Is Pakakuna Gardens the Paradise That Many Expats Are Seeking?

Publicity has been sparse, so most Expats investigating Ecuador for retirement are unaware of how close to civilization this developing paradise is situated.  The name itself is a Quechuan word meaning "Our Hiding Place."

Those in the know are aware that the residential community of Pakakuna Gardens, 15 miles from the new Quito airport, sits in Ecuador's largest private botanical gardens.  Visit to get a sense of the magnificence of the landscaping.
(Note...On the afternoon this report was posted, the Pakakuna website was down for maintenance.  Photos can also be accessed at or by googling pro-ecuador pakakuna gardens.  But even better is the YouTube video that J600 found, with a link to that video in Report #3 on this thread, below.  Keep in mind that many of the community services shown starting around the 5-minute mark of this 8-minute video are not yet available although the homes that are already built are fully functional.)

It is a gated community just several minutes by car or in one of the plentiful taxis available, from the town of Checa, Ecuador, population 3,000.

Scores of 1-to-3 bedroom homes have been constructed, mostly upscale bungalow-style villas on communal land, and there will eventually be about 40 larger residencias on the new owners' private land, some of which are completed.  According to information I received from management, new-home asking prices now range from 140K for a one-bedroom villa to about twice that for some of the larger residencias.

Many of the homes are already occupied, a restaurant (open Friday through Tuesday) is in full operation, and unoccupied buildings have been constructed for a community store, and medical and massage facilities.  A slightly-heated pool is operating and a grander, covered one will be constructed in a building on which construction started and will resume under a new maestro.  There will be horseback riding and tennis.

The Eggers, a European-South American couple, started developing the gardens decades ago, and they are now in full-bloom year-round in a climate featuring 77 degree F. high temperatures that vary little due to proximity to the Equator at about 7,800 feet altitude.  A gardening staff cares for the flowers, plants and grounds, and sprinklers are located throughout the property that keep everything golf-course green.

After spending three days staying in a villa, visiting multiple homes there and enjoying the property last week, I have concluded the home construction is above-average quality for Ecuador...the project is taking longer than envisioned due to needs for correcting some deeds and replacing the construction leadership...and the project earlier designed with Gringo retirees in mind has attracted many wealthy quiteño families as well.  These Ecuadorian folks primarily come on weekends, keeping Pakakuna very quiet on weekdays and not yet producing enough business to open the medical and massage facilities or the store.

Normally, it's recommended to wait at least a year after arrival in Ecuador before buying any property, and there is ample reason in this post to wait until construction resumes on some communal buildings that were underway and some legalities are processed.

But that time frame could be cut by at least half for those who fall in love with the awesome beauty that already exists in these Hawaii-like gardens, tended lawns and picturesque lagoons in Paradise.

cccmedia in Quito

Disclaimer:  I have no financial interest in Pakakuna Gardens and do not profit from the purchase of homes there.  However, I recognize it as potentially a remarkable opportunity for Expats, especially if the full roll-out is realized.

Even those not interested in buying a home in Ecuador may wish to see great photography of an exceptional place by visiting or the YouTube video.


ginamaloney1[at] (sales/promotion)

salesandrentals4u[at] (nightly/weekly rental of unit 29)

Prices starting at 140k may be a bit steep, especially if there are fees for security, swimming  pool etc.  It does appear to be in a great, beautiful location 400 feet lower than Cuenca.
Any idea how much the other living expenses will be?
Since it is already being occupied, prices will be going up soon.

Website is still down, but found this video clip on youtube.

Thanks for the good find ccc. The project looks great. At least what has been done so far.

Sixty percent financing is available, at least on a Pakakuna villa that is being put on the market by an older couple that needs to move closer to existing medical facilities in the Quito suburbs.

I am putting in a query to Gina Maloney to see if we can get some idea on the range of monthly community fees.  Good question, mugtech.  I suspect these will be subject to revision due to the deeds re-writing and the planned resumption of construction at the pool, stables and other shared facilities.

cccmedia in Quito

All Pakakuna Gardens homeowners are currently charged a monthly condo-style fee of $125, regardless of the size of the home.

Fees will be adjusted according to size of home under the new management team.

