If you're looking for a quiet, peaceful, relaxing lifestyle, it would be hard to find a better place to live than Cotacachi, Ecuador. This little Andean town, takes up a small space in a valley between two impressive, yet long-dormant, volcanoes. The local people are friendly, and quite proud of their town which means they make a conscious effort to keep it clean and beautiful.
It's a striking setting with an atmosphere that will remind you of a simpler time. Children still play freely in the streets and the church bell summons the faithful to Sunday services. Most stores are family-owned and everyone greets one another as they pass on the streets.
Because of the area's breathtaking beauty and the quaint small-town feel, many people have chosen to call Cotacachi home. The population of 10,000 includes several hundred expats from around the world and many Quiteños (Quito natives) own vacation homes in the area.
If you're looking to purchase your own piece of real estate in Cotacachi, you'll have some nice options. Cotacachi is full of great neighborhoods and if you prefer a gated community there are several of those as well. You can choose between a stand-alone house, townhouses, or condo units. You can be right in the center of Cotacachi, itself or you can live outside of town as I do.
While Cotacachi doesn't have a bad section of town, there are a few areas that are particularly popular among expats. The El Coco neighborhood is near the hospital, several schools, a large playground/park, and a sizable family market. There are a number of two- and three-story houses in this area with small yards.
WhenAs you first enter Cotacachi, you'll see the Plaza del Sol marked by a large red metal sculpture in the abstract shape of the sun. This is another popular area for expats as it's at the edge of town so traffic and noise are minimal, yet the center of Cotacachi is just a 10ten-minute walk away.
If you want to feel like you're in the country, yet still be close to town, the communities of Tierra Firme and Rumy Tola are good options. Both are just a mile or two from Cotacachi, but are in peaceful locations. Tierra Firme has more expensive upscale homes which will often cost $200,000 or more while Rumy Tola's houses tend to sell for between $100,000 and $150,000.
Gated communities are popular in this partsection of the country, and there are some interesting options right within Cotacachi. La Casa de Llos Sueños is a collection of condo buildings which have a distinct Mediterranean flavor. Arched windows, domes, and dark wood accents are included in these units which have a sweeping view of Mount Imbabura—one of the valley's two volcanic guardians.
El Encanto is a collection of homes built in a private area on the outskirts of town. The homes are one- or two-story and are reminiscent of adobe-style housing with plenty of wood accents and large windows that let in plenty of natural light.
When looking for real estate your dream home in Ecuador—it's often difficult to find properties online—as this is very much a word-of-mouth society. However, in Cotacachi, things are different. Because it is a popular expat destination there are several real estate offices in town with good websites. A quick internet search for "Cotacachi Real Estate" will bring up several real estate sites where you can browse the selections or contact the real estate agents for more information.
Other good methods for finding real estate in Cotacachi include websites, like Craigslist (use the Quito version) and Viviun.com which often have a good selection of listings in the area. And if you're already in town, walk the streets and keep your eyes open for "Se Vende" (for sale) signs on houses. Many locals prefer to sell their houses themselves and a sign on the house or front gate is their typical form of advertising.
So, what will a house or condo in Cotacachi cost? As with real estate anywhere, there are many variables, including quality of construction and whether the property comes furnished or empty. Here are a couple of examples to give you an idea of real estate costs in the area.
You could buy one of those condo units in Primavera II today for $85,000. For your money, you would get a 1,356-square- foot propertyspace with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The secure development has plenty of landscaped garden areas and fruit trees available to the residents. On top of this you'll also be treated to stunning volcano views.
Or you if you've got a little extra cash you could head out towards the Pan-American Hhighway to Tierra Firme. There you can pick up a new 3,700-square-foot house on over an acre of land for $299,000. The house includes extras like four fireplaces and Brazilian granite countertops. In addition, you'll be right on a major bus route making transportation in and out of Cotacachi easy.
Rest assured, there are plenty of real estate choices in Cotacachi for a variety of lifestyles and budgets.
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