Toucans and macaws glide around the lush jungle canopy and scores of monkeys parade through the overhanging branches. Neon-green and electric-blue butterflies of preposterous sizes flit across gurgling streams, while waterfalls drop into deep pools. Welcome to one of my favorites among Ecuador’s secret spots…a place hidden in the east of the country, where indigenous shamans still perform timeless rituals and a small number of adventurous expats have found new lives surrounded by nature.
If you've ever sat at a desk dreaming of owning your own jungle lodge in paradise, look no further than Wendy Green for inspiration. On the outskirts of Ecuador's cloud forest town of Mindo, two hours from the capital, Quito, Wendy runs wellness/yoga retreats on her five-acre parcel of land, complete with three waterfalls and a freshwater spring.
There are a growing number of people who have realized that retirement dreams can come true by moving abroad. Ecuador is one of the countries seeing an uptick in retired expats—many of whom have settled in the mountains of this equatorial nation. Here are five reasons why moving to Ecuador’s highlands could be right for you.
I'm writing this postcard from a veranda overlooking the Caribbean Sea on a nearly forgotten tropical island. The ocean is showing off several shades of blue and a slight breeze teases the palms. The piña colada at my side completes the picture. But as my family's annual vacation draws to a close I'm actually a bit anxious to return home to Cotacachi, Ecuador.
I feel so spoiled and fortunate to live here,” says Tracey Krause of her life in Cotacachi, Ecuador. “There’s a real gentleness of life; it’s just beautiful in the mountains, and I love the weather.”
Ecuador makes it to the top of the list for many people who are considering a move abroad. Climate, cost of living, culture, and ease of obtaining residence are some of the reasons often cited. But an often overlooked benefit is the potential for improved health due to a better diet. Most expats in Ecuador find themselves eating much more fresh produce than they did back home and the reason can be summed up in two words—variety and availability. While Ecuador does have supermarkets, every town has a centrally located farmer’s market. This is where most people prefer to shop, especially for produce. And the reason is simple. The variety of fruits and vegetables is great quality and prices are typically a fraction of what you’d pay back home. In addition, because of the climate, fresh produce is available year-round. This reduces or eliminates the need to buy frozen or canned foods.
There's a small city in Ecuador that you might never have heard of. But if you're looking for a retirement destination, it's got a lot to offer. Called Ibarra, it's Ecuador's northernmost mountain city. You're not alone if it's unfamiliar to you. Though I, and several hundred other expats, live just 30 minutes away in the small town of Cotacachi, Ibarra gets too little attention considering how attractive it is as an expat destination. Why doesn't it get the recognition it deserves, you ask? Well, it's partly because Ibarra lost much of its original colonial architecture to an earthquake over 100 years ago. Not that you'd notice much—the buildings that replaced the wrecked ones are a pretty good replica of colonial style.
Six years ago, the consensus among my friends and family was that I had lost my mind. For them, trying to understand why my husband David and I, would move our two young sons from a rural spot in the Rocky Mountains to a small...
If you're like most retirees, you dream of spending your golden years in a peaceful and relaxing place with a beautiful setting. No more days spent rushing to the office or battling gridlocked traffic. You won't want to worry about sweltering summer days that keep you wrapped up tight in your air-conditioned house.
“I’m in better shape now than I’ve been in many years,” says Warren Sklar, reflecting on his new life in Ecuador. “I was 140 pounds heavier, I was having a very difficult time controlling my blood pressure with three medications, and my diabetes was pretty much out of control… If I had stayed in the U.S., I’d be dead now.”