Posted by: luisabaldwin | June 2, 2010


The town of Cotacachi, Equador


May, 2011 UPDATE: Steve has moved out of Cotacachi.  For Cotacachi inquiries, please contact  If you’re interested in a lower altitude, Steve has a new development in Vilcabamba, Ecuador.  Vilcabamba is at 5,000 feet elevation.  Please contact him at or go to my publication on Vilcabamba, Ecuador

NOTE: I realize that a lot of my readers are seriously considering an Ecuadorian move but some caution is merited here. You want to be fully informed.   I have a Panamanian friend who recently visited Ecuador.  She reported to me that people were showing some trepidation about talking politics.  This is a warning sign.  On the other hand, my friend Steve has no problems with the politics of Ecuador and loves the independence of the indigenous population.  You are going to have to be the judge and jury on this issue.

Many of you have expressed an interest in finding places in Central and South America that are less expensive than Boquete, Panama.  So, I sought out an x-pat Boquete resident who moved to Cotacachi, Ecuador to get the real skinny on Ecuador.  Back from Cotacachi to visit old friends, Steve and I sat down for a long meeting where he explained everything to me and I wanted to pass this along to you.

After a sharp run-up on real estate prices, Boquete, Panama has been in a pretty severe real-estate correction and Steve ended up losing a sizable chunck on the sale of his Boquete home.

He was in search of better real estate values, a less expensive area, a climate that was less rainy. Finally, he wanted to find  a crime-free community.  He thinks he’s found all of that in Cotacachi, Equator.  If you do a key word search on Cotacachi, Equator what you will find is a very pretty little town, pristine high-altitude surroundings (8,000 ft.), some very lovely buildings and a very clean community.

The cathedral in Cotacachi

Pete describes Cotacachi as similar to what life was like in the U.S. in the 50’s.  Worry free, simple, and most importantly, crime free.  I know what he was talking about.  Back in the 70’s I lived in New Zealand.  There weren’t twenty different kinds of toasters to buy, there was one.  People fixed their cars instead of buying a new one when the repair exceeded the blue-book value of their car.  They lived in peace and tranquility without government interference.  Life was simple and sweet.  You had a job and it provided you with enough to make ends meet.  You knew your neighbors and everybody accepted their lives as they were.  People didn’t judge each other because they all understood that the common human condition was hard and none of us had really gone very far so they helped each other out.   New Zealand, in those days, was a very nice place to live.  Cotacachi is a little like that.  According to Pete, unlike Boquete, there are no burglaries or home invasions there at all.  He still maintains his capital in the Panama banking system because it’s so stable but other than that, he’s very happy in Ecuador.

We spent a goodly portion of our time together talking about cost of living – a topic everybody is interested in these days.  Here is the summation of Pete’s experience of living in Equator:


Gas    $1.48
Propane    $2.00

Restaurant    $2.00-$3.00

Dentist: Crown $50.00, cleaning $15.00, Implant $1,000.00

3 hectares    $60,000.00
Medical    Cheap
Home 3/1, 1,000 sq. ft., little back yard    $35,000.00
Land    $20.00 sq. meter
Apartment rental    $150.00 up to $400.00
Condos    $69.0000.00
House rental    $400.00 furnished
Internet    $65.00
Building costs    $55.00 sq. ft.
Food    Cheap but processed food is same as Panama

The Andean Indians run the show

According to Pete, the best real-estate deals in Ecuador are on the beach.  The coastline is not as hot as that of Panama.  In the afternoons, the temperatures only reach the high 80’s.
Pete described the weather of Cotacachi as follows:

Cotacachi doesn’t have the January and February winds of Boquete.
There are two rainy seasons (one is April/May) when it’s drizzlier and you don’t get the big downpours of Boquete.
The temperature drops to 48 degrees at night and rises to 70-72 degrees during the day.

The people are very friendly towards x-pats

Cotacachi is at 7,800 feet elevation.  There is another town at 5,000 feet elevation to consider in Ecuador if Cotacachis’ elevation is too high for you.
The Pensionado (pensioners) visa is easier to secure.  It takes 6 weeks and the requirement is $900.00/mo. Income for 2 people.

