Archive | Ecuador for Investors

Photo Diary of Zaruma Ecuador

Here are a few pics from a recent trip I made to Zaruma Ecuador.

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zaruma ecuador house for sale

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The Tigrillo in Zaruma

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Why Cuenca is Seriously Overrated

Opps.

I let the cat out the bag on this one.

Don’t get me wrong.

I like Cuenca. It’s a nice place that’s attracting a lot of expats.

But…the world’s top retirement destination?

Child, please.

Are you outta your freakin’ mind?

It’s not even the top destination for retirees in Ecuador.

It was obviously chosen by people who’ve visited maybe a couple spots in Ecuador and who are interested in primarily selling seminars.

Let’s examine Cuenca further:

Climate: Forget eternal spring, I’d call Cuenca weather more like “eternal late fall”. It’s chilly, especially at night with lows in the mid 40s F, yet its just warm enough so that most dwellings don’t have heat, making many places indoors downright …cold! And it rains a lot too, and it’s more humid than the high elevation (8400 ft above sea level) would predict.

Cost of living/ Real estate: Yes, food is cheap like all over Ecuador with multi-course lunches starting around $2, taxi rides start at $1-3, bus rides $.25, 2 bedroom condo rentals start around $250/month, BUT due to several factors real estate in Cuenca is notably more expensive than most other places in Ecuador.

Food: Whenever “guinea pig” is a local staple, you know you’re in trouble. Hands down the variety of seafood and even the BBQ meats on the coast of Ecuador beat the local eats in Cuenca… any day of the week!

Local people: The local “Cuencanos” are friendly to foreigners, no doubt about it, but with so many foreigners around, most locals are de-sensitized and are really quite neutral to the sight of a foreigner. Being a foreigner alone won’t win you any brownie points like it does in other areas of Ecuador and the world where foreigners are a rare sight. But at least foreigners aren’t frowned upon. Ecuadorians as a whole are friendly, laid back people.

Old town/ Spanish colonial architecture: The Cuenca old town is OK, but it can’t compete when compared to the old towns I’ve seen in Cartagena (CO), Guanajuanto (MX), Colonia (Uruguay), Santo Domingo (DR), or even Quito.

Health care: Its a bit more pricey than the healthcare service in nearby Loja, and the variety of services offered is better in Guayaquil or Quito.

For singles: For single guys, its hard to beat Guayaquil, it just is, trust me on that one. For single women (and gay men), I’ve heard Manta, Guayaquil and Machala have some of the countries best looking and most enjoyable men.

Crime: While notably more safe than the other two big cities in Ecuador (Quito and Guayaquil), it’s still not quite as safe as the smaller towns in Ecuador if this is really important to you. Remember Ecuador outlaws guns so gun violence is a rare sight anywhere.

Cultural events/nightlife: For cultural events like classic music concerts and plays, Loja beats Cuenca. For pure raucous nightlife, Quito and Guayaquil beat Cuenca once again any day of the week.

Expat community: If you’d like to be around a lot of other expats, Cuenca has built the largest expat community in Ecuador (rumored to be between 3-5,000 permanent residents) but there are also significant expat communities in Salinas, Manta, Cotacachi and Quito. But none are yet to the levels of hot spots in Mexico like in San Miguel.

Business opportunity: For businesses focused on selling products or services to expats it’s hard to beat Cuenca due to the large flow currently coming to the area on a daily basis, heck, I might even put a business there soon, but overall, coastal Ecuadorians are known to be more “free-spenders” than their highland counterparts and boy does the coast still need about, well… everything.

Overall: Unless you’re looking for a larger, established expat scene, Cuenca can easily be beat in all the categories listed above by other spots in Ecuador.

It’s overrated.

