Vilcabamba, Ecuador

  Vilcabamba, Ecuador  

Finding a place to live in Vilcabamba will be one of your first priorities when relocating there. While many people choose to rent at first some will be interested in having a place they can eventually call their own.


With the increased popularity of this little town in Ecuador’s “Sacred Valley” real estate prices have increased in recent years, but are still lower than what you would pay in a similar North American environment. To sweeten the deal you’ll find that property taxes rarely come in above $100 per year and are often far cheaper.


An added bonus of looking at real estate in Vilcabamba is that you’ll have a wide variety of choices. You may not find a condo in a high-rise, but most other options are available.


Expats are currently living on sprawling organic farms outside of the town itself, in beautiful gated communities where the homes are designed with luxury in mind, and in small eco-friendly dwellings. There’s a whole host of choices out there and if by some chance you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can have it built by the skilled laborers in the area.


Below are examples of the various types of properties currently for sale in Vilcabamba and details on each.


In one of the several gated communities near town you’ll find a private 2.2-acre property with two houses—one finished and the other still under construction. The primary home has two bedrooms and two baths and comes fully furnished including appliances.


The property is well-maintained with a nice variety of fruit trees, a fire pit, and garden terracing all in place. The asking price is $375,000.


Less than an hour’s drive south of town you’ll find a large dairy farm high in the hills. There are stables, milking stalls, and a cheese production area along with a new hacienda-style house and caretaker’s house on site. In addition to pasture for the cows this 642-acre lot also produces corn, potatoes, apples, and grapes. Listed at less than $1,321 per acre this section of paradise will cost you $848,000.


If you’re just looking for a nice little place to spend your retirement years you can do so economically. $110,000 will get you a nice little two-bedroom house just a fifteen-minute walk from town. With large windows, a covered outdoor dining area, and impressive views you can enjoy the wonders of nature no matter what you’re doing.


While the process of purchasing real estate in Ecuador is fairly straightforward you’ll want to do your part in making sure all is in order.


First check over the deed (escritura) thoroughly to be sure there are not multiple owners of a property. Land is automatically inherited and shared by all children of the owner so there could be more than one owner. Even if all owners are willing to sell, they’ll all need to be present at the closing and sign off on the deal.


If you don’t speak Spanish fluently it is also always a good idea to have a translator to help you. You’ll want a clear understanding of all legal documents and you need to be sure that both parties are clear on the terms of the deal.


Finally, don’t rush into any real estate deals. While there are a few real estate agents in town there are plenty of properties available that are not listed with an agent. Take your time and explore the area. You’ll get to know which areas you like best, what you’re looking for in a Vilcabamba home, and you’ll likely find a few places off the beaten path that may hold your interest.



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What’s Happening in Ecuador?

My wife, Suzan, and I were in the U.S. for a conference when Ecuador was hit by its biggest earthquake in decades. We learned of it immediately from our friends and neighbors in our hometown of Cotacachi in the Andes Mountains in northern Ecuador, where the quake was felt but caused no extensive damage. The story was different on Ecuador’s northern Pacific coast. Entire towns have been flattened. Hundreds… perhaps thousands… of people have died, and thousands more have been injured or left homeless.


The Best Retirement Lifestyles in Low-Cost Ecuador: Part 2

Picture yourself in a town where it’s pleasantly warm year round. Winter snows and relentless summer heat seem a distant memory. You can have your pick from the vast array of farm-fresh fruit and vegetables grown in rich volcanic soils. Impromptu parades awash with color and Andean music are par for the course, and in the evenings you can relax with a beer in hand with both local and expat buddies. Or retreat to that farm you’ve always dreamt of, just outside of town, where you can grow your own food amid serene solitude.


The Cheapest Places to Retire: Five Towns Where You Can Live Better For Less

At home, prices are rising. It costs more to put gas in the car, buy groceries, and pay for health insurance. At the same time, retirement savings eroded in the market downturn. If you’re looking overseas for a low-cost alternative to an uncertain retirement at home, there’s good news. You can find it in places that offer not just “cheap” living, but a whole basketful of benefits, too—places where a mild spring-like climate is yours all year round…beaches are of powder-white sand…snow-capped mountains soar above colonial towns…and your costs could be as low as $1,000 a month.


Rent in Ecuador’s Eden, Vilcabamba, For $600 or Less

Vilcabamba is a great prospect for anyone who loves the country. The properties are diverse enough so that there is something for everyone. There are farms, upscale homes in gated communities, and houses inspired by the green movement, with a low environmental impact. There is even a little domed house reminiscent of Tolkien’s hobbit holes just a few minutes from town. One Vilcabamba expat has compared the town to Ojai, California. The springtime temperatures of Ojai would be on a par with those of Vilcabamba, but even more similarities are found in the lifestyle. Ojai is known for its health-conscious, spiritually-minded, artistic atmosphere. Vilcabamba is much the same, though on a smaller scale.


