With most of the population of Ecuador living in the highlands, and given the scenic beauty of the Andes, sometimes it’s easy to forget that the country also offers long stretches of amazing Pacific coastline.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’d like to take you on a photo tour of my home, the beach town of Tamarindo on Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast. This is Playa Tamarindo, a beach that stretches for a mile along the “Golden Coast” that hugs the Pacific Ocean.
Warm, clear blue-green sea lapping long, sandy beaches… Families eating and laughing together over slow, relaxed dinners with lashings of good food and even better wine… Markets packed full of fresh-caught fish, locally made cheeses, and a rainbow of delicious produce… When you live by the beach in Europe, life is simpler, happier, and healthier.
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.
The southern part of Mexico’s Caribbean coast is a mostly undeveloped stretch of stunning, isolated beach called the Costa Maya. Unlike the tourist-driven beaches of the Riviera Maya further north, this length of coastline snuggles up against lowland jungle for some 62 miles and is largely inaccessible by road.
Whether you’re looking for a bustling beach resort town with plenty of restaurants, chic boutiques, and nightlife…or you’d rather string up your hammock between two palms and fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and not see another person all afternoon…you can get it in Costa Rica.
With a low cost of living, picture-perfect white-sand beaches, friendly locals and fascinating culture, Southeast Asia are so much more than exotic vacation spots. Enticing expats and retirees from around the globe, they still beckon with the promise and rewards of an exciting life overseas. Imagine never having to buy a new coat or pay for home heating ever again. Untouched by our idea of “winter”, each of the countries in Southeast Asia delivers warm, tropical weather and the chance for beach-side relaxation all year round. For many expats, it’s paradise found.
Sitting at an outside table of El Sesteo restaurant at sunset with a watermelon mojito in hand, I watched the sky change into hues of purple and gold behind the domes of the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Leon (the largest church in Central America). The central park square in front of me was bursting with life: families, groups of teenagers, elderly couples sitting on benches, and children playing games. The night was full of fireworks, music, and singing. A slight breeze took the edge off the heat and every now and then a tourist or two walked by.
"Our days are so different from how they were in the States," says Jennings Wright. "Everything is more relaxing here and work often just feels like fun." After many months of travel, searching for a new and exciting place to live, Jennings (51) and her husband Chuck (56) chose Nicaragua for its low cost-of-living, natural beauty, and welcoming people.
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.