Archive | Ecuador for Investors

Top 3 Spots in Ecuador to Find Undervalued Beachfront

beachfront ecuador real estate

What if you only had 5 or 7 days to look for cheap beachfront property in Ecuador?

And you were only interested in something front line, right on the ocean.

You can’t dick around.

You’d be wasting your valuable time going somewhere like Olon, where there is little to no availability or where prices have already jumped.

I’d start in these 3 places that stand out in my mind as the ‘big three’ right now entering October 2012.

3 undiscovered places on the coast where you can still find really cheap, yet desirable, beachfront lots, and where i found the one I bought this week for under $5k.

3 places that could skyrocket in value in the short term if discovered a bit.

Over the last 2 years I’ve witnessed places like Montanita, Playas, Canoa, Ayampe and Ballenita jump in beachfront prices and now in those places its tough to find beachfront lots under $50k or a home under $80k, but property one back from the ocean can still be cheap ($10k for a lot, $25k for a small beach house).

Here are my picks, and for now, this is top secret information so you can get in before the herds do…


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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

Why didn’t you tell me this about Ecuador?

ecuador real estate rentals

Why didn’t you tell me about these things BEFORE I came to Ecuador!

After being here a full year, here are 15 things you should have told me before I came here…

15. That I’ll blow out my knee while doing a power squat with my pack on while taking an emergency dump in a gas station bathroom because the floor hasn’t been cleaned for months and there’s no where to set the bag down. Then there’ll be NO toilet paper causing me to sacrifice a sock!

14. That even if immigration makes a mistake with your paperwork it can cause you to miss your departure flight from Ecuador, even if it’s totally not your fault and you’re already checked in.

13. That throwing trash out bus windows is not frowned upon and locals will get TICK*D if you say something.

12. There’s a reason people throw the toilet paper in a small bin next to the toilet! Ecuadorian toilets really can’t handle even a few squares without turning into an active volcano. The hard part is not sneaking a peak at the skid mark after you wipe.

11. That all women in Ecuador are after 3 things and 3 things only, marriage, marriage and … marriage. If you’re not up to it you better inform so in writing on the first date before the first round of drinks.

10. Not to look up and admire architecture and birds in the trees as you walk in the streets… because you will fall in a hole!

9. That the police are not on your side and if you call them, even in time of need, they probably won’t show or they’ll ask for a bribe.

8. That sure, I can buy a lot of land in the middle of no where on the coast for CHEAP, but water and electricity services will be spotty at BEST and internet is simply un-available.

7. That roosters or barking dogs will probably wake me up at the a$$ crack of dawn every day for my entire stay.

6. That drivers are “lane-challenged” and that meshing and going with the flow is the only way to make it.

5. That Cuenca is NOT the land of the “eternal spring”… more like the land of the eternal ” late fall”, its cold! Bring an extra jacket.

4. That hot, powerful showers as we know them don’t really exist in Ecuador, the Ecuador “hot” is our “slightly luke warm”.

3. That rice is served with EVERY meal, and that locals consider a mountain of plain, white rice “tasty” and I’m wierd not to do so, too.

2. That even the people in tourist information offices and airline check-in points don’t speak English.

1. That no matter if someone in the street has no clue where something is, they’ll still point you in a random direction, again, and again, and again.

And that despite all these setbacks I’ll still be glad I came!

Oh yea, and that signing up for my weekly newsletter on Ecuador living was the best decision you’ve made in your whole life! You can unsubscribe at any time:

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Choose size for Panama Hat Purchase

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FOR WOMEN ONLY… please specify your hat color preference, ONLY WINE RED, WHITE and LIGHT BROWN AVAILABLE CURRENTLY FOR WOMENS HATS…

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

9-II Investor’s Visa (Real Estate) Requirements

9-II Investors Visa Ecuador

9-II Investor’s Visa in Real Estate Requirements (Visa de Inversionista en Bien Raiz):


Before coming to Ecuador:

1. Get your original birth certificate from the Municipality of your birth, then get the document apostilled or certified by the nearest Ecuador Consulate.