Vilcabamba: Now is the Time to Buy in Ecuador’s Sacred Valley

It’s been called the Sacred Valley, the Valley of Longevity, and the Valley of Eternal Youth. Tucked into the heart of Ecuador’s southern Andes, the little town of Vilcabamba has earned those monikers, and it’s easy to see why. Steep rounded mountains rise from all directions, giving the town a feel of seclusion and protection. The rich black soil turns out hundreds of varieties of edible plants. And warm weather year-round makes the place a permanent paradise. In fact, when the Ecuadorian tourism bureau decided to market the country as “The Land of Eternal Spring,” I’m convinced it had Vilcabamba in mind. With temperature highs averaging between 74 F and 79 F and lows never dropping below the mid-50s F, it’s tough for me to imagine a more ideal climate.


Lunch for $2.50, Rent for $225, and the Scenery for Free in Ecuador

While the wind blows and the snow flies in Colleen Thom’s old stomping grounds of Alberta, Canada, she and her husband Bill are enjoying their new life in a year-round paradise. For the last year Colleen and Bill have been living a life of warmth, friends, and adventure in the small Andean mountain town of Vilcabamba, Ecuador.


Paradise in Ecuador for Pennies on the Dollar

“I feel like it’s a real gift to be here,” says Vilcabamba expat Jeff Hutner. It’s a sentiment I have heard echoed time and again from expats in this part of Ecuador. What’s so enthralling about this little highland town just north of the Peruvian border? Well, for Jeff and his wife Jamie, it’s the ability to afford a quality life surrounded by beauty. Nestled into a warm valley ringed by high Andean peaks, the town of Vilcabamba leaves little to be desired. The warm (but not steamy) year-round weather is perfect for plant life. Trees with surfboard-sized fronds stand watch over neon flowers and creeping vines. Crystalline rivers tumble through the valley and there are plenty of hiking trails crisscrossing the slopes.


A B&B on the Beach Funds This Idyllic Life

When John and Heather Schmit sold their 10-year-old trucking business in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011 they found their dream home amid white sandy beaches, rocky headlands, gentle surf, and inland breezes… Their home in Punta Carnero on the coast of Ecuador “is our piece of paradise,” says Heather. “I can walk along the beach and be the only one out there. It’s so quiet and peaceful.” As they were considering their overseas move, Heather began conversing with a former classmate who lived in Vilcabamba for three years…so Ecuador made it on to their radar.


The Perfect Climate and Easy Income Opportunities

It would be a challenge for anyone to find a more perfect picture of paradise than Vilcabamba, Ecuador. This little valley is surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Andes and is the perfect example of the “eternal spring” that the country is well known for. With warm days, dependable rain, and little change in weather year-round, it is a lush South American Eden. Dennis D’Alessandro is one of the many North Americans who have come to Vilcabamba to enjoy the climate and opportunities presented. As a third generation organic farmer from Pennsylvania he brought his skills and knowledge to Ecuador.


Ecuador: The World’s Best Retirement Haven in 2015

Ecuador takes top spot in this year’s Annual Global Retirement Index. Every year, International Living releases this Index after months of research. With the assistance of dozens of expats and experts around the world…data is collated and numbers are crunched…to identify the very best retirement destinations in the world in 2015. Using input from our team of correspondents on the ground all over the world, we combine real-world insights about climate, health care, cost of living, and much more to draw up a comprehensive list of the best bang-for-your-buck retirement destinations on the planet. Twenty-five countries made it on to the list this year, and Ecuador gets the highest score.

The 5 Best Places to Retire in Ecuador

In Ecuador, you’ll not only be in the middle of the world, but you could be on top of it. That’s because thanks to its location on the equatorial “bulge,” the peak of the country’s 20,564-foot Mt. Chimborazo is the point on the Earth’s surface that’s the farthest from the Earth’s core and closest to the sun. There truly is something for everyone here. Mountains, beaches, rainforests, cities, and small towns…all with a price tag nearly anyone can afford. By the way, Ecuador’s currency is the U.S. dollar—no currency conversions necessary.

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

Which of Ecuador’s Highland Towns Is for You?

I’ve always loved to explore the areas in which I live. Whether I was bushwhacking through wild Alaskan terrain or driving down dusty country roads in Minnesota farm country, I relished the thrill of seeing what’s around the next bend. It could be a fantastic little family-owned apple orchard or a mama moose with newborn twins.


In Pictures: Six of the Best Mountain Towns in Ecuador

Recent years have seen the small South American country of Ecuador attract many foreigners to its borders. The low cost of living, diverse geography, and ease of immigration are just a few factors that make this equatorial nation appealing.


