Archive | Ecuador for Investors

‘Must dos’ in Cuenca

parque-cajas-ecuadorA Llama

cuenca-ecuador-flower-marketA Flower Market in Cuenca.

From the breathtaking views of the old town from the riverside to the friendly locals, you just might want to stay.

Where to stay in Cuenca?

Hotel El Barranco: Calle Larga My pick, a clean, eloquent old colonial turned hotel right where you want to be in Cuenca in the old town near the river with rooms starting around $20 per person.

Hostal El Capitolio: hermano Miguel 4-19 A good budget option right in the center of the old town…and cheap… with rooms starting around $8 per person.

What to do in Cuenca?

- Browse the old town around Parque Calderon

- Mix with expats at the Inca Bar or the California Kitchen.

- Visit nearby Parque de las Cajas.

- Buy flowers at the outdoor flower market near Parque Calderon.

- Visit the largest typical Ecuadorian street market at Feria Libre.

- Get a taste of the hip, local nightlife scene along Calle Larga in the Old Town.

- Try the local delicacy, fried Guinea Pig (Cuiy).

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Azogues, worth a visit?

azogues-ecuador
Azogues is like the unappreciated, ugly sister of nearby Cuenca, but if you stick around long enough to notice, it actually has a unique flavor of its own.

Where to stay in Azogues?

Hotel Paraiso: Vascones y Veintimilla My pick, a clean, eloquent business hotel with rooms starting around $24 per person.

What to do in Azogues?

- Buy a Panama Hat at the Saturday market on Rivera.

- Visit arguably the most impressive church in Ecuador, visible from about everywhere in town.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

What to do in Riobamba?

Riobamba

Where to stay in Riobamba?

Hotel Tren Dorado: Carabobo 22-35 Near the train station, a simple, clean option with rooms that start around $10 per person.

Hotel Los Shyris: Rocafuerte y 10 de Agosto In the city center with recently renovated rooms that start around $14 per person.

What to do in Riobamba?

- Hike the Chimborazo, the country’s highest peak.  Guides can be found in one of the several travel agencies like Veloz Coronado Expeditions Chile 33-21 y Francia

- Meander the Saturday crafts market near the Parque de la Concepcion.

- Board the famous train ride of El Nariz del Diablo.  $25, leaves 7am every Tuesday thru Sunday, Visit  The Ecuador train schedule for more.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

“Must Sees” in Baños – A Baños Destination Guide

Where to stay in Baños?

Anywhere:in the centro What I mean by this is that literally the entire town of Baños is one big budget hotel, just walk around and pick one, any one is dine, most simple ones start around $10 per person.

 

 

What to do in Baños?

- Do the full day bike descent along the highway to Puyo. Amazing as the Amazon opens up before you little by little.

- Charter a rafting trip at one of the several local agencies. Starts around $30 per person.

- Soak at one of the many hit springs on the north edge of town.

- Get a message at the Spa Garden El Refugio.

- Climb the Tungurahua Volcano.

- Visit the look out point and see the volcano spewing lava (maybe) at night in the distance… amazing!

 

Banos ecuador

Ambato Ecuador

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

20 Expensive Lessons Learned Building a Home in Ecuador

building in Ecuador

It’s cool to look at a patch of dirt…

…point at it…

…and start building a home.

A few weeks ago I did just that for the first time in Ecuador as I began my project on the coast building from scratch.

And here are 20 of the most important (and costly!) lessons I learned the hard way so you don’t have to:

1. If you can’t be present, pay someone one price for the whole project.  If you can be present and have the time find a few local workers and pay by the week.

2. It’ll always not only cost more but take longer than you think it will.

3. Bricks look nice but are very labor-intensive and eat up a lot of time when building with them.

4. After the first few weeks of the project most of the heavy lifting is done and to save money you can go with just the specialized lead builders (maestros) and lay off the helpers and assistants (oficiales).