In fact, in my next letter I’ll share one unknown, alternative destination in Ecuador that has most of the benefits Cuenca has but with a true warmer-yet-not-too-warm eternal-spring like climate. To get it sign up for my list below, you can unsubscribe at any time:

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

Consumer Price Index of Ecuador entering 2013

parque-machalilla-ecuador
Parque Machalilla near Puerto Lopez, Ecuador.

At the start of 2013 it was reported by the INEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadisticas y Censo) that the consumer price index in Ecuador was at $595.70 (per month) compared to $578.04 at the end of 2011.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Investor News/Analysis

The Complete Guide to Driving in Ecuador: How to Buy a Car in Ecuador

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Most expats in Ecuador don’t own cars. 

It’s just a fact that with all the cheap/frequent public transport having a car is not a “necessity” just merely a “luxury”. 

But several expats, maybe you too, shy away from buying a car cause they don’t really understand the process of both purchasing a vehicle and what’s needed to drive in Ecuador. 

But it’s nothing to fear and actually not that complicated. 

The process to buy a car in Ecuador: 

After agreeing to terms with the seller, you’re going to want to check their registration card (Matricula).  On it there will be the name of the owner and the VIN of the car.  Verify the vin by popping the hod of the car and physically checking and verify the owner by having him show you his Ecuadorian ID card (cedula) or passport. 

Many in Ecuador buy and sell cars and thus are selling a car that is not in their name, all they have is an open contract from the previous owner that they are waiting to put the new buyer’s name on and a copy of the previous owners “cedula”. 

I recommend only buying a car from the person that is the registered owner.

You can then run a check to see if the car has any unpaid leins against it or outstanding fines through the website of the DMV of Ecuador called the ANT, http://www.ant.gob.ec/index.php/consulta-de-multas AND through the website of the National Police http://www.policiaecuador.gob.ec/index.php?id=infracciones_de_transito

All you need is the plate number of the car to do the search. 

To double check you can also go to the office of the JEFATURA DE TRANSITO in your town and verify the car is really owned by the person appearing as the owner on the matricula they are showing. 

With the plate number you can also check to see if the car is stolen online here.  http://www.policiaecuador.gob.ec/index.php?id=vehiculos_robados 

If everything checks out and you’d like to continue with the purchase the next step is to write up the sales contract and get it notarized.  Notaries usually charge around $50 for this service.

Once you have the notarized bill of sale you can take it to the nearest SRI office (the Ecuadorian IRS) and pay the 1% transfer tax based on the value of the vehicle to put it in your name on both a national and police level. 

The last step would be to go and register the car in your name in the DMV of Ecuador (ANT or COMISION DE TRANSITO).  But if the car still has a bit of time left on the current registration (you need to renew once a year) you can drive with your license (from any country), the notarized bill of sale and the registration (matricula) which is not yet in your name but still current just fine until the current registration expires, according to the Ecuadorian police.  Registration costs around $150 annually. 

You will also need to make sure the car has the basic liability insurance paid required by law (the SOAT).  The SOAT insures all the medical costs people involved in a car accident may have. 

What it does not cover are the cars involved.  For example, the cost of the SOAT for an $11,000 car in 2013 is $27 for one year of coverage. 

Private companies like Generali also provide more comprehensive car insurance in Ecuador.  For example, to insure an $11,000 car full coverage runs about $450 annually. 

So to recap, whenever you drive in Ecuador you will need to bring your license from any country, your matricula card of the car you are driving (registration), and have the SOAT card on hand.  And if the matricula is not in your name you’ll want to have the notarized bill of sale or the rental contract in the car as well. 

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Expat Lifestyle

2012 Ecuador Inflation Closed at 4.16% Annual

villas-in-ecuador

As reported by the INEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadistica y Censos) in Ecuador in 2012 the annual inflation was 4.16% compared to 5.41% from 2011. A noticeable decrease.

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Minimum Wage Increase for 2013

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The President of Ecuador announced this week the new minimum wage in Ecuador would be raised for 2013 from $292 USD per month to $318 USD per month due to inflation and production figures.

