Best place to live in Ecuador...

Loved your comment Luna "not many gringos but to me is a good thing". Lots of the folks here in the southern coast ask for that too, gringos are everywhere here!
fdmcg: Great idea to nominate Luna the North Coast Mayor!
Luna can I recommend you for the people who ask me about the Northern Coast?
Also, anybody volunteering to be referred about the Highland cities?

Hi Fernando,Please be in touch,


here is my email address, sosmantaguide[at]

email me if you need any help


the military force, ahahahaaha there is not such a thing, well it is not as you described it, the presence of the military is only because now the cops and the military are working together against crime, and thats the only reason they are in the city.

please visit and find out more about coastal living

take care

Thank you guys for the title of Mayor of the North Coast.  I will be glad to help anyone who has questions about it and promise to treat my 12 constituant gringos fairly.  Lol.  Seriously if anyone needs some info feel free to ask. Heres my blog telling a little about it and our adventure relocating to a new land.

Hi Vinny, I will look you up when I get down to Ecuador, would like to join your group.


Hi Everyone,

  I am very much interested in relocating to Ecuador to start a bed and breakfast. Is there an area of Ecuador that gets more sun than others. In other words, what is the sunniest place in Ecuador.


We've been around the whole country over the last 4 years and the penninsula is where the weather is the hottest and the sun shines the longest.  Salinas, La Libertad, up to Montanita & Puerto Lopez. More north of that the weather slowly changes and more rain comes to pass during the rainy season.  On the penninsula, even during the rainy season, it is not wet very often.  Of course, on the pennisula from May to November, the sun seems to stay away.  Clouds are present, but no rain.

Cuenca gets a lot of sun, but it is also subject to a lot of rain, and I mean a lot.  Notdays on end, but a little bit every day, it seems.  I am not sure if you added all the hours of sunlight in Cuenca and on the coast over a whole year,which would win.  For rain, Cuenca wins it hands down though.

Don't even think Guayaquil unless you are growing mushrooms or you want to grow roots on your toes.  It is hot and humid and it rains nasty there when it does. Downpours.

I forgot the central valley. It does not get much rain but temps are average around 24C yearly. Like eternal spring without the rain.

Hope this helps.



Hi, Tom!

We living in Guyana, South America, and Trinidad and Tobago and had the same initial reaction your wife is having. In fact, in Trinidad it's illegal to bring any camouflage materials into the country because that's what the army/police (it's all the same) wear. Who would have known?

What we found is this is just the way they do things in South America. We never saw or heard a gun fired in over three years. They just look intimidating. It didn't take us long to get used to it. It's just one of the things you accept if you choose to live outside North America. 

I hope your wife will give Ecuador a try and understand that it's a philosophy of "peace through deterrence". buena suerte


Just hit this forum and I find the diversity as wide as the diversity in Ecuador.  My wife and I spent six months in Ecuador exploring the country.  We concentrated our time on the south and central beaches and ignored the northern beaches only because we think the infrastructure is not as available in that area.  We will check the next time we are there,  We spent time in the mountains from Vilcabamba to Otovalo, but we are beach people.  With that caveat, we loved Cuenca and Vilcabamba and enjoyed most of our time in the north. 

But the beaches are for us.  So the coast is our choice because we want the sun, the water, the sand, the fishing, the surfing, the boating and the lazy life style.  Not for everyone. And we expect to spend time in Cuenca and Villcabamba. Salinas area is drier than most of the areas only a short way up the coast.  A few kilometers north and the greenery comes back.   Many more farms further inland.  Anyone planning on settling in Ecuador needs to determine their priorities regarding temperature range, style of living, what they need to accomplish and what will keep each member of your family happy and healthy.  A huge job before you even start your research!

We have no young children so we did not investigate schools but we did meet someone in Manta involved in a private school and found that there are excellent private schools in most larger cities.  That likely includes Quito and Cuenca and Loja.  I suspect that looking on the net for private schools in Ecuador would yield good results. 