The "mercado" but you can get anything you want in Ecuador

Electronics are more expensive so buy them there in Panama or the US.  Change out your cell phone to a 4-Band phone in Panama first.  Then when you get there just switch out the chip.
Internet is fine.  One meg. (and it runs at one meg) is $65.00.  But you need to have a house phone so that’s the first thing you do when you move into a home.  It will take 10-14 days to get the phone.
Air fare from Panama to Quito runs about $478.00-678.00
There are 100 x-pats living in Cotacachi

The quiet and very clean street of Cotacachi

The political environment is somewhat unattractive.  However, politics in South America for the most part don’t reach with a heavy hand into the more isolated parts of a country.
The governments of South America are not as big as the government of the U.S.

The country-side is absolutely beautiful

I hope this satisfies your curiosity.  Yes, you can lower your cost of living in South America.  There are very real choices for everyone at every level.

Could this be your new landscaping project for your new home?



  1. My wife and I have lived in Cotacachi for over a year and agree with this article. Cotacachi is a great place to escape the stresses of the modern world but still have the amenities that most people want. Moving here was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

    • Hi Gary,
      Thank you for your verification on my Cotacachi post. It’s always nice to have personal experience to make sure that what you read on the Internet is indeed true, although my information was direct from someone who moved there from Boquete. I’ve been very surprised, but I have a lot of inquiries and people returning to my Cotacachi posting. May I ask, many are concerned about the politics of Ecuador. What are your feelings about it?

    • Gary:

      So glad to see your verification. My wife is planning a recon visit in early October; I’m trying to place Cotacachi on her radar. She’s been leaning more towards Quito simply because we’ll be bringing a 6yr old grandchild with us. Ecuador is definitely our choice. Availability of grade schools will be a big determining factor. I do hope they have decent ones in Cotacachi.

      • Hi Jay,

        Please check back to the website from time to time. I am currently collaborating with a friend in Cotacachi on an update article on the area. We will be focusing on rental availability, home ownership, politics, and I will also ask him to give us some information on education k-12.

    • My husband and I are thinking about spending a year in Cotacachi for a year with our two elementary school aged children. Do you have any school recommendations for us?

      • Hi Kerry,

        Please visit the following URL: Here you will find the information on the school you’re looking for under K-12. for your children. I don’t think you will be disappointed. This is the school that ex-pats send their children to. Best of luck on your extended stay in Ecuador.

      • Kerry, I just saw your post. Where did you end up? We are in Cotacachi with our two young boys. Check out our blog at Best to you, Bo and Jamie

    • HI, Gary

      My name is Danitza Mccauley I will be in Cotacachi next march for two day can you send more information at my email thanks

  2. Gary — can you please help us. We are trying to find something —- anything about rental property in Cotacachi. There is a small group of us, family, who want to come there

    • Hello Sue,
      I’m going to forward your request to a friend who lives in Cotacachi. Lets see if he can help you too.

  3. I have enjoyed reading the article and posts. Can you tell me if there are any Canadians living in Cotacachi?

    • Hi Peter,
      There are about 100 x-pats living in Cotacachi. I am in the middle of co-writing another article on Cotacachi and will check with my contact there about your question. Check back from time to time for that new article.

  4. Hi everyone,

    Sorry for the delay in answering the questions as I just returned to the webpage and noticed the responses. With regard to the issue of politics, I posted a blog entry on my website at that addresses my thoughts on how the political situation affects expats.

    As far as rentals go, Sue, I know of a couple of rentals that may be available if you can give me an idea of when you are coming and the length of time that you plan to be here.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. I’m happy to help if I can.

  5. I do all right in the mountains of Colorado at about 7,00 feet but much higher is very tough. I am concerned that the big city is Ouito in terms of medical care 9,800ft. Is there access to good western medicine someplace nearby?
    My husband and I are learning Spanish and plan to take a trip sometime soon to immerse ouselves in the language is there a school nearby?

    • Hello Carole,
      I will forward your questions to a friend who lives in Cotacachi and we’ll include his responses in the article that we are working on. Good questions!

