“Damn, this is some delicious shrimp.” My new friend said.
“I know, I didn’t even like shrimp until I got to Ecuador.” I responded.
We were sitting in a small, open-air restaurant mainly frequented by locals in a small town I see a lot of short-term potential for near Salinas.
The one we’ll be talking about today.
Libertad is a small town a few minutes north of Salinas, which is the main draw for foreigners in the area.
Salinas, primarily a resort town, a weekend retreat for the local rich from Guayaquil, with a steadily growing expat community, is a town of contrasts.
The boardwalk has a “Waikiki” feel with side-to-side upper-class, expensive (for Ecuador) high-rise condo buildings. But the majority of the condos pass eerily vacant through most the year.
While a block back from the ocean the area quickly takes on a quite impoverished, “dirt streets” look.
2 bedroom Condos right on the boardwalk in an older building with a beautiful ocean view start around $50-60k. Vacant beachfront lots are virtually non-existent.
Heading up the peninsula, on one side is Punta Carnero, which is comprised of one long row of houses on the opposite side of the highway from the ocean. Most of the deals here have evaporated over the last two years, it’s now hard to find a house under $80k in this area.
But I don’t know why you’d want to buy here, the ocean has a serious shore-break/rip-current and there’s no where to shop and no where to eat.
On the other side of the peninsula, the ocean is almost table top flat up through the areas of Ballenita and Punta Blanca.
But these areas as well are not real towns with things to do and places to eat and shop. They’re just a collection of mainly vacation houses along the ocean. You’d need a car to live there.
Plus, it’d be hard to find anything already-constructed beachfront in these areas for under $60-80k.
That’s why I like Libertad.
Libertad is WAY UNDER the foreigner radar.
At least it has been so far.
It’s very “local” with still very local prices, with a few vacant lots near the sea with great ocean views going for around $15-20k, which are prices now a bit harder to find on this peninsula and this higher-priced area of the coast.
Plus, it’s an actual town, with hoards of fresh-produce street markets, restaurants and a boardwalk (but a much quieter one than Salinas).
And plentiful taxis abound. In fact, you’re right in between Salinas and Ballenita, just a few minutes by car from the main Salinas boardwalk area.
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