The official website has been taken down for a while so that the new management team can develop a "new message."

Source....Gina Maloney, Pakakuna Gardens home sales/promotion

Listings with photos and prices for available Pakakuna Gardens villas can be found at...

For state, enter Pichincha.  For city/town, enter Checa.

Listings start at 138K and 140K.

cccmedia in Quito

A correspondent from the Pacific Northwest, USA, sent me a PM message...

"Are there rentals available at Pakakuna Gardens?

"Did you get there by bus?  Taxi?

"About how far from Quito?"


Nightly and weekly rentals are available courtesy of Unit 29's owner in Miami, Florida.  She is contactable at salesandrentals4u(at) ...

I went to Pakakuna Gardens by taxi, $26 from Centro Histórico in Quito.  From the capital it's 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your starting point.  From the new international airport, it would be about 25 minutes.

cccmedia in Quito

Is there shopping nearby?
Is there a town?
How long have the houses been there?
Does it have the feel of a resort?
I can't wait for their website to go back on line

suefrankdahl :

Is there shopping nearby?
Is there a town?
How long have the houses been there?
Does it have the feel of a resort?

Some of the villas have been there for years, many are in various stages of construction.  The larger residencias, of which there will be about 40 eventually, are being constructed at a slower pace.  Most of the construction has been relatively recent.

As mentioned in Report #1, the town is Checa, population 3,000, several minutes away by car and taxi.

There are restaurants, food tiendas, hair salons and other shops, many along a large central plaza.  Mall shopping in the Quito suburbs is perhaps 35 minutes away, depending on where you shop.

The swimming pool-restaurant area has the look and ambiance of a resort, although it was not in heavy use during my midweek visit.

cccmedia in Quito

A correspondent from the Pacific Northwest, USA, asks:

About house 29, which you rented, what was it like?

Top 10 things I remember about the house....

10. The kitchen appliances were top of the line.

9.  There were two beds in the bedroom, one king-size, one medium.

8.  There are great views of the Hawaii-like environment from the bedroom and the kitchen/dining room area.

7.  There are two bathrooms.

6.  The bedroom ceiling is remarkably high.

5.  It's unbelievably quiet during midweek.  Occasionally, maybe once every couple of hours, you hear a bit of airplane noise, as it's not far from Quito International Airport (15 miles by motor vehicle).

4.  There is plentiful creative artwork displayed on the interior walls.

3.  Everything is new inside as the owner bought it not long ago and does not live in the house.

2.  It's bungalow-style like all the villas, meaning no attic and no basement.

And the #1 thing I remember about the house...

1.  On the patio, there is a swinging chair suspended from above and a restful hammock.

cccmedia in Quito

Congratulations to forum member Kashbrook and Pakakuna Expats for launching a new website introducing folks to Pakakuna Gardens -- ....

It has been a year since my three-day visit to the wondrous Pakakuna development.  At the time, Pakakuna residents and new ownership/management were starting a series of resident meetings to address important issues.

Since Kashbrook is involved in marketing Pakakuna and has PM messaged me an invitation to discuss Pakakuna, I am listing a few questions that she might address....

1.  The previous-era land titles at Pakakuna were handled in a questionable manner and there was talk last year that residents and ownership would be working to resolve the situation.  Can new Pakakuna buyers be assured that proper legal land-titling was accomplished ?  Do new owners have land titles or is it more of a condo-style concept where the individual residence is owned, while the land remains property of the founders ?  How is or was this matter resolved?

2.  When I visited last year, some residents had Internet, but while renting house 29, the only Internet I could obtain was limited-hours access inside the admin building or after-hours access just outside the building.  Do new buyers at Pakakuna now have ready, easy-to-access Internet available ?

3.  I swam daily in the pond although the water was cold.  There was a weak water-heating system at the time.  A properly-heated new pool was envisioned.  What is the status of this project ?

4.  Near the ‘Mirador,’ there was going to be a physical fitness center and horse stable.  What is the status of that ?

5.  What is the update on other projects planned at Pakakuna, including the medical - massage - grocery store buildings ?

6.  What days and hours is the Pakakuna restaurant operating these days ?


Thank you, Kashbrook, for re-introducing Expats to Pakakuna Gardens.  It truly is a marvelous place that is or will be even more special once the planned projects are built out.