Five Things to Do Before You Move to Ecuador

It’s great to have step-by-step guides, especially for big and potentially complicated tasks. Moving yourself out of your home country to a completely new and different culture…and language…certainly qualifies as a big and complicated task. It involves many more steps than just five, but considering only the preparatory phase—the phase before the actual move—here are five essential steps to take before you move to Ecuador.

The southern and south-western parts of the South Island of New Zealand have a cooler and cloudier climate, while the northern and north-eastern parts of the South Island are the sunniest.

Best Place For Climate when Retiring Overseas

Tired of shoveling snow, braving the torrential rain or wrapping up against the bitter cold? If so, check out these top three places to retire for a better climate as ranked in International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2014. With a perfect score of 100 and for the second year in a row, Ecuador comes out top in the Climate category and is the overall runner up in this year’s Global Retirement Index. Lying directly on the equator, it enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.

Healthier and Happier—The Appeal of Ecuador’s Sacred Valleys

Healthier and Happier—The Appeal of Ecuador’s Sacred Valleys

A patchwork quilt of blue-green grass stretches before you, complemented here and there with splashes of fuchsia, lavender, coral, bright yellow… The unmistakable aroma of eucalyptus hitches a ride on a fresh breeze, accented by wood smoke that you can just spy wisping its way out of a red-brick chimney poking from an adobe-walled casita, barely visible on the mountainside far across the way.

Some simple strategies could salvage your retirement to places like Vilcabamba, Ecuador.

Top Strategies for Retirement Abroad

Many who were on the fast track to retirement have now seen their retirement savings depleted and their plans sidetracked. Many wonder if they can retire at all, much less earlier than planned.
With a few simple strategies and ideas there are a couple of ways to salvage your retirement plans.


Where to Vacation Like Incan Royalty

Brilliant yellow sunflowers, lush green ferns, banana, papaya and palm trees…the Vilcabamba valley is a nature lover’s retreat. You’ll see soaring vultures, vivid black and red tanagers, and small powder-blue finches that flit from tree to tree.


Expats Reveal Why They Fell in Love with Ecuador

Out of all the countries International Living writes about, one in particular shines. It’s topped our Global Retirement Index—our pick of the 22 best countries to retire in the world—five years in a row…has a temperate climate year-round…offers a higher quality of life at an affordable price (cost of living can be as low as $900 a month)…and has a city, town or village to suit every taste or budget.


Why Move to Vilcabamba, Ecuador?

In Ecuador we found one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse countries in the world. And with a low cost of living, a government that leaves us alone, and some of the friendliest people you’re ever likely to meet, Ecuador more than exceeded our expectations.

Success in This Part of Ecuador is Guaranteed

Success in This Part of Ecuador is Guaranteed

My grandma, a legendary green thumb, once tried her hand at growing bananas. She was successful, producing exactly one banana… from a plant in a pot, in her living room, in Wisconsin, in the dead of winter. The bad news? I didn’t inherit my grandmother’s green thumb. The good news? Living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, I don’t need it. And neither will you because the area has such ideal growing conditions that anybody can be successful, even with little or no experience. Here’s what you need to know to get started:


How We Found Our Paradise in Vilcabamba

It started when I was a boat captain on an authentic sternwheeler. Passengers always had questions, but never more so than when 100 five- and six-year-olds piled onboard for their end-of-the-school-year field trip.

Living the American Dream... in Ecuador

Living the American Dream… in Ecuador

That belief in freedom is still driving people today—and some have chased the American dream all the way to Ecuador. Take Cynthia and Ron Kelley. They didn’t want the identikit big house with the white picket fence. They wanted something unique to them—but they could never have afforded to build such a home in the U.S. In Canoa, Ecuador, however…

Ecuador’s Not Just for Retirees...

Ecuador’s Not Just for Retirees…

“You know what?” my new friend said. “You need to tell this to young people.” We were having coffee during one of the networking breaks here at the Fast-Track Ecuador Conference, and my new friend was much like me… much like the majority of our attendees… nearing or at retirement age and finally ready to have the overseas adventure she always wanted.

The Unvarnished Truth about Ecuador

Ecuador: The Unvarnished Truth

In Ecuador, you can have it all…but it doesn’t come without sacrifice. At times, International Living is accused of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses… of overlooking the bad and omitting the blemishes. If you’ve been here in Quito the past few days, you surely would not agree with that.