5. Yes, Bamboo is cheap but building with it eats up even more time than brick lying does if you want it to look nice.

6. Buy the larger ceramic tiles to speed up construction time, plus they look more elegant.

7. Only have your builders lay ceramic on the shower walls and the bathroom floor.  No need to tile the whole bathroom, you can save costs and time.

8. Install the doors and windows at the very end of the project so they don’t get scratched and botched up.

9. Pay for the materials in cash, in Ecuador most stores will charge an extra 4-12% when paying with a credit OR debit card.

10. Plan a few days ahead so your builders never have to pause with their arms crossed during the construction process because you went to buy materials at the last minute and the local stores were out of stock (common!).

11. For simple constructions, blueprints drawn up by an architect aren’t really necessary but they will help to get a building approval in the local Municipal.

12. To save money if building on the coast buy most of your building materials in the nearest FERRISARIATO big box store, on the southern coast the only ones are in La Libertad near Salinas or in Guayaquil.

13. Get at least a couple quotes for things like doors and windows, turned out I overpaid I discovered asking around after the fact.

14. After the doors and windows are installed check to be sure they close and lock correctly, mine didn’t cause the guys were rushing.

15. Don’t start the construction project the same week as an Ecuadorian national holiday, you will have to pay the same weekly stipend but you will actually lose almost 2 days of work because many of your workers will skip out early the day before a long weekend or work half-a$$.

16. If feasible buy all your materials one time at the start of the project to avoid having to make frequent runs to the hardware stores and pay hefty transport fees.

17. Buy pre-fabricated if possible and save yourself the hassle of building (unless you like it)!

18. Understand the standard Ecuadorian construction work-week, Monday through Friday 8a-4p plus Saturday 8a-12p.  Laborers will try to negotiate to work only Monday through Friday but that is not the norm here for construction projects.

19. Buy your laborers lunch and for the extra $2 it cost you you can get them to stay and work an extra hour at the end of their shift.

20. Cash, Cash, Cash!  Getting cash is a big problem when building in the small towns on the coast of Ecuador.  All your workers will expect cash payments and there is NO WHERE to take out cash.  Plus the few ATM machines that do exist usually have daily limits of $300 you can take out of any one card.  Have a plan or even better a local bank account you can withdraw from on a weekly basis, especially at the end of the week.

But first you need to find the land, and to learn how I find it… cheap…by signing up for my weekly Ecuador Insiders Newsletter…

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

What to do in Ambato? – Ambato Destination Guide

Where to stay in Ambato?

Gran Hotel:Crn Rocafuerte and Lalama My pick, but not much here to be excited about except the hot water and safe rooms starting around $15 per person.

 

 

What to do in Ambato?

- Browse the city and visit one of the many street markets like the one on Monday mornings that turns the streets in the center of town into a supermarket.

 

 

 

Ambato Ecuador

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

9 Examples of Tiki Beach Hut Designs in Ecuador

As you may know if you’re signed up for my Insider’s newsletter, I’m currently building a few beach “Tiki-style” huts on the southern coast of Ecuador in the typical local style.

You know the ones I said you could build for around $3500 (at least that’s what i got quoted, we’ll see how much it actually comes to later this week).

So what is the “local” Ecuadorian-style?

Think bamboo. It’s cheap here, precisely $4 a stalk.

But there’s more to it than that, better, let me show you a few examples.

ecuador beach

ecuador beach

ecuador beach tiki huts

 

 

ecuador beach tiki huts

 

ecuador-beachfront

ecuador-beachfront

ecuador montanita

ecuador montanita

manglaralto ecuador

ecuador house designs

ecuador house designs

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

Part 3 Ecuador Photo Diary Series: Montanita

Welcome to part 3 of my on going Ecuador photo diary series…enjoy, post comments at the bottom…Dom

locals hanging out in Montanita Ecuador

locals hanging out in Montanita Ecuador

montanita restaurant cabana

a popular restaurant near the beach in Montanita

montanita clubs

the clubs and nightlife is world class in Montanita

montanita ecuador beach surf

the montanita beach and surf on an overcast day

montanita ecuador deep sea fishing

did you know you can deep sea fish near montanita, write me for more details...

montanita ecuador spanish school

Montanita...I love you too...

montanita real estate

you can still find land lots like this for sale in Montanita

montanita cabana hostel

a montanita cabana style hostel



HOUSE FOR RENT NEAR MONTANITA

One price for WHOLE HOUSE, fit as many as you wish!…

3 bedroom with one queen bed each, 2 full bathrooms, fully furnished kitchen with dining table and mini-refrigerator, patio with hammocks overlooking the ocean, dining area…

montanita home rentals

Furnished kitchen with plates, fridge, refrigerator and gas stove.