  6. Hi All,
    I am looking at retiring to Ecuador, Cotacachi in particular and I am interested in the availability of Satellite programing. Is it available, as I have some physical issues? Joy

    • Hi Joy,
      Please e-mail your question to Steve who lives in Cotacachi. His e-mail is at the top of my Cotacachi vs. Panama cost of living publication. I know that there is Sky TV all throughout South and Central America. Sky has the primary US cable news channels and some English language programming.

  7. Help, I am lost. I am a 69 yr old retiring USA dentist, tight budget due to terrible health problems in family (I am healthy). I want to retire to a cool, sunny, affordable mountain city in Ecuador (Cotacachi); Costa Rica, Atenas or Lake Arenal; or Panama, Boquete or Volcan. I would like satellite t.v, and high speed internet, with reasonable distance to grocery and pharmacy and some shopping. I am confused. I have 150K budgeted for living. Still excellent clinician with sterling credentials, would like to work in dental office a couple days a week. Retire from USA in one week.PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

    • Hello Dr. Belcher,
      You can retire here in Boquete on your Social Security alone. Currently, we are living on one Social Security here in Panama. Cotacachi is far less expensive but the altitude is not very good for people with heart conditions. Perhaps you should consider a coastal town. If you correspond with Steve in Cotacachi, he can tell you about some new lower elevation towns he has found. You can access his e-mail directly from my site. You can get both satellite t.v. and high speed Internet in both countries. Both Cotacachi and Boquete have grocery, pharmacy, and other shopping. If you apply for your retirement visa in Ecuador, you will be able to work. However, the Panama “pensionado” prohibits working while in retirement. Dr. Belcher, I know you feel a bit squeezed but don’t you think it’s important to take a budget trip to both countries? You will save a lot more in Equador and many have moved there. We have chosen not to because we feel the politics is a bit too unstable for us. But again, as you surely must have noticed from my last post, many have moved and are happier there than here in Panama, mainly because a big financial stress has been lifted from their shoulders. Never give up – there is always hope somewhere in this wonderful world of ours.

      • Hi, I have lived in Argentina, Honduras, and now in Ecuador. I love Ecuador, and i love Argentina, but hate ALL of Central America, and I have travelled it extensively. NOTHING is true about any of these places, including Ecuador. nobody will tell you the truth, it seems, but me.None of these places are anywhere near as cheap as you are being led to believe, including Ecuador. American style food is more expensive than in the U.S., as is ALL other imported items. Health and dental is very good and very cheap. Cars in Ecuador are double what they are in the U.S. new and used. Gas is only $1.50, deisel, $1.00. Food in restrauants is NOT about $2.00 unless you want to eat rice and beans. Prices are nearly as high as in the U.S. Land and house are more expensive than in the U.S., and when you see something listed ou like, it probably does NOT exist. remember the bait and switch. It is the Americans who are doig this, not the locals. I hope this helps. The climate and the sencery is beautiful beyond words.

      • Dear Rossie,

        Thank you for your insights. I only report things as I see them. I haven’t tried to paint anything but an accurate picture of my life here in Panama and the research I did on Ecuador. It’s just that Latin America isn’t for everybody. People have different bucket lists for living abroad. We have lowered our cost of living by 50% and raised our standard of living considerably so, while Latin America might not be as inexpensive as Thailand or India, I think saving 50% on the cost of living is pretty good. I’m not dissapointed. In fact, my husband and I, after living in Panama for 3 years, think we made one of the best and most important decisions of our lives. I and many of the residents living in Panama are very happy here and love the country. So I will have to respectfully disagree with you about Central America. As it relates to Ecuador, I’m sure your first hand experience will assist the readership and I thank you for that. I hope you continue to be happy in your new life in Ecuador.

      • Hi, Thanks for you response. Ihae nodoubt that you have cut you expenses by 50%. All i was trying to say is that even at that, living expenses simply are not near as cheap as most people claim, anywhere, unless they want of live as so many of the locals do. Beans, rice, dirt floors, yellow school buses for transportation, etc. is the way to spend the amount most people claim. Just for an example, a half liter of bottled water in Panama costs about $2.00 in any bar or resturant, more than beer or coke which cost $1.50. And you ceertainly can buy a nice condo or house in many places in the U.S., for far less than in Panama or anywhere else in central America or Ecuador. I am not saying, overall, it is not less to live in central America. i am only saying it is not as inexpensive as MOST Americans claim. All the best, Rossie

      • Hello again Rossie,

        Inflation over the last three years has been everywhere. Since I run this website, I don’t look at other websites on Central and South America so I can’t speak to what most people claim about living expenses. For me, there is more to life than money, although, of course, that’s important. Thank you for your feedbacks. They are always welcome on this site.

