Ecuador: The Real Scoop on Salinas

My husband and I arrived in Salinas, Ecuador for a lengthy vacation…as well as to scope it out as a potential retirement home for his parents. We were a little disappointed as it didn’t seem to stand up to its claim as the “Miami of Ecuador.”

Yes, it has the tall white high-rise buildings that resemble the Floridian city, but you won’t find a Starbucks-like café here, nor will you find bookstores or fancy shopping.

However, in our third week, we’ve begun to love this city. The beach, great weather and fantastic prices are more than making up for what I had initially perceived as inconveniences.

After speaking extensively with locals and making friends with other expats, we learned that the pros far outweigh the cons. The real deal lies in the cost of living.

One couple allowed me to tour their recently purchased oceanfront home. The 2-year-old condo with one bedroom, one and a half baths, American style kitchen and sliding glass wall that opens to a beautiful ocean view was purchased for only $54,000. The condo fees come in around $80 and utilities are only $100 per month.

Those aren’t the only low costs catching our eye. Eating a typical Ecuadorian two-course lunch for only $2 (while sitting steps from the beach) is something we have come to enjoy. We’re also fans of 20-ounce beers for $1 as well as taxi rides across town for the same amount.

To be able to live near white-sand beaches with great weather year-round and such low living expenses is shocking. We’ve also learned that the luxuries of home (such as lattes and shopping excursions) aren’t out of reach here. I’m considering a second home in Salinas, now. Maybe I’ll open a bookstore!

Editor’s note: If you like the outdoors, have dreamed of owning a Spanish colonial home in a colonial city, or want to spend hours strolling on an undeveloped beach, then Ecuador will be perfect for you. And the Ecuador Owner’s Manual will tell you everything you need to know. Plus, during the Christmas Bookstore Sale, the Ecuador Manual is 20% off.

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