerned about safety. Can I use my Bank of America ATM card? Prefer the coast but I am open. Contact me on Facebook or 404-922-7283.




  16.  
    si kendrick

    Hey everyone. I have been living in Manabi for 6 years. I have seen many expats come and go, climate being too hot but the main problem is Ecuador is well out of most people’s comfort zone.

    If you are planning on living here come for a holiday with an open mind, I also keep a blog and just published a book on Amazon Ecuador Expats: Living in Manabi: The Truth! Included are many useful resources and important contacts to help get you started, where to look for property to rent, the process of buying a car with various checks you can do on the internet prior, etc. I married into an Ecuadorian family so safe to say i have a bird’s eye view of Portoviejo and surrounding areas, but i still learn something new everyday. It is a beautiful country to live in if you get it right.




  17.  
    Gary Hess

    I very much want to make contact with Americans living in Ecuador and in particular in Cuenca, Cotacachi, Loja, and Quito. I plan to visit the country within the next 6 months but really have already made up my mind that I’m going to move there permanently; I just don’t know which town. I do know that I don’t want to go to any place which is similar to Portland, Oregon where it just rains too much, so therefore, I like the thought of the temperature ranging from 40 to 80 for instance. My Gmail is dcdb44me@gmail.com.




    •  
      Gary Hess

      Thanks. This is very important to me.




    •  
      Angela

      Hi, Gary. I don’t live in Ecuador, but me and my family are considering the move as well. We are from Salem, OR. I’ve been looking into Vilcabamba and Loja. If you go, I am curious to know what you find out. If you wish to share your experience with me my email is angela4701@hotmail.com




    •  
      Linn Smith

      Check out Pakakuna Gardens, near Quito. I have lived in Ecuador for 5 1/2 years. I lived in Cuenca for 4 years. It was cold and rained a lot. I never left the house without a jacket and umbrella. I had to wear long johns a lot of the time. I moved to Manta, where I lived for a year. It was hot and brown, never really rained. Then I moved to Pakakuna Gardens, east of Quito by about 50 miles. It is perfect here, and there are several other expat couples and singles living here, along with Ecuadorians. It is warm in the day, usually between 70 and 80, and cool at night between 45 and 55. It is a community in a botanical garden and is incredible. It is close enough to Quito to take advantage of the big city, but far enough away to escape the rat-race. Just my two cents worth.




      •  
        Namcy

        Sounds wonderful. Can you tell me alittle about the cost of living?




      •  
        Frank

        The city of Pakakuna Gardens sounds perfect to me. I’m looking to move somewhere to rest and relax and lower my stress level.I currently have several medical issues and will need to see doctor on a regular basis initially anyway. Retired military with one other source of income. Maybe Linn could feel me more about there and whatever you think I might need to know. Thanks in advance.




      •  
        Renee

        Hi Linn, I am coming to Equador in November of this year with my Brother who is thinking of relocating to Equador. We are flying into Quito and are looking for a place to stay. Are there any rental opportunities in Pakakuna Gardens? He is looking for a place to buy, and Pakakuna Gardens looks so beautiful. If we could rent for maybe a month, we could get a good sense of what it is like to live there? Any suggestions are appreciated !




        •  

          Hi Renee, I wish Pakakuna had some short term rentals, or even long term for that matter ust for people like you who want to experience it. That is how I fell in love with it, I stayed a week with my sister who lives here also, and knew after just a few days that I must live here.

          If you could send me your email address, I can have the sales team contact you about a mini-vacation that they offer so that you can get an experience of Pakakuna. Warmest Regards, Linn@quantumlifechanges.com




        •  
          Bernardo Moscoso

          Hi Renee, I´m Bernardo, from Quito.

          I just read your message, probably you are at this moment in this city with your brother, WELCOME!!!.

          Quito, the capital of Ecuador, founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America, we are selling a beautiful and modern 146 square meters apt in an building from the early 50`s, in the exclusive La Floresta sector of the north of this capital city, consists of a large living room, kitchen, wash room, strong WiFi and cable TV, 2 bedrooms, 3 closets, 1 1/2 bathrooms, chimney, small balcony, garage, etc. Located in a quiet, secure neighborhood, close to public transportation, and close to supermarket, restaurants and the lively night scene few blocks away.

          If you wish, ring me to the cel 0996752999 or 0999178110, or write me to my mail moscosobernardo@gmail.com.

          Best regards,

          Bernardo




  18.  
    Bonnie Bowman

    I will be arriving in Quito on Sat, March 26. I am interested in looking over the city as a possible retirement city. Would like to have the names of expats who already live there and
    get their view points on how they like it. I do speak spanish but am very rusty. Would appreciate any information forwarded my way.




  19.  
    Glenn Ross

    We are new to this site. I am retired and married to a woman who is much younger than me. She loves bicycles and cycling. She has and races 4 carbon fiber race bike worth enough to get a small BMW ! (joke) She loves to race and usually comes in first in her category. She does both road and mountain racing. Her next two races will be a100 miles at 10,000 plus feet above sea level (we live at 4,000 elevation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado). She is also a professionally trained Lead bike mechanic with five guys who work for her…With all that said…Can she work or start a business in Ecuador ? What might be the availability of Bike shops ? What brands of Bikes are available ?




    •  
      Carolyn

      Hi. I’ve lived in Otavalo for 4 years & from what I have seen both here & on the coast, bikes are really not that popular. There are some small bike shops. As far as brands, it will vary, especially with the new import laws, the prices have gone way up to purchase a bike. I don’t know if any bikes are produced in Ecuador but, if they are, they are most like very poor quality. Most anything other than artisan items that is produced here is crap. Also, regarding anything you read about retiring to Ecuador, use a humungous shaker of salt as you read it. The only way to know if it will work for you is to come for an extended stay that is longer than the ‘honeymoon’ period. That said, we are very happy here.
      Hope this helps.




  20.  
    Norm

    Hi all,
    I am thinking about moving to Cuenca in September. I have lived in Costa Rica for three years, worked in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong for 11 years, so am not worried about living outside the U.S. I am single and 74. I am very active and love to swim and play tennis. Will I be able to meet other expats, play tennis, and enjoy life. My Spanish is horrible; however, I can get by. Sign language is wonderful. I will be interested in comments for all wishing to offer advice. Thanks, Norm




    •  
      GRANT GRESSER

      Hi, NORM. I am also a oldie: 75. I love Cuenca. Hope to move there next year. I will be in Cuenca July & August. My home now is Las Vegas. My Spanish is like yours: horrible. If you come to Cuenca early let’s have lunch together.




      •  
        Norm

        Hi Grant,

        Thanks for writing. I am going down in June now. I had to cancel my travel plans for April. I plan to spend the entire month just relaxing and looking around. If I do move there I would like to accomplish the move by the end of 2016. Look promising. Let’s stay in touch and perhaps we can hook-up at some point. Norm




        •  
          Susan Bohannon

          Hola Norm….I too will be retiring to Cuenca and moving in June as soon as my residency visa is issued. I currently live in Hawaii which is lovely but the cost of living is very high. Hoping to meet other men and women when I arrive this summer. I am currently taking the Fluenz Spanish course and love the ease of learning with this program…Stay in touch.
          Aloha, Susan




      •  
        susan bohannon

        Hi Grant….. retiring and moving to Cuenca from Hawaii in June. Let’s meet for lunch if you are in the city. Aloha, Susan




  21.  
    jim

    Hello!

    Name: Jim
    Age: 68
    Gender: Male

    Just “considering” a relocate to Ecuador. Separating from my spouse.

    I am a little out of the ordinary as I really don’t like many gringos…although, there are some that I respect. So, I am looking for a town to live in that has a more local feel, maybe a small but civilized place. Anyone care to respond?




    •  
      Serena

      On the coast? San Vicente might be a good option. Small, quiet and has a nice beach. It is close to one of the nicest beaches I know “Briceño”. Want to change the environment for a day or two? No problem, 15 minutes from there is Canoa! and Bahia is right across the bridge from San Vicente and it has a hospital, shopping mall, etc.




      •  
        Brian

        Hola Serena:

        As I write this note I am in Las Tunas Manabi EC. I have the same thoughts as Jim and have taken an exploratory expedition here in EC. I can state that the life style and atmosphere are extremely healthy for the soul. The people I have met are all open and engaging. Just being out of the Los Angeles area and here is huge. I can state unequivocally that learning to speak Spanish must be a high priority.
        Salinas looks appealing from and expat perspective. I am also a life long surfer and must have waves nearby. So, the Bahia area is also a highly prioritized location. Additionally, the City of Cuenca is awesome. I could easily wind up there as well.
        Best Regards…..Brian




      •  
        garry zacharias

        How is the medical done? Can Medicare be used?




        • Doug Morgan
           
          Doug Morgan

          No. Medicare can only be used in the U.S.




        •  
          Brigitte

          Medicare? Really ????
          In this thread, we have someone inquiring whether he can use his ATM card from Bank of America, then we this idiot who asks is Medicare be used in Ecuador ?

          As the saying goes when the rest of the world refers to gringos:
          “Americans, when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” ….




          •  
            Alicia

            Really Brigitte? It is pretty childish of you to make fun of people for asking questions and belittle them for trying to learn about something. Is your self esteem that low that you need to make fun of others to feel good about yourself? I feel sorry for you.




    •  
      Robin

      We live in Macas. It’s a nice and safe little city in the jungle area of about 40,000 people.




    •  
      Jomar

      Hi Jim,

      I am an Ecuadorian girl and my bf is a Canadian man. I like when you say that you are looking for a town to live in that has a more local feel.

      In Ecuador there exists some places….some are full with expaxts, no others.

      I know of some beautiful beaches on the coast! They are a small towns…two of these beaches are Curia and San Jose. You can find some gringos, but the 90% the people are native! They are great places! My bf and I are thinking of living there.

      The days there are very quiet, and if some days you want a little fun, Montanita is only 7 or 10 minutes away.




    •  
      Edward

      Hi Jim,

      I also am American and i have lived in Ecuador for several years. I came here also after a difficult separation and divorce. A bit bitter and intent on starting a new life here in Ecuador. I knew I needed to learn the culture and language before making any investments here and so getting to know other ‘gringos’ was just not on my agenda. Over time I have learned much of the language as well as the culture. I married a younger and beautiful native Guayaquilena. One that was well educated and had her own car, home and business I might add. And a woman who had proven to be a true friend to me. After these years though I can honestly say I miss having contact and friendship with other ‘gringos’ here. I can fully trust my wife and some of her family but have met very few Ecuadorians that I can trust enough to actually call true friends.

      Please don’t take this advise wrong, but I think that after you’ve lived here awhile, its possible you might change your opinion and decide that having relationships with other ‘gringos’ is a pleasure..




  22.  
    Wilson Pulgarin

    Hi. I am considering to buy a place in Salinas.

    My concern is that the govern could nationalize all properties and take them away. We live in USA. Is this something I should worry about?

    Thank you,

    Wilson P.




    •  
      Bill

      Probably more likely to happen in the USA than in Ecuador .




    •  
      Dan

      Not likely to happen , even in the USA.

      Even if a radical Communist or Socialist revolution took place.




    •  
      Carolyn

      There have been some changes in this area in just the past few months & things are not as secure as they used to be. Yes, you should worry about it. What you have to do is make sure you know how the law works & stay abreast of changes. For instance, let’s say you have 10 hectores. if you are nice to your neighbor & let him use 2 of those hectores to cultivate his corn crop, then he can turn around & claim it for his own property. So, it isn’t just the government who does take-overs, but they allow other private citizens to do it, too, now. Also, if someone is not living on the property all the time, you could come back & find that it is no longer yours. So, just be careful. A word to the wise: Be very careful about how & who you purchase property from. Realtors are often not the best option. Getting to know people & word-of-mouth is best here. And, having an Ecuadorian friend do the negotiation for you while you stay out of the picture until a price is agreed on, then have papers drawn up by a very reputable attorney is the best way to go. Be prepared for large doses of frustration for ANY business you carry out here. Also be prepared for almost everything you do to cost more than you thought it would, even after things have been agreed on. The key words are flexibility and patience.




  23.  
    Lucy Robalino

    Hi Billy,
    It would be great if you decide to come. The weather is almost the same all year round. In Cuenca it does get pretty chilly in the summer so come prepared.
    Let me know when you come
    Lucy




  24.  
    Ann & Mike

    Hello-

    My wife and I are visiting Quito & Cuenca in June 2016. We were wondering if there were any expat events that happen on regular basis that we may attend and meet others. Is there anything that is a must while we are visiting. Please let us know.

    Ann & Mike




  25.  
    Milton Rivera

    Savingsimon.org




  26.  

    Hi. I’m a 58 yr. old retired realtor/hairdresser escaping the clutches of the NWO to Ecuador. I was born and raised in Venezuela, parents transferred to states in 1970, now it’s time to leave. Any advice? Any tips? I’m planning on just winging it, living off my ATM, which will have regular deposits made in state side branch. Does anyone need anything? Already got a request for fluoride-free toothpaste; found Tom’s on sale for half-off already! The Universe must be telling me something! What’s the deal with the bonbons? What will I miss the most from the states? What should I stock up on? Do they have nutri-bullets, etc. there? How much would a queen-size down comforter cost in Ecuador? I speak fluent Spanish if anyone needs help. I’ll be down there soon, looking at early February. Cell phones? Bring one in or get one there? What clothing should I pack? Heels or tennis shoes? What about spices? Do they have Indian and Thai spices or just latino? I’m serious about bringing stuff in, as long as it’s legal and you contact me, I’m happy to bring you an American treat….Muchas gracias y prospero ano nuevo! Jeannette




    •  
      Dan

      Aloha Jeanette,

      We are in Honolulu preparing to move to Ecuador later this year.

      Where are you?

      When are you leaving for Ecuador?

      We are Interested in your Spanish Skills & your Realtor Expertise as we will be Building the Most Advanced, Ecological, Economical, Futuristic, Holistic, Sustainable SuperEco+SuperHealthy Eco Villages in Ecuador.

      If that sounds Interesting to you, please let us know.

      Thanks, Dan+Ayee




      •  
        susan bohannon

        Aloha Dan and Ayee

        I am retiring and moving from Maui to Cuenca in June. Stay in touch and tell me more about the Eco-Villages. Thanks, Susan




      •  
        John

        Hi Dan,
        I am very interested in your “Most Advanced, Ecological, Economical, Futuristic, Holistic, Sustainable SuperEco+SuperHealthy Eco Villages in Ecuador.”
        Please email me so we can share! jmolnar@exitrealtyachieve.com

        Thanks!