      • Hi, I could ot agree more. There are so many things more important than money, but living expenses was the topic I was writing about. All the best, Rossie

      • Hi Rossie,
        And you’re right. When we decided on our move abroad, we did look carefully at cost of living. It was one of our line items. Thank for your contributions.

    • I recommend for you to take a trip to both countries before even thinking about moving. Once you are there visiting take the time to truly observe everything around. If you have never been in South America it might be a bit frustrating dealing with the new local environment, specially because it is so different from United States in so many regards. I recommend visiting Panama since I am from here, if you come to Boquete, make sure you visit Santa Fe de Veraguas. It is not as nice as Boquete, less develop, but the weather and the community are quite nice. You won’t need to work in there, since you can live with less than 8 dollars a day, however if you decide to do so, you can always teach english or earn some money doing something that you can teach to others. As I said , you won’t need a lot of money to live there. Santiado is about 30 minutes away and it is a pretty big town with some decent hospitals, restaurants and so forth.
      Unfortunately Santa Fe is getting very popular lately, like Boquete 10 years ago, so if you can make it before the land goes up, you will get a better deal.
      Remember even if you are desperate “sit down and smell the flowers” before you take any important decision in your life.
      Good luck

      • Hello Natasha,
        Thank you for your inputs but a word of caution to Panama retirees; if you are on a pensionado visa you can’t work in Pamana. However, you can work in Ecuador.

  8. You mentioned a town at a lower elevation (5,000 ft). What is the name of the town? What is the weather like at that elevation? What is the humidity?

    • Hi Holly,

      There is an ex-pat community (small) just to the North of Loja. The elevation is around 5,000 ft.

  9. Hello guys,
    My wife and I plan to visit Ecuador in the next couple of months for alternative cancer treatment. I need to locate a Dr. that can administer Laetrile (B-17) OR other alternative modalities. The plan is to stay at least 2 months and visit both the Mountain range & the Coastal plane.
    We hope to continue our retirement there if the cost of living fits within our budget.

    Thanks for any information that you have.

    Lee Brooks

    • Hello Lee,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your health challenges and wish you the best success. My friend Steve lives in Ecuador. Perhaps it wasn’t evident from my articles on Ecuador that I live in Panama. Steve has told me that Ecuador does offer a lot of alternative medical treatment, including stem cell treatment. If I may suggest, please go back to those articles and look up Steve’s e-mail address. Perhaps he has someone he can refer you to. As to the cost of living in Ecuador, those two articles will give you a lot of information on what things cost. Ecuador is truly inexpensive. Most budgets will be able to afford that inexpensive economy, especially with gas, which is subsidized. Again, the very best of success to you and your wife.

      • To the person looking for a country using Laetrile for cancer treatment…check this unique and amazing hospital in Tijuana Mexico that uses this modalities and others.

        Best wishes

      • Thank you for your suggestions Marebell. I hope that the person who’s wife had cancer checks back in to read your suggestion.

  10. Hi, would love to come and retire in Equador in the fall of 2011, but still want to work to earn some income. I have sufficient income for pensioner’s retirement, but how can I find employment as a university teacher or esl teacher before coming there? Most esl employment sites are geared for Asian communities. I have been teaching English at universities in China for the past four years. Any ideas-thanks?

    • Hi Judy,
      These are very good questions but I don’t have the answers. I live in Panama. I just did a couple of articles on Ecuador. Maybe my friend Steve, who lives there, will be willing to answer your questions. Just look in those two articles for his e-mail.

  11. HI I am looking at a permanent living situation in Cuneca any suggestions are for that location thanks Tom

    • Hi Tom,
      I’m hoping that some of the bloggers in Ecuador check back in and give you some suggestions. Even though I wrote the two articles on Ecuador, I live in Panama and hence, don’t have the resources you are seeking.

