Exploring Ecuador

Greetings all, and time for the update on the second leg of our practice high altitude hikes in preparation for the Inca Trail, now just 60 days away. Really getting down to the short hairs here! We are back in our home at sea level, on the coast of Ecuador, and ramping up the training. We had a great time in Quito, as we hosted an information table at the International Living: Fast Track Ecuador conference, and I gave four...

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Time to take a break from the Exploring Ecuador series of just looking at places to live, and take a look at places to enjoy life in Ecuador. If you like walking around in the great outdoors, then Salinas has a great place for you to get your hike on. The picture above shows the westernmost point of Ecuador (excluding the Galapagos), a national park called La Puntilla de Santa Elena. Opened in October of 2008, La Puntilla is a...

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Welcome to the next stop in the Exploring Ecuador series - the beach resorts of Salinas and Chipipe, on the Santa Elena peninsula. The Santa Elena peninsula is one of the two largest concentrations of expats on the coast, the other being the Manta region. As such, many people are interested in what is is like to live there. It is a large area, with several different types of lifestyles possible, so I will be breaking it into sections to discuss....

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Welcome to the second in a series of features on the many different choices available to you if you are thinking of living in Ecuador. Any of the places I will cover are great places to visit, but the goal is to provide you with enough information to decide if this is a place you would feel comfortable calling home. Our first stop was Machala, a modern city on the southern coast with almost zero expats. Today, we will take...

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First up in the Exploring Ecuador series, we will take a look at a city that is not on most people's radar when it comes to a place to settle in Ecuador. But Rita and I visited the city of Machala in the El Oro Province, and although it is not for me, there are some interesting features that this city of just over 200,000 has to offer. I recently wrote about it for International Living Magazine, but here is some...

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What's the best place to live in Ecuador? There is a clear and simple answer. It is certainly a hot button question, though. Name any place at all, and someone will jump in to explain categorically to you why you are wrong. I suppose it is only human nature, but whenever you ask that question of expats in Ecuador, they invariably will inform you that by a wild coincidence, it just so happens they have settled in the ideal spot....

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Sorry about the delay in new posts, but Rita and I just spent 10 days exploring parts of the northern Andes in Ecuador. Once again, we are almost overcome with the beauty and variety that this small country has to offer. I'm sure there will be more details on our trip here and in various International Living publications and web content, but for now, let me give you a brief overview. We started by flying into Quito's airport on a Friday, where...

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One thing I really enjoy about living in Salinas, Ecuador is when we have an excuse to visit the 'Tad. That's what Rita and I call La Libertad, which is the next town inland from Salinas, and the commercial center of the peninsula. We love to jump on a bus and ride into the 'Tad. Although La Libertad is home to the modern El Paseo Mall, that is not where the action is, or where most of the locals shop....

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It is a question many people are asking themselves right now. For my wife and I, our answer is yes, we are staying. This is our home. Maybe we would feel differently if we were in one of the areas of destruction. Our hearts go out to those who are struggling to survive. We recently traveled between Manta and Canoa, and we met wonderful people that we are very concerned about. Here in Salinas, if you were dropped into town...

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Things are very quiet here in Salinas, Ecuador today. As you can see in the picture, the beach is nearly deserted, only a few boats and jet skis out. This is a resort town for Ecuadorians, and most of them have left to go check on their homes and families in other parts of the country. We normally are very happy to see the "touristos" clear out (see The Most Wonderful Time of the Year), but today it feels very different....

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