Pets OK, garden, yard, parking area.

$30 per day, $180 per week, $380 per month (including internet).

$100 security deposit, can rent for days, weeks or months.

After reservation you will be emailed the key pick up tips.

Click here to check availability and reserve now!

Or call Dom at 0969251257 or write us below:

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Arrival Date, Length of stay and questions:

manglaralto beach

The nearby beach, just south of Montanita.

 

montanita-house-for-rent

 

montanita vacation rentals

 

montanita ecuador

montanita-house-for-rent

montanita-hotel-near-beach

montanita-houses

 

 

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Posted in Ecuador Q&A

New home buyer gets ‘cleaned out’ in Ecuador

home inspections ecuador
Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.

Man, I’ve seen this a lot in Ecuador.

And it’s something any new home buyer NEEDS to be aware of.

It’s when a home buyer tours a house for sale.

And the house has furniture.

And they assume the asking price includes the house and everything in it.

Sometimes, they’re even told the house is sold furnished by the seller.

Then, surprise…surprise.

After closing the new home buyer goes back to claim their new house and it’s completely cleaned out.

All that’s left are the holes where the air conditioners used to be.

Or maybe they’ve replaced a few of the higher priced furniture with lower priced ones.

Telling this story to an Ecuadorian would not surprise them.

Because it happens a lot.

So before you buy be sure to get a complete inventory in writing of everything that is sold with the house.

Right down to the make and model of each item.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Doms Guide to the Quilotoa Loop

Where to stay in the Quilotoa Loop?

Hotel Quilotoa: This simple yet clean hotel is my pick right across from Condor Matzi with rooms starting around $10 per person.

 

 

What to do in the Quilotoa Loop?

- Hike the Quilotoa loop.

- Visit Tigua, a village full of painters and artists.

- Try the Andean local market at Zumbahua.

- Canoe the world-famous, emerald-green crater lake of Quilotoa.

-

 

 

 

 

the-quilotoa-loop

The Quilotoa Loop

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Doms Guide to Machachi and Los Ilinizas

Where to stay in Machachi?

Hosteria Papagayo: Panamericana Sur Km 26. This hostel is my pick and popular with backpackers, dorm beds available, restaurant in old hacienda with pricate rooms starting around $10 per person.

 

 

What to do in Machachi?

- Hike the Ilinizas, the sixth and eigth highest peaks of Ecuador (5248m and 5126m). Guide recommended!

 

 

los-ilinizas-ecuador

 

 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Doms Guide to Mindo

Where to stay in Mindo?

Dragonfly Inn:  This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of most of the points in the town with wooden rooms. Clean, safe, simple rooms starting around $20 per person.

 

Where to eat in Mindo?

Id try El Chef, a steaf house that rivals the best in the USA.

 

What to do in Mindo?

- Take a bird watching tour with one of the many tour guides in town.

- Tubing, places on Av. Quito rent inner tubes to float down the River Mindo.

- Try Canopy with Mindo Canopy Adventure.

- Visit a Butterfly Farm like Mariposas de Mindo.

 

 

 

 

Mindo Ecuador

Mindo Ecuador

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Doms Guide to Tulcan

Where to stay in Tulcan?

Hotel Unicornio: Pichinha y Sucre. This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of most of the points in the town. Clean, safe, simple rooms starting around $10 per person, also near a Chinese restaurant.

 

Where to eat in Tulcan?

Id try El Patio on Bolivar near 10 de Agosto, delicious Colombian food like the Bandeja Paisa.

