One of the most rewarding aspects of living in a foreign country is discovering something new. It lends a certain excitement to your life to know that every day might bring a new experience. I especially like it when you find something new when you weren’t looking and least expected it.
You’ve seen these claims before…about how you can live well and more affordably in Ecuador. People always ask me, how realistic are those statements? What do you mean by “comfortable?”
My wife and I recently rented a car for a week to leave the familiar sights and sounds of our oceanfront home in Salinas, and explore a little of the interior of Ecuador. We planned to use the city of Loja in the southern Andes as a base, but took our time getting there, stopping in a few places along the way.
Sitting at a lower elevation than Cuenca, Loja's climate tends to be a little warmer. It also has a much smaller expat population, probably only a few dozen scattered around town and in the nearby farms, so if you're looking for a place to live among North Americans, this is probably not for you. However, if you know some Spanish or are willing to learn, it can be a very rewarding home.
I can’t stay silent any longer. There are some things that expats don’t warn you about before you make the decision to move to Salinas, on the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. In the interest of full disclosure, I feel you have the right to know these seven things that expats don’t like to mention, but will surely happen to you as a full-time resident.
When you think of Salinas, on the southwestern Pacific Coast of Ecuador, you picture big crowds and lots of water activity under a hot summer sun. But this is not the only side of Salinas. It is one of the most popular beach destinations for Ecuadorians and an increasing number of North American “snow birds”, but us year-round residents get to experience something wonderful—Low Season!
I recently spent a few days in the beautiful city of Loja, “cradle of art, literature, and music,” in the southern Andes of Ecuador. You know you are in a special place almost from the moment you arrive. Between the ornate castle-like structure of the City Gates, or the walking bridge displaying pipe organs, cellos, and guitars, it is clear that you are entering a city that appreciates music and culture.
Much has been written about Ecuador as one of the most ecologically diverse countries on earth, with near-perfect climates to choose from and landscapes including plains, mountains, coastal, and everything in between. For a country about the same size as Wyoming, this is impressive. Choose the weather and terrain you like best, and most likely you can find the ideal spot in Ecuador.
Tom and Becky Arbuckle first came to Ecuador on vacation in August 2013. "We fell in love with the Ecuadorian culture and people," Tom said. "We were in Salinas for a month, and decided we would have to come back and explore more of Ecuador, try to find a place where we could live the rest of our lives." They traveled up and down the coast checking places out and talking with the residents. They visited the capital, Quito, and even the cloud forests in the northwestern parts of the country before finally deciding on Playas.
What exactly does it mean to live a healthy lifestyle? There have been mountains of articles and books on the subject, infomercials abound, and ads touting the benefits of this or that food jumping out at us daily. But in the middle of all of the noise and the sometimes contradictory claims, there seems to be three things that everyone can agree are important for a healthy life; a healthy diet, regular exercise, and time spent outdoors breathing fresh air. Fortunately, we have those things in easy abundance here in Salinas, Ecuador, on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.