Where is the best beach town in Ecuador to hang your hat? Well, that depends entirely on the lifestyle, climate, and environment you’re after, of course. Because not every beach town is created equally. That’s especially true in Ecuador, where every journey along the country’s 530–mile long Ruta del Sol coast, from the border with Peru northward to Colombia, takes you through several diverse eco-systems.
Little Roatán has its share of visitors. In high season, during the North American winter, it hosts multiple cruise ships each day. About a million tourists come each year, drawn by the tropical beach fun, world-class scuba diving, and relaxed attitude.
Mexico is not only the nearest destination abroad for U.S. and Canadian expats; it is also one of the most popular. More than a million expats are estimated to live in Mexico full- or part-time…the largest concentration of North American expats anywhere in the world.
Panama has much to offer, from mountain havens boasting year-round mild temperatures to colonial towns where the traditions of grand old Spain have shaped and enriched the local culture. But it’s Panama’s sunny beaches that get the most attention…and with good reason.
I was born and raised in Michigan and lived in Chicago as an adult. Harsh winters have been the name of the game most of my life. When my husband and I decided to make a move abroad, warm weather and sunshine year-round were at the top of our list of criteria.
Surfers from all over the globe flock to Costa Rica each year, and it’s debatable among natives whether surfing or futbol (soccer) would be considered the most popular sport. While there are plenty of great surf spots in the land of Pura Vida, Tamarindo stands out from the crowd.
Usually when people think about moving to the beach, it is to enjoy sunshine, surf, sand, and good weather. When my wife Rita and I moved to Salinas, Ecuador on the Pacific coast, great weather was at the top of our checklist.
The Riviera Maya is a glorious stretch of sparkling white sand and turquoise-green Caribbean waters, bathed in balmy tropical sunshine. Beginning in Cancún at the northeast tip of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and running about 80 miles south along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, this spectacular stretch of palm-studded beach draws about five million vacationers from across the globe, each year, making it the Caribbean’s number one vacation destination.
Imagine living just a 20-minute flight from a world-class island destination…a 45-minute ferry from a tiny haven called the Island of Flowers…or an hour’s drive from an expansive, uncrowded beach that is home to an exuberant expat community.
Jutting out into the Pacific on the country’s northwest corner, the Nicoya Peninsula is set apart geographically from mainland Costa Rica. It’s more than an hour’s drive to the nearest sizable city, Nicoya. And from the capital, San José, and the main international airport there, it will take the better part of a day and include a mix of rough dirt roads and pavement winding through forest, farmland, and mountains. One route, to the southern tip of the peninsula, even includes a ferry crossing.