Sometimes in Ecuador it seems like the people actually selling their farm have no idea how much to ask as prices are all across the board. Asking prices can be particularly high once a crop is already producing.
But you can find a lot of farms for sale for under $1000 per hectare (2.2 acres).
But when you inquire further or actually visit the farm you realize why they are so cheap.
No road access.
Or very poor access in that you literally have to travel for a while on rough dirt road that will often get washed out during the rainy season. Even still, some farms will force you to park and walk because they can not be reached by car.
On the flip side, farms near a major highway (say within 15 minutes of driving) yet down an unpaved side road reachable by car usually go around $3-6000 per hectare.
While farms with direct highway access usually ask around $5-8000 per hectare.
Next up, water.
Does the farm have a river or two on or bordering the premise? If it does, it´s worth something, if not forget about it as "well water" might suffice for building a residence on a property but not for actually growing crops.
Following that, overall remoteness, electricity, cell phone coverage and more play into it… Like, how close is the farm to the nearest town where you can actually find workers and take your crops to market? Important, indeed.
For instance, this week, I was in the Santo Domingo area, about half way in between Quito and the coast in the coastal plain lowland region of Ecuador, and through a friend I found one interesting buy.
A 16 hectare farm with direct highway access and several small rivers in a green, rainy area, electricity and minutes from a large town asking $60,000. That´s just over $3500 per hectare.
The owners inherited the property and have no interest in it and just want to liquidate.
In my experience, this is a good deal, having direct highway access gives you a lot of options like possibly building a restaurant (paradero) or guesthouse down the line.
The area has a sub-tropical, mild, yet humid climate due to the median altitude of 950 meters (3100 feet).
Many both cold and warm weather crops can grow here like sugar cane, citrus fruits, Cocoa, Stevia or more local varieties with local demand like Naranjilla, Palmito and Borojo. Also, coffee is a possibility.
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