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7 Steps to find the hottest used car deals in Ecuador

“This country never ceases to amaze me.”

I thought when I saw a 2009 model of a vehicle just $1000 less than the 2012 version as I used-car-shopped earlier this week.

Due to the high import tariffs and restrictions on vehicles, cars are not only more expensive than they are in the US, they also retain their value.

It’s true.

It’s not uncommon for folks to buy a used car, use it for a year or two and sell it for about what they paid for it (especially if they got a bit of a deal).

Based on the advice of several locals and my own experience in Ecuador, here’s what I did to find the best deal on the car purchase made this week.

1. Establish what make, model and year you are looking for and browse a few of the most popular websites in Ecuador to determine market value of the car in Ecuador. The most popular sites in Ecuador to find used cars for sale (and where I found the best deals) are:

PatioTuerca.com – Website dedicated to the sale of cars nationwide in Ecuador. Vendors must pay to advertise.
PatiodeAutos.com – Website dedicated to the sale of cars nationwide in Ecuador. Vendors must pay to advertise.
MercadoLibre.com.ec – The eBay of Ecuador.

2. Go to Quito. Here you’ll find the largest selection and the highland people in Ecuador are renowned locally for taking better care of their cars (and belongings in general) than the coastal people in Ecuador. Plus, it helps that the car hasn’t been eroded by the salty, ocean air.

3. Skip the used car lots. I went to about 10 and they were an enormous waste of time if you are looking for something very specific. Chances are they won’t have it, or if they do, the deal isn’t that great or the car is not in very good condition.

4. Visit the car fairs. In Ecuador, these fairs are open to not only dealers but the public too. The most popular ones are in POMASQUI near Quito on the road to the Mitad del Mundo and GUAMANI exiting the south of Quito on the Panamericana on Saturdays and Sundays from 9a-5p.

5. Check the El Comercio Quito paper on Sundays. The other days will have very thin car listings at best.

6. If a deal still hasn’t been found continue searching on the net on the sites mentioned above and always be sure to ask “Cual es lo ultimo?” (What’s your best price?) All the cars I found in Ecuador were negotiable by about $200-1500 off their asking price on cash purchases.

7. Remember it’s a common practice in Ecuador to fiddle with or set back the mileage on a car. Focus on things like the wear on the tires and brakes or have a mechanic check the car to determine true mileage.

Using the above strategy I helped find, and pull the trigger on a 2011 Chevrolet Aveo with AC in ‘like new’ condition with under 30,000 km for $11,000 after a friend and I had determined the average market value of the same car with AC in Ecuador to be $11500-13000.

That’s how you find a used car deal in Ecuador.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A, Expat Lifestyle

37 Absolute ‘Must dos’ in Ecuador for 2013

lake ecuador
A lake just south of Quito near the Ilinizas National Park.

It’s the end of the year.

You’re probably making your New Year’s resolutions and planning what you’d like ot do, be and have in 2013.

I know sometimes it can be hard to find the time, but you never know how long you’ll live, and I’d make a case that Ecuador is one of those few countries in the world that is really worth seeing.

So stop putting it off.

Hard to find such variety in a country the size of Nevada.

Below is my personal Ecuador bucket list for 2013.

Things I just got to do.

1. Watch the Tungurahua Volcano erupt at night from the look out over Banos. Tours can be arranged in one of the many agencies in Baños. Cost $20 per person.

2. Visit the gold mine in Zaruma where resident Spaniards found a 2 and ½ pound piece of gold and gifted it to King Felipe II several hundred years ago, causing the king such joy he decided to lower the taxes for everyone living in Ecuador. The mine is called “El Sexmo” and is now open to tourists with guided tours from actual nearby miners. Free.

3. Observe the amazing Pink river dolphins as they frollic in the unique flooded rainforest of Cuyabeño in northern Ecuador. Tours can be arranged once on the ground out of Quito or Lago Agrio. Canoe Tours start from $40 per person.