We flew into Guayaquil this time instead of Quito but I know that my time in Guayaquil will be limited to landing and finding the fastest way out.  There are areas of Guayaquil that appear safe and quiet but I doubt I would want to stay there even then.  Great medical facilities, shopping, hotels, traffic jams, petty theft, poverty, wealth and what ever you want to find.  They had private guards in every large store, every bank, many hotels, many places you would not expect them in the states but the military does not patrol the streets.  Only saw them when they were on leave, shopping and playing.  Expect they would show up in cases of civil unrest but the national guard does that here.

We love the country and can't wait till we get back.  The people are great when you talk to them.  The expat communities are fantastic and will help with anything.   Help can even be found within the government agencies.  When we thought we would never be able to get square with them, someone stepped in and helped.  We got help at the post office, immigration and other huge government agencies and even at the SRI (Ecuador's IRS).  Not that these sessions were trouble free but there are those folks who like helping folks. 

We are returning to live there, somewhere, and we will continue exploring until we find the absolutely best spot for us.  But we will enjoy every bit of it, even the mistakes.  We had difficulties on our last trip and some of the expats we met thought we would not come back because of these.  But life throws things good and bad at you always and everywhere.  Your life is what you want to make of it, even in Ecuador.  Visit, explore and make up your own mind.  Avoid the sales pitch.

Good report.  Thanks for the useful information.

I hear Cuerna is a great place.  My husband and I want to move there after he retires for about 2 years or so, and perhaps volunteer.   Want to make contact with an expat rather than go through the IL information and estate buying tours they recommend.  I feel an individual with give more information without the hype.   Thanks.


What do you need to bring from the US to obtain residency. I understand  police record is needed and copy or passport needed and it all needs aposstilled. How much is government charges thanks Stan

Unless you're considering moving to a country you've never visited (not recommended), skip worrying about a fulltime residency visa. Your tourist visa is automatic and good for 90 days.  See if you like Ecuador (or Panama or anywhere else) before doing the paperwork.

[Edit Note:  Changed 180 to 90 days; thought I was on the Panama Forum!]

Regarding northern beach areas and Canoa in particular, does anyone have any thoughts they'd like to share on this project:

http://www.ecuadoriancoastalproperties. … nt-condos/


Thanks for the kudo , SawMan.  Only thing I know about Canoa area is what an expat told me.  Said it was more humid and hotter than Salinas and the bay spits out some god awful stuff that winds up on the beaches.  I have NOT seen this so check it out yourself.  Do not know anything about the project.  I do recommend getting a place that is completed rather than on-spec.



My husband and I will be arriving the week of April 20th.  We will be needing some help when we arrive getting set up and learning about the town.  Are you available this week?

Denise Toepel
303-800-6294 or Skype denise.toepel

To Saw man thanks for the  advice..The reason I wanted to know about the paper work was due to the fact that a lot of it has to originate in the U S and if  you dont have it apostilled it cost big bucks I have heard to do it while in Ecuador. And I have visited Ecuador twice and already have a friends apt waiting for me.

I found a site that provides charts for the average monthly high and low temperatures and average monthly rainfall totals for different worldwide cities.  Indeed, solely from the charts, Salinas and Esmeraldas present the least attractive temperatures for beach-goers!  Here's a sample link to the Playas, Ecuador charts. … as/EC.aspx

Just returned from Cumbaya after a visit  for four nights .
I was rather unlucky because  it rained most of the time. Also, Monday & Tuesday were public holidays & most places were closed.
Can you recommend a decent place to stay for few days without having to go to Quito every day . Can you also recommend a spanish school school for an intensive course for say a week or two.

hi vinny,i am very interesting about your every reply.
we have one child,we will move to Ecuador very soon,can you give me some ideals about living 2.child education the beach
thanks  Christina

hi Fernando,yes we need rent 2 beds rooms and furnished and kitchen.we will move to Ecuador very soon,we have kid,so what good option for me?much thanks   Christina

Here is a great blog which will answer many questions.  It will give you ideas about diffrent locations, cost of living, local customs, riding transportation, buying property, plus it is hilarious...

thanks very much

Another stupid list, but Salinas in #3 place in the world to retire: … 38395.html

I have studied the weather ,climate, and ,for me , a slightly warm climate is better . However I have

found out there is NO golf near Loja, my first choice. Now I am pondering where to go to play golf if

I locate to Loja and try to use a small plane to fly some place to play golf. I like almost everything I

have read about Loja but have not solved the golf  situation. Any suggestions from other bunker

players???????? ;-)

Arrayanas Country Club, outside Quito. Dry weather reminds me of Arizona w/o the extreme heat.