  27.  
    Della Barrett

    Hi Lucy,

    I’m Della Barrett from Orlando Florida. I will be arriving in Cuenca the end of January. I am planning on visiting most of the year. I would enjoy meeting someone that knows the area. A friend of mine is coming with me that speaks Spanish to help me get set up. Hopefully we can meet. Thank You, Della




  28.  
    Lucy Robalino

    Hi, everyone. I am a single 48-year old Ecuadorian woman. I grew up in the U.S. and currently living in Cuenca, which is not where I’m from so I don’t know many people here. It would be nice to meet people, help out with your Spanish probably, and socialize a bit.
    Lucy




    •  
      Billy Atta

      Hi Lucy,
      I am trying to retire in Ecuador. I am single too, 55 yrs old. I need someone to encourage me to take that decision. Please can u help?




      •  
        Jennie Moore

        Hey Billy , I am a 53 yr old female and I am moving to the coast in October, I had planned for a year and a half to live in Bahia de caraquez but now I am not sure which town I will end up being in but I plan on trying several. As for pushing you in that direction I say just do it!!!! Hope to see you all soon

        Jennie




        •  
          Edward

          Hi Jennie,
          I am sure you are aware that the Bahia was greatly affected by the quake this past April and in some of the subsequent quakes.

          My family and I live in Guayaquil but travel through La Bahia often to visit family and a shrimp farm that I own further north near Mompiche and Muisne. Many of the people affected are living in tent cities in many areas including La Bahia. We did see however, that the government has made a great deal of headway in removing much of the debris and fallen buildings and clearing the roadway. Additionally the City services of water and electricity appear to be back to normal.

          If I can be of help don’t hesitate to contact me. tebs1962@gmail.com or whatsapp +5931330127.

          Sincerely,
          Edward




  29.  
    Harmony Ross

    Aloha, Doug. I am researching retirement to Ecuador. Really appreciate your site. Do you know of any housesitting/caregiving opportunities/placement or management companies in say either the highland regions or coastal? Or, any classified ads where I could place an ad or look for one? I am single and need something safe/legit. Would I need a work permit? That’s a lot of questions…Thanks in advance for anything you can help with.
    Please send answer via email if ok, think I saw that somewhere; harmonyross@live.com.
    Thanks so much and have blessed New Year.
    Please at least email me if I am supposed to look at your site for an answer. Thanx.




    •  
      Dan

      Aloha Harmony,

      You must be in Hawaii, right?

      We are In a Honolulu & are planning to move to Ecuador in a few months.

      Let us know if you want to find out more about being an Expat in Ecuador.

      Aloha, Dan & Ayee




      •  
        Harmony ross

        Aloha Dan and ayee. I lived on kauai for 10 years, most recently in ashland, oregon. I am putting a move on hold until my son and his kauai friend have their own home. I hope your move goes well. Pls stay in touch if u want via email, harmonyross@live.com. Aloha nui loa, Harmony.




  30.  
    Milton Rivera

    Hi everyone,
    Ill be glad to help you with the transportation but as far our travel services, we dont go to Quito, but as a bilingual interpreter yes.

    Our current traveling routes are within the provinces SANTA ELENA (Salinas), GUAYAS (Guayaquil), and AZUAY (Cuenca) in which I’ll happy to help you out with. I have a van with the capacity of 5 people with baggage.

    If you need further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Best regards,
    Milton.




  31.  
    Silvia

    Hi

    In August 2016 a friend and I will be spending a week in Ecuador and would like to spend the time going from Quito to Cuencas and then seeing as much as I can in and around Cuencas and viewing it as a possible retirement location.

    I would like to hire a driver with a comfortable and reliable vehicle for the 7 day trip. I have approached a few travel agents and the fees they have quoted me seem excessive, even by local Australian standards!. The ideal would be to be recommended to a good reliable driver and I could book directly with this person. Any suggestions would be most welcome! (English not needed by the way as I can speak the language).

    Many thanks,
    Silvia




    •  
      Cathy

      Hi Silvia- I am also thinking about making a trip to Ecuador from the US to check out retirement options so I am getting info from some different bogging sites. One person recommended Milton Rivera in Quito who does transport and personal touring services around Ecuador. You can try him at mrivera@gmail.com. Good luck.
      Cathy




      •  
        Silvia

        Thanks Cathy that’s great. I will email him right now.

        Cheers
        Silvia




        •  
          Silvia

          Hi Cathy:

          I got in touch with Milton who was great at quickly getting back to me; however he explained he does not do the Quito to Cuencas route.

          Just thought I’d share that feedback with you in case it helps you or others.

          Cheers
          Silvia




          •  
            Milton Rivera

            Hi Cathy,
            Indeed as Silvia previously mentioned it, we currently dont have Quito as one of our route spots, but as a bilingual interpreter yes.

            Our current traveling routes are within the provinces SANTA ELENA(Salinas) – GUAYAS(Guayaquil) – CAÑAR(La Troncal) – AZUAY(Cuenca) in which I’ll happy to help you out with. I have a van with the capacity of 5 people with baggage.

            If you need further assistance please dont hasitate to contact me.

            Best regards,
            Milton.




            •  
              Rich

              Clench is the island next to Salinas on the coast. How much would it cost for a one-bedroom nice place near the water a month?




            •  
              Cathy

              Hi Milton-

              That is good information to have. I am also thinking about making a trip to Cuenca and will be looking for some transportation around that area so I will keep your information handy.

              Cathy




  32.  
    Dustin

    I am thinking of visiting Ecuador next year to determine if it someplace I would like to retire in the future.
    Can anyone recommend places for me to start looking based on my list of things I would like?

    1. Beach. A nice beach not on where they release sewage nearby or have those no-see-em bugs.
    2. good medical facilities close by.
    3. Near shopping and restaurants. (would be great if within walking distance)
    4. Nearby airport would be nice.
    5. Expat community would be a plus but not a requirement.




    •  
      Carolyn

      Hi Dustin. If you want 2-4/5, locating in a smaller town somewhere near Guayaquil. Just be aware that Guayaquil is the largest city in Ecuador, with the highest crime rate. As far as insects, there is no way to avoid them on the coast & there is malaria, dengue fever, & now zika virus. That’s why I live in the Andes! I don’t know where you’re from, but I’m a west coast, brought up on the beach person & I cannot tolerate the heat & humidity on the coast here. I would say from your post that you might be better of looking at places in central Chile. Chile is a bit more expensive than Ecuador but, by American standards, not much & the standard of living is much better, which is definitely something to consider. Also, Chile and the U.S. have a tax treaty, which would allow you to work there & have it count toward your social security (I don’t know how old you are…). I have lived here for 4 years & have to say that things are not easy if you expect anything but a standard of living FAR below that of the U.S. That said, we are very happy here.




  33.  
    Cathy

    Hi Sharon-

    I was living in Florida but I am now in Arizona. Finding the right retirement place is really hard. I just started researching Ecuador and am looking at Cuenca so I haven’t planned a test run trip yet. I am hoping to connect with some Americans that are already living there at some point. Let me know how things go for you.

    Cathy




  34.  
    Cathy

    Hello-

    I am a 66 year old single female with a retirement income of about $1100 a month. I am in Arizona now but it is just too expensive here in the States so I am thinking about Cuenca for retirement. I have started doing some research and would like to connect with some retired expats that live in Cuenca for advice. My email is cjmckayin2000@hotmail.com

    thanks




    •  
      Brian

      Hello or Hola:

      Like you I have been researching Ecuador for some time now. I have an upcoming trip booked from Feb 9th through the 29th in the Manabi area of the Ecuadorian Coast. However, in researching potential retirement areas I have found a delightful gentleman who writes a blog about his life and interactions in Cuenca. He goes by the name “Ecuador George.” Best Luck…..Brian Gottejman




    •  
      susan bohannon

      Hi Cathy…..just came across your post. I have gone through the process with the help of an Cuenca attorney to get my pensioner visa. I am retiring in EC in June. I am 69 years old from Hawaii. Too expensive here and I can live well on my Soc.Sec in EC. Be in touch if you have any questions and would like to meet when you come to EC thanks and good luck….Susan




    •  
      Shelley Sheets

      Hi Cathy

      I am a 65-year-old female living in Colorado and also thinking about making the move. I too am in the beginning stages of research and would so appreciate it if you could share any helpful information that you might receive.

      Thanks!




  35.  
    David Yearout

    My girlfriend and I are coming to Quito in mid-January….We are in our young 50’s….Our intention is to travel and explore as much as we can….Time is not an issue….We currently only have passports….Knowing we there have 90 days…we may enter another country and return to ecuador to justify a longer stay…
    currently have one-way tickets only, because we aren’t sure yet where we will be at when we fly back to the states…We are on a modest budget and love the quieter, smaller, simple things…




  36.  
    G Nadeau

    Hello!
    I am looking for a safe transprtation from Guayaquil to Playas in January.
    Doug told me that Mr Milton Rivera could do so. Does someone have his email or how i can reach him…or any other name?
    Thank you!




  37.  
    Amanda Wilson

    Has anyone had the opportunity to live in Tena or another smaller locality. I am not interested in large cities and would like to live closer to the amazon. If you have lived in Tena or another small place, please let me know what it is like.




  38.  
    Della Barrett

    Hi,

    I will be in Cuenca and Vilcabamba next January. I’m single and would love to meet some other fun singles to explore with. Thx Della




  39.  
    Dian

    I am a single female in my mid 40s I live on a modest pension of about 1100 per month. I’m fairly active and I live a healthy lifestyle. I would definitely be renting. Any suggestions on the best choices for my limited budget ?




  40.  
    Bruce

    We live in Ontario Canada…I plan to retire or job share soon. We are looking to make Ecuador our winter get away for 6 months of the year. We have an adopted daughter from Vietnam (Canadian Citizen) who is turning 7 shortly. I was planning on travelling by myself for a couple of weeks early/mid next year to check it out. I would love it if someone could take the time to show me around. I will need to find out about English speaking schools. I understand there are expat communities that I would like to explore.

    I am a non smoker, social drinker, originally from N. Ireland.
    If you think you can help me out please contact me at matsukaze1@hotmail.com
    Thanks
    Bruce




  41.  
    Della Barrett

    Hi,
    I’m planning on being in Cuenca and Vilcabamba late January 2016. I’m also moving from Florida. I do love the heat but looking forward to some cooler weather. I figured when I want more heat I can go over to the beach side to visit. I’ve never visited before but looking forward to it. I’m single and looking forward to meeting some English speaking new friends.




    •  
      Liz Goodman

      Where in FL do you live? I’m in Sarasota. I’m just starting to research Equador for possible retirement.




      •  
        Della Barrett

        Hi,

        I live in Clermont Florida. I’m very excited about this chapter in my life. I will be arriving in Cuenca January 21st. I plan on being there for a year to explore all surrounding areas. I feel like Cuenca is the perfect place to live after all my research. I’m looking forward to meeting new friends. Della




        •  
          Susan Gale

          Della, I am planning to go to Cuenca and Loja this summer with the idea of moving in 2017. I would love to know what your take is on the places you visit. Could you add me to your email list if you are writing about your experiences? It would give me a head start on what to expect.

          Thanks, Susan Shgale@gmail.com




        •  
          David Short

          Hi Della,

          My name is Dave Short and I’m from Ocala Fl., about 40 minutes from you. My wife is from Ecuador and we have decided to make a plan to relocate to Loja. I have done much research on Loja and based on that, Loja is where we want to be. Check out Loja, Della. Please stay in touc: dshort@lightningspeed.net

          Dave

          P.S. My wife is going to visit her mother in Guayaquil in May.




          •  
            Anne

            Hello, my name is Anne and I am from Hudson, FL about an hour away from Ocala. Please, let me know about your research! My email is capfrehel22@ gmail.com. Thanks.




        •  
          Shelley Sheets

          Hi Della,

          I too am exploring possibilities of moving to Cuenca or a surrounding area. I would love to connect and get any feedback you would be willing to share. Shelley




      •  
        Sharon

        I live in the Clearwater area. I am also doing retirement research in Ecuador. Thinking of going down after Christmas to do some scouting. I’m a beach gal so the thought of mountain living is giving me pause.

        Have you been, or are you planning a trip?

        Thanks,
        Sharon




  42.  
    Ron

    Hello,

    I’m a 43 year old single American male, moving to Ecuador within 3-6 months.
    I have a few questions that I hope someone can help me with.

    1. Before buying I would like to rent in a couple of different areas to get a true feel of the areas. Could someone suggest some sites/contacts to help with finding a place?
    2. I want to be in a place that has things to do (restaurants, parks, operas, etc), but also close to the beach! Where would be a good area to first look at renting?
    3. I don’t mind being in a expat area, but would rather integrate in the true Ecuadorian life style. Are the more Ecuadorian neighborhoods welcoming and safe for Americans?
    4. I don’t speak Spanish so I would also like to learn their language. Do you have a place (s) you would recommend?
    5. I would love to meet up with other expats right away in order to know people that could show me around or point me in the right direction!
    6. I would like to rent a place for $400-$500 per month. I will be staying at least 4-6 months. How much money should I bring and should I open a bank account in Ecuador?

    Thanks,
    Ron




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Salinas and Puerto Lopez are both great areas for expats and would be a good fit for your lifestyle. Salinas is 2.5 hours by bus from Guayaquil and flights are available from Quito on the weekends (Friday – Sunday).

      We recommend Yanapuma Spanish School in either Quito or Cuenca for learning Spanish.

      In order to stay for 4-6 months you will need to apply for a 12-IX visa once you get to Ecuador. See our Visas and Immigration section for more information. You will need to provide a bank statement to Ecuadorian officials to show you have the financial means to stay that long. Figure on a minimum of $1200 per month if you are renting.




      •  
        Jim

        Doug……..just finished reading many posts and would like to contact you with questions. You struck me as very knowledgeable about Ecuador in general. I want to get very specific step by step instructions on obtaining the permanent resident visa. I believe the first steps all need to be done in the U.S. (home country) before I leave.
        Thanks in advance,
        Jim
        garmisch1@hotmail.com




    •  
      Sharon

      I have read you shouldn’t bring a lot of money and do not use a credit union. Banks are only insured up to 32,000.00. I intend to leave my money in my US bank for now and just use credit cards and ATM. They are on the USD, so no exchange issues.