4. Scuba dive in the crystalline waters of Galapagos off Floreana Island with hammerheads and whale sharks. 2 Dives start from around $130. Best arranged once on the ground in Santa Cruz Island near the port in Puerto Ayora with local dive shops.

5. Snorkel with the worlds smallest penguin, gigantic manta rays, big marine iguanas and (friendly) reef sharks off las Tintoreras on the picturesque snow-white sands and turqoise waters off Isabela Island in the Galapagos. Day tours to Isabela arranged in Santa Cruz start around $65/person.

6. Eat two buckets of the locally-famous garlic crab at one of the best crabhouses (Manny’s Crangrejal) in Guayaquil, a city known for its numerous crabhouses. Near San Marino Mall any taxi will know where it is. $12.

7. Hunt for fossils along the banks of the Nangaritza River, the only river that connects the Amazon to the Pacific Ocean, high in the Condor Mountain Ridge (Cordillera del Condor). For more try lindoecuadortours.com $25-50 /person.

8. Deep-sea fish for Marlin and Whale-watch in August off the calm shores of Salinas. Trips can be arranged in one of the several agencies along the boardwalk. Cost: Whalewatching from $20 per person, deep sea fishing price varies depending on amount of people.

9. Bike on a rented bicycle from the city of Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos to the deserted, idyllic beach of El Garrapatero while passing through over a dozen micro-climates and witnessing the giant Galapagos tortoises grazing in their natural habitat. Cost: $5.

10. Visit a chocolate farm near Guayaquil and learn the whole process of how to make chocolate from harvest to belly. Get more info here.

11. Hummingbird watch and observe thousands of butterflies in the cloud rainforests of Mindo. Tours can be arranged once in Mindo. Start from $20/person.

12. Climb Cotopaxi, one of the worlds highest active volcanoes at 19347ft / 5897m with a guide arranged in Quito, I’ve been told even beginners can do it!

13. Explore the massive, underground lava tunnels on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos. Free.

14. Trout fish in one of the surreal apline lakes in the barren Cajas National Park near Cuenca. Tours can be arranged with Terra Diversa in Cuenca.

15. Go way off the beaten path and discover the Lost City (Ciudad Perdida) of Ecuador’s Amazon. Extreme adventure available through local guides only out of Nangaritza. Cost: Highly negotiable.

16. Pamper myself with a the natural mud bath in the mud pools in the dry rainforest of Machalilla National Park and spend the night playing volleyball with the local indigenous and later sleeping in one of their tiki huts. From Puerto Lopez hire a motorcycle taxi and pay a few bucks from them to take you to the indigenous community of Aguas Blancas in the park. Cost: $10 for the day tour to the mud baths and $10/person for the night.

17. View the thousands of Orchid species growing wild along the well-kept trails of the Podocarpus National Park easily reached in a $4 taxi ride from the town of Zamora. Free entrance to park.

18. Hike the 10km trek from El Tambo to Ingapirca, ancient Incan ruins and effectively Ecuador’s own “Machu Picchu”. You can also take a train, taxi or bus which can be arranged out of Canar. Ruins Entrance fee $6.

19. Get certified as a glider plane pilot in Ibarra through a one month course with a local flight instructor. They say if you can fly a plane without an engine you can fly a plane with one. Course starts around $1300. 2013 prices yet to be released. For more info write me here.

20. Visit the worlds only birds that live in a cave, in the only cave they live in at the CUEVA DE LOS TAYOS. Tours arranged out of Macas. Prices vary.

21. Tailgate, then enter a game in Quitos rowdy Atahaulpa Stadium as the National Soccer team attempts to qualify for the next World Cup in Brazil. The cheap seats start around $10.

22. Learn to kite surf with an instructor against the strangly barren cliff landscapes of Santa Marianita near Manta. Classes can be arranged on site. Prices vary.

