January 2012. Our friend Steve sent us this blog update for your convenience. “ECUADOR HAS STARTED CHANGING THEIR IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS. tHEY USED TO LET YOU DEPOSIT $25,000 IN A CD IN THE BANK AND GIVE YOU PERMANENT RESIDENCY WITH THAT. SORRY TOO LATE, ITS BEEN ELIMINATED. LIKE PANAMA IT WILL CONTINUAL LY CHANGE UNTIL ITS DIFFICULT TO JUST SLIP IN FOR ONLY A LITTLE MONEY, SO IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE INTERESTED TELL THEM TO HURRY. BEST ALWAYS, STEVE”
(Another option for you Ecuador fans. This one is at a lower elevation)
STEVE’S E-MAIL IN ECUADOR: email@example.com
STEVE’S WEBSITE: http://www.vilcabamba-vistavallesagrado.com (Site up and running on August 1 but if you need information before that date, please don’t hesitate to contact Steve via his e-mail)
WHERE CAN YOU BUY BOTH A HOUSE AND Its LOT FOR $49,900?
INCREDIBLE! CHECK THIS OUT!
I live in Boquete, Panama and I’m happy here, but I do listen to my readership. There has been a keen interest in Ecuador because the cost of living is less expensive than Panama. However, due to the elevation of Cotacachi, many of my readers have struggled with that community as an option for their future lives. In addition to the coastline of Ecuador, there is a not so high up in the Andes choice at about 5,000-feet of elevation worth considering and it is called Vilcabamba.
Wikipedia describes Vilcabamba as “a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in the Loja province, about 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Loja. The area has been referred to as the “Playground of the Inca” which refers to its historic use as a retreat for Incan royalty. A mountain called Mandango, the Sleeping Inca, whose presence is said to protect the area from earthquakes and other natural disasters, overlooks the valley.
Located in a historical and scenic valley, it is a common destination for tourists, in part because it is widely believed that its inhabitants grow to a very old age. Locals assert that it is not uncommon to see a person reach 100 years of age and it is claimed that many have gotten to 120, even up to 135, which would make it an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world. It is often called the Valley of Longevity.”
It is interesting that local Boquete residents say the same thing. I have often had conversations with our local florist who, of course, knows everybody who passes away. She states that much of the local population lives to about 100 years of age and they stay healthy most of their lives. According to the florist, they only get sick in the last year or less before they die.
My friend Steve lived in Boquete, Panama for four years. He then decided to explore Ecuador and settled in Cotacachi. From there he decided to move to Vilcabamba, Ecuador. As Steve says, “I thought Boquete had perfect climate, nope it’s better here. Less rain and a tad warmer in summer. There is a lot less wind than Boquete although there are breezy days. Basically you can run around in a T-shirt 90% of the time, day and night, well maybe up to 10 p.m. then you might need a long sleeve shirt.” So, he loves the climate and I understand that.
Boquete is wonderful in many ways and for the tropics, the climate is great because it is up in the mountains in the coffee-growing region in the Western part of the country. So, relative to the rest of the country, the weather is cool. But sometimes the humidity can be overwhelming and, the winds in the first part of the year are relentless!
Many people have trouble with the altitude and Cotacachi, Ecuador is located at a very high elevation but Steve states, “Vilcabamba is ideally situated at 4,900 feet so its got more oxygen than other publicized places in Ecuador except maybe for the beach areas.”
Located in the Southern part of the country, Vilcabamba is close to the Peruvian border, hence making visits to the exotic archeological Inca site of Macchu Pichu possible and convenient. It is also much closer than Cotacachi to the extraordinary city of Cuenca. Google some pictures of Cuenca and you’ll see what I mean. Even I, a country girl at heart, would love to access a city like Cuenca.
Steve went on to mention to me that, “there are no volcanoes in south Ecuador.” Now this may not mean much to those of you who are contemplating a move but it is significant. A friend of ours who lives closer to Panama City chose not to build in Boquete because it is located on the side of a dormant volcano. Chances are this volcano will never blow but if it did, I seriously doubt that your homeowner’s insurance policy would cover the re-build. So, on top of losing everything you couldn’t fit into your car, the area would be super polluted for a time to come. Volcanoes way outpace smoke-stack industry or cars when it comes to pollution. You might call them the super-polluters when they blow.
So who’s living in Vilcabamba? It’s always interesting to get an answer to this question because, as I have noticed here in Boquete, over time the ex-pat community has a huge influence on a local community. In the case of Boquete, the ex-pat influence can only be described as fabulous. Ex-pats have worked hard to make this little town of 18,000 people a much better place for all. Steve describes Vilcabamba in this fashion, “This place is interesting as its got a great mix of all ages and nationalities not just retired.” I like that. Steve’s description is very much like the community where we live here in Boquete, Panama. Here in Los Molinos we enjoy a broad spectrum of residents in our community. There are people from many countries, professionals, business owners, and retired. It makes it more interesting and cosmopolitan rather than living in a community of just American ex-pats.
We are fortunate to have Steve as an occasional visitor on the Website. This is because he is a great resource for those who are seriously contemplating a move to Ecuador. A true pioneer, Steve is out there scoping new sites for your consideration. As he says, “I believe, like Boquete when it started out, that this is a great little affordable project in a great location. Otherwise I couldn’t be pushing it if I didn’t believe in it.” For, you see, Steve is a builder and here’s what he says about his latest project. “Here’s the best part, land and houses are still about 1/2 the price of Panama.” Steve goes on to say, “We have started a housing project. Not gated but very private. It’s one kilometer out of the city center of Vilcabamba called Vista Valle Sagrado ( View Sacred Valley).”
There are 2 models to choose from at this time and prices are for both the lot and the house!
1. The Soltero model is a:
* 2 bed
* 1 bath
* Patio Vista Valle Sagrado has gorgeous mountain views and overlooks the town of Vilcabamba.
* 18,000 sq ft lot
* Best part: Prices start at $49,900 (Lot included in price)
2. The Paraje model is a:
* 2 or 3 bedroom
* 2 bath
* Patio. Vista Valle Sagrado has gorgeous mountain views and overlooks the town of Vilcabamba.
* Sits on approx 18,000 sq ft lot.
* Prices start at $70,900 (Lot included in price)
Steve is offering free internet installation until October 2011. Should you require more information, please don’t hesitate to contact him at the above e-mail address.