  43.  
    Della Barrett

    Hello,

    I will be in Cuenca in February of 2016. I would like to meet all the English speaking friends as possible. I’m planning on staying in Air B and B’s. I feel like it will be safer. I’m a very young, energetic mature female. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a wonderful day. Thx Della




  44.  
    Milton Rivera

    Hi everyone!
    I currently live in Duran (5 mins.) away from Guayaquil & its awsome! I grow up in Queens, N.Y. and returned to Ecuador 6 yrs. ago, if you need help getting some place around Guayaquil or traveling to Cuenca, or just want to be friends, please dont hesitate to contact me 011593-994952423 (whatsapp) mriveraec@gmail.com English speakers only!




  45.  
    Robert S

    I’m looking to move to Ecuador in the next 5-7 years but would like to buy a place sooner to take holidays and rent it out when i’m not there. I’m also a Canadian RN and wouldn’t mind working part-time when there. Can any Canadian/U.S. expats give any advice?

    Robert




  46.  
    John H. Holden Jr.

    My name is John. I am beginning to research the possibilities of moving to Ecuador – probably within the next 2 to 3 years and retire permanently . I am retired from the US Army 30 years and working for the federal government for 14 years at age 63. I am single and would love to teach at a University if possible in Ecuador in my spare time. I would like to plan a trip to visit a few of the cities. Is there someone (Expat) I can contact directly by email or phone? I am currently stationed in Saudi Arabia. Personal email Johhol2@att.net—– work email —John.H.Holden6.civ@mail.mil




    •  
      Terry Donohue

      Hi John,

      Myself and two friends and going back this week to look for property to buy. You should definitely contact me as we can act as guides, ect. On how to move there and which are the best areas to live. We are returning back to Vilcabomba about an hour south of Loja because it’s our favorite. You could even come stay near us if wish. We have learned a lot about Ecuador that you can only find out by actually going there. All of us are very fond of this excellent country.

      Take care, Terry.




      •  
        John H. Holden Jr.

        Thanks for the update on your trip to Ecuador. Is it possible for me to call you or is email the only way to contact you. I am thinking about going to Ecuador in October for two weeks.




    •  
      Patty Gauthier

      Hi John,

      Your situation is similar to mine, AF Widow, 61, Registered Nurse working on a contract not far from you in Saudi…..I am at Balad AB, Iraq. I am also very interested in Ecuador with the possibility of moving there and would like to visit and get a feel of the different areas of the country and meet other expatriates as well. My email address is amstar23@aol.com .

      Patty Gauthier, RN




  47.  
    Vicki Allen

    I’m very interested in retiring in Ecuador, purchasing a home in the mountains and maybe a Condo on the beach. I’ve been a registered nurse for years I’m looking for a less hectic lifestyle to enjoy my early retirement years while still in good health. I would like to know what is the easiest and most efficient way to tour the various communities in Ecuador? Would two-three weeks vacation be sufficient to see the communities? I would like to rent a place versus staying in a hotel. My goal is to retire in June 2016. I look forward to your reply. Vicki




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Hello Vicki,

      A two-three week vacation would be more than adequate to tour the various expat communities in Ecuador. Most expats start by flying into Cuenca via Quito or Guayaquil then traveling to either Loja/Vilcabamba or the Cotacachi/Otavalo/Ibarra areas. That would cover the highlands region. Then you could fly into Manta (all of these flights are less than one hour and are relatively cheap – I recommend Avianca for domestic flights) to check out the coastal communities of San Clemente/Bahia de Caraquez and perhaps Salinas/La Libertad/Olon. I suggest you rent via Airbnb as this is a safe and inexpensive way of accommodations while exploring all these areas.




      •  
        Vicki

        Thank you for the information. You mentioned rent via Airbnb, if I google that will I get the information I need to books lodging? Thank you,

        Vicki




      •  
        Mitch Levine

        Hi Doug ..I enjoyed reading your posts on exploring all the different ex pat communities..You seem very knowledgeable and someone that can save me some time, energy and money.

        I do have the time to spend 2 or 3 weeks and would love to follow your advice and agenda. Unlike most people who retire abroad I am a single man that would love to be able to date or meet other single expats.

        In your opinion is there a place that you would recommend over another because I am single.




        • Doug Morgan
           
          Doug Morgan

          Hi Mitch,

          Welcome to our site.

          I would recommend you start with the Ecuador expat groups on Facebook, as many of the women in those groups are single. It’s a good place to discover other people with a like mind who are already established in various areas of Ecuador. Some are also in the planning stages like you, so you may find people in similar situations.

          If you are interested in Ecuadorian women, Facebook also is a great place to start. Ecuadorian women are very friendly, and many are willing to meet and date expats. There are lots of young, single Ecuadorian women on Facebook; most have one or two kids. I have found that they are happy, upbeat people who enjoy living life in Ecuador. You can friend them on Facebook and many will friend you back. From there you can start a communication via messaging (usually in Spanish) and when you get here you can meet up and go from there.

          Hope that helps.

          Doug




      •  
        Kathy

        Doug
        TY for sharing your information. I am wanting to possibly retire to Ecuador as well.
        Is it critical that I know Spanish?

        Kathy




    •  
      Patty Gauthier

      Hi Vicki,

      I am also an RN of many, many years and am interested in Ecuador for the possibility of moving there. I am currently finishing a contract on an Iraq base and will return to my home in Florida in a couple of weeks. I actually thought about going to Ecuador in a few weeks, like the first or second week of October. My email is amstar23@aol.com.

      Patty Gauthier




  48.  
    Robert C

    Hello Della,
    I have no time table although I am overdue for an adventure. I think Feb of 16 will work.
    I want to make a trip to Panama also and explore a little. I do not know how we can share contact info without posting it on this forum. Looks like Bryan & Dena Haines administer this blog. I will try and contact them to give you my contact info.




    •  
      Della

      Hi Robert,
      You can keep in touch with my email dbarrett4@cfl.rr.com I have been planning this move for several years now. I love everything I have researched with Ecuador. I visited Panama City last year. I wasn’t impressed at all. It was like a very dirty Orlando. I tried to leave early. It can’t compare to Ecuador. Also Ecuador is more English speaking than Panama City. It would be awesome to have someone to explore with. My girlfriend is flying over with me to help me get set up. She speaks Spanish. How long are you planning on visiting? I’m a very young, fun and open minded female.




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Robert,

      I am the administrator of this website. For the sake of privacy, you can forward your comment info to me and I will forward to Della.




  49.  
    Della

    Hi Robert,
    When are you planning on visiting Ecuador? I’m coming from Florida also but won’t be there until first of February 2016. If you decide this is the place for you then we should meet. My sister won’t be able to join me for at least a year. I’m trying to meet new friends especially one’s that speak English. Thx Della




  50.  
    Robert C

    Hello,
    I am a 51 year old male retiree from Florida. I am looking for someone, who speaks English, to show me around for a week or two at your home or close accommodations. I do not smoke and drink socially. I am very honest, clean cut and looking for a new home. Former electrical contractor and Marine.
    I have no time table or place to be–just want to explore and possibly find a new home.

    Robert C




  51.  
    Kim

    What city has the most Americans.




  52.  
    Lynda

    I am begining to research the possibilities of moving to Ecuador – probably within the next 2 years. I would like to plan a trip to visit a few of the cities. Are there any affordable rentals in Loja or Vilcabamba?

    Lynda




    •  
      Lew

      We have a great vacation home available near Cotacachi, right by Lake Cuicocha. Contact me to see if we could be a base for your looking around this great area. We also have land in the Rio Intag valley. We would be glad to help you or visit with our knowledge of the area.

      Good Luck




    •  
      Dee Paulson

      We love, birds, flowers, lakes , close or in safe towns. Can you provide a circuitous route that we should
      bus around when we come in November 2015?

      We spent last winter in Costa Rica…GREAT TIME

      OTHER CANADIANS TOLD US ECUADOR WAS EVEN MORE BEAUTIFUL.




  53.  
    Della

    I am planning on being in Cuenca and Vilcabamba in February of 2016. I am a single female which still enjoys being busy and active enjoying life. I’m hoping it won’t be difficult to meet new friends. My sister will be joining me but not for awhile. Where would you recommend to go to meet new friends that speak English? I will be studying up on my Spanish once I arrive.




    •  

      I am from Egypt, and I gonna move to Ecuador soon، I hope I can make friends and meet people who can speak english or arabic. Thanks for this really great report.




    •  
      Terry Donohue

      Hi Della,

      Myself and friends from the Pacific Northwest are now returning back to buy property in the Vilcabomba area this week. Are intention is eventual migration to this area. If you wish you could meet up with us there and could help you with info, ect. I already speak some Spanish and had no problem communicating. Contrary to what’s been written, a number of local people understand basic English. A month ago we met lots of people from the States and Europe and Canada planning and doing the same. Please feel free to email me anytime. Take care..TD




      •  
        Della Barrett

        Hi Terry,

        It would be nice to meet. A friend and I will be there at the end of January. A Spanish speaking friend is coming with me to help me get set up. I’m looking forward to exploring everything I can in the nine months I can be there before leaving for three months. Hope all is well with you. Stay in touch.




  54.  

    This is a recommendation for Sara Chaca and her law firm, Ecuador Visas & Containers, whose website is found at http://www.ecuadorvisas.com, in assisting Expats in obtaining residency visas and Cedulas.

    Our experience had the potential to be a complete nightmare, and had it not been for Sara, we would have probably gone back to the U.S. with our tails tucked between our legs. To begin with, BEFORE WE HAD MET SARA, we made two trips to Miami to talk to the people at the Ecuador Consulate to find out what we needed to do and then to pick up our visa’s prior to leaving the states. The consulate referred us to a woman that worked at the Banco Del Austro there in the plaza down from the consulate. She is an Ecuadorian citizen and she translated and notarized all our documents after we had them Apostilled. On our second trip, we picked up the translations.

    We took those documents to the Miami consulate and they legalized every document. We opted for the 180 day visas instead of the free 90 day visas as we were thinking it would give us more time in case of any snags in the process. Well, when we arrived in Quito, immigration stamped our passports and we were off to Cuenca, none the wiser. All was going as planned until we went down to the Ministerio to apply for our residency visas. When we got to the desk with our legalized documents in hand, they refused every one of our documents because the notary stamp that the Ecuadorian Consulate’s translator/notary used was in English, not Spanish. And, the guy behind the counter made me very angry when he took my original marriage license and waved it in the air saying it was ridiculous. It was over 20 years old (my original) and that it didn’t prove that we were still married. They wanted one that was 30 days or less in age. It did not matter that it was certified by the county and Apostille by the state, translated, notarized and legalized by the Ecuador consulate in Miami, they would not accept it here in Cuenca. We were told we were going to have to go back to the states and get a new marriage license. I then told him that if I ordered a new license that it would look exactly like the one he had in his hand and would not prove that we were still married and that he needed to tell me exactly what he wanted to prove we were still married. He got angry and told me we had to leave the Ministerio. We left and I told my husband we had better get an attorney to handle this mess. This struck fear in the both of us as we had read the horror stories about the experiences of others in hiring an attorney and the money it cost them, the long drawn out processes….. So we went on Gringo Tree and started mulling through the recommendations. I called a couple of people from the recommendations and the last one I called was Sara Chaca. I was immediately struck by her kindness and understanding of our situation so we scheduled a meeting. It certainly helped that she spoke enough English that we could communicate effectively with her. So, we started the process. We went to the Migratory Police to obtain our Migratory Movement reports. Remember me mentioning going through immigration in Quito? Well, they stamped our passports T-3. That is for the 90 day visas that are free when you enter the country, not the 180 day visas we paid for in Miami and actually had. Well, that had to be corrected. Sara took us to the notary and got a special power of attorney, flew to Guayaquil and got that mess corrected. She was with us every step of the way. We did not have to go anywhere or do anything that she was not by our sides. And we must have gone to the Ministerio office a minimum of 12 times throughout the process. There were a couple of times that she couldn’t be with us but Gabby was there in her place. Gabby speaks very good English and is as sweet and kind as Sara. The both of them have the patience of saints too. Not something I am known for.

    Oh, I almost forgot. As for the marriage license, Sara’s husband, Adam, is from the states and I think it might have been him that got us a new marriage license and had it Apostilled and overnighted here to Cuenca. Each time we went back to the Ministerio, there was a problem to be fixed. I truly believe this was because of the first impression we made and the guy there held a grudge against us for making him angry. I’ve since learned that I am a guest here in this country and I should act that way and leave my old stress filled habits there in the states as they are not well accepted here. Yes, it was an experience to get our Residency Visas and our Cedulas. If it weren’t for Sara, we would not be here. I would recommend her, and have many times already, to anyone that needs help. She is amazing and one of the kindest, most helpful, honest and fair people you could ever want to meet.
    She could easily triple what she charges and still be well worth the cost. I never felt like I was being taken advantage of by Sara. That is saying a lot because after our first experience at the Ministerio, that experience left me very defensive and guarded.

    Sara took all the stress out of the rest of the process and I feel like I’ve made a friend for life in her and the entire office where she works. By the way, they also bring containers of household goods into Ecuador if you need those services too. They also have someone in their office that you can talk to about health insurance and prescription drug discount cards.

    Her Email is: sara@ecuadorvisas.com and her website is http://www.ecuadorvisas.com




    •  
      Judie

      Thanks so much! My husband and I are planning a trip to Ecuador in early February, 2016 and need all the help we can obtain! We plan on retiring to Ecuador if it is as wonderful as our research implies. We are going to spend a few weeks there in a few towns that we think ex pats might be welcomed. Any more advice would be greatly appreciated, since we are new to this part of the world. We are excited!
      Thanks,
      Judie and Steve




    •  

      Hi Mike, Joe here from South Fla. Glad all went well. If you don”t mind my email is chaplainjoegomez@aol.com to ask some questions and prices. What i find nerve racking is the appropriate time frames for every document prior to actually leaving USA for Ecuador. We will be revisiting in mid Feb 2016.
      Hope you won’t mind emailing.
      Anyone else want to exchange info feel free to use my email
      Gracias Joe n Raquel Gomez




  55.  
    Sandi

    Hi. Thank you for your great reflections. Now as I prepare for a 2-week scouting trip end of May, I’m looking at towns that are closer to sea level. Manta, Valdivia, and Playas as well. Thinking of staying for a night or two in Ceunca then onto Loja, Valdivia and hopefully Manta. Maybe too ambitious though. Any suggestions on a sea level town that has some cultural experiences as well as outdoor adventures? Any info is greatly appreciated. Thank you.




    •  
      Andrew

      Check out Bahia. Just an hour drive from Manta. Great place to live in and suited for outdoor hiking and water sports as well. If you need further information about the city let me know.




      •  
        Fred Hippchen

        Hi Andrew . . .