 

What to do in Ibarra?

- Cross the border to Colombia.

- Visit the famous cemetary.

 

 

 

 

tulcan-ecuador

The streets of Tulcan, Ecuador.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Doms Guide to Ibarra

Where to stay in Ibarra?

Hotel Barcelona: Flores 8-51. This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of the market and a short taxi ride to most of the points in the town. Clean, safe, simple, large rooms in an old colonial starting around $10 per person.

 

Where to eat in Ibarra?

Id try the delicious crepes in the restaurant of the Hotel La Giralda.

 

What to do in Ibarra?

- Trout fish in the nearby lakes!

- Rent a bike and bike around Yaguarcocha Lake.

-Kayak in the nearby rivers (inquire more in the tourist info center at la Esquina del Coco. )

 

ibarra

The extinct volcano Imbabura.

 

ibarra-ecuador

The streets of Ibarra, Ecuador.

 

 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Doms Guide to Cotacachi

Where to stay in Cotacachi?

Hostal Tierra Mia: esq. Bolivar y 10 de Agosto. This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of the market and a short taxi ride to most of the points in the town. Clean, safe, simple but small rooms  starting around $8-10 per person.

 

Where to eat in Cotacachi?

There is an outdoor market with typical local foods at the end of the Leather Street, worth a look!

 

What to do in Cotacachi?

- Shop for leather wares on Leather Street

- Visit the beautiful Quicocha Lake.

 

 

cotacachi-ecuador

A few of the fruits in the local outdoor market.

 

quicocha-lake-ecuador

The beautiful nearby Quicocha Lake, Cotacachi.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Experiment in Cheap Building Alternatives in Ecuador Breaks Ground

cheap building ecuador

Remember a bit back I wrote you when I was thinking about building fancy Ecuadorian-style beach huts on the coast?

Well, I had just got the quote and boy was I excited about the numbers.

Or being able to build something for $3500 I could rent realistically for $300-500 a month.

That means even if it rents at the low-ball figure within a year I could make my money back…

…that means a 100% ROI, maybe more if I could figure out how to spend less initially or charge more for rent.

Not bad.

This week, I broke ground on a lot of mine near Montanita.

The plan is to build at least 2, maybe 3, we’ll see how the budget goes.

One thing I’ve learned already is that boy is it cheaper to hire the builders based on personal recommendations from friends or acquiantances in the area.

And pay them by the week instead of for the project as a whole.

Also, hire local so you don’t have to pay for their accommodations and food and so you can begin making some valuable friends in the area.

Plus, if you need an electrician, the locals will know where to find one.

A guy that makes doors.

They’ll know him too.

Of course, that is, if you can be present, pay them the going weekly rate in Ecuador which is $140/wk for a head builder (maestro) and $90/wk for a helper (oficial).

Only pay someone for the whole project if you can’t be around to oversee.

I’ve hired 2 maestros and 2 oficials and we’ve begun by digging the holes for the footers of the 5 main pilars of the “cabaña” or beach hut we’re building.

For the first cabaña we’ve decided to go with a “mixed” cement and bamboo design with a traditional thatch roof.

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

Doms Guide to Otavalo

Where to stay in Otavalo?

Hotel Los Ponchos: Sucre 14-15. This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of the market and a short taxi ride to most of the points in the town. Clean, safe, simple rooms and from the top floor some rooms have views of the Cotacachi Volcano starting around $10 per person.

Hotel El Indio: Is a good pick for budget travelers who want to stay right where all the nightlife is, in the Mariscal district. Wide clean rooms start around $15-25.

Where to eat in Otavalo?

There is a bakery right on the corner of the main crafts market, Id try there.

 

What to do in Otavalo?

- Shop in the famous Handy-Crafts Market on a Sunday.

- Visit nearby Cotacachi and shop for leather wares and visit the beautiful Quicocha Lake.

 

otavalo-market

The Otavalo Market.

 

otavalo-ecuador

The colorful streets of Otavalo.

 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Dom’s Guide to Quito

Where to stay in Quito?