Tip: The verification of notary is a document verifying that the notary is really licensed to notarize in the area in question. It can be attained quickly in the locally located County Clerk’s office.

2. Go to the local sheriff’s office of the county you have resided the last 5 years and request a criminal record check. Get notarized plus get the verification of notary from the County Clerk’s office. Then get this document apostilled.

Tip: An Apostille is different from a “State Seal” and is the ONLY internationally recognized way to legalize documents. To get a document apostilled in the USA, the least expensive way is to write directly to your local Statewide Secretary of State with $10 per apostille and an envelope so they can mail it back.


Once in Ecuador…

3. Write petition letter stating request and sign it (can use example included wherein).

4. Fill out forms included with this guide, the application form (solicitud de visa) and the order for ID Card (orden de cedulacion).

5. Get 3 notarized color copies of your passport and 4 passport photos. Tip: Learn from my mistake and wait until Ecuador to notarize copies of your passport, it is only $1 and can be done in minutes compared to what you have to do in the US! In order to get a notarized copy of your passport while still in the US you will need to write the National Secretary of State in Washington DC by mail and pay $50 because you will find local notary’s in the US won’t be able to notarize a copy of a Nationally issued document like your passport. Just applying this fact alone can pay for the price of this guide!

6 Get the documents you attained in the USA officially translated by one of the many translators that lobby their services just outside the immigration offices in Quito, Cuenca or Guayaquil. They normally charge around $30 per officially translated document. Allow 24 hours to process. One translator in Guayaquil is Ing. Ricardo Montalvo with offices in Kenedy Norte Mz 401 solar 6, Calles Neptali Zuniga y Justino Cornejo Tel: 2683901 / 097107481.

7. Gather notarized copy of the title or “Escritura” of the property you own as registered in the Registro de la Propiedad (Property Registry) wherever the property is located.

8. Get the “Certificado original del historia del dominio y gravamenes” (Official Domain History Certificate) of the property in the applicant’s name.

9. Get the payment receipt of the last yearly property tax of the property which also states the official Municipal value of the property which should be no less than $25,000 USD and must increase $500 USD in value for each dependent of the applicant that is also coming to Ecuador. This document is locally referred to as the “carta original del pago del impuesto predial” which is attained from the Municipality Office (Municipio) where your property is located.

10. Go to the “Direccion de Extranjeria” (immigration office) in your city of choice for the application: Quito, Cuenca or Guayaquil. In Guayaquil the “Direccion de Extranjeria” is in the golden colored building locally known as the GOBIERNO LITORAL where you will officially submit your residency application.

Before submitting, your first step once in their offices will be to request a certificate (Certificado de Movimiento Migratorio) which certifies your migratory movements in and out of Ecuador. In Guayaquil, this certificate can be attained right in the same offices where you’ll be applying and can be given immediately.

Once you have this certificate you can officially submit your application, if you have all the other necessary documents you will be told to pay the cashier the application fee of $30, and upon acceptance of the visa you will be required to pay the remaining $320 visa fee.

11. Once you have the APPROVED VISA in your passport you will still need to get a “cedula” which serves as your local ID card and is a must get within 30 days of your visa approval.

Just take the paper “Certificado de Visacion” they return back to you along with your visa as well as the approved “Orden de Cedulacion” (order for ID card) to the Civil Registry (Registro Civil).

Tip: You should also bring a notarized copy of a water or electric bill of your residence (even if it isn’t in your name), a notarized copy of your proof of pension and a notarized copy of your birth certificate. You also may be asked by the officials to get a sworn statement done in a notary (declaracion juramentada) that states the following information (your full name, date and place of birth, nationality, civil status, education level, profession, names and nationalities of mother and father, name and nationality of spouse if applicable, your local Ecuador address and telephone.