The Smartest Choice of All Was to Move to Ecuador

The Smartest Choice of All Was to Move to Ecuador

“No matter what kind of lifestyle you’re looking for, you can find it here in Ecuador,” I told about 350 people today. It may be a small country, but the variety it has to offer is huge… From palm-lined beaches… to tranquil living in small mountain villages… to modern cosmopolitan living in sophisticated cities like Quito and Cuenca, both of which have historic centers that are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

26 Ways to Know You're Living in Paradise

26 Ways to Know You’re Living in Paradise…

During the recent Powerball hype, a friend asked me if I won the lottery, would I move somewhere else? Sure I would! I would move anywhere…but only if you can find me a place that has… 1. Good weather, the kind that doesn’t require a furnace or A/C to cope—just a T-shirt and a sweatshirt. 2. Beautiful scenery…because life’s too short to live someplace ugly.

26 Ways to Know You're Living in Paradise

26 Ways to Know You’re Living in Paradise…

During the recent Powerball hype, a friend asked me if I won the lottery, would I move somewhere else? Sure I would! I would move anywhere…but only if you can find me a place that has… 1. Good weather, the kind that doesn’t require a furnace or A/C to cope—just a T-shirt and a sweatshirt. 2. Beautiful scenery…because life’s too short to live someplace ugly.

What Do the Happiest Expats Have in Common?

What Do the Happiest Expats Have in Common?

It doesn’t matter where they came from or what they did back home—teacher, entrepreneur, dentist, secretary, taxi driver, journalist—the happiest expats we meet overseas have one thing in common: They brought their sense of adventure with them. I’m not talking dare-devil tendencies. I mean, simply, that they went overseas ready to try new things, to be confounded, to be impressed, to be surprised… I bring this up because you should know: Living overseas works best when you’re pulled there and not just pushed.


Adventures in Ecuador

In Ecuador, every day is a memory maker. But some more than others… Like the time three of us stayed at a friend’s beachfront house in Olón, with a bamboo bar overlooking the ocean. We dubbed it the “Sand Bar,” for its sand floor. (The owner paid just $50,000 for this house, by the way.) Long into the night, the guys played guitars and sang…

Follow Your Passion in Ecuador

Follow Your Passion in Ecuador

Everyone who moves to Ecuador has a different reason for doing it, but they all have one thing in common… they’re glad they did. Earl Phillips and his wife, Jan, almost lost everything they had spent 36 years working for when the property bubble in the U.S. burst. But after Jan suggested moving from their home in central Washington to the coast of Ecuador…

"But I Don’t Speak Spanish"

“But I Don’t Speak Spanish”

While in Miami airport recently awaiting a flight home, I struck up a conversation with a fellow traveler. When he learned I lived in Ecuador he was extremely curious and asked many questions about why I was there and how I liked it. Before we parted he said, “Well, I don’t speak Spanish so I couldn’t move to your new country.” He’s partially right.


“Is Ecuador Everything You Hoped?”

Six years ago, Sue and I saw our home in Vilcabamba, Ecuador for the very first time. Even though it was our first day ever in South America and we hadn’t even seen the town of Vilcabamba yet, we agreed to buy the property five minutes after stepping through the blue steel gate that was the entrance to the property. And, as it turned out, to our new life.


Long Life and Low Costs in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

In Vilcabamba, Ecuador, you feel like you could live forever. It’s no wonder that this boasts of being the “Valley of Longevity,” where long, healthy lives are common and many of the locals claim to be centenarians—living well into their 100s. Perhaps it’s the climate. Just shy of the equator in southern Ecuador and at an elevation of 5,000 feet, temperatures in Vilcabamba average between 65 F and 81 F.


Long Life, Low Costs in Ecuador’s Sacred Valley

The morning mist burns away to reveal an expanse of velvety mountains and the green-carpeted valley in all its glory. Fresh air and blazing blue skies are to be expected here in the Andes. Here, you feel like you could live forever. It’s no wonder that this boasts of being the “Valley of Longevity,” where long, healthy lives are common and many of the locals claim to be centenarians—living well into their 100s.


Three Mountain Retreats in Ecuador

Friends in Ecuador couldn’t decide between the mountains and the beach. So they chose both. Because Ecuador may be the most affordable expat haven ever, you can do that here. For $114,000 total, our friends bought two condos—one beachfront and one with a mountain view. And their monthly expenses are less than $900.

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Wait – Don’t Miss Out:

Announcing: The Best Places in the World to Retire for 2016

For the 25th year in a row, we’ve ranked, rated, compared, and contrasted the best retirement havens in the world.

I’d like to offer you International Living’s brand new Global Retirement Index today — FREE. Whatever you dream about, you can be sure that in our 2016 Global Retirement Index there’s a place where you could make it real.

With this special offer, you can get a copy of this brand-new Index immediately—FREE.

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Your Last Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Before you go sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we’ll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you’ll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

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Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

Each day you'll learn about the best places to retire, travel, buy real estate and enjoy life overseas.

Enter your E-mail Address Below

We Value Your Privacy.