  12. Looking for anyone who has heard of any “cancer alternative therapies” in Ecuador.

    A quick answer to would be more than appreciated !

    • Hello Victor,
      So sad to hear of you or your loved ones having to pursue alternative treatments for cancer. I live in Panama but in doing research on Ecuador, I have been told by an Ecuador resident that Ecuador offers stem cell therapy. I don’t know if this helps but they have all sorts of alternative treatments. Perhaps Steve (the e-mail I gave in the Ecuador article) can offer some suggestions. I will be sending many healing thoughts your way!

  13. We have been looking into going to ecuador. Nowhere does anyone discuss what vaccinations are required when going there.
    Also is there an economical airline for airfares. We live in nebraska and flights from here seem to be very high.

    • Hello Jo,

      I’m afraid I can’t help you with vaccinations. However, I think you’ll find that information if you go to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) or the State Dept. websites. We live in Panama but our friend who lives in Ecuador tries to get COPA Air because many of their flights are non-stop. You pay a little bit more but it’s worth it. All airline flights are going up because of the oil increases. One thing you might try is waiting for a Southwest special to LAX and then fly COPA to Ecuador. Hope this helps.

  14. Looking to live in Ecuador.The problem is I live it all but can not afford it all. Looking for a property where I can establish a little income and live in the same dwelling. B&B ex. Thanks, Virginia

    • Hello Virginia,
      Thank you for your post. If I may, I would suggest that you make contact with some residents of Ecuador and check out the forums such as a Yahoo Americans in Ecuador. Perhaps someone has a suggestion for you. I live in Panama and only know one person in Ecuador. Best of luck to you.

  15. Interesting; I was familiar with the Shah, the only SHAW that comes to mind is the southern NewEngland supermarket chain.

    • Hello,
      I would like to thank you for my spelling lesson. My apologies. My mistake. I’ve corrected it.

  16. I need some info. Originally I was wanting to move to Ecuador, but thought it might be difficult for me because of the elevation. I think I need someplace no more than around 2500/3000 ft. I have a lung disease and can’t take high elevation. If anyone is aware of a city with low elevation and nice weather please let me know.
    Moving right along, I then decided that Panama might be ok. I have googled Boquete and David and they sound nice but not quite what I see in Ecuador.
    I also see that they have had some serious flooding in these areas. Are they hot and humid most of the time? What area should I be googling for the best weather and environment? Oh, not to mention safe area for a senior citizen. Thanks for any input.
    Terri from Texas

    • Hi Terri,
      I’ve been traveling hence my tardy reply. My apologies. Ecuador has some temperate sea level communities. The lowest elevation I’ve posted on my site is Vilcabamba at 5,000 feet. Ecuador is generally less humid and more arid than Panama, which is good for lung problems. Panama is very rainy and humid most of the year and has mold issues all over the country, which is not good for lung. Panama is a very stable and safe country. Yes, tropical rain storms do create flooding issues but they have never impacted us here in Boquete. I don’t know about the crime rates along the beach communities of Ecuador, but in Cotacachi, it’s just about nil. You might want to try expanding your search parameters to include Uruguay. There are ex-pat communities in Uruguay and, to my knowledge, Uruguay is politically stable. Maybe you’ll find the climate you are searching for there. Best of luck to you Terri.

  17. Hi. Did I eat the post that I placed here yesterday? Gee, I’m getting too old for this. Can’t find a thing. Would someone turn me in the right direction,

    Terri from Texas

    • Hello again Terri,
      My travel schedule interfered with my approval of your post. Sorry about that. My response is now posted. Best wishes on your search.

  18. Thanks so much for your reply. I’m not sure how I feel about being along a beach, it’s not really me. Surely there must be someplace in Ecuador that is not so high. I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation but if it’s so, I have no doubt that I lived in Ecuador in a higher elevation. Some of the pictures that I’ve seen give me a feeling like no other. Between the mountains and the waterfalls I get such a feeling in the pit of my stomach. I believe that Ecuador is where I should be. I will research Uruguay and also more about Ecuador. Also someone gave me a book on Costa Rica. It’s also lovely but not too sure if it’s for me. Any info?
    Thank you so much for your help,

  19. Thinking about retiring to Cotacochi within six months. I do have my ESL/TESOL certificate and would like to teach part time. Is anyone aware of possible teaching opportunties.