Tip: Most cedulas are given 24 hours after submitting your application but if you insist politely that you need it back immediately due to a medical issue I have had success getting my cedula the same day. The cedula is valid for 10 years.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

9-1 Pensioners Visa Requirements

Requirements of the Pensioner’s Visa (Visa de Rentista 9-1):

1. Written petition letter in Spanish directed to the Minister of “Relaciones Exteriores”. In Guayaquil, the Minister is Arq. Octavio Villacreses Peña. See example of letter “visa petition letter” contained in this report.

2. Completed visa form as provided in this report. (Solicitud de visa)

3. Completed order form for your Ecuadorian ID card as provided in this report. (Solicitud de orden de cedulacion)

4. Color copy of your passport notarized with a minimum of 6 months validity remaining.

5. Criminal record check from your local county Sheriff’s office. This form should be apostilled in your country of residence or legalized in the Ecuadorian consulate in your country. More on that in a minute.

6. Certificate of Immigration Movements within Ecuador as attained by the immigration authorities in Ecuador. You can get immediately this for $4 once inside the same building where you apply for the visa in Guayaquil, just ask for the CERTIFICADO DE MOVIMIENTOS MIGRATORIOS.

7. In the case of being a refugee, you would need to present your refugee card as attained from the Ministry of Foreign relations in Ecuador (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores)

8. Proof of pension above or equal to $800USD per month apostilled in your country or legally certified by the Ecuadorian consulate of your country plus $100USD extra for each dependent you may have.

9. Document certified by the Ecuadorian consulate proving your pension in the case of not being able to prove your pension through the aforementioned means.

10. All documents stated above should be translated and notarized with signature of translator. Tip: This will take 24 hours ad can be easiest done with the translators near the immigration building in Guayaquil and the notary directly behind the building. When translated abroad, your documents should be legalized and certified by the Ecuadorian consulate or apostilled.

11. When documents are issued by one of the departments of Ecuador they should be legalized by the same, not by Notary publics.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

VISA 12 – IV Refugee Visa Requirements Ecuador

  VISA 12 – IV Refugee Visa Requirements Ecuador

VISA 12 – IV Refugee Visa Requirements Ecuador (VISA 12 – IV DE ASILO Y REFUGIO)

This visa is extended to people who can prove unfair persecusion in their home country based on race, wars, politics, religion.

This visa is given exclusively by the MINISTERIODE RELACIONES EXTERIORES.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

12-VIII Volunteer Visa Requirements Ecuador

 12-VIII Volunteer Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-VIII Volunteer Visa Requirements Ecuador (12-VIII INTERCAMBIO CULTURAL)

Requirements:
1.- Signed petition letter directed to the head of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which states how long youd like to stay in Ecuador and why.

2.- Signed Application Form with passport photo.

3.- Passport with at least 6 months valid remaining with copies of the entry stamp, ID page and current visa.

4. Notarized copy of the exchange agreement.

5. Agreement that the party involved is willing to work for free.

6. Description of the project.

7. Notarized copy of the NOMBRAMIENTO DEL REPRESANTE LEGAL.

8. Notarized copy of the authorization by the Ecuador government that institution has to work under.

9. Notarized copy of the ESTUTOS.

10. Written obligation of entity to handle exit costs of volunteer if need be.

All documents should be translated if in language other than Spanish.

Valid: Maximum 2 years (renewable).

Application fee: $30 USD
Visa fee: $200 USD

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

12-VI Work Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-VI Work Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-VI Work Visa Requirements Ecuador (VISA 12-VI TRABAJO)

Requirements:
1.- Signed petition letter directed to the head of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which states how long youd like to stay in Ecuador and why.

2.- Signed Application Form with passport photo.

3.- Passport with at least 6 months valid remaining with copies of the entry stamp, ID page and current visa.

4. Copy of Resume.

5. Title of company (Escritura) properly registered in the REGISTRO MERCANTIL.

6. “Certificado actualizado del RUC” of the sopnsor.

7. Certificate from the SUPERENTENCIA DE COMPANIAS that states the capital of the business is over $12,500.

8. “Nombremientos” of the board of directors of the company.

