I thought it would be useful to give you an Ecuador Insider's guide to narrow down your options when it comes to finding your spot on the beach... You'll hopefully also find some considerations here that may not have occurred to you yet...
Laura and I are in our early 60s, and we are neither athletes nor daredevils. But we used to be. We come from an era where parents pushed you out the door at dawn and shouted, “don’t come back till dark.”
There are hundreds of hotels and hostels in Cuenca—and you'll also find many options for staying in local homes and apartments on Airbnb—so finding a place that meets your needs won't be a problem. In fact, you may be overwhelmed by the choices that are available, and not know where to start.
I love my serene, stress-free life here…for the mild weather, gracious culture, amazingly fresh food, clean air and water, walkability, affordable living, and healthcare…but especially for the things I don’t have to do.
I grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida, where seniors flock to retire because they can lounge in the warm weather, drink pina coladas under the shade of palm trees, and not have to pay state income taxes. So why would I leave my seaside home by one of the best beaches in the U.S.? Well, Florida’s not so cheap anymore…and it’s hot.
After living in Ecuador for almost five years, I finally made a trip to Baños. Known as "The Gateway to the Amazon," this town is one of the most popular adventure tourism destinations in Ecuador. Every year, hundreds of thousands come to experience its natural hot baths, and to enjoy hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, horseback riding—even bungee jumping.
Taking my life overseas wasn’t something I had planned on doing, but once I discovered the freedom of remote working, it became inevitable.
Guayaquil has several large malls, all of which have stores carrying brands and items familiar to the North American consumer. There are hardware mega-stores, huge grocery stores, multi-floor furniture stores, electronics, building and plumbing supplies—you name it, and you will most likely find not just what you are looking for, but options.
There are two Cuencas in the world, one in Spain and one in Ecuador. Cuenca, Ecuador, shares a lot with its Spanish cultural twin, including art, food, architecture, and religion. Even the fresh trout from the rivers that run through the city, and the affinity for fiestas remind me of Cuenca’s Spanish ties right down to the Picasso-influenced murals that line the streets.
I get on a crowded city bus in Cuenca, Ecuador and immediately two teenagers rise and offer me their seats.