We were driving along the fast, modern, four-lane coastal road as we rounded a curve and entered Manta, the largest city on the Ecuadorian coast.
Sure, I’ve heard plenty about Manta; but even so, it took me completely by surprise.
Because of its solid industrial base, port, and commercial fishing industry, I had expected Manta to have an industrial character. But instead, I found a contemporary, clean, and cheerful city with tall modern buildings and beaches facing blue Pacific waters.
Manta has everything you’ll need in an expat destination, from beachfront seafood cafes to some of the country’s best fine dining…from a large indigenous seaside artisan market to gleaming, modern shopping malls. You can stand on the beach and watch boat builders who still make huge fishing craft by hand using tropical hardwoods in their open-air boatyard…or gaze at the tuna fleet heading out to sea as they supply the port’s thriving tuna industry.
And you won’t be alone. Manta has a thriving North American expat community. It may well be Ecuador’s largest, and is certainly the best organized and most active. While expats don’t cluster in the same gated communities, they do stay in touch and get together frequently.
Manta has a wide variety of living options, depending on your taste and budget. We looked at a one-bedroom apartment with an ocean view for $60,000, and a spacious sea-view, 1,600-square-foot apartment with three bedrooms and three baths for $90,000.
Surprisingly, luxury beachfront apartments are not expensive either, coming in at around $1,000 per square meter. We looked at a brand-new oceanfront condo called Dorado II, where they were offering a 1,400 square-foot condo with three bedrooms and four baths–on the ninth floor–for $133,000. At the luxury beachfront project El Navegante, their 1,700-square-foot model with a head-on ocean view starts at $168,000.
I’ve seen a number of great lifestyle options so far on this trip down the Ecuadorian coast, from vacation resorts to surfer villages. But in my opinion Manta is the best choice for year-round living. It offers a wide array of housing options at reasonable prices, great restaurants and recreational opportunities, warm weather, and good healthcare. Frequent flights to the international airport mean you can get here from the U.S. with no layover. If you’re looking for full-time city living on the coast, I’d consider Manta a mandatory stop.
Editor’s note: Don’t forget—tomorrow is the LAST DAY you can get the Ultimate Ecuador Kit. As well as the brand-new, just-updated Ecuador Owner’s Manual, you get two extra bonuses, free:
Special Bonus # 1:The Ultimate Event IV Ecuador Audio Collection. At our Ultimate Event IV in Quito last month, we heard from folks with years worth of on-the-ground experience in Ecuador. They shared their personal stories about finding and living the good life there–including hard-won advice for saving time, money, and trouble. We got it all on tape. And the result is The Ultimate Event IV Ecuador Audio Collection.
Special Bonus # 2:South America’s Last Coastal Frontier. This hot-off-the-presses report takes an in-depth look at a soon-to-boom stretch of Ecuador’s Pacific coast. If you’re interested in your own stretch of sand–in a place where property values are poised to appreciate quickly and significantly–then this is a must-read.
Order your Ultimate Ecuador Kit now, and you’ll have the most up-to-date, on-the-ground intelligence available about this gem of a country. If you’re looking for a place where you can live better for less…Ecuador should be at the top of your list.
To read more IL articles on Ecuador, see:
Building Ecuadorian Condos With a Smile
The $20,000 Beachfront Lot
The $300 Apartment With Stunning Views