23. Party with fun locals along the infamous Plaza Foch in Quito during Quitos Festival Week “Fiestas de Quito” the first week of December. Free if you can find a sugar-momma/pappa to buy you drinks.

24. Take a tour of a Banana plantation in Machala and learn all the ins and outs of the interesting business with CristyViajes. Tours start around $20 per person.

25. Fish for Pirana in Laguna Pañacocha, a beautiful black wáter lake backed by cloud forests. To get there, hire a local canoe where the Rio Panacayu meets the Rio Napo, to get there you’ll need to take a Nuevo Rocafuerte Canoe hired in the town of Coca. Price varies depending on season.

26. Bike the wonderful 7 hour (60km) downhill ride from the high Andes to the mouth of the Amazon in Puyo and witness the furious waterfall of Baños “Pilon de Diablo”. Bike can easily be rented in Banos. Cost: $5

27. Soak in the odd street water-wars during Carnaval in February in Cuenca where everyone goes around throwing water balloons and soaking random strangers with water guns. Free.

28. Hike the Quillotoa Volcano and witness the majestic, stunning turquoise-colored lake in the volcano’s crater. Can be done solo by taking a bus from Latacunga and getting off near the base. Cost: $4 bus fare from Latacunga.

29. Experience the naughty, packed, full-moon-style New Year’s Eve party in Montanita. Free if you sleep on the beach in a tent (doable), just don’t bring valuables.

30. Mingle with sexy locals dressed to the tilt during the 2 hour river-boat cruise on the all-you-can-drink boat ‘Morgans’ which leaves every night from the boardwalk (Malecon) of Guayaquil. Can be arranged out of my B&B in Guayaquil. $15 per person includes all you can drink.

31. Follow the rarely-visited path of the world-famous indigenous Shuar who were the ones that originated the practice of shrinking the heads of their conquered enemies. Tours now available with local guides through Macas or Zamora. Prices vary.

32. Learn to kayak in the lazy to fierce Andean rivers around the city of Ibarra with Natural Adventures. Prices vary.

33. Devour delicious seafood at the locally-famous “Parque de Mariscos” along the beach in Manta heading towards the airport. Specifically I want to eat a ‘Cazuela’ Soup, an amazing nut-based fish soup truly unique to Ecuador. Cost: $6.

34. Have a 10 minute long conversation in Spanish with a local after a month long Spanish crash course at the highly recommended Galapagos Spanish School in Quito. Cost: one-on-one classes with real teachers start around $6/hr.

35. Dance salsa to afro-latino beats on the white-sand beaches at moonlight in a beach bar near Esmeraldas after eating the local delicacy of Shrimp cooked in spiced coconut milk (encocado de camaron). I’m sure I’ll feel like I’m in the Caribbean. Cost: $5-6.

36. Visit the perplexing, friendly afro-ecuadorian community of Chota in the middle of the Andes near Otavalo and have a local Shaman (witch doctor) cleanse away my worries. Cost: $5 bus fare from Quito.

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

How to Fly to Ecuador Dirt Cheap in 2013

fly cheap to ecuador

People often complain about how expensive it is to fly to Ecuador.

But it’s true when compared to closer destinations like Costa Rica or Mexico.

Flights from the US/Canada to Ecuador can often cost $1000 or more.

For some it’s a deal-breaker.

But it doesn’t have to be.

I’m spoiled.

I often get to Ecuador from the US for under $180 and now you can too.

Here’s how… But first, remember I said “cheap” not necessarily “comfortable”.

To start, you have to get from where you live in the US to Miami or New York City.

I buy two separate flights. One to Miami/NYC and another to South America.

Or I do it even cheaper and hitchhike, AMTRAK or take the Greyhound bus to Miami.

Then once you’re in Miami (or New York) buy a one way flight from Miami to Armenia, Colombia on my favorite budget airline (that doesn’t yet fly to Ecuador) Spirit Airlines.