THANKS. I thought of that but I need a course closer to Loja if I fly a small plane there and back.

I remember reading there is a course somewhere near Cuenca but don't remember exactly where or how far from Loja it wouls be.    Maybe some expat in Cuenca knows where its located ????

There's a golf course in Cuenca, is a private club with nine holes, I think, but be a member is very expensive.
Since many expats had arrive here the course has improved and the easy way to play there is when one member invite you to play.

Andy, I have played the Cuenca course many times and know several friends that are members. One is an expat. It is a nine hole "quirkey" course that I can get you on so you can decide if you want to join. All seven golf courses in Ecuador are private with Cuenca being the least expensive however golf is not inexpensive anywhere.
I mentioned Arrayanas as the weather there is dry and probably 10-15 degrees warmer than Quito. Land on the course is available to build a nice home and it is reasonably close to the new Quito airport. If you want to get more remote/isolated look at Papakuna which is a retirement community closer to the airport with higher end villas and residences. We liked the development but found it too remote for our needs.
FYI, me wife is from Loja and I promised to visit with her when they build a golf course there (which will never happen). If you get to Quito get in contact and we can play golf at my club, Los Cerros.
What is it about Loja that you want to live there?

Frank,  At first thought about Quito but my wife and doggie have altitude problems . Cuenca was too cool

for me so I found out Loja is a bit warmer. But no golf.  I may have to rethink the whole process and

try on the outskirts of Quito to see how they handle it . It would please me if they could adjust to

8000 ft. 

When I get ready to head south perhaps I can touch base with you and try out  your course. It would

save me a  great deal of problems , not having to go to Loja.  Regards. Larry

Larry, I have an extra set of clubs and a bag.....all you need is golf shoes.

Now that sounds like an offer that is hard to beat...... Now if you could just find me a little ,no maybe a lot , of TALENT,  I would be all set.   Look for me wide a wide grin.. Thanks. Andy

What ever circumstance you`re into, all of you seem quite pleased to be living in Ecuador. So much so that I am indeed interested in perhaps joining you. However the more I read the more I`m confused. For a start we would want to live on the coast. We want to live away from crowds and high-rise but close enough to all amenities especially good medical amenities. We prefer a house rather than an apartment. With a pool would be ideal. In a perfect world we would have some privacy and although on the beach would be nice we would prefer to be on a hill overlooking the beach with a pathway going down to it. Ok I`m dreaming a bit but if you must start high and see what happens. I golf and it would be nice if I could continue my current routine but I could give that up if all my other wishes were met. I have scoured the internet on all I could find on the subject of moving to Ecuador. My conclusion was Ballentia could be the place for us all things considered. My confusion is may a San Clemente, Bahia de Caraquez or Canao be more what we what. Perhaps with infrastructure growing these places could suit us. I know the answer is to go there and find out for yourself and we are considering coming down for a month in mid May. However I would be interested in your thoughts. I would also be interested if you have any recommendations on how to get a basic apartment to rent just for the 2 of us when we travel there, possibly around Salinas or close by. Cheers Joe


Don't know if you are still looking into Ecuador, but Salinas, on the coast, is a nice safe place to raise a family.



I am looking to move to central/south america to be able to live better.

I am looking for a beach-front town.  Not looking to live in an ex-pat community.  I don't care about amenities, just want a decent home, in a laid-back town.

Any ideas to what town might whet my appetite?




I live in Manta Ecuador and it is great here, pluss you get to go to diferent other beaches and cities since central, we have hospitals and stores,let me know if you need more help and suggestions there are more out there

Take care

I have visited Tonsupa and Atacames in the North.  Both are amazingly beautiful and tranquil although at night the party does go off in the on season from what I remember.


hi my wife and I are wanted to take a trip to Equador and look at some beachfront home or commuity home and would like to no where would be the best places like these also where to stay while we are there can any one help us . we have bought a few places in flordia but have growen to dis like the usa  thank you  guess from what I have read so far it may better to be by other expats w are looking to come down for six months at a time

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