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 www.pakakunagardens.org 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 www.pro-ecuador.com 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 www.pakakunagardens.org or the YouTube video.
salesandrentals4u[at]gmail.com (nightly/weekly rental of unit 29)