        I hope you don’t mind if I take you up on your invite for info re: Bahia. I am retired clergy who has made the decision to move to someplace in Ecuador.

        My interests center around the water … I am an avid sailor, swimmer and beach-bum, the latter I hope to develop into a profession upon leaving cooooooooold Minnesota.

        I am especially interested in cost of living. I don’t live “large”, in fact I prefer simplicity or a good, compatible roommate. I also wouldn’t mind working in Ecuador. I’m a helluva teacher if I do say so myself.

        Definitely I would apply for the cedula and plan on being a good and contributing citizen in some way.

        Looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

        Fred (fjhippchen@gmail.com)




        •  
          Della

          Hello Fred,

          I’m Della and am planning on being in Ecuador the first of 2016. You sound like someone I would like to meet. I’m moving from Florida so I love being around water also. I’m trying to meet some English speaking friends. I’m very young hearted and like exploring new adventures.




      •  
        Robert

        Can I rent a furnished apartment yearly for under $500 near the beach in Bahia or Cano?

        Thank You,
        Robert




      •  
        Reginald Marcotte

        Andrew, like your to the point message, Reginald Marcotte would like to ask for any and ALL info you have for Bahia. My wife is fluent in Spanish. All living costs if possible. I do have medical issues and Manta seems to have medical services. I do have $1800+ income. Thank you, Andrew, for taking the time for a reply.




      •  
        Bryan

        I am from Canada. Going to retire next March. Thinking about looking at Ecuador. I have been looking at Las Olas. Do you know the development? Would appreciate any info.

        Also Bahia looks nice. What is the temperatures like. Are the beaches good for swimming?

        Bryan




  56.  
    Bill

    you do not need them unless your low on mercury




  57.  
    Tim

    Hello everyone. I am planning on a two-week trip in June or July. I am not a big fan of needles. How many of you got the recommended vaccines (hep & typhoid) before traveling?




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Hey Tim,

      Vaccinations are really not necessary unless you are going deep into the Amazon rainforest (Yellow Fever shot) as some authorities will not let you into those areas without proof of vaccination; rabies shots are also a good idea if, again, you are traveling deep into the Amazon.

      See our Staying Healthy section for more info.




  58.  

    Pam. Great realistic evaluation you gave Sandi. They helped me too. I am retired and hope to stay in Loja 5 months beginning December.

    Sally Ewing




  59.  

    Thank. You Mack. As an RN I agree with you
    Many factors affect longevity but the most important is how well one takes care of themselves not necessarily WHERE we live.

    Sally




  60.  
    Sandi

    Thank you. That is one of the places I intended to explore. Now I definately will.




  61.  
    Bill

    I Have found every expat community has its own vibe You want intellectual challenge and lots to do I’d go Vilcabamba . You can engage in many a conversation there that would never be touched in other environments their is young and old there and if you want outdoor activity their is many things to do. Its not high country and the weather is perfect every day




    •  

      Great comments Bill. Would like to hear more of Vilcabamba. Are you a retired expat? Hope you will contact me.
      sallysunshinevero@gmail.com

      Thanks. Sally




    •  
      Della

      I plan on being in Vilcabamba towards the end of this coming January. I’m looking forward to exploring several areas around. Is there anything that I should know before my trip. I have been researching Ecuador for the last three years. It sounds like the perfect place to retire in.

      Della




    •  
      Della

      Vilcabamba was my first choice. It looks beautiful and perfect weather. Since I am a single female I didn’t know if there would be enough to enjoy during the day and night time. My second choice was Cuenca, but was worried the weather might be too cool. I’m living in Florida now so I do enjoy the heat but ready for a little cooler weather. I enjoy wearing shorts and sun dresses mostly.




  62.  
    Sandi

    Pam, do you like it in Ecuador? I’m a single semi- retired professional mental health counselor and wonder about finding companions there. I don’t want this part of my life to be like typical retired floridians , ” chasing the good life with booze and golf” mentality kinda people. Nor do I want to be isolated. I’m from Florida, so plan in a lower altitude place. I know you are in higher altitude, though would like your and others comments. I would like a stimulating diverse, intellectual and athletic enviornment. Thinking college town????




    •  
      Pam

      Mainly yes, I do like it here Sandi. Like yourself, I’m a single retired professional, history in nursing, science and teaching at Uni’s. I also didn’t want the lifestyle you mention, and you don’t have to have it.
      Cuenca (8,000+ ft) and Loja (~ 6,000 ft) are both college towns, but Cuenca is much bigger than Loja and growing fast. It has the established expat community scene, a spot where most buy / rent accomodation actually called “gringolandia” by themselves and locals. Many get buy with no Spanish or any interaction with the Ecuadorean people, although I doubt they do the “golf” thing. I don’t know, but I suspect Ecuador doesnt do golf !!.
      Loja is much smaller and quieter, and I’ve seen several reports from expats living in Cuenca that they would have chosen it to live had they realised before they settled in Cuenca how nice it is in many respects. It is supposedly also the musical and arts capital of Ecuador. Certainly it has a strong musical tradition.
      I think there are many places you can sporting things. There are hiking trips into the Amazon from Loja, and horseback riding from Villecabamba.
      I have only lived in Cuenca since I got here, but that was part of my plan. Live in Cuenca for the first year, get my paperwork settled, explore the rest of the country and then decide where to settle. At the moment, I’m fast closing on Loja and district. I dont want to be part of a “gringo” scene. To start with, I’m not American, so I lack that familiarity with the past which can form the basis of friendships. Also, although I didn’t come here specifically for the Ecuadorean experience, I do want to learn a new culture and some of its language.
      I find the 3 month ditch does hit you. At that point, and it’s common to most expats I’m told, you get exhausted from the entire move and resettlement process, and start to see strangeness and think “God, what have I’ve done”. Just plan some nice things, know it will pass, and you get past it.
      I ve had my bad days, and I’ve had a couple of not very nice experiences, (specifically with a robber landlord who twisted the wording of a contract I was too tired and stressed to read properly and took off with $900 of my money).
      But overall, I am meeting nice people, enjoying a new place with some opportunities I could never have got in Australia, and finding that yes, 85% of the time I am very happy here.
      I think a lot depends on what you bring with you, and what you leave behind too. If you have a family you are very close too, good long standing friends, you could well find you’d miss them too much. I had no one to leave behind, so that made it easier for me.
      Hope I have given you some help in deciding. I have to say, I do think that you can probably find what you want somewhere in Ecuador. It may just be a case of looking.




      •  
        Terry Donohue

        Hi Pam,

        Myself and two friends from the Pacific Northwest are headed back to Vilcabomba this week to buy property. Also Loja is also possible. Would you like to meet up with us? I will buy you lunch if you have time someday. We would like meet other Americans such as yourself and exchange info about southern Ecuador. Hope to here from you. Take care….TD




        •  
          Pam

          Hi, I have only just received your response, a day later than you posted it, so I’m very sorry that it appears I have missed you.
          I would have liked very much to meet up with you over lunch.
          Hopefully we can do it when you come back.
          Good luck with the land purchase.
          Best wishes




        •  

          Hey all, I’m moving there in a couple of weeks. Just gonna wing it; would love to meet up with some expats or just cool people in general. Let me know if I can bring something small that you can’t get there! What’s the deal with razors? Should we stock up or buy them there? Any tips? Any things you say “I wish I had thought of that”? Thanks and see y’all soon. ~Jen




  63.  
    Sandi Faust

    Very interesting discussion regarding hype, internet research and actually real life experiences on longevity. Thank you, it is making my choice much easier. Lower altitudes for me.




    •  
      Pam

      My experience with altitude Sandi has been that, while I have had some difficulties adjusting, many dont. I have spoken to some Americans who told me they experienced nothing at all, some who do and then, all to varying extents.
      The main thing I think is how much it is uncomfortable for you. There is NO evidence, (and believe me, I know how to research and have done so) that it affects your “longevity” at all. Longevity is a little known or understood phenomenon, and we really don’t know why some people make 100 and others die sick at 60. However, it is certainly going to turn out to be a compound of many many things, from genes, lifelong lifestyle, environment (toxins especially) and many other factors. (Not being a character who stresses out seems to help !!)
      The problem I have with living in Cuenca isn’t the minor degree of altitude problem, but the cold and wet. I’m from Australia, and used to baking heat, which I hate, but the chill here really gets my bones sometimes. It’s the major reason I’m going to look at Loja / Vilcabamba. I’d like a few degrees warmer and less rain !! Also, I’m not a city type and prefer a small country town, with a wide range of personality types.
      Hope it helps a bit.




      •  
        Eden Cross

        Hi Pam,
        My husband and I are looking at retiring in EC in late 2016…been doing loads of reading on FB, etc. and chatting w/people already retired there. Are you in Loja yet? We’ll be in Cuenca on 14 Oct. and going to Loja 19 Oct. and then on to Vilcabama…trying to figure it out some, before making a move. Having lived in South & Central Florida for the past 36 years, we’re used to warmer weather…not sure if Cuenca will be toooo chilly/rainy, and perhaps too city… We speak some Spanish and are planning on being fluent, respecting the Ecuador and it’s language, of course! We are looking for a stress-less, laid back life, with enough culture to keep us interested, and enough good medical nearby, as we’re not getting younger and we’re trying to be realistic. Please email me if you’re interested or able to perhaps share some info on the above and if you’re in EC then, perhaps we can get together for coffee or a meal. I’m also on FB. Many thanks.




    •  
      Mack

      Good choice. Anyone trying to sell u else wise just wants to validate their decision. And there is plenty of evidence that it is risky health wise . (Why do YOU think someone would want u to ignore health risks ?)
      I had a buddy who lived in a ….lower rent part of the city back in Vancouver. He always told us how great it was, how he preferred not living in the expensive parts of the city even if he would win the lottery, how he thought the people were nicer. Turned out his place was robbed twice, he was in daily fights with neighbours over noise, and his house was falling apart. But he desperately wanted his friends to think his circumstance was of his own choice and preferable…
      If someone were to say to u ,”Hey, you should take up smoking! My grandfather smoked 2 packs/day and he lived to 100! Everyone is different. You never know if it’ll kill ya until you start 🙂 :O ”
      Like I said , Cuenca is actually a nice choice for retirees if it wasn’t at this altitude.
      It isn’t intimidating, I think the weather is actually quite nice, it is cheap and has everything u need.

      And add to the fact that I great number of retirees I had the pleasure to meet here enjoy drinking alcohol often which is also riskier at altitude.




  64.  
    Della

    That’s nice to know but I’m interested in moving to Vilacabamba. It’s known for its longevity.




  65.  
    Michael

    I am looking at possible retirement in Ecuador (Cotacachi or Loja) and am wondering if it is gay-friendly? I dread moving somewhere and later finding filled with ugly Americans, Fox News lovers and wing-nuts. FYI: I’m American myself, so I know these people well!

    Are there many gay people in Cotacachi or Loja?




    •  
      Pam

      I can only pass on a comment made to me by an American expat here in Cuenca who had been here over 5 years, had run a business, bought a large beautiful old building in the historic centre and had many many contacts and friends. She said she herself had many gay friends, that there were many gay people in Cuenca, and that Ecuador in general, and the city of Cuenca in particular is very gay friendly / tolerant. As she said, she wouldn’t live in a place that wasn’t.
      I only have her word I’m passing on, but I have no reason to think it wasn’t based in fact. Ecuadoreans seem to me so far to be pretty tolerant of most things.




    •  
      Carolyn

      Hi Michael,
      I live in Otavalo which is a 10 bus trip from Cotacachi. My family & I purposely avoided moving to Cotacachi because, for us, there are too many expats there. I don’t know how the expat community is there. What I can tell you is that the Mountain culture tends to be much more conservative than the coast. It’s true, there are a lot of ugly Americans here, but there are also a lot of expats that the locals are very helpful & friendly to. If you try to speak the language & are polite, you’ll do well with the Ecuadorians. I have seen one very openly gay man, an Ecuadorian, here in Otavalo and he is always surrounded by friends & no one looks twice. I would think that a larger city, with more of a cultural bend would be the best bet for you. Both Cotacachi and Otavalo are agricultural & artisan communities that start coming alive between 5-6 in the morning & almost everything, with the exception a few ‘bars’/karaoke/dance places, is closed down between 7-9. Ibarra is the capital of Imbabura Province (where Cotacachi is located) & it is a nice city that might be worth checking out. But, Cuenca is both a university town & is said to have a lot of cultural things going on, so I would definitely give it serious consideration. Sorry, I don’t know anything about Loja. Good luck!




  66.  
    Eric

    Just got an email from another blog; that not only is a local police check required to get a resident visa in Ecuador, now anyone, especially from U.S.A. is required to provide an F.B.I. background check. Not terribly expensive, however, could pose problems trying to plan and coordinate a smooth transition to make the move. Can anyone verify this or is it a misguided comment?




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Yes, Eric…those new regulations concerning background checks went into effect at the beginning of 2015. See our Visas and Immigration page for more information.




    •  
      Tao

      Yes Eric,

      The FBI Report is required. I would suggest you start the process while still in the US as it takes two to three months to process. I believe the cost is $18.00 USD. The address of the agency is:

      FBI CJIS — Summary Request
      1000 Custer Hollow Road
      Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306

      You are required to submit your finger prints either printed or electronically. I understand the process time is 21 days if submitted electronically. Good luck.




      •  
        Dutch

        About getting the residency visa (9-1). I am still in the States, but expect to be in Ecuador about the middle of May, 2015. Yes, the FBI Background Check is a required document you must now have for the 9-1 visa. Also, I had to get a State Background Check (which ever state, within the US, you live in) done. Plus, there are several other documents you will probably need. All this information comes from my Ecuadorian based attorney, who is getting the visa process completed for me.
        Back to the documents: All these documents must also be “apostilled”, which is an additional process that must be completed. For example: When you get the FBI Background Check completed, and it is sent back to you from the FBI, you must then send it off to the U.S. Secretary of State department to get it “apostilled” (which is the term many Latin American countries use that simply means “authenticated”). From my understanding, this process must be done for every document that is needed in applying for your 9-1 visa. Something that will save you much time and aggravation (I know from experience), is that all the documents you will have to get “apostilled”, besides the FBI Background Check, must be sent to your respective state’s Secretary of State office. For instance, I live in Mississippi, so I sent my documents to the Mississippi Secretary of State office for the “apostilled” process. You can find the information you need via the internet by goggling for the Secretary of State website for your respective state.




      •  
        Della

        Is there a time frame that the FBI report has to be within. I’m not planning on being in Vilcabamba until end of January 2016. I don’t want to get it too early and then it not be acceptable.