Armenia in western Colombia is the closest city to Ecuador they fly.

If you buy at least a month in advance you can get a flight often less than $150, for instance, now I’m seeing flights in late January and early February on the Spirit website for around $135 to Armenia from Miami with taxes and everything included.

In fact, you’ll find Colombia to actually be a nice place to visit.

Plus, Colombia is a place that doesn’t require a roundtrip ticket to enter. Whereas Ecuador officially does require the return although most the time they don’t enforce it yet sometimes the airlines will not let you on the plane to Ecuador without the return passage.

I know, it’s confusing but it is what it is.

Colombia is far removed from the bloody 80’s, 90’s and Escobar years. I should know, I lived there for a year recently and learned of this strategy because I wanted to visit some old friends and get from the US to Ecuador cheap.

A really nice area to visit near Armenia is the “Coffee Triangle” or “Eje Cafetero”.

Once in Armenia take the 2 ½ hour bus ($4-5) to Cali, another interesting town and a famous salsa dance Mecca.

Once in Cali hop a little crop-duster-type plane to Tulcan on the Ecuadorian border with one of the several tiny Colombian airlines that aren’t well advertised on the net like Satena. I’ve caught flights as low as $65.

Or to it even cheaper hop one of the frequent daily buses (15 hours, $20-30) from Cali to Tulcan.

It’s a scenic ride and one beautiful stop along the way is Popayan, a pearly-white colonial town in the southern hills of Colombia.

Then from Ipiales, Colombia cross the border to Tulcan (Ecuador), get your passport stamped and hop one last bus 4-5 hours ($5) to Quito.

That’s it! You made it!

If you’ve been keeping track, if you fly to Colombia and bus it the rest of the way you can get from Miami, USA to Ecuador one way for around $175 in 2013.

Especially great for people who are coming to Ecuador one way!

OR if you are over 65 and have an Ecuadorian Cedula meaning you are an Ecuador resident OR Ecuadorian citizen, you can buy national or international flights for HALF PRICE, any time of the year with the Ecuadorian airlines of Aerogal, LAN or TAME. Preferably buy in person at the airports or by over phone to get the senior discount.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Q&A, Investor News/Analysis

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Playas: The sunniest beach in Ecuador

playas ecuador

Playas won’t impress you on first sight, but stick around long enough and it could grow on you. With a very expansive beach almost New England style, delicious seafood, and Dolphin watching excursions, it’s got just enough to keep you occupied during a short stay. It’s also known as the sunniest beach in Ecuador.

Where to stay?

– My pick is the Hotel Nevada with rooms from $20 per person per night, mainly because of the proximity to both the beach and center of town, also you’re right across the street form some delicious restaurants.

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Montanita: Where the party never stops

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Montanita is coastal Ecuador’s undisputed top party town. With a hippy vibe and Bob Marley music in the air (among other things) for anyone who likes to surf, drink and dance this is your place.

For many older folk the noise here is only bearable for short stints, but even if you don’t sleep here, be sure to stop by to enjoy the incredibly varied cuisine.

What to do?

– Sex, drugs and rock and roll Ecuador-style.

– Rent a surf board or boogie board.

– Take a horse back tour in nearby Olon.

– Study Spanish in the Montanita Spanish School.

– Go para-sailing.

Where to stay?

– My top value pick in the town is OCEANVIEW HOTEL on the outskirts of the main town right on the beach with recently finished rooms with WIFI starting around $10/person per night.

Rent a house in nearby Manglaralto and sleep far away from the noise.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Salinas: Weekend resort turned expat hot-spot

salinas ecuador

Ahhh, Salinas.

At first I didn’t like the place, but now, I really like it. The older you get the more it grows on you. Eerily empty for 9 months a year, this place is like an empty Miami Beach except for on weekends when the local affluent with second homes here come to play on the beach.