Hostal Veintimilla: Amazonas y Av. Veintimilla. This hotel is my pick for budget travelers, right where you want to be within walking distance of the Mariscal and a short taxi ride to most of the points in the city like Carolina Park and the Old Town. Clean, safe, simple rooms with TV, cable, WIFI and hot water await you starting around $12 per person.  The only negative are the hookers that hang out on the street nearby.

Centro del Mundo Hostel: Is my pick for budget travelers who want to stay right where all the nightlife is, in the Mariscal district.  This was the first place I stayed in Quito.  Rooms start around $6 for a dormitory bed and $10 per person for a private room.

Where to eat in Quito?

In Quito, Id go to my favorite retaurant in all of Ecuador… Crepes and Waffles.  They have what their name suggests and a lot more.  There are ones in Quicentro Mall, El Jardin Mall and across the street form the Marriot.

 

What to do in Quito?

-Party with the hip locals at one of the many discos around the Plaza FOch in the Mariscal.

-Go up the Teleferico and check out the amazing views but dont stop there, continue on the hike along the ridge.

-Rent a bike in the Ejido Park on a Sunday and enjoy the Ciclovia, where the city closes off a main street only to bicycles every Sunday.

-Visit the Old Town around Plaza San Francisco, it is one of THE most picturesque old towns in all of South America and is a World Heritage Site.

- Shop in Quicentro Mall and El Jardin Mall, at least just to get a feel for what up-scale Ecuadorian life is like and people watch.

el panecillo Quito

El Panecillo in the old town of Quito.

 

plaza foch quito

Plaza Foch in Quito in the daytime, at night this place is rocking!

 

 

 

old town Quito

The streets of the Old Town in Quito.

 

 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

The untold dark side of Ecuador

guayaquil-malecon-2000

Last week I wrote you about a few things you should have warned me about BEFORE I came to Ecuador!

Turns out I forgot a few more…

16. That Ecuadorian men, especially taxi drivers, think of the streets as their private urinal.

17. That Ecuadorian drivers, especially taxi drivers, will make left hand turns from the third right-hand lane.

18. That Ecuadorians don’t line up, they swarm.

19. That Ecuadorians aren’t big “joggers”, meaning if you see a few people running in the streets in the middle of the day you know it means someone just got robbed.

20. That Ecuadorians probably won’t have change… even for your $5 bill!

21. That Ecuadorians in small towns on the coast love to put hidden speed bumps along the main coastal road just for kicks as outsiders lose their suspensions and shatter their teeth.

22. That mañana does NOT mean “tomorrow”, it means “NOT today”.

23. That on Sundays the small towns turn literally into “ghost towns” with everything closing meaning if you didn’t prepare beforehand you’ll have to rumage through the garbage to survive (or live off Doritos).

24. That once the food is served the waiters job is considered finished and will disappear out the back for a smoke.

25. That you will need to have important matters explained through translators who speak worse English than you speak Spanish.

26. That even though Ecuador is a coffee producing country, all that will be offered to you is NesCafe. (Unless you’re in Loja.)

27. That Ecuadorian drivers don’t care what happens behind them, they will turn on their emergency blinkers and stop anywhere and block traffic without a care in the world.

28. That Ecuadorian government employees will give you the wrong information, then take no responsibility for it.

And once again, 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

2012 Ecuador Visa Requirements

Ecuador Retiree Residency Visa Requirements

Here’s a list of the current visa requirements (updated for OCT 2012) and translated to English, if you have a tip to add please do so in the comments, thanks!

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

9-1 Pensioners Visa Requirements

VISA 12 – IV Refugee Visa Requirements Ecuador


12-VIII Volunteer Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-VI Work Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-V Student Visa Requirements Ecuador


12-X Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador

12-IX Tourist Visa Requirements Ecuador

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Free 2014 Ecuador Property Price Guide

Don't overpay! Get 2014 Ecuador property price data based on over 500 transactions in this brief, informative report, Normally $64.95, today get it FREE! Fill in below to receive now:

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