  67.  
    Mary

    A friend of mine is moving to an apt project in Cuenca. I have become smitten with the idea but with a bad back and two dachshunds I cannot live in a multi level home. I am not a mountain goat anymore. I was hoping to find/build a Spanish colonial home w/ large rooms incl. A master downstairs and a guest room and possibly quarters for a live-in upstairs. I would be moving my furniture down there and would love 9′ or more ceilings. A fenced yard/garden, utilities and security. I can afford a house in the $200,000 range. The one thing that concerns me is the ability to adapt to the altitude – dogs as well. I live in Texas and have never had to live in thin air. I would appreciate any feedback. I have heard that building can be very problematic.




    •  
      Mack

      I am staying in Cuenca for one year while working. (I’m a health and safety professional)
      I think it is fantastic that there are so many options out there for senior citizens for North America to retire to because the costs are too high in Canada and the US. Plus , there is an almost instant social network that gives senior expats a full and energized social calendar here. There is no reason for anyone to feel defensive about choosing Ecuador because it is cheap and offers seniors a reenergized active lifestyle compared to just sitting around the house back home. This is a great option!
      But I have to say that I am deeply saddened and disturbed by the fact that so many have chosen Cuenca or Quito.
      The cities a very suitable but there is absolutely no way that someone moving from around sea level to 8400 feet or 9800 feet(quito) is going to improve their health. In fact , nearly every condition they may have will worsen. This is fact. The most recent studies include the worsening of Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, dementia, depression and cancer. But this is misleading because ALL conditions will worsen. Not the biggest deal for someone 39 years old and only staying for one year. But for folks moving here at ages 65-70…it’s just sad. It is a shame to see some websites promote Cuenca as a longevity location when it is closer to a death trap for someone at that age. But folks wanna convince themselves and others that it being cheap isn’t the reason they are here. Plus , they r often having a nice time here and are worried if they move elsewhere they may not enjoy it(plus the moving costs and stress involved)
      Everyday I run into folks I’ve met here who are seniors and they tell me about their health problems. I can see their hair thinning, eyes bulging , the white of their eyes turning yellow, the restless hand syndrome, chronic headache, the chronic cough, etc…and I sigh. If I ask if they have seen a doctor I often get the reply ,”No, if I don’t hear something is wrong from a doctor then it’s better.” (or something to that effect )
      They sometimes use the word acclimate and wrongly believe that this is an all encompassing,precise and powerful word. It’s not. It’s a vague and general term that offers little security to many.
      I know that it is unhealthy for a senior to move to such extreme altitudes and that they are often cutting their remaining years short here, but how do you tell someone that something they are so passionate about, like moving to Cuenca, is complete farce health wise ? For some it’s almost like telling a religious person their faith is a farce. The chance they’ll take it to heart is not likely.




      •  
        Pam

        I did some extensive research on the Internet at some good medical sites, and they do NOT support your statements. The overall contention is that in almost all respects but one, living at increased altitude is healthy, the body works better, and life expectancy is slightly increased. I have Insulin Dependent Diabetes and after 4 months I’ve lost a heap of weight and my blood sugars are much better than ever before. But, the one thing that is harder, is if you have emphysema or any Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. You might be ok, but you’d need O2. If you need it at sea level, you probably cannot live at altitude. I might add, I’m still having altitude problems, but they are getting better and I have options to improve them.
        To suggest we all get bug eyed, slightly nutty and drop dead in a couple of years is wrong, and misleading.




        •  
          Bill

          if you get a little bottle of cell food add to your water your oxygen level will go way up. I work above 12,000 ft use it and never notice the altitude




          •  
            Pam

            Thank you Bill, but what is cell food, and where do you get it? (I’m currently in Cuenca). As an ex microbiologist, I suspect my take on it is a little different to most 🙂




        •  
          Mack

          I’m sorry Pam. I know u want to believe that it is healthy for u to be here. It’s just easier. But it’s not true. We’re discussing living at 8000 – 10,000 feet. Not 2000-5000…)
          As far as those stats about living at altitude increasing longevity. That is also not true. For folks who were born at altitude though, they may qualify for such a statistic as this is their birthplace. To take it even a step further, it is quite possible that those who can trace their ancestry back for let’s say 10,000-15,000 years of living at altitude will have an even longer lifespan living at this high altitude they were born at. I believe it may be called gene manipulation where they have evolved and adapted over centuries of living at altitude. A study which u may have even came across is one comparing the life spans between those around Tibet whose ancestors have lived there for over 12,000 yrs and those of the Andes mountains here whose ancestors were only traced back 6,000 yrs. The asian lifespans are now longer. But as for a “lowlander” senior citizen who came across some sales pitches on International Living and decided to move to Cuenca or Quito and expect to live as long as someone who was born at altitude and whose families have lived here for centuries is just not true.
          And of course u have lost weight living at altitude. Everyone does. Your body is under undue stress 24hours/day. It is closer to wasting then a spa therapy…
          No doubt u have heard of the snake oils(even in this thread) of the teas and cell food etc… It’s just silly to b honest.
          Your reply makes it sound like u took my comment personally and that is kinda my point Im afraid. U wanna believe that this affordable place where u have an automatic social network of friends who come from a similar economic background and where your calendar is full of social event with your peers was a good choice. And in many ways it was a good choice. But as far as the healthy choice, I’m afraid it’s just not.
          But then again it’s all relative, isn’t it? Perhaps this reenergized lifestyle itself is healthier in many not so concrete metrics and if not then at least more interesting and happier.




          •  
            Pam

            I find your patronising comments about what you seem to think you know of my thoughts …”I know you want to believe…” very insulting.
            You know nothing of whether I am so unobjective as to believe things because I want to, you know nothing of me at all.
            Perhaps you could give us your medical and scientific background?? I have been reading medical papers, of medical controlled studies.
            What have you based your conclusions on? What you want to believe? That you have a superior view of the world to most others, especially those “sad over 65yrs people living their twilight years in a fantasy world of wishful thinking?”
            I repeat, to those reading this who are considering a move here, you should not be put off coming by this man’s comments. From my reading of the medical literature, (Oh, I have a background in medicine plus a M.Sc.) there is no reason to suppose you will shorten your life, get bug eyes and go ga-ga. There are thousands of expats living here, all doing well, feeling well, and very happy.
            If you do get some altitude effects that dont’ go away and are making you uncomfortable (and there is NO, I repeat NO evidence that they have any effect on your health and life span) you can always move to the coast.
            And when you tell me that I am thinking unobjectively and believing what I want to believe, I do take that personally, because it is a comment on me.




            •  
              Mack

              Y’see? The fact that u appear to take a health discussion so personally and emotionally again proves my point.
              A good portion of the retired expats fall into a kinda “economic refugee” status I’m afraid(sorry that sounds rude). There is nothing wrong with that. It’s fantastic that places like this exist 🙂
              The concern is that not many want to admit this and so they say,”It’s such a healthy,organic,culture rich place!” Now, if they were the ONLY person saying this then they may as well be selling pencils outta a plastic cup on a street corner. Instead , to validate this “healthy” claim they (like yourself) they try to get as many others on board to add validity to it. Same as a religion I’d imagine… This is unfair to seniors considering Ecuador.
              Cuenca is actually a very suitable place for seniors to retire.For many reasons. It may not be an exciting place but that may b one of the attractions.
              The truth that it is unhealthy for seniors to move to extreme altitudes threatens your rational it sounds like.
              As far as information. It is easily found online for those interested. Pam just needs to look harder it appears. 🙂
              I have spoken to many expat seniors here who have had their health take a drastic turn for the worse here in Cuenca. From chest infections, kidney problems, pulmonary hypertension, elevated blood pressure, chronic coughing , increased tremors and chronic fatigue….etc…
              The interesting part is that the majority of those whose health has become worse here (whom Ive spoken to) still don’t have any plans to leave.

              I’m sorry u are isolated and have no social life here Pam. I’m sure that can be difficult at times.

              Try not to be like Pam and take people’s comments personally or emotionally. Instead think about it rationally and weigh the risk /benefits for yourself and do your due diligence first.

              My background is a bachelors in Human Science from San Jose state University(Although this does not make me an expert at all) and Health & Safety.




              •  
                Mack

                The longevity claims of Vilcabamba and Loja have long been debunked as a bunch of lies and fraud.

                As proven many times like with Harvard Medical School research, the ages the elderly reported were all lies like one of the harvard researchers stated,” For instance, in the late 70’s he had met a man who reported his age as 122. When we returned three years later, that same man claimed to be 134 years old.” 🙂 And then they realized and proved that there wasn’t even a single person to have lived to 100 in these areas.

                Far from being the ‘Valley of Longevity,’ the researchers concluded that “Life expectancy (corrected for exaggeration) at all ages in Vilcabamba (and Loja) is in fact much less than in the that of the U.S.”
                For those who have lived longer in Loja and Vilcabamba it has been attributed to nothing more special than the the fact that they and their ancestors have been born and lived at that altitude(although 5200 feet is far less than the altitudes of Cuenca at 8400 or Quito at 9400 feet), the benefits of exercise, a healthy diet and good treatment of the elderly by the community and longevity of the residents has also been attributed to a result of migration of younger people to cities.
                Young people tended to move out of the area, while the elderly moved in.

                The many researchers speculated that the villagers had originally exaggerated their ages in order to gain prestige in the community. This appeared to have been occurring for generations, long before academic researchers had arrived in the village. Additionally Dr. Leaf from Harvard proved that the international publicity, and subsequent rise in tourism, may have encouraged the villagers’ exaggerations to grow more prolific.




                •  
                  Tony

                  Wow – just chill you two – elements of your increasingly personal debate are correct – the rest, well anecdotal and 3rd party at best. If you are seeking the tree of life longevity cure, move to Okinawa or become a goat herder in the Med. and adopt their lifestyle – good luck. As for the rest, you are only discussing altitude affected physiology, the affects of altitude related hypoxia on normal subjects and for those with underlying chronic disease (COPD, Cardiac Ins., Angina, those with physical limitations impacted by increased pulmonary or cardiac loading, or rare cases of HAPE in healthy athletes). Jeez, grow up!! most people not otherwise affected will accommodate and adjust to altitude within those ranges within several weeks time (look it up, well described in scientific and medical literature for years now). If you have trouble in the High Sierra or Rocky Mountains, probably shouldn’t live above 7-8000 ft (roughly pressurized cabin partial pressure of the commercial airline you flew on to get to Ecuador in the first place). Now shake it off and hug it out you two.




          •  
            Pam

            Oh – and I dont have “an automatic social network of friends who come from a similar economic background and where your calendar is full of social event with your peers”

            I am not American, I came here alone from Australia. I have not found a single “peer” here. I have no social life. My life here is as isolated as it was in Australia. So .. guess that blows that comment out of the water !!




            •  
              Samantha

              I am just starting to plan a move to Ecuador and am glad to have found this site. I have found my low income to be a bit isolating as I can’t join others due to the cost of going out places. I do however, enjoy my alone time and am not a big party person. I have found that in doing volunteer work I have met many wonderful people. You can help make your community a better place and have a good time doing it.

              I feel confident that when I make the move to Ecuador I will meet people there through volunteering too. Hopefully, I won’t again take on the stress of founding that volunteer organization.

              I do have a question for those of you already in Ecuador. I have heard of many retirees and several families moving there. I am disabled and have not heard if this is an issue with moving there. I would not move to a high altitude with COPD as there is less oxygen, but are there other restraints or concerns to be aware of?




      •  
        Leslie

        I have to disagree with your facts. My husband and I moved from Maryland (830 ft. above sea level) to Cuenca two years ago and we had no trouble at all. Even though my husband had heart surgery two years prior to our move. We have had physicals and bloodwork here in Cuenca and we are 100% healthy, and have high red blood cell counts which is good for high altitutde living. We were not overweight people when we moved which might have helped. And we walk everywhere. You shouldn’t make a blanket statement that you can’t move from sea level to 8,300 ft. because you can. The physicians in Cuenca will tell you that there are just some people who can’t acclimate and no one knows really why. I know Canadians who live in Cuenca and are quite healthy and doing well.




      •  
        Patty Gauthier

        Hi Mack,

        You said you are a health and safety professional working in Ecuador. I am a Registered Nurse. Do you know whether there are any English-speaking nurse jobs available at the hospital i Quito? Or other places?

        Patty Gauthier
        amstar23@aol.com




  68.  
    Della

    I’m a single woman looking to move to the Vilcabama area. I want to check out all areas. What would be the best way to meet other people once I arrived? I hope to be there first of the year in 2016. Thank You




    •  
      Tao

      Hi Della

      It is easy to meet locals here the same way and places you meet locals at home. If you are primarily interested in meeting other expats, I would recommend looking at expat blog sites for the areas you are interested in. Like you I planned my move for December so I could be for for the new year. No regrets. The choice for me was a good one. Good luck.




  69.  
    Raina

    Hi all,
    My husband and I are considering moving to Ecuador with our two very young children (3 and 8 months) sometime in the next year or two. We are interested in coastal areas such as Bahia/Salinas/Canoa, but would also consider Vilcabamba and Loja. We are wondering where others would recommend as a good fit for a young family and which places might have good schools? We are open to homeschooling but also want our children to socialize and have things like safe parks to play in, etc. Another question is in regards to shipping belongings versus buying all things there. Our biggest concern with buying there is that we have high quality wooden toys and certain books and kitchen appliances we would prefer to keep with us. Furniture is not such a major issue. Thank you so much for any and all advice!




    •  
      Andrew

      Hi Raina,

      You should consider Bahia as an option. Small and beautiful city with public services, regional hospital and a new shopping mall just opened! Safe city with no crime issues.

      In terms of schooling in the area you should check Unidad Educativa Interamericano http://www.interamericano.edu.ec/ which is bilingual.