    I would also like to correspond with expat residents regarding my upcoming visit tp explore rental homes. Information regarding a decent hotel would be great – also best place to live information.

    Really appreciate any help you can provide.

    • Hello Linda,

      Although I have penned articles on Ecuador, I actually live in Panama. If I may suggest, you might do a key-word search for Ecuadorian blogs, like “Americans in Ecuador” or ex-pats in Ecuador. I’m sure you will be able to hook up with ex-pats living there who will be able to provide you with up-to-date information on Cotacachi. Best of luck to you.

  20. American Chiropractor here looking to expat to Cotacachi. I see in the blog the easy visa (25K deposit) has been eliminated. Is the deposit now larger or is a certified pension or property purchase required now? What are the new requirements/opportunities?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Dr. Dean,
      Thank you for your inquiry. I live in Panama but have published a number of articles on my website for Ecuador. I’m probably not the best one to answer your question. I’m not sure this reference is up to date but would like to pass it on to you. Please visit:

      Perhaps this may be a good place to start. Best of luck in your new beginnings.

  21. I need a real estate agent in Cotacachi, Ecuador. I am in the states but could really use a contact realtor.

    • Hello Sharon,
      I live in Panama but have published a number of articles on my website regarding Ecuador. If I may, try a search for real estate agents in Cotacachi or get on some ex-pat forums on the Internet. Many users on these forums are quite helpful. Best of luck in your search. BTW, have you visited

  22. I have a small internet based business and would like to spend a few months in Ecuador. I receive big data files and 100 plus emails a day. Can anyone make a suggestion as to what service to use for a few months so that I can hit the ground running?

    • Hello Richard,

      I have published several articles on Ecuador on this website but I actually live in Panama. If I may suggest, try contacting some Ecuador ex-pat forums for your answers. Maybe “Americans in Ecuador”. I know the Americans in Panama forum is very helpful and I suspect the ex-pat community in Ecuador is too. Best of luck in your endeavors.

  23. WoW,
    your incredibly patient with all the followers who dont realize your in Panama now. How is it there in comparison to Ecuador? I’m looking to move to south to reestablish my life and love of living and enjoying simple life. Actually want to find a small town to do local automotive work or construction trades. Please keep the words flowing as it inspires dreams.

    • Hello Johnie, Thank you for your kind words. The reason I feature, from time to time, local businesses is for just that reason. Times are hard, at least in the US. People have come to other countries and started over. We have both construction and mechanics who have come here and started up their business, which are thriving. I feature these articles to give inspiration and hope to those thinking about starting out again in other countries.

      I have published some articles on Ecuador because we were considering it as an alternative to Panama. We have friends who live there and so, we looked into it. We wanted to offer people additional choices and Ecuador was about half the price of Panama. You might also look into Uruguay. Good reports coming in on that country.

      Keep on dreaming Johnie. There’s a solution for every problem except death, bad health, and taxes. Once again, thank you for your kind words.

  24. Hello there! In the post I see that another town near Cotacachi is located at 5,000 ft . We want to be cautious about altitude … so if you can share the name of that town and some information about it we would really appreciate it. Also how are the amenities in this town? Thanks

    • Hello Shirley,
      There is a town at 5,000 ft. called Vilcabamba. Check on the website for an article. But, don’t forget, Ecuador has a big long coastline too. Best of luck with your endeavors.

      • Hello, I enjoyed hearing about Cotacachi and the post from Texas who suffers from high altitude with his lung disease. Thank you Tex, it is something I need to consider for my husbands Asbestosis. I see the suggestion of Vilcabamba and although I love this area, the prices for real-estate is almost prohibitive for us now. 😦 I am familiar with Costa Rica TEX and can say that my husband does well with his lungs in the Central Valley area…
        Thanks for the cost of living examples, and now two years later, I wonder what they are up to….Vaya Con Dios!