The ocean is flat and great for swimming, the food along the Malecon/Boardwalk is great, and the dry climate is ideal for people who want to escape humidity.

Whale watching in the July, August and September months beats Puerto Lopez.

Where to stay?

Hostal Aqui is the most popular expat bar/guesthouse in town with rooms starting around $20 per person its a clean, safe, friendly option.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Ayampe: A surfers paradise yet to be discovered

ayampe ecuador

ayampe ecuador

I first visited Ayampe in 2009 when a friend told me, ‘hey, you gotta see this place, it’s going to be the next Montanita’.

Well, it hasn’t quite turned into the next Montanita but it has soared with development since then.

Known for its under the radar, uncrowded waves, surfing is good here. For those who are adventurous bird watching, although not formally offered in tours is also good in the highlands.

Where to stay?

My value pick is LA BUENA VIDA Hosteria… American owned, they also offer surf classes upon request, the rooms are elegant and feel ike they should cost more than they do. Rooms start around $15 per person.

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Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Puerto Lopez: Is it more than just whales?

puerto lopez ecuador

Puerto Lopez can grow on you. At first I didn’t like it but now I’m coming around, renowned for its whale watching during the July-October months, Puerto Lopez actually has a bit more than that.

The food is excellent and the trips to the ‘poor mans Galapagos’, Isla de la Plata leave from here. Another highlight for me is the nearby Machalilla Park where you can sleep with the natives and frolic on one of the most beautiful beaches in Ecuador, Los Frailes, all within about .

Where to stay?

My value pick is the Machalilla Hostal on Juan Montalvo, the central courtyard is borderline nice and the location near the beach is hard to beat. Rooms start around $8 per person.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Same: Where the ‘stars’ go

Same Ecuador

Same has arguably one of the most beautiful palm laden beaches in all of Ecuador, and its pricey too with resorts and expensive guesthouses for the local rich.

Where to stay?

My pick is La Terraza complete with a restaurant and rooms with sea-views, its hard to beat the value here with prices starting at $15 per person.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Manglaralto: Montanita without the noise

manglaralto ecuador

Manglaralto is the town just south of Montanita, in fact you can walk there along the beach in about 25 minutes.

No noise, about 3 roads parallel to the ocean, just like a coastal Ecuadorian town should be. The roosters in the morning are the biggest annoyance.

Theres not much surf here or other things to do besides lounge on the beach, but for most that will suffice.

Where to stay?

For a bare-bones good enough place you could try the Hotel Manglaralto with rates starting at $12 per person per night.

Or you could rent a tiki hut or house at Casa Blanca.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Is Sua worth a visit?

sua ecuador

Sua ia the way a laid back fishing village should be, or at least exactly how you picture it I’m sure. I’d stop if relaxation is your main goal.

Where to stay?

Hostal Chagra Rama is my pick with weathered yet safe rooms starting at $9 per person.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Atacames: The ‘whitest’ beach in Ecuador

Atacames Ecuador

Atacames is rumored to have the ‘whitest’ sand in all of Ecuador, but I’d say it also has one of the widest, biggest beaches in Ecuador as well.

A party town with an Afro-caribbean flavor in Ecuador, this is where the folks from Quito come to party from June through September.

Things to do?

– Party along the boardwalk with the rowdy young locals.
– Work on your tan in the daytime.

Where to stay?

My value pick is the Le Castel right on the beach with a swimming pool on site. You’ll think you need to pay more for the room you’re put in with rates starting around $20 pr person varying on season.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

Where to stay in Porto Viejo?

porto viejo

Not much to see or do in PortoViejo but it is a main connection hub between the north and south coast so chances are you may find yourself stuck there sooner or later.

My value pick is the Hotel New York on the cnr of Olmedo y Francisco de Moreira with simple, clean rooms and most importantly in this town, AC, rooms start at $20 per person.

Posted in Ecuador for Investors, Ecuador Travel Guides

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