    •  
      Carolyn

      Hi Reina. Schools in Ecuador are subpar, even many of the private ones. So, with your children, if you are coming for just a couple of years, it wouldn’t be a problem at their ages. If you plan to live here permanently, it may be another story. I know a family who has lived here for 40+ years & all 4 of their adult children were born here & attended school here. They all did very well. One is a doctor (can’t practice in the U.S.), but is making a huge amount of money working at a hospital is China. Another teaches ESL in the U.S. & is doing very well and another is a teacher at a school in Brazil, also doing well. If you plan for your children to go to University in the U.S., then the best thing to do is to put them in an American School with the International Baccalaureate program. I have a friend who worked for the U.S. State Department here & her kids both graduated from the American School in Quito & went straight into college in the U.S. Of course, a good home schooling program is an option, too. My granddaughter attends a municipal Ecuadorian school that we are pleased with. We don’t plan on returning to live in the U.S,, but I would like for her to have that option & don’t know what will be possible for her because we are not willing to live in the large cities such as Guayaquil or Quito. It is something I need to do more research on. About things to bring. Much of what is produced here is very poor quality, with the exception of the local artesan things. Children have very few toys, if any. Toys can be very expensive & not good quality. Also, there are a lot of very cheap plastic toys. If you want books in English, you will need to bring them with you or plan to use an Ipad or something similar. As far as safety, Ecuador doesn’t get a high score there at all. I don’t know of anyone who has a carseat for their children &, generally, only the person driving uses a seatbelt. I know of families who have had kids fall out of windows, one family lost their 4 year old in a fall from a 4th story window. The level of safety awareness here, in general, is appalling. Things we take for granted in the U.S. you really have to watch out for here. On the upside, if you are polite, culturally sensitive & friendly, it is easy to make friends. We have a few expat friends, but most are Ecuadorian, many are indigenous. We have been told by many people, particularly mestizo Ecuadorians, that indigenous people are not friendly or open to people outside their own communities. That has not been our experience, which is a good thing, because the majority of people where we live are indigenous! Just be aware that much of what you read on various sites you may look at for information is sugar coated. This seems to be a good site for getting the good, real information. If you come with an open heart, understand that this is a totally different culture, know you will need to be patient & flexible,& plan to learn the language, you will do well. Good luck with your plans!




  70.  

    Hello all,
    Wife and I are interested in the possibility of retiring in Ecuador, we are interested in beach front areas. What temperatures can we expect, also the water temperatures? What would the price range be for a single level, beach front house with a pool be? Are mosquitos a problem in the coastal areas? Thanks in advance for your forthcoming help,

    Jeff




  71.  
    James Owens

    I am a single divorced Man with some health problems. I do need a wheelchair at times but fight it tooth and nail. I intend to make the most of the golden years but my social security, va disability and a very small reitrement make vastly difficult decisions on money maters. After I clear up some legal maters here, I am looking at Equador as a possibility. I would like the REAL story on rent prospects and averages, utilities, safety, etc. I have heard great things about the financial possibilities there but I have also heard of a few horror stories. I like living alone and enjoy my privacy very much. I live a simple lifestyle. I do internet and a little shopping, the usual stuff like food clothing and such. Do you just drop everything and start from scratch or what?




  72.  
    Jerry L

    The link to the brief and happy video I mentioned in my previous post is:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze0mOAdgGDs

    Enjoy.

    Jerry.




    •  
      Jerry L

      Here is a video on Loja. “We are happy from Loja” gives you, through music and dance, an idea of what the city looks like, including people and places. It is a very well made video.

      “We are happy”, from Loja Ecuador:




  73.  
    Sara

    I’d like to know more about the coastal cities of Salinas and Manta as prospective American expat living options. Can you help? Typical high and low temperatures, please. Also, are mosquitos a problem in both locations?

    Thanks!




    •  
      Bill

      Well, I know the mosquitos in Manta can be unbearable. I have never had a problem with bugs in la Serena but I have not spent alot of time in either place just so you know. But I have spent alot of time in the jungle and the bugs are not bad there but Manta can be insane with bugs; the worst I have ever experienced in South America.




  74.  
    Bill

    The INTERNET provider I use is CNT. It’s very good and if you move only costs 7 dollars to get hooked up in your new town or apt. It’s government owned I think but they are very good.




  75.  
    Ron

    How about internet provider in Ecuador? Certainly don’t want to do much housework ifwe live there. How much is maid service on a weekly basis?




  76.  
    Gayle

    I am so grateful for these posts. We are looking to relocate soon. Has anyone moved pets too?




  77.  
    Pam

    Great to read this. I am currently residing in Cuenca having been in Ecuador only 2 months, but have decided I would prefer to relocate to Loja later this year. I’m having difficulty finding any furnished rentals listed and would be very grateful for any information anyone could offer to assist.




    •  
      Bill

      I know someone that can help you find an apt in Loja if you want. Write me at razoo51@gmail.com if interested.
      Bill




      •  
        Francine

        Thank you Bill for contact info. I’m moving there June 2016 and may need the help. I’m heading for Vilcabamba 1st and go from there. Have copied your addy in hopes you may still be able to help?




    •  
      Tao

      Hi Pam,
      I made the move to Loja a bit over three months ago. I found a furnished apartment close to El Centro by walking around town looking for rental signs. The town and people are great. Having lived in Cuenca, you have a general idea on what to expect in housing. Some of the hotels here have apartments for rent. All inclusive, but you have to check them out in person. They do not advertise on the net. Good luck.




      •  
        Pamela

        Thanks Tao. I find I have problems finding places in Cuenca as I have a small dog. Increasingly, unless you are prepared to take the lower quality cheap places (which I’m not), Ecuadorians are getting like Gringo’s I find – they like dogs OK, but not in their place !!! I doubt a hotel apartment would work 🙂
        Thanks for your suggestions. I have just found a nice new place in Cuenca and will probably stay awhile till I find time to visit Loja and do as you say – stay a few days and wonder around !!
        Cheers and Good Luck




      •  
        Sally Ewing

        Tao: Your advice to Pam was great. I want to find a furnished 1 bed in Dec until MAY. Retired, single nurse maybe you can contact me sallysunshinevero@gmail.com




      •  
        Francine

        Good info Tao:-)




  78.  
    Rene Close

    I desire to permanently move to Ecuador with my daughter who is confined to her wheelchair or uses her walker for short distances. I am looking for a temperate warm climate where the terrain is relatively flat so that we can take daily walking excursions. I personally dislike large cities and am not into any type of night life. I live simply and very modestly on an income even here in the USA on $1000.00 / month. My husband passed away a few years ago and need to feel safe in the community that we move too.
    Also after reading comments saw that the visas are only good for 90 days. How does one get a permanent visa from the beginning?
    Are there places to rent that accommodate handicap? With proximity to medical facilities.




    •  
      Pam

      I would suggest you contact Joseph Guznay in Quito for the visa. He helped he enormously with mine, which as it was from Australia had complications.
      You can get and extended tourist visa good for 180 days, but there are complications and added costs. I’d talk to Joseph first, his advice is first rate. He may seem a little expensive at first, but what he saves you in time lost caused by errors etc is well worth the small extra.
      Josephs’ email is josephguznay@gmail.com Good luck.




  79.  
    peter czerwinski

    Halo Sam, your letter perked our interest. We’re a diverse group of Germans and Americans, building a (non-religious/dogmatic) community on the coast, above a small fishing village. If you are interested, send us an email and we’ll take it from there.

    Saludos, The Tortugas




    •  
      Don Sam

      I am an American looking at Ecuador as a retirement consideration. Are there any expat groups that can familiarize “new” arrivals with information and friendship?




    •  
      sofia

      HI! Your letter sounded quite interesting to us, as we are a 3/4 german, 1/4 american family. When you get a chance, please send me a little info on your group on the coast. It sounds unique– esp. the german part! 🙂 Sofia (sofiameyen@hotmail.com)




    •  
      Ronald conroy

      Would like to know more about your experience.
      My age is 69. On full pension australian. $20000 .
      Thank you for your time.
      Ron




    •  
      Jerry Cullen

      Good Morning and Saludo’s

      I am currently living in Sierra Vista, AZ but will be moving back to Florida in a couple of months, which I will be using as a jumping off place to find a permanent residence in Ecuador…your response to Sam sounds terrific… any info you could send my way would be appreciated.

      JC Cullen




    •  
      Michael

      I would love to learn more about your community on the coast! How may I hear more?

      Michael




    •  
      Jerry from Texas

      Hi, Peter,
      My wife is from Ecuador and we have 11yo son and 16yo daughter and we’re thinking of this summer “checking out” places to move to in Ecuador. She wants beach, I like cooler temps w/less humidity and, with my more “type A” personality, I’m not sure what combo would be best fit.
      If you’re comfortable with it, could you please lemme know your email addr and a bit more background about the community you’re building so we can see if it might be good idea for us to stop by there this summer?
      Thanks!




  80.  
    Greg

    For those now living in Bahia, what do you hear about the new development Las Olas?

    Are the developers leaving a positive image with the locals? Do locals regard the coming of Las Olas a good thing?

    Are the developers following through with local contractors? Is the work there being completed on time?




  81.  
    peter czerwinski

    Hi Jimmy, we’ve been living in the Bahia area for several years — do diligence (i.e. homework) if you check out Las Olas. Saludos.




  82.  

    Me too need information about humidity. I am asthmatic and need dry weather, so should I not think about the coast? What are my options?




    •  
      sorn

      Hi. I’ve been in Quito, Cuenca, and Loja so far but have not seen the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. I can say that the weather is great in the Andes but (and no one talks about this) the air pollution in the cities is horrid. If you live in a rural area you’ll survive with breathing problems. But, I have severe allergies to the third-world air here and couldn’t possibly live in any of the cities. Cars and buses have no pollution controls. Beware.




  83.  
    Howie Soinner

    I too am looking at Ecuador. I have weather questions. Is the sun intense during the day at all altitudes, so I would need to use sunscreen, cover up or stay inside? Is the coast very hot and is it humid too? Hearing from all those with actual experience is appreciated.




    •  
      Bill

      Weather I think its about Impossible to beat the weather in Vilcaabamba
      The coast can cook you at times .. I have lived Just about everywhere in Ecuador. I even lived in the Jungle for a while which I prefer over the coast the coast is just too Hot…
      I Lived in 2 towns near Quenca its too cold for me . But if you want Comfortable T shirt and shorts weather almost every day of the Year
      You need to check out Vilcabamba. I find it to be a wonderful place to live and hang out you can met many expats there but you need a very open mind to be able to Enjoy it..




  84.  
    Kendrick

    I’m living in Austin, Texas right now – but have my sights set on South America for my quasi-retirement. As an artist and songwriter I’d like to find 1) the best beach city with 2) the best expat community. Lusting for the water vibe and getting a boat, but not finished making music yet. So, I’ve got to have access to decent recording facilities and talents, not to mention venues for Indie Folk, Blues-Rock original music.

    Kendrick




  85.  
    hippie99

    Don’t Americans over 65 get Medicare? May be Medicare too costly for retirees living on Social Security.




  86. Doug Morgan
     
    Doug Morgan

    If you want to advertise your property, please contact our advertising department: advertise@yourescapetoecuador.com




  87.  
    Sharon

    I would fly as close to the coast as possible. I took a bus at night from Quito to Canoa, and didn’t like the ride. Of course I couldn’t really see anything, but it just seemed that the driver was going too fast for all of the turns.




    •  
      Jason

      You should get a flight to Guayaquil or Manta. Both are very close to some of Ecuador’s best beach towns, including Salinas, Olon, Montanita and Puerto Lopez (Guayaquil) and San Clemente and Canoa (Manta).




  88.  
    Frank

    My wife and I are looking to explore Ecuador next summer for our 30th anniversary to determine whether we’d like to retire there. We currently live in Colorado, but generally keep to ourselves and are looking for a quiet, inexpensive place to retire with good healthcare. Which cities should we target to explore and how much time should we allocate assuming we fly into Quito and get a rental car?

    Thanks in advance!




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Frank,

      The Canoa, Pedernales and San Clemente areas north of Manta are ideal candidates for you, as they are generally quiet and relatively inexpensive. If you want more cultural or fellow expats, Cuenca is your best bet. Salinas/La Libertab/Olon are must developed and have a livelier beach scene. Vilcabamba/Loja are far removed from the madding crowd but are great if you want to escape the big cities.

      Research the above suggestions to see which towns suit your lifestyle. Then I would suggest a month-long trip to fully explore your chosen locations.

      Good luck and take care,
      Doug




      •  
        Frank

        Thanks for the quick reply Doug!




      •  
        Frank

        Follow-on question – would you recommend we fly into Quito and get a rental car there or add a short flight from Quito to Manta and begin our journey from there?

        Thanks again for all of your advice!




        • Doug Morgan
           
          Doug Morgan

          Flights to Manta from Quito run as little as $40 one-way. It would probably be better to fly into Manta then rent a car there. You may want to check for rentals in Manta first, as I’m not sure if you can easily get a car rental.




      •  
        jim brogan

        hi doug
        I am a retired american looking at the possibility of moveing to some where in ecuador with a beach that has modern amenities. I now live in the philippines and been here 15 years but at my age (71) i have no health insurance here so I hear expats moving to ecuador can have free health if you stay there permanently..I presume you live in ecuador and any info you could help me with would be fantastic. I am alone so would like a nice condo with great water view for the awesome sunsets. Do you know of any such towns and the costs? Do you know about the health coverage available for us older guys? Thank you Doug for your time.
        sincerely
        jim brogan




        •  
          Jason

          Jim probably you should check in Salinas or Manta that are coast cities with modern facilities. In Ecuador any person who need health assistance can be attended in public hospitals (oversaturated but free).




        •  
          ecuadorian dude

          I would recommend you to go to Salinas, a beach town in the province of Santa Elena. It’s near the province of Guayas that is the country’s main port.

          Salinas is a small city with a great housing enviroment, has all things you will need, including a nearby mall and even some great hotels. The weather is great but is a bit chilly from May/June to December but not freezing cold.




        •  
          Sally Ewing

          Ron, maybe you can contact me sallysunshinevero@gmail.com. I’m a single retired nurse and I would like to find a furnished apt for Dec 1. to May 2016. Thanks. Sally




        •  
          Sally Ewing

          Maybe you can contact me sallysunshinevero@gmail.com. I’m a single retired nurse and I would like to find a furnished apt for Dec 1. to May 2016. Thanks. Sally




        •  
          Sally Ewing

          Hi. Jim Brogan maybe you can contact me sallysunshinevero@gmail.com. A single retired nurse would like to find a furnished apt for Dec 1. to May 2016. Thanks. Sally




    •  
      Eric

      My wife and I are about to make our third exploration trip such as you are preparing to embark. Would not advise a rental car approach, but rather utilize the hotel concierge to arrange for a driver if making day trips outside the city you are in. May cost $175.00 but will be more reasonable; than the high rental fees, accidents created by some opportunist taxi drivers that target those rental cars, unreliable GPS, and 0 visibility shortly after sundown around 6:30 as the air cools and the clouds descend to the surface. Around town we found walking the best, especially if you select a hotel that is located at a fairly high point in the city, you get a fantastic veiw and your tour walking down, shop, eat, hit the markets and cafes along the way and when ready to call it a day; get a taxi and ride back up to you hotel for $2.00/$4.00




    •  
      Jason

      I suggest you get a car in Quito and drive to Cotacachi that is about 2 hours by road from Quito; also if you wanna look a city for your retirement I suggest you to take a look at Cuenca or Loja with its nearby towns of Vilcabamba and Malacatos. Probably a time of 2 weeks will be enough for you to explore these options. Being that Loja is one of the most peaceful, cheap and healthy places (for me at least), you always can take a 45-minute flight to Quito and there you can get the best medical services in Ecuador. Hope you enjoy your journey.




