Low Altitude Town

Had planning on moving to Cuenca but because of health issues I cannot live in the mountains.

Been looking at Cumbaya.  I will not have my own transportation nor do I want it.

Thanks in advance for your  recommendations.  Need a safe haven-am a widow.

june0627 :

because of health issues I cannot live in the mountains.

Been looking at Cumbaya.

The Quito suburb of Cumbayá is not much lower in altitude than Cuenca.  At 2200 meters or over 7200 feet, Cumbayá is about two thousand feet higher than the mile-high city of Denver.

Historically, most Expats seeking lower altitudes have headed for Ecuador's coast and the sea breezes.  Of course, things are problematic over there lately.  Also, the healthcare at the coast has not developed to near the quality of the largest cities in Ecuador.

Guayaquil -- hot, humid, dangerous and not at the ocean -- is also not the answer.

Ecuador may not be a good fit for you in some important respects.

cccmedia in Quito -- 9,350 feet altitude

Thank you.  Now do not laugh at me but my beagle, Bailey, has a heart murmer.  How about Gualaceo.2297 altitude.  Vet said that would be OK.=I mean the altitude.  Town has good comments.

No ocean.  Live near ocean now.  What other aspects.  Thank you for your kindness.

june0627 :

How about Gualaceo, 2297 altitude.... Town has good comments.

Sorry, June, that 2297 is the approximate altitude in meters of Gualaceo, near Cuenca.

According to Wikipedia, Gualaceo is at 2249 meters .. or almost 7,400 feet ! 

cccmedia in Quito

This is unfortunate because Cuenca in theory was ideal for you. I was going to say visit and see how your body reacts to the altitude because I suffered from altitude sickness the first month after living years at sea elevation, but I’m better than ever after that bout. But I realized it’s your dog. I don’t know what the maximum elevation should be for a dog with a heart murmur, but the alternative is/was the coast. Maybe an option - Vilcabamba is about 5000 ft, not too sure, so look that up.

You however say you want a “safe-haven”, so I doubt the coast would be an option giving present conditions, and as previously mentioned by ccc, most if not all cities/towns outside bigger cities simply lack quality medical facilities and infrastructure.

Thank you.  Connie Pombo mentioned Yunguilla Valley. Going to research it now. You are very kind and knowledgeable.

You are also very kind. Thanks. I did mention Yunguilla Valley.  Researching it now.

What does everything think of Vilcabamba?


V’s post was correct -- Vilcabamba is at about 5,000 feet altitude.  Denver, CO, is at 5,280 feet.

Vilcabamba is in the so-called Valley of Longevity -- a lush and fertile zone with springlike weather (65 to 82 degrees F.) year-round that is perfect for growing things.

Vilcabamba, although smaller than Cuenca, has a higher percentage of English-speaking Expats than there .. higher than any other place in Ecuador.

Little Vilca lacks an airport, a gasoline station .. and many folks living there do a lot of their weekly shopping in larger Loja, which is 27 miles to the north.


thank you.  I am looking seriously at Loja..have a call into the vet about the attitude.

you are so kind.  you do feel like a friend-everyone does.  I will let you know.

june0627 :

I am looking seriously at Loja... have a call into the vet about the attitude.

Internet/Wikipedia numbers for Loja’s elevation vary between 6,750 and 7,300 feet.  Either way, that’s much higher altitude than Vilcabamba and unsuitable for someone looking for a low-altitude town.

Loja has great weather, but the Expat population is a tiny percentage of the whole.

cccmedia in Quito

I think what I will do is go to Poland.  I am Polish but too long for my pets.  Cannot imagine people not taking them.

Buenos Noches.

any other suggestions?


I see my Dr. tomorrow.  He has been in your Country.

june0627 :

I think what I will do is go to Poland.  I am Polish but too long for my pets.  Cannot imagine people not taking them....

Any other suggestions?

As I mentioned earlier, Ecuador doesn’t seem to be a good fit for you .. so I applaud your flexibility in considering Poland or other places.

I also commend you, June, for realizing that a beagle that is health-challenged should not be moved to a foreign country far away.


Here are some other places to consider....

1.  Guadalajara and Lake Chapala/Ajijic, Mexico.  Guadalajara is a big city with options for assisted-care-type places offering services that would not be affordable for most in the U.S.  The latter area has well-developed Expat communities.  I cannot speak to the safety issue in Mexico, realizing that some places have malditos around.

2.  Google the following:  wikipedia countries where english is spoken ....
See if any of these places appeal to you and follow up with research.

3.  South American balnearios or seaside cities.  For instance, I spent time recently in Mar del Plata, a city in Buenos Aires province, Argentina.  There are many retirees there, primarily Argentinos, and numerous retirement facilities and residences.  I did not investigate pricing, except to see that regular apartments are inexpensive.  One advantage of that city is that it’s on the Atlantic Ocean coast of South America, away from the Ring of Fire seismic zone that includes the Ecuador coast.  ‘Mardel' is the principal seaside resort in Argentina and the southernmost sea-resort city in the world.  Don’t expect much English in Mar del Plata, Argentina, 200 miles south of Buenos Aires the capital.


Thank you, thank you for your time.  I really do appreciate it.  My neighbors would give me a bill.

Take good care.

God Bless.


Will research tomorrow.

Thank you.  Going to research Argentina today. My dr. has traveled extensively, going to ask him also.

Boquete, Panama sounds pretty good, lots of expats, and it's at 3900 feet.  From what I've read, Uruguay would be a good low altitude choice as well.

johnplov :

Boquete, Panama sounds pretty good, lots of expats, and it's at 3900 feet.  From what I've read, Uruguay would be a good low altitude choice as well.

Boquete is much warmer than Montevideo or other places on the coast of Uruguay.

Average high temperatures on a monthly basis for comparison:

Boquete, Panama ... highs 29 to 30 degrees Celcius year-round, or roughly 84 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit every month.

Montevideo, Uruguay ... highs range from 60 to 80 degrees F.  In other words, it’s always cooler than Boquete -- and it's much cooler in the South American winter months of July and August.

Being on the Atlantic Ocean -- or sea level -- Montevideo is also the true ‘low altitude town’ of the two locations.



Have you thought about Puerto Cayo? It's a very safe and friendly coastal town an hour south of Manta.
We were basically untouched by the earthquake as well as the rest of the coast south of Manta. There is a growing expat group here and the ladies have a luncheon once a month. For shopping the produce truck stops here twice a week and some ladies take their weekly shopping trip to Manta once a week.
Here is our site
I volunteer at the school twice a week teaching English and we need more help.

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Salsa Jane,

Wow, a sincere welcome.


The town in Uraguay  you mentioned is above my budget.  Someone mentioned Puerto Cayo.   Will research later.

Thank you!

Sent you email.

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