If I had magic powers, I would clone the little town of Cotacachi, Ecuador, and transport it to wherever you are right now.
That way, you could see for yourself what a wonderful place it is to live. It’s a quiet, peaceful, and clean little town where kids can still walk home from school and ride their bikes all over town long into the evening hours…where grandmothers sit on a chair on the sidewalk and dreamily watch the world go by and retirees like us are welcomed with open arms.
I’ve often referred to it as the “Mayberry of the Andes,” because it will remind you of Mayberry, the fictitious North Carolina town that you’ll remember fondly if you grew up watching the Andy Griffith show back in the 1960s.
Mayberry was safe, small-town living at its best…a community where friendship and families are valued and where the pace of life can be slowly savored.
And that’s Cotacachi. The altitude and latitude, right on the equator, makes for—at least in my opinion—a perfect year-round climate. I’ve yet to find another place on the planet that’s as perfect weather-wise.
Nor have I found a place as affordable to live as Cotacachi…a couple can easily live on a monthly budget of about $1,100 if you own your own home…or $1,500 if you include rent. Delicious home-cooked lunches can be had for just $2.50 a person. And dinner for two, including wine—at a lovely restaurant with white tablecloths and candlelight—can be enjoyed for just $25. Hire someone to clean your house for $15…get a pedicure for $6… And you won’t need a car. The village is small and easily walkable and taxis anywhere in town cost only a dollar or two…
You get the picture: Life is good and so affordable in Cotacachi, a town that proudly celebrates it colorful culture with its many festivals and parades, in its indigenous markets selling all sorts of Andean artisan crafts, and in the tidy shops that line its main street offering all sorts of leather goods made by local craftsmen.
If you love shopping, you will love Cotacachi and the nearby market town of Otavalo, home to South America’s largest open-air indigenous market.
And if shopping for a full- or part-time home is on your to-do list, that’s another reason to love picturesque little Cotacachi.
Here are just a couple of examples of the real estate bargains you’ll find in Cotacachi right now:
A 1,800-squre-foot, whitewashed, hacienda-style home with wood beams and a red tile roof is selling for only $122,000. There are three bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, and an office. There is a gorgeous kitchen with granite countertops and a wood-fired pizza oven and a barbecue in the backyard. This house comes with all appliances, including a washer-dryer, and is fully furnished…it even comes with two flat-screen TVs.
A similarly styled country home on nearly half an acre of land—with jaw-dropping mountain views—is on offer for just $169,000. There are fruit trees and flowering shrubs, palm trees, blackberry bushes, and a fish pond. The house itself includes skylights and even a separate artist’s studio.
By the way, these are average prices…you’ll find some even lower.
If condo living is more your style, you’ll find bargains there, too—typically priced from just $66,000 to $85,000 for two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and most often fully furnished. And almost always with a stunning view.
Happy, friendly, tranquil, affordable…this is how everyone I know describes this boutique-like town in the Andes.
If I could wave my magic wand and make it appear right now, for you to see firsthand, I would readily do that. I think you, too, would fall under its spell and you would never want to leave. That’s the magic of Cotacachi.
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