  89.  
    Paul

    My wife and I are looking into retiring to Ecuador coast. I turn 50 next year and my wife is 46.

    We are thinking of staying in Ecuador approx. 9 months a year from say Feb thru end of Oct. Go back to US for the Holidays Nov, Dec & Jan

    ?my question is what do ppl do about health insurance for extended stays back in US?

    …also ?what is a realistic budget for two? renting?

    Thank you in advance….Paul & Jeannette




  90.  
    hippie99

    Found the section. Thanks again.




  91.  
    hippie99

    Thanks Doug, I navigated thru your drop down menus but didn’t see a Practical section. Please if it may be under another title?




  92.  
    hippie99

    Are credit cards and travelers checks accepted in Ecuador? Is it costly to cash American Express travelers checks? I would prefer not to carry too much cash for my trip to check out the country. Any suggestions for carrying travel funds? Thanks in advance for any info.




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Hippie,

      Refer to our Practical Information section for your questions about traveller’s checks, credit cards and money.




      •  
        Jack

        I spent 2 weeks exploring Ecuador last summer. Beautiful country and people and am seriously considering retiring there. However, I learned the hard way – come with cash and a debit card to get money through readily available ATM’s. Most restaurants and retailers do not accept credit cards due to the high amount of fraud.




  93.  
    freshly retired

    I have been looking to retire in Ecuador for several months. I am a single 59 year old in pretty good health who has lived in Asia and Europe during my working years. Cannot stand living in the US and want the mountains, pleasant weather, and market places I have been seeing in these expat posts. How do I start to find a nice apartment (furnished as it is easier than moving a household). As long as I can get the internet and cell phones are there I could be happy. I would miss TV and in Europe I had Sky satellite…anything similar exist their?




    •  
      Jason

      In Ecuador you have many options for retirement, depending which kind of climate you like and if you wanna live in a city or a rural area. Here you have access to all the services you would need, including satellite TV. Welcome to Ecuador!




  94.  
    hippie99

    What is the least costly way to withdrew or transfer funds from a US bank?

    Is ATM withdrawal a good way to get extra travel funds in case one doesn’t bring enough cash for the trip.

    The other question is the transfer of funds deposited by Social Security in a US bank. For retirement to India, State Bank of India USA branch would do a free transfer to its counterpart in India every 3 months with no transfer fees. Is there a Ecuadorian bank with a branch in the USA that offer similar arrangements?

    Thanks in advance for any info.




  95.  
    hippie99

    Thanks for info. Not worry about petty theft I will be vigilant.




  96.  
    hippie99

    Crime on buses? Pickpockets or entire bus robbed at gunpoint?




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Thefts from personal bags and backpacks on the buses. Also pickpockets as well. Just keep your carry-on bags with you at all times and avoid putting them in the overhead bins and you’ll be fine.




  97.  
    Ella-Livingwell

    Hi, I’m in my early 50s and my husband in his late 50s and both of us are finding it more & more difficult to live healthy in the U.S. with the horrible food choices found in our grocery stores (i.e. GMO’s, Antibiotic steroid pumped up livestock, and all the food additives, heavy metals in our food, etc. etc.) and fluoride in our drinking water, etc. — need I say more? Plus it seems “Retiring Comfortably” in a few years here in the USA is now an Unattainable Dream. So Ecuador looks promising and hoping some of you already living in Ecuador can share some helpful information with me in helping me choose a city/town?
    And I have MS and cannot tolerate extreme cold or heat, and because of other ailments I cannot tolerate damp rainy colder climates either.
    So basically I’m looking for a few things in a city/town to move to:
    1) Moderate climate year-round long
    2) Safe town (well as safe as one can be understanding no where in the world is 100% safe)
    3) Access to good healthcare and vets
    3) Enough land to have my own garden and chickens
    4) Clean drinking water
    5) Plus I LOVE the Ocean and would like to be close enough to the Pacific Coast (hopefully less than 1-2 hour drive safely to a nice beach)
    I’ve already ruled out Cuenca and Quito — for obvious reasons — And now, after some research, I’ve narrowed down my choices to the following towns:
    Loja, Vilcabamba, Cotacachi, Bahia de Caraquez
    Can anyone comment on some of the pros & cons of each? We’d like to purchase land and perhaps build our own home and then hopefully live comfortably and enjoyably on a budget of around $950-1550/month.
    Thanks




    •  
      Bill

      Forget Loja, it’s a dump. Ecuadorians don’t even like the place.

      Cotacaci pretty cold. The coast is dangerous … those other two places beside Vilicabamba you mentioned I don’t know anything about them.

      Vilcabamba has great weather year round; amazing place for that and you could live easy there on your budget. Lots of expats … pretty crazy bunch. I have a lot of friends there … I think it’s a wonderful place. But if you consider yourself normal you may not like it there.




      •  
        Ella-Livingwell

        Thanks Bill for the feedback. Vilcabamba does really sound nice. And I love the ocean, so to hear the coast is dangerous saddens me. Do you mean all along the coast? And yes, my hubby and I – I would categorize us as being fun loving and outgoing people – although with my illness it limits my abilities to have the energy to all the things I’d like to – I can still do most things, but I tire so easy so keeping up with friends at gatherings is sometimes a challenge for me- but that’s one of the reasons we’re looking for a nice climate to move to, to live healthier which would hopefully make it easier for me energy-wise – wanting to do more.

        How are the doctors/hospitals? and sorry I have to ask, how are the bugs and mosquitoes? Most of all, I hate spiders and have to admit I have a terrible case of a arachnophobia (lol!) so please be honest – is it something I’d be encountering a lot of? And problems getting in the house? And things like that? Just a little quirk of mine, lol! My poor husband has to spray around our house because of my fear of spiders getting in house lol! and we’re in NJ which is no where near the tropics lol! 🙂

        How about horseback riding in this town? Are there any nice horse people in the area for places to go riding?




        • Doug Morgan
           
          Doug Morgan

          I don’t know what Bill is talking when it comes to the coast be “dangerous,” unless he’s talking about Guayaquil or Manta. Most crime in Ecuador is restricted to the big cities and the inter-province buses. The coast itself is relatively crime-free and easy-going.




          •  
            Ella-Livingwell

            Thanks Doug for you reply – could tell me what is your favorite city in Ecuador and why? and do you live there? I’m trying to get a feel what city would be meet my needs and unfortunately Cuenca is too high up altitude and colder and rainier for my taste otherwise it sounds like the friendliest and nicest city for Expats/ Americans. Other than Cuenca what could suggest for a warmer climate but still stay relatively safe in a friendly to Americans environment, becuase I’ve heard & read thru other Blogs and Chat rooms that Ecuadorians in Vilcabamba do not like Americans and can be very hostile towards Americans unlike the people in Loja who I’ve heard a more laid back but do not speak a lot of English so I would have a difficult time until I could learn Spanish. Thanks for any feedback you can give me. Best, Ella




            • Doug Morgan
               
              Doug Morgan

              Banos is my favorite town in Ecuador. Well, that and Salinas or Puerto Lopez. Banos is about an hour away from Puyo, which is on the fringe on the Amazon rainforest. Banos is known as the extreme sports mecca of Ecuador. Lots of tourists pass through Banos on their way to the rainforest and all the great rafting and jungle adventures that are there.

              Banos is VERY cheap, has lots of English speaking restaurants and hotels, and is about 4 hours southeast of Quito. Banos has a very moderate climate because the altitude is much lower than Quito and the town itself is very laid-back. There are Spanish schools in Banos as well.

              The only problem is the proximity of the very active Tungurahua volcano, but I would worry about that.

              Salinas is like a little South Beach (Miami) but much cheaper, and Puerto Lopez is a sleepy little fishing village a few hours from Salinas and Manta. Puerto Lopez is the gateway to Isla de la Plata (the poor man’s Galapagos) and the best whale-watching in Ecuador. Every morning you can go to the beach and get fresh caught fish and lobster right of the local boats. You negotiate the prices and the someone is always available to filet your fish right in front of you. Puerto Lopez is cheap, accessible and small enough to lose yourself in.




              •  
                Ella-Livingwell

                Thanks so much Doug for your input and great detail! I love the ocean and would hate not being able to live near or close to it – and to read your comments is great news! & what you’re describing sounds like any of those towns would definitely meet my needs and still in a friendly environment. Thanks again so much!
                Couple more questions, first I heard mosquitoes can be a huge problem by ocean towns at certain times of the year – do you experience this?
                And are there places near the ocean towns where we could ride horses. Thanks




              •  
                sofia

                Doug– thanks for all the fantastic information!! Are there any Ecuadorian beach towns that DON’T have the “heavy mosquito” problem i ve heard about from a couple different sources? Or is that just the cost of being near the ocean in Ecuador?




    •  
      Ron

      Ella — Try Puerto Cayo. Just north of Puerto Lopez. Palmera Beach is a gated community with all the amenities. Horse back riding is just down the road. There is also a new “mini-ranch” horse community coming with 2-acre lots with plenty of room for a garden and across the street from the beach. It is by the same developer.




      •  
        Ella-Livingwell

        Ron, thanks so much for sharing that info regarding beach towns; actually a gated community does sound very appealing. I’m still thinking being in a little higher elevation (not too high) might actually be just as nice or nicer so there would be less mosquitoes during rainy months. And Banos that Doug mentioned sounds really nice too but thinking the elevation for my health might be too high? And hoping I can get some additional feedback from other expats who may have lived or live in Vilcabamba because the climate/weather; elevation seems so perfect – so if anyone else can maybe share there experiences with me about that town – just would like to know if what I read is true that although a lot of english speaking expats are there, I’ve read accounts by people saying the Ecuadorians in that area do not like Americans and can be dangerous?; perhaps considering Loja instead would be recommended as far as being in a safer friendlier town/area towards Americans? Again, THANKS SO MUCH to all of you who replied to me & shared your info – your feedback has given me a lot of food for thought helping me narrow down my search for when I come to visit soon so I can concentrate on certain pre-chosen areas to visit!




        •  
          Sharon

          I just got back from visiting Ecuador two months ago. I didn’t like Quito, although I had a great shrimp salad in the Marascal district. And I didn’t like the 9,000 ft. high elev.. Flew to Loja airport, and then took a windy crazy van ride to Vilcabamba. I loved Vilca. The temp. was great. I was here during the windy season, which felt nice during the day or evening. When the sun went down the temp. did not drop too much. Vilca is in a beautiful valley, and I did get mosquito bites in my hotel room. They do provide those things you plug into the wall to keep the bugs away. But I didn’t find out until I was ready to leave. Went back to Quito – couldn’t get a flight (standby) so I went to the coast (Canoa – had a contact there). I was blown away by the beautiful weather on the coast. It may be 85 degrees, but on the beach, with the wind blowing 24/7 I wasn’t even hot. And the wind keeps mosquitoes away. I actually got less mosquitoes (one or two in a two week period) on the coast than inland. Also the beach (and from pictures of other coastal towns in Ecuador) was fantastic!! It was miles long, very wide and very deep. You could be 50 yards or more out into the ocean and still be up to your ankles or knees. Just beautiful.

          Someone I met there also liked Banos. I didn’t think I would be big about the coast, but if I was going to live there that’s probably where I would wind up. There are so many towns/cities on the coast. You really need to read about (see videos on line), and then get boots on the ground to see if it’s for you. I was told the medical is approx. $70.00 per month. And I think it covers most everything. Best!….. Sharon




          •  
            Leonard Perella

            Hi. Was wondering if you have picked a place to stay and if so where and what’s it like. My wife and I are looking for a retirement place. We are looking forward to exploring the area in 2016; would appreciate any help you may be able to provide. Thanks, Len & Val…email address is surfsidebeach4us@aol.com




    •  
      Fred Konrad

      I live in Salinas, 5th floor, never any mosquitos nor buchos of any kind.




  98.  
    hippie99

    Do Americans need a visa to spend a few months in Ecuador? Am not seeking residency at this time but like to check it out as a traveler.




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      You will get a 90-day tourist visa when you enter Ecuador.




      •  
        hippie99

        Thanks. That is convenient. Perhaps a visit to a bordering country gets another 90 days upon re-entry?




        • Doug Morgan
           
          Doug Morgan

          No, unfortunately, like many South American countries, Ecuador only permits you to spend 90 days in the country during a calendar year period as a tourist. You can get a 90-day extension but that has its own special requirements. See are “Visas and Immigration” section under the Relocation tab for more details.




          •  
            Jimmy Stone

            Hey Doug, me and my wife are interested in what you may know about Bahia. I enjoy golf and was wondering if there are many golf courses in the area.




            • Doug Morgan
               
              Doug Morgan

              I haven’t been to Bahia but I understand it’s pretty nice.




            •  
              Charlie Fritz

              Jimmy, there is a development that is going in just south of Bahia. I am not sure where they are at on their timeline, as there have been several delays. The name is Las Olas. There is also a golf course resort fairly new in Monticristi, which is near Manta, about 1.5 hours south of Bahia, and a new golf course resort scheduled to be built north of Bahia, also about 1 hour. We do not golf, but know of these locations close to Bahia. Best of luck




  99.  
    Doug

    I am very interested in finding out more about retiring in Ecuador.
    Any info would help. Single 65 year old guy.




  100.  
    Segundo

    Great place to be. I lived there for more than 19 years. I enjoyed ever minute of it. Especially the Inca textiles.




  101.  
    Karen

    I am thinking about retirement at age 65, in a couple of years, in Ecuador. I have been researching for a few months and think I would prefer to live on or near the beach. I have been looking at Salinas, Bahia De Caraquez and Montanita. Any thoughts on these three areas? or any suggestions as to other areas?




    •  
      Gary

      Karen,

      Try looking at Puerto Cayo. There are a few nice communities there: Grand Palmas, Palmera Beach, etc.

      Gary




    •  
      Silvia Villacis

      I have a beautiful house between Salinas and Montañita, we can rent the house. The house has 8 bedrooms, and we can rent for some couples.

      Silvia




  102.  
    Bill

    Hi Sandi

    The best place in Ecuador for me is Vilcabamba. It’s very friendly … you will know many people fast. But it’s more of a artist funky crazy new age town … Many fun people to talk to.