9. Certificate from the IESS Social Security system proving the company has no obligations open with the IESS.

10. Certificate from the CUERPO DE BOMBEROS

11. Certificate PATENTE MUNICIPAL

12. For Spouses, must adjoin marriage certificate legally certified by Ecuadorian Consulate.

13. In the case of Labor contracts, need to present contract as registered in the DIRECCION DE TRABAJO and authorization from the MINISTERIO DE TRABAJO.

All documents should be translated if in language other than Spanish.

Valid: Maximum 2 years (renewable).

Application fee: $30 USD
Visa fee: $200 USD

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

12-V Student Visa Requirements Ecuador

student visa ecuador

12-V Student Visa Requirements Ecuador (VISA 12-V ESTUDIANTES)

Requirements:
1.- Signed petition letter directed to the head of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which states how long youd like to stay in Ecuador and why.

2.- Signed Application Form with passport photo.

3.- Passport with at least 6 months valid remaining with copies of the entry stamp, ID page and current visa.

4.- Copy of exit airfare ticket.

5.-Matricula (Proof of Enrollment) from legally recognized learning institution. Should prove studies of more than 6 months in a calendar year.

6. Show proof you have at least $1000 deposited in a bank entitled for your subsistence while in Ecuador. All documents should be translated if in language other than Spanish.

Valid: 6 months to 1 year.

Application fee: $30 USD
Visa fee: $100 USD

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

12-X Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-x visa ecuador

12-X Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador (VISA 12-X VISITANTE TEMPORAL)

Requirements:
1.- Signed petition letter directed to the head of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which states how long youd like to stay in Ecuador and why.

2.- Signed Application Form with passport photo.

3.- Passport with at least 6 months valid remaining with copies of the entry stamp, ID page and current visa.

4.- Copy of exit airfare ticket.

5.-Proof of economic solvency (show bank statement from home institution). All documents should be translated if in language other than Spanish.

Valid: 90 days in each 1 year period.

Application fee: $30 USD
Visa fee: $30 USD

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

12-IX Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador

tourist visa requirements ecuador

12-IX Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador (VISA 12-IX TURISMO-DEPORTE-SALUD-ESTUDIOS CIENCIA-ARTE-ACTOS DE COMERCIO)

Requirements:
1.- Signed petition letter directed to the head of the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores which states how long youd like to stay in Ecuador and why.

2.- Signed Application Form with passport photo.

3.- Passport with at least 6 months valid remaining with copies of the entry stamp, ID page and current visa.

4.- Copy of exit airfare ticket.

5.-Proof of economic solvency (show bank statement from home institution). All documents should be translated if in language other than Spanish.

Valid: 90-180 days

Application fee: $30 USD
Visa fee: $200 USD

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A

Pricing the Lot- Part 9, The Ecuador Property Search Series

land prices ecuador

Salinas, Ecuador

This is part 9 of this not-so-common look inside a real, live property transaction (of my own) in Ecuador.  Follow me as I reveal all the dirt as it happens.

Today I just finalized the process of clearing up the title issues of the lot.

It helped to have a few contacts in the Municipal.

You don’t need contacts to do what I did but it makes the process faster.

So I now have a notarized Escritura (Deed) and its registered in the Registrar proved as such by the Certificate of Registry (Certificado del Registrador de la Propiedad).

The whole process to legalize the communal land… took me about 2 weeks.

Now it can be sold privately without having to go to the local Commun.

The only setback at the end of the process was that the Notary had made errors about my personal information that needed correcting.  Without even asking the folks in the notary mistyped both my gender and marital status and I didn’t catch it at first.

It was a hassle that caused me a few extra trips both to the Notary and Registrar.

Be sure you read carefully, or have someone read the Deed to you while translating, before signing.

Now, the fun part. 

Pricing the lot.

Reasonably priced, front line, oceanfront property in Ecuador is getting harder to find.

