My wife, Suzan, and I have been traveling to Cotacachi since 2001. A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, but it’s water that has been kind to Cotacachi. This small, leather-crafting village in Ecuador’s northern Andes hasn’t grown much in size or population in the eight years we’ve known it, but it’s certainly dressed itself up nicely. Each year it gets a little spiffier, a little cleaner, a little more prosperous…without losing its village feel.
That’s just one reason we decided to buy a condo there. It wasn’t difficult–the process was much the same as for other purchases we’ve made in Latin America.
Suzan and I consider our condo an investment, but if it never appreciates in value, we won’t mind much. Our plan is to spend part of each year in Cotacachi. We love our adopted hometown of Merida, Mexico, but staying in one place for an entire year is hard for us to do any more. And since Cotacachi is on the equator and at an altitude of 8,000 feet, the weather there is ideal any time of year.
When we’re not staying in Cotacachi, we hope to rent the condo and enjoy a bit of cash flow from it, too.
Aside from the weather and the stunning mountain scenery, why would we buy property in a little craft village high in the Andes? The reasons won’t appeal to everyone…but for us, they add up to the perfect getaway spot.
It’s quiet. You can stand in the middle of the main street at 8 p.m. on any night of the week without any fear of being run over.
It’s small…which means that you can actually stroll from one end of town to the other and back in less than an hour.
It’s inexpensive. We know people living healthy, happy lives here on less than $1,000 per month.
It’s clean and prosperous, thanks in large part to its location and the current mayor (who is improving infrastructure and public services). Cotacachi is right next door to Otavalo, one of the largest and most famous indigenous markets in Latin America, and Cotacachi gets lots of spillover traffic coming for the town’s quality leather goods found in the shops along “Leather Street,” near the town center.
If you’re looking for a second or retirement home in Cotacachi for less than $55,000, read my article in the June issue of International Living Magazine–I share some of the current real estate opportunities on offer.
Publisher, International Living
To read more IL articles about Ecuador, see:
Try a New Life in Cuenca, Ecuador – for $300 a Month
Cheap Ecuador – Travel Well on $43.72 a Day
Vilcabamba, Ecuador–Stunning Views, Shrieking Italians, and Magic Cacti
The 4 Cs of Cotacachi, Ecuador