      • Hello Colette,
        Thank you for your feedback. And yes, your question regarding cost of living (inflation) is a valid one. We’ve certainly had inflation in Panama over the last four years. Perhaps you and your husband would like to be pioneers. Steve and I are going to be working on an article for a new area in Ecuador. It’s down at sea level (not hot like the coast here in Panama). This area only has ten ex-pats living there and I don’t know how far away from medical services it is but I’ll work that into the article. But costs should be lower for housing than Cotacachi or Vilcabamba. Check back from time to time for the article.

  25. Enjoy the comments. Your last response dated 2012 you said you where looking at place in Ecuador at sea level. I have COPD that sounds more like something I could use. Anymore information on it?

    • Hi Tom. Yes, I did find a sleepy little beach town and it’s ready to take off. By that I mean real estate is very inexpensive and you would be in the first wave of investors. Ecuador is investing in Puerto Lopez’s infrastructure and developing it to be a coastal tourist center. The town is called Puerto Lopez and I did publish an article on it. Here’s the link: Or just key in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador in the search parameter on the website. Best of luck in your endeavors.

  26. Hola! Thank you for your wonderful information. My husband and I are interested in weiting a book with the flora and fauna of Panama, and we are wondering about the safety of hiking into more remote areas (we are both active hikers and know about preparedness). My question is, is it safe for us to hike alone or even safe with a guide. Also we read on another side that there was an uptick in crime, and the people writing it stated there were 114 home invasions in the first part of 2013, and if this sounds accurate. Yes, we have crime here in Wisconsin also so we know there is nowhere crime free. I would like your opinion and also compare crime between Panama and Ecuador. Muchas gracias!

    • Hello Karen,

      Well, Panama is a flora and fauna paradise. If you scroll way back on my website you will see a lot of my photography of the beautiful flowers and plants. Every year we have a festival of flowers. Just do a key word search on my site and you’ll find an older article that I published on that festival.

      As to hiking in Panama. It’s pretty safe here but common sense would dictate going out with a guide, especially if you are going out to remote regions so you don’t get lost.

      If you think about the crime rate in a large city in the US, the crime rate is very low here. Mostly robberies when the owners are gone. Additionally, as it relates to crime, what you read is something I can’t speak to as I don’t have any statistics but home invasion usually implies acts of violence. Panama is not inclined towards violence, rather it is more pacifist as a culture. That number would sound awfully high to me. I only know of a couple of home invasion incidents. Here in Boquete we have Alto al Crimen, a group of retired American police officers and detectives. They network closely with the local police and solve the few crimes we have here in Boquete. They’re highly organized and are responsible for the extremely low crime rate we have here.

      I can’t speak to crime in Ecuador as I don’t live there. Please do a key word search on my site for Ecuador. There you will find the name and address of my friend Steve. You can communicate directly with him on the topic.

      Hope I have been of some help to you as you consider Panama. It’s beautiful here!

  27. Hello. I am thoroughly intrigued with Ecuador. I was wondering what the least humid areas of Ecuador are as I don’t do well in too much humidity. Thanks,

    • Hello Ryan,

      My friend Steve moved from Panama to Ecuador to get away from the humidity. He has told me that it actually is much less humid all over the country and the weather is more temperate than the brutal heat and humidity that we encounter along Panama’s coastline. I think you would do fine weather wise in Ecuador.

  28. You better get your information updated about Ecuador, instead of leaving outdated information here. It is definitely a very wrong picture indeed. I don’t care how you see it or saw it. I have been here 5 years and you see things that look like peaches and cream. Especially the “crime free” Cotacachi. That is so far from the truth.

    • Hello and thank you for your inputs. I invite you to offer your first-hand feedback as I know my readership is quite interested in the current situation in Ecuador, especially crime. Although I published the Ecuador articles years ago, Ecuador articles attract a rather large readership to this day.

      All who consider a big international move do not want to make costly mistakes. As you well know, by the time one decides to visit a country with re-location in mind, they have already invested a great deal of research time and treasure. I live in Panama and some years ago, explored the Ecuador option but chose Panama due to proximity to grandchildren. So please, do feel free to express yourself. We only want the best, both good and not so good, for our readership here at Adventurousliving.

  29. Please, tell me of any cities in Ecuador with lower elevation that would be comfortable for a person with asthma.

    • On the website you will find an article on Puerto Lopez. It’s at sea level.

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