Once bought by a foreigner a beachfront property will usually double or triple in price instantly unless its already priced high.

But you can still find deals like the one I found.

Last week, I know of a 1000m2 (10763ft²) beachfront lot in Cadeate (a town near Montanita) asking $35k ($35 per m2) that sold in 3 days!

I’d say the average price I’m seeing in Ecuador for beachfront land is around $35-45 per m2 with prices on the southern coast being a bit higher.

For larger, multi-hectare lots you can still find people selling at $1 per m2, but the investment will still be in the hundreds of thousands.

But the prices are all across the board.

It’s common to also find lots asking in the $60-80 per m2 range all the way up to one development I know in the Olon area that sells smaller beachfront lots, and has sold many, at $200 per m2!

And one block back off the beach it gets a lot cheaper, quick, with lots usually asking around $15-25 per m2.

In the better parts of the cities of Ecuador, like where I’m at in Guayaquil, the land goes anywhere from $300-500 per m2.

So as the coast populates and internationalizes there’s still a lot of room for growth.

I think if you sell in 3 days you priced too low.

But if it takes months or years then you’re either not promoting well or priced too high.

So for my 475m2 beachfront lot in a small fishing area 25 minutes from downtown Salinas, I’m going to start by asking $25k ($52.60 per m2).

That’ll give me a little room to negotiate.

If someone came along and offered me near that price but a few thousand less so the price got into the $40s per m2, I’d probably take it.

It’s a nice lot, raised 15 feet above the ocean with outstanding views, but flat and ready to build, with no road in front, just the ocean while the lot is in an urban area so water and electric are easily hooked up.

So there it is, it’s officially for sale…

Respond to this email if you’d like more info.

Stay tuned!

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Posted in Expat Lifestyle, Investor News/Analysis

Where’s the best surf in Ecuador?

surfing in Ecuador
The surf off Ayampe.

For the best surfing in Ecuador for beginners and intermediates I’d try Montanita or Canoa.

The beach in Montanita has a good gradual break for beginners at one point and intermediates in another.

For empty waves off the beaten track try the breaks off Ayampe and Las Tunas a little further north.

Another good relatively unknown break is in the Playas-Engabao area.

For a world-class left break try Mompiche in the north.

In the Galapagos, world-class surfing for experts only can be enjoyed in and around the beaches of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

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Posted in Ecuador Q&A

The Top 3 Spots for White-Water Rafting or Kayaking in Ecuador

kayaking in Ecuador

For me, the top 3 places to white water raft or kayak in Ecuador are …

1. Rio Quijos near El Chaco town.

2. Tena and the Rio Napo.

3. Ibarra and the rivers around are an off the beaten track kayaking or white water destination. My fav!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Where’s Best to Go Scuba Diving + Snorkeling in Ecuador??

scuba diving ecuador
A view of the wildlife swimming just off shore on Isabela Island, Galapagos… Amazing!

By far the best place for snorkeling and scuba in Ecuador is in the Galapagos where the water is transparent and the animals are a plenty.

It’s not uncommon to see gigantic Manta Rays, sharks, sea turtles, sea lions and more in a matter or minutes when scuba diving in the Galapagos.

I highly recommend Scuba off of Floreana Island, Galapagos.

The mainland has darker, murkier water not great for seeing wildlife but the best place to scuba is in Ayangue, on the southern coast.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A, Ecuador Travel Guides

Where to go Mountain Biking in Ecuador?

biking chimborazo

That’s me biking Chimborazo.

 

For mountain biking in Ecuador its hard to beat the all-day-long descents offered by Cotopaxi, Chimborazo or Banos.

Guides out of Quito offer the day trips to Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, the Banos trip can be done independently renting a bike from one of the many shops in town.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

The Buying Process in Ecuador – Part 8: Ecuador Property Search Series

closing costs of property purchase in Ecuador

This is part 8 of the not-so-commonly-seen look into a real, live Ecuador real estate transaction (of my own with my own money) as I reveal all the dirt as it happens in this rare, completely transparent property play.