CCC:  Beautiful landscaping for sure.  The grass and plantings are gorgeous.  My thoughts -

- 187 residences in total is not a lot of units to spread out what will be some pretty expensive maintenance costs for pools, clubhouse, water reservoirs, landscaping, and roads.

- Will the facilities be shared with the inn or hotel indicated on the master plan?  I wonder what the status is of attracting a hotel to absorb maintenance costs. 

- Seemed odd that there are no pictures of houses or villas under construction.  It looks finished!

- If lot and units are available, as they appear to be, a site map of units SOLD or AVAILABLE would be helpful.

- There is no information on the developer, construction contractor, landscape and building architects, etc.  This would be helpful.

- There is no information on purchase terms, financing, etc. 

- Most prospects like to see the folks behind the project put themselves out there and make public statements for everyone to verify or question.

I’ve just sent a PM message to Kashbrook of the Pakakuna marketing team, alerting her to the questions we’ve posed on this thread.


cccmedia :

I’ve just sent a PM message to Kashbrook of the Pakakuna marketing team, alerting her to the questions we’ve posed on this thread.


Thanks. I wasn't implying that this information is not known by those who express interest; just some website comments since you linked to it.

That website has been discontinued.  You can go to to see all about Pakakuna Gardens.

My husband and I own in Pakakuna Gardens.  Our living expenses are a little higher than when we lived in Cuenca but not by much.  We bought a vehicle because we are driving distance to shopping and if we had stayed in Cuenca we would not have needed one.  The trade off was more than worth it though.

We pay around $70 a month for our internet, cable tv and land line.  Our meters have not been installed yet so we still do not pay for water or electric but we expect it to cost around $60-70 a month for both.

Otherwise expenses are the same as anywhere else in Ecuador.

Our homeowner's monthly fees are based on size.  Since forming our homeowner's association in March of this year villas pay approx. $120 a month.  Residences pay on average $300-400 a month since they are substantially larger and they own the land they reside on.

You can also go to to see pricing, floor plans, photos, etc.

Thanks, I saw this information on the website.

To address your questions....

1.  Pakakuna Gardens is now totally legal and all owners who have paid in full now have the deed to their properties.  Villas own the land their villa sits on and residences own the land purchased with their house.  The rest is communal property owned by all.

2.  Internet is available now.  We have fiber optic in every villa and residence and CNT provides the service.  My husband and I have 10mg and are very happy with the speed.  We do have occasional outages but nothing like the outages we had when we lived in Cuenca.

3. & 4.  The spa (and covered pool) has not been completed yet.  Due to the economic recession sales have been down and the proposed completion dates have needed to be moved back.  But since the developers are now willing to negotiate on prices, sales have picked up again and process on the communal services will resume.  They will first refit the existing pool and Jacuzzi so that we again have a heated pool and good, working hot tub.  We expect that to be done within the next couple of months and the spa to be completed and fully functional by next summer.  This will include the weight room and massage rooms.  Work on the stables and tennis courts will also be worked on as well.

5.  Services such as the medical center will not be fully functional until we have enough full time residents here to support it.  We envision that eventually it will be manned on a bi-monthly basis for some things and weekly for others.  We are also going to see about having a dentist come on a regular basis for simple procedures.

6.  The restaurant is open Wed-Sun.  Wed-Fri they serve an almuerzo for $4.00.  Sat-Sun is a larger meal at $10.00.  Any resident is able to reserve a dinner party for evenings providing the group is large enough.  We recently had a wonderful dinner provided for 15 people.  Cost was $14.00 per person.  It just needs to be arrange with the chef.

As I mentioned earlier, the developers are willing to negotiate on prices due to the economic recession in Ecuador but with the increase in sales it may not last long.  Now is the time to buy into Pakakuna Gardens.  Existing shells are selling fast and once they are all sold then there will be a waiting list for the new phases which will be built in blocks of 4 to 6 villas at a time.  It is exciting to see the renewed interest and development.  Act now to get into this one of a kind project.  There is nothing else like it in Ecuador!

Thanks for the comprehensive report.

We would welcome updates in coming months and beyond .. as more Pakakuna features become reality. :)


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