I've lived in Ecuador for five years now, and while I enjoy the slow pace of life, the surrealistic vistas, and the perfect weather every day of the year, I've also come to love the country's culture of celebration.
Ecuador is packed full of beauty, and it comes in many different forms. I've walked along golden beaches awash with turquoise waves. I've explored cloud forests under a lush canopy of broad-leaved trees.
Imagine a mid-sized city set in the midst of protective Andean peaks. Within the city itself, centuries-old structures from the Republican era still play home to religious ceremonies, banks, restaurants, and families.
"I love walking along the Tomebamba River," says Janda Grove. "I think it's one of the nicest things about Cuenca." Boasting romantic 18th-century architecture, and a rich artistic and cultural tradition, the colonial city of Cuenca is set high in Ecuador's Andes Mountains.
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.
By now it’s no secret that Ecuador is a very affordable place to live. In fact, my life in the little mountain town of Cotacachi is so inexpensive that I can support my family of four as a part-time freelancer.
Cuenca, Ecuador has caught the eye of many retirees. Thanks to coverage by outlets like NBC, Forbes, and USA Today, the city is gaining more international attention. And here at International Living, Cuenca gets frequent exposure due to our belief that it’s one of the world’s best destinations for living abroad.
As I write this from my home in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I’m sipping a smoothie made from locally grown pineapple, banana, and strawberries. The sun is making its way over the top of Imbabura Volcano, promising another beautiful day.
My husband and I own a spacious three-bedroom home just outside of a pretty mountain town. We also have a 75-acre farm with a small house and five horses. We don’t owe anyone a penny and I support all of our family’s needs by working just part-time.
Ecuador’s coast draws people from around the world who are looking to enjoy sun-drenched beaches, crystal-blue waters, and wildlife—including humpback whales during their seasonal migration.