Mountainous Ecuador, high in the Andes, also has some of the cheapest beachfront around. Those cheap beachfront prices, plus Ecuador’s overall low cost of living, add up to great value for beach-loving expats. Here are some of the great-value destinations you’ll find on Ecuador’s southern Pacific coast.
Salinas is a fully-fledged beach resort—among Ecuadorians, it’s probably the country’s best-known resort. This is the place for those who like all amenities: modern condominium buildings (which line much of Salinas’s miles-long beach), restaurants, coffee shops, bars and discos. Plus there’s regular bus service to Guayaquil, only two hours away, which has an international airport.
Rent in Salinas from $500 a month
Despite being this coast’s upscale, all-amenities option, prices in Salinas are still low. Modern two-bedroom condos on or near the beach will cost you in the low $100,000s. In family-style neighborhoods just a few blocks from the beach, there are three-bedroom houses, often with lawns and garden areas, going for $60,000 to $80,000…and the kids can walk to the beach.
Staying short-term? I stayed in a small boutique hotel in a family neighborhood near the beach for $40 a night—all meals included. If you want to stay in the Salinas area long-term, check out monthly rentals. For condos, a one-bedroom can cost around $500 a month, while a spacious three-bedroom may run around $1,500.
Daily living costs are also low. The area has shopping malls with modern supermarkets near the city line between Salinas and the town of La Libertad; there is also a traditional market, where a few dollars can buy you a bagful of fresh fruits and vegetables. Prefer to eat out? In central Salinas you’ll find plenty of food stalls, where you can buy freshly-cooked seafood or homemade ceviche. A meal in these stalls will set you back only a few dollars per person–or pay slightly more if you prefer a restaurant right on the seaside malecón.
Great Real Estate Prices in Salinas Ecuador
For Salinas amenities but even lower prices, head to villages near Salinas, such as Ballenita. Here, a two- to three-bedroom house may cost you in the low $100,000s—roughly what you’d pay for a beachfront condo in Salinas. The tradeoff? You’ll only have a small local market for shopping in Ballenita…but the malls and markets at the Salinas/La Libertad city line are only a short drive away. Realistically, you may well need to buy a lot here and build your own home—but with building costs running about $50 a square foot for excellent construction, it’s very affordable.
Other small fishing villages also dot this coast, and they make great destinations for an afternoon’s outing. In the village of Ayague, right on its half-moon bay, a friend and I enjoyed a lobster lunch for two at a table by the water, our bare toes digging into the sand. With drinks and tip, the meal set us back only $20.
With these kinds of prices, I’d say that a couple can live comfortably along this coast for $1,000 a month.
Now that’s comfortable beach living at a price that’s hard to beat.
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