    The other expat communities are much more conservative and don’t have the great weather. But that’s my take on it




  103.  
    Sandi

    Hi I’m 67 yrs old healthy and active. I’m single and want a locale safe and welcoming for a female. Looking to rent and want cultural and active communities with history. Any suggestions? Sandi




    • Doug Morgan
       
      Doug Morgan

      Cuenca and Quito both suit your needs. Cuenca is slightly lower elevation; truly I would recommend Vilcabamba as your best bet.




  104.  
    DENISE

    WE, 2 COUPLES ARE THINKING OF SPENDING A MONTH OR SO IN DECEMBER 2014 TO JAN 2015 AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW A CONDO ON THE BEACH CLOSE TO THE CITY CENTRE, WE WOULD RENT A CAR, I THINK.
    WOULD ANYONE KNOW RECOMMEND WHERE WE COULD FIND A 2 BEDROOM CONDO FULLY FURNISHED AND HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST APPROXIMATELY WITH ALL UTILITIES.

    ANY OTHER SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE WELCOME.
    WE ARE FROM CANADA AND REALLY WANT TO GET OUT OF THE SNOW HERE AND WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE ECUADOR, BEACHES, CITIES AND THE ISLANDS FOR SURE.

    THANKS FOR THE INFO




    •  
      Gary

      Denise ,

      If you don’t mind being out of the city center, then I would suggest Puerto Cayo . It is a beautiful beach town and not too far from other attractions.




  105.  
    Bill

    You will not need an air conditioner in Vilcabamba the weather there is perfect
    Cuenca is cool and damp for me some people like it I do not ..I have lived in both places and Vilcabamba is pretty hard to beat. i was never so comfortable in my life.
    the coast is to hot for me




  106.  
    Darla

    I’m considering moving to Cuenca to retire. Does it rain there everyday? Seems cooler than I first expected? Also, do apartments in Vilcabamba have a/c?




  107.  
    hippie99

    A temperature range of 35-75F is what I consider perfect. How hot does Vilcambamba gets?




  108.  
    Joe

    Thanks for writing. You know how every bit of info is very important. I thought that Loja had more activities. What about healthcare? Car rental when we arrive in Catamayo airport.? What’s the big hype on Cuenca??
    Thanks




    •  
      Jason

      I can provide you some information about Vilcabamba. Is a small town outside of Loja (the main city in the southern region) and very close to Malacatos. In Vilcabamba you will find a lot of repats, but like someone else said is a kind of New Age community, if you want the same climate and more quiet town, you should check Malacatos (about 10 minutes by car). Medical services will be available in Loja (40 minutes from Vilcabamba and 30 from Malacatos) most of medical specialities are available there. Or for complex illnes you can go to Quito by a 45 minutes flight from Loja airport (catamayo). I suggest you to rent a car in Loja, where you will find more agencies and options. From Catamayo airport you can take a private taxi to Loja that cost $15 to 20 or a shared ride is about $5 per person, they gonna leave you in any addres inside Loja for same price. Best hotels options in Loja are Howard Jhonson, Hotel Grand Victoria Boutique or Zamorano Real Hotel.




  109.  
    hippie99

    Thank you for your info. I read cost of living in Vilcambamba online but it is somewhat outdated. How is the inflation affecting expat living in Ecuador & Vilcanbamba the last several years? It is hard for me to move there until 2016 at the earliest.




    •  
      Susan in QUito

      Every thing in Latin America and in developing countries, like Ecuador esp. and others, is in flux, CHANGING all the time. Please understand that fundamental and you will save yourself a lot of trouble financially, socially, etc. in making a major life change like moving to another country. This is not a sized-down Spain or Chile. This is Ecuador and its cultural past and present is DIFFERENT than everywhere else.

      If you are planning to come here, read everything you can and know what you really are comfortable with, large cities, small and simpler places, sophisticated or whatever you prefer. Travel around and take notes. It is not a process for the faint of heart; it takes time and a LOT OF PATIENCE here and people make errors even even when they are savvy travelers and know the drill in many places they have been.

      Be aware that as the country gets richer (the minimum wage was raised by the govt. in Quito this year to $340 per month) and people “want more” consumer goods and the life they believe they deserve, there is a tide of rising expectations and more crime comes with that. Crime rates (mostly theft, sometimes armed robbery and assaults on rich(er) visitors) is definitely rising in Quito in the 3 years I have lived here — My smart expat friends tell me the same. Come prepared, enjoy.

      I love this country as I find it but I learn everyday something new about it — and have lived in other countries in Latin America, Chile and Argentina. So be brave, be patient and make your own choices — this is my best advice. Check on prices and costs nearer to the time you plan to travel here.

      Buena Suerte.




  110.  
    isabel

    Dear Expats!
    My name is Isabel Noboa, im an attorney and currently living in Quito, Ecuador.
    I also speak fluent english since I went to highschool in the USA.
    Please dont hesitate to email me for any legal or non legal advcie in Ecuador.
    Hope you enjoy your stay

    🙂




    •  
      Sharon

      Hi Isabel: I am planning a trip to Quito within a few months. Just waiting for a document from the Ecuadorian Consulate. I would like to start the process of Pension Visa when I arrive. I have one suggestion for someone to help me (a good recommendation). Do you help people thru this process, and if so what is your price? Or maybe you know of someone else who has a good price?
      Sharon




    •  
      Nabil

      Hi:

      May I inquire about practicing law in Ecaudor? Can a Canadian law graduate practice law there?




    •  

      I am considering moving to Cuenca or possibly another smaller town. I am the guardian of my 14 year old grandson. If we move it would be next summer and then he would need to go to high school. His Spanish will be quite elementary.Do you know anything about options for bi-lingual high school ? We will be living on a small income so paying a big fee is not an option.
      Thanks, Martine




    •  
      Rich

      Hi Isabel,

      Can you recommend an area to stay and some hotels in Quito? I would like to see the City maybe this winter and try to get a feel for Ecuador. I have been to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico many times and thought I might end up there. Summer seems like it would be a bit too hot though.

      Sincere Thanks!!




      • Doug Morgan
         
        Doug Morgan

        Be sure to check out our hotel recommendations in the Quito section under the tab “Stay.”

        Doug at Your Escape to Ecuador




      •  
        anne k.

        i would suggest The Hotel Sebastin in Quito. It is very clean! The staff is excellent and the restaurant in the hotel has a very good menu.




    •  
      sofia

      hi, Isabel! I d love contact info for you… my email is sofiameyen@hotmail.com. Thanks for offering advice!! Sofia




    •  
      Masood

      I want to move to Ecuador from New York. I have to buy my house by the water; however, I have diabetes and a heart condition. Can I become a resident?
      Thanks




      • Doug Morgan
         
        Doug Morgan

        Yes, of course, Masood.

        There are no health restrictions when seeking residency in Ecuador. Check with one of our recommended immigration attorneys (Ecuador Visas is a great choice) for more information and peruse our Visas and Immigration section as well.




    •  
      Michelle

      Could you please let me know the process, documents required, processing times and all information required for moving to Ecuador and becoming a resident. I am thinking of moving for vacation and eventually retirement (5 – 10 yrs). I need to know what is required if I rent a home and also if I were to purchase a home. Also working in Ecuador requirements.




  111.  
    Joe

    Hi, any Baptist churches in Catamayo, Malacatos, Vilcabamba, Zaruma, Loja & Machala areas?
    Any preferences for semi-retirement in these areas? Any NGO’s or ministries?

    Our desire is simple: to serve in the community via Church or organizations. Please help!

    Pastor/Chaplain Joe n Raquel. Chaplainjoegomez@aol.com Gracias




  112.  
    Joe Gomez

    Hi, kindly inform me about the differences in Loja, Catamayo, Malacatos, Vilcabamba; anything and everything. Thanks.




    •  
      Bill

      Hi I have lived in Ecuador 4 years You wanted to know about Vilcabamba and Loja .. I really cannot see an Expat living in Loja .. But Vilcabam is close to it very nice and many expats . The weather is perfect every day even when its rains its hevenly.. Their are very nice resturants there and many gringos. Vilcabamba has a wide range of expats very interesting place if you like Good converstaion and there is always some kind of Music going on.
      You will find some people will tell you crazy Gringos live there I find them very fun and friendly. you can find Yoga classes and many new age activities there also. But Loja is very much just a Blue collar working mans town from the many times i have been there i think any active person would be quit bored there.




      •  
        Susan in QUito

        Can you be more specific about Loja, please ?? I’ve lived in QUito 3 years and spent 10 days walking around Loja a couple of years ago. For people who party and drink and drug a lot, it would not suit as the social life is small and potentially boring, I would guess. However with four universities and good public access TV it might be a good place, for some slower-lane people like me..IMO.

        Do you know Loja well? Let me know privately — I plan a visit soon to check out current conditions in Loja. SUEB4BS@YAHOO.COM

        Many thanks. Susan




        •  
          Joe Jomez

          Hi, we hope to visit Loja and the surrounding area Feb 01,2015. While the temp in Vilcabamba seems perfect, Americans are looked at as hippie,new agers drink/drug types and it is clashing with the ecuadorians. This info is everywhere I check online. How true or not let me know. I am more interested in Loja. Zaruma seems interesting but kinda outta the way and no real hospital there. Peace n safety plus good weather ( 50 to 80) is what I need. Been in contact with 3 pastors and 2 missionaries that will give me the facts once I am there. Kindly inform me of what were your experiences in Loja. Email me chaplainjoegomez@aol.com thanks.




  113.  
    Georgia

    Hi
    Just moved to Cuenca, Ecuador.
    I am 65 year old retired RN.
    Lots of hustle and bustle in Cuenca but quiet at night.
    People very friendly and always willing to help with directions, restaurant recommendations etc.
    Staying in a Guest House that is very reasonable, clean, friendly … while looking for permanent accommodation.
    Ate at a few places that were very good, reasonable, freshly prepared and fresh ingredients. The chicken is amazing, not like the chicken back home.
    Could let you know when I go to the coast to Salinas or Galapagos.
    Good luck !




    •  
      hippie99

      What is the cost of weekly or monthly rent at a simple clean guest house. Not looking for anything fancy. Thanking you in advance.




      • Doug Morgan
         
        Doug Morgan

        It really depends on the city, but Casa Amaru in Quito rents out for $200 – $250 a month. I can vouch for this place because I stayed there for over a month. 10 minute walk to Old Town and 20 minutes to the Mariscal. Here is their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/casa.amaru?fref=ts




        •  
          hippie99

          Is the price for a room or an apartment?




          • Doug Morgan
             
            Doug Morgan

            Room for one person




            •  
              Jennifer

              Well, I am in my mid 50’s … not yet retired by U.S. standards but last year when I visited friends in Quito I went to Cotacachi to look at some homes for sale and fell in love with the city. It is a quaint artisan town and it is perfect weather-wise. I want to come back to live; I’m tired of the rat race and traffic in a Fort Lauderdale so thinking of June or July 2015. If anyone has actual living experience in Cotacachi, please let me know. I will be living by myself. I love to read, also love cultural shows, movies, love to run and dance … maybe set up a small cafe and see what happens.




  114.  
    Doug

    Hello,

    Looking for advice on best City/Town to live in. I am a 65 year old single/divorced man looking at Ecuador. I love the mountains/valleys and occasional beach. Is it safe for a single man to live in most places, easy to meet people, friends, etc? Looking to become a member of the community. Am a musician (play keyboards), can work on computers, etc. Friendly and outgoing….

    Any advice would help. Many areas sound good. But would like to meet and become friends with people.

    Thanks,
    Doug




  115.  
    Wyn

    I’m an avid motorcycle rider. I’ve been pouring over information i.e. living expenses etc. in Ecuador. Having been unable to find out any info. on road conditions, tour riding etc., is there anyone out there that can provide any information? I’m planning to retire to South America and Ecuador seems like a great place. Just want to find out about riding there.




    •  
      Albert

      Hey Wyn,

      My wife and I visited Ecuador in November/December 2013 and we absolutely loved it. The roads in Ecuador are absolutely the best in all of south america and I know because we have been to Peru, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay. Salinas is a nice town and is in the middle of a building boom with all the highrise apartments going up; however, the prices are still very reasonable at around $70,000 to 100,000 for various sizes of apartment homes.




    •  
      Sharon

      You’d fit in great in any of the coastal towns. I saw a lot of motor bikes, and three wheelers in Canoa. And I’m sure the other beach towns would be the same. From what I’ve seen and read they drive very aggressively and crazy in the town of Quito and on the freeways. They don’t use indicators when changing lanes. It’s like a free for all, as if they’re racing the Indie 500. I think the speed limit on the … very nice freeway… to the Quito airport is 80 mph.




  116.  
    Larry Lane

    I would like information regarding any long term rentals beginning June 1, 2014, preferably completely furnished house, in Cotacachi. Anyone with this type property for long term can contact me at llane48@cfl.rr.com.

    Thanks and have a great rest of the day and rest of the week!

    Larry




  117.  
    Ken

    I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have been considering relocating to Ecuador. I’m in my sixties, healthy, active and single.

    I’d appreciate any tips on where I might be relocate. I like to hike, workout, cook, dance, and motorcycle. I’m an amateur sculptor and ceramicist.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Looking forward to making new friends.

    Ken




    •  
      Bill

      Vilcabamba is the place for you from the discription you gave




    •  
      Susan in QUito

      Hello Ken: I recommend since you are from the Bay Area, you try Quito. I have lived here for 3 years and love the city. I have lived in Northern CA also for 10 years, my property is in Southern OR near Ashland. Usually 1 x yr I return to the States. Lots of art and music here, a rich cultural scene. Also some fascinating development in cine and other areas of photography and the arts. Crime is going up, on the downside. In some case fairly dramatically. STILL NOTHING LIKE THE U.S. — so come, visit and let’s talk about what you are looking for… Susan in QUito sueb4bs@yahoo.com




      •  
        Roger

        Susan, how long have you lived in Ecuador??? I am retired and living in northern Peru, near the city of Chiclayo. The climate where I live is great, but I am planning a trip over the next couple of weeks to Ecuador.
        The cites I will visit are Vilcabamba, Loja and Cuenca. I am thinking about relocating to Eucador to one of these city. I will rent for awhile, until I get a good feel for the area I will live at permanently.
        I want this trip to be for the research and have a lot of questions to ask when I get there.

        Oh, I am also from Oregon. I still have a house just outside Portland in Happy Valley. Maybe we can meet when I get there. I certainly will have a lot of questions.

        Roger