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Coastal Ecuador - The Lowdown on the Low Prices

Aug 02, 2013

Coastal Ecuador - The Lowdown on the Low Prices

Ecuador has a lot going for it… friendly people, stunning colonial cities, a multitude of microclimates from the hot and sticky Amazon rainforest to the snowcapped tops of the Andes mountain range, rich cultural tradition and amazingly affordable beachfront property.

But why? Why is land along Ecuador’s coast so cheap? It boasts spectacular sunsets, houses a multitude of fun, laid-back surfing and fishing villages and has gorgeous spans of sandy beach that seem to go on forever…

We hesitate calling Ecuador’s coast a hidden treasure because it’s heavily discussed in international real estate circles… but prices are staying low, a good indicator that North Americans aren’t 100% on the coastal bandwagon yet. Of course, this won’t last. Just like Costa Rica in the 90’s, cheap land attracted developers from Canada and the US who scooped up stunning parcels of land for peanuts… at least compared to what most of it is worth today!

But Ecuador is a hidden treasure… especially for those savvy enough to look beyond the borders of Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and other explosively popular international retirement/vacation destinations. With beachfront properties available for $40,000 - $80,000, it’s amazing more people aren’t getting in at this stage of the game. After all, waterfront of any kind rarely depreciates in value, and with infrastructure continually being improved (read more about Ecuador’s expanding infrastructure HERE), it’s a sure bet that this area of the country is only going to gain in value. 

Why is Coastal Ecuador Still so Affordable?

Buying a waterfront cottage or vacation home, especially in North America, is typically not an option for the average family – they’re just priced too high. So it’s hard to believe that a home (regardless of whether you only use it for vacations until you retire) that is walking distance to the Pacific Ocean can actually be within your grasp! But, it’s not for everyone… and that’s just part of why prices are staying so low. (Go HERE now to learn about a coastal Ecuador Discovery Weekend!)

Locals don’t dig it…
One reason that Ecuador’s coast is still so undervalued is that Ecuadorians aren’t crazy about the beach. Granted, up until a few years ago, the coast truly was hidden! Dusty, muddy, dirt roads were the only way to reach this area of the country, deterring many people from making the journey. But even now, with the new highway, locals head to the coast only a couple of times a year… mainly during school breaks. They stay in hotels, enjoy the beach and then head home to their city. They just don’t value beach homes and ocean views the way that North Americans and Europeans do.

Lack of development…
Don’t get us wrong. There is a ton of development happening along Ecuador’s coast… but it takes patience to be legitimate. Securing land, breaking it up into lots, titling, infrastructure (roads, electricity, etc) all takes time, paperwork and more time. And this is just for gated community-type developments. Development of resorts, golf courses, spas, etc., are being discussed, but aren’t yet in place. Of course, cities such as Salinas and Manta are well established and offer a plethora of activities and pastimes to appease everyone, making for a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario. But, the lack of development in the outlying areas is only short-term… it’s only a matter of time before the empty space fills in, and its those who are already settled that will be the big winners.

Limited Expat Communities…
It’s a big change to move to another country! And as much as you may feel that you’re up for an adventure, ready to immerse yourself into a new culture and meet new people, chances are you’ll appreciate being able to speak and hang out with other expats. And although there are pockets of North American and European expats along Ecuador’s coast, they’re harder to find then in other inland cities, such as Cuenca. This lack of potential camaraderie is not appealing for some folks… but if you’re ok with being among the minority at your local watering hole, then the coast may just be for you. Just keep in mind; it likely won’t stay that way for much longer!

Just like anywhere else in the world, as soon as it gets popular, prices go up. Ecuador is no exception. Prices for incredible beachfront, sunset, ocean view homes – outside the hustle and bustle of big cities – will go up. It’s only a matter of time. Having the foresight to get in before it gets hot definitely puts you ahead of the pack… and in a pretty sweet spot from an investment point of view.

Want to check Ecuador’s coast out for yourself? Visit on a Discovery Weekend… airport pick-up, accommodations, food and of course property tours will all be provided. All you have to do is let us know when you want to go, and we’ll take care of the rest!

Go HERE now to book your Ecuador Discovery Weekend!

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Where International exists to recommend a variety of International real estate options. Where International requires developers to meet stringent criteria before offering them to you. Conversely, any inspections we conduct on projects or individuals should not be misinterpreted as a guarantee by Where International. International real estate is not immune to the ups and downs that occur in North American real estate; property values are never guaranteed to increase.

Where International is not accountable for the orchestration or deliverance of Discovery Weekends. We provide them to you on behalf of our developer partners. We recommend that you purchase travel insurance, as you would with any trip out of your home country. In addition, we advise you complete your own due diligence, purchase title insurance and always use a local attorney to assist with all transactions. In the event that a reader purchases a property from a recommended developer, Where International receives a sum from the developer.