In Pictures: Beautiful and Low-Cost Ecuador

 

Ecuador, “The Land of Eternal Spring”, has it all—low cost of living, great health care and one of the most perfect climates in this region. Small wonder it has won International Living’s Global Retirement Index for the past five years running.

But what’s most attractive about Ecuador is it’s diversity…from picturesque, colonial cities, a 2,337 km stretch of Pacific coastline, the majestic Andes and of course the intriguing Galápagos Islands.


See the slideshow below to appreciate the many delights of Ecuador.

 

Forty-five minutes south of Loja, tiny Vilcabamba (population 2,000) enjoys some of Ecuador’s best weather. The area is touted for the longevity of its residents, many of whom claim to be over 100. Their vigor has been attributed to a variety of exotic influences but is most likely due to climate, simple food, exercise, and the unhurried pace of life. The town of Loja is a four-hour drive south of Cuenca and is often little more than a stopover to the tourist destination of Vilcabamba. But before you hurry through, take some time to admire Loja’s beautiful parks, rivers, and churches. North of Quito, Otavalo is home to one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. Otavalo and the surrounding mountains are simply stunning and the town of 75,000 people is clean and vibrant. Otavalo Indians are among Ecuador’s most business-savvy and prosperous citizens, making and selling some of the finest textiles, woolen items and hand crafts around. A few miles north of Otavalo, Cotacachi is a town of about 9,000 that has attracted scores of expats who appreciate the proximity to the markets and to Quito. Cotacachi has sprouted several new gated housing developments that are popular with foreigners. Quito is Ecuador’s capital city, and was the country’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito has a rich history, and many areas of the city retain their old colonial charm. There are also modern neighborhoods as well as a wealth of restaurants, bars, museums, and churches. Located at an elevation of 8,200 feet in Ecuador’s southern highlands, Cuenca is considered by most Ecuadorians to be the intellectual and cultural heart of the country. Like Quito, Cuenca (population 518,000) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its well-preserved Spanish architecture and cobblestone streets, it retains more of its colonial charm than Quito. Salinas is Ecuador’s largest coastal resort and offers one of the country’s best real estate investment markets and most popular and most upscale beach lifestyle. Located at Ecuador’s western-most point, the town is less than a two-hour drive from the international airport at Guayaquil.
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North of Quito, Otavalo is home to one of the largest indigenous markets in South America. Otavalo and the surrounding mountains are simply stunning and the town of 75,000 people is clean and vibrant. Otavalo Indians are among Ecuador’s most business-savvy and prosperous citizens, making and selling some of the finest textiles, woolen items and hand crafts around.

 

Editor’s Note: Learn more about Ecuador and other countries in IL’s daily postcard e-letterSign up for these free daily postcards here and we’ll send you a FREE REPORT Ecuador: Live Like Royalty on Your Social Security

 

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