After we agreed on price, the next step was to go visit the lot one more time and double check to be sure it was completely unoccupied and that there weren’t any 50 foot holes or some other deal killer.

It was fine so we proceeded in agreeing to payment terms.

In Ecuador, there is no “Escrow” service so each property transaction is a bit different.

Some use a third-party lawyers account but I trust them less than I do the seller.

Not an option.

Some sign a “Promise of Sale” (Promesa de Compra Venta) in a Notary and give a deposit to secure the sale but most for smaller transactions like this one are OK with skipping it and paying upon signing of the deed (Escritura) usually with a certified check from your Ecuadorian Bank or via a direct bank wire if the funds come from abroad.

Every property purchase in Ecuador is different in this regard.

One thing I do recommend is to “keep the seller in the loop” until the property is officially registered in the Property Registry office. If you pay them all at once upon deed signing they’ll disappear, and you may need them later for some requirement the Registrar asks.

I agreed to pay half via certified check upon signing of the deed (Escritura).

And paying the other half when the property has cleared title and is properly registered for the first time where it needs to be in the Property Registrar of Santa Elena (which covers the whole Salinas area).

Part of me still doubts this purchase will get that far.

Next we had to go to the local “Comuna” and transfer the “Right of Possession” (Derecho de Posesion) the seller had to my name and have the president of the Comuna sign off.

At first the Comuna asked $500 but then we found a friend of the seller with some contacts in the Comuna that did the name transfer for $200.

After the Comuna name transfer the next step was to solicit an inspector from the Municipal in Santa Elena to come and measure the property and give it an official tax ID number (Numero Catastral) which it never had before. This cost me $30.

After that on the same day they issued us a certificate with the offical measurements and new tax ID number of the property.

With that and the Right of Possession in my name from the local Comuna, we had the properties’ first ever Escrituras (Deed) drawn up by a notary in Guayaquil while I paid the Capital Gains Tax (Plusvalia), Transfer tax (Alcabas), and got the Certificate of not having any leins (Certificado de no ser deudor).

Total cost of drawing up the deed in the notary and paying all the transfer taxes mentioned above, $200 more.

Plus I paid a local lawyer in Guayaquil $120 to do a further title check and help me with the run around a bit do to the unique circumstances of this purchase.

As I write this the new title (Escritura) has now been signed and sealed by the Notary in Guayaquil, and is ready for registering in the Property Registrar, the final and most important step.

I’ve been told the registering will cost around $260 plus another $15 to “Catastrar” the property registering it with the local Municipal as well.

Tomorrow I hope to successfully submit the title to the registrar.

Total estimated closing costs of a property municipally valued at $4160: $725

Elapsed time: 1 week

Stay tuned to see what happens now. Wish me luck!

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle, Investor News/Analysis

Where to go Mountain Climbing or Mountaineering in Ecuador?

mountain climbing ecuador
Me at the base of Cotopaxi.

For those who like scaling mountains in one day I’d try the Volcan Imbababura (4609m) in the northern highlands.

For more experienced climbers the next best are Cotopaxi and Chimborazo(6310m).

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For horseback riding, I’d try the beach of Olon on weekends, or one of the several agencies offering guided rides in the Banos area.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Where’s best to horseback ride in Ecuador?

Near Olon beach in Ecuador.
Near Olon Beach in Ecuador.

For horseback riding, I’d try the beach of Olon on weekends, or one of the several agencies offering guided rides in the Banos area.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Where’s best to go hiking in Ecuador?

hiking in Ecuador
A view from the trial of Quicocha Lake

Ecuador’s an awesome country if hiking is your thing.

For me, the coolest hikes in Ecuador is the hike down to the crater of Quilotoa Volcano, the hike with the natives around the dry coastal rain-forest in the Machalilla National Park, and the hike around the Quicocha Lake near Cotacachi.

All amazing!

Give ’em a try.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides, Expat Lifestyle

Free 2015 Ecuador Property Price Guide

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