Expat retirees favour Ecuador for its varied options

Published:  14 Sep at 6 PM
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Ecuador is still one of the most popular retirement destinations for expats, according to the latest survey.

There’s a great deal of choice as regards retirement destinations for older expats determined to enjoy their lives in the sun, with Ecuador ticking most of the boxes and gaining yet another place in Expat Insider’s Top Ten listing. Whether the priority is beaches, vibrant city life, historic homes in the High Sierras or charming small towns on the mainland, retirees have been arriving for several decades.

For beach lovers looking for a relaxed, low-key atmosphere, the fishing village of Canoa is isolated enough for a quiet life but close enough to the larger towns of Bahia de Caraquez and San Vincente to enjoy a regular change of scenery. For an active retirement, there’s surfing, parasailing and paddleboarding, and the village’s steadily increasing number of visitors signals growth and a favourable location for investment.

Cotacachi in the Andes has an active tourist trade due to its fame as a traditional handcrafted leather town, with both local and international visitors arriving on national holidays and weekends. In spite of the crowd, the town still has its local flavour, including weekly markets, cultural festivals and a host of restaurants serving the traditional cuisine of the region.

Cuenca is already famous with international retirees for its historic buildings and relaxed lifestyle balanced with a big-city ambience. The old city area is a Unesco World Heritage Site and gives Cuenca a European feel which attracts many long-stay expats. The cost of living and especially property prices are rising due to expat demand, but it’s still an affordable retirement destination with individuality rare in these ultramodern times.

The city of Loja lies in Ecuador’s far southern region and is, as yet, little known as a retirement destination. Set on a hillside in the Andes but at a lower location, its weather is temperate all year, suitable for expatriate retirees not used to tropical heat. It’s a good choice for those wanting a bustling city lifestyle combined with nearby natural beauty. I

f beaches are a must, the resort town of Salinas is a good choice, although it’s packed with tourists on holidays and weekends. There’s a small local airport, surfing, sea fishing and other watery sports, and beachfront properties are available.
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