The top-down tour through affordable, sunny Ecuador

by | Aug 21, 2000 | Archives

Why Our Two Ecuador Courses Sold Out in Weeks

The top-down tour through affordable, sunny Ecuador Explore the “Hong Kong of 30 years ago,” November 11-19, 2000


Dear International Friend,

We sold out our first two Ecuador real estate tours so quickly that we will repeat it in November because when you're introduced to a country from the top down, you get to know personally the people who make things happen in a place. This makes your trip is a success.

I was lucky this way in Ecuador. When Merri and I first went there, we wered invited guests of a well-connected friend so we ate at all the best restaurants, met all the right people, we were given the royal treatment. It made an impression. And it made Ecuador very easy and comfortable. We fell in love with the place.

You'll feel the same way when you travel with us to Ecuador November 11- 19, 2000. The exquisite beauty of this tiny nation and its warm and wonderful people make any visit here special. I'm working closely with Agora Travel to make sure this trip is the most unforgettable, immensely enjoyable, and extremely valuable journey you've ever taken.

You'll come away relaxed and rejuvenated, to be sure. But you'll also leave with a pocketful of business cards and all the contacts you'll need if you decide that this is where you'd like to invest or to live. We'll begin our journey through this exotic country in its major industrial city the port of Guayaquil. You'll love the Oro Verde hotel listed in the best hotels of the world.

Then next morning we'll be off to the coast and our first stop will be the posh resort of Salinas, home of the exclusive Salinas yacht club and the favorite coastal hanunt of Guayaquil's upper wealth. We'll look at one of the newest and best apart-hotels on the Pacific Coast where new units are available at a fraction the rice you would expect.

After Salinas we will travel up the coasts, stopping to inspect several properties and for lunch a Alandaluz, an ecological resort named last year as one of the most socially responsible businesses in the world. There we'll enjoy delicious organic food in their magnificent bamboo restaurant that sits on the sea.

Then we'll visit Manta the hottest economic spot in the country because of the new U.S. base that is replacing part of the U.S. military presence in Panama.

From Manta we'll look at real estate up and down the coast including one resort where you can have a beautiful mediterranean house overlooking the sea for $35,000. In this area last year we saw incredible bargains.

For example…

  • 1,200-1,800 sq.ft. beach lots selling for as little as $2,000.
  • Two-bedroom apartment overlooking the beach near San Vincente, complete with pool and tennis courts, selling for $60,000.
  • A nine-acre lot with 1,000 feet of beachfront selling for $25,000 an acre. You could easily divide it into as many as eight lots for resale.
  • A sea front studio apartment for $15,000

Plus prices may be even lower this year than last due to the recession. One broker recently reported that an IL reader bought the $15,000 studio in Manta for only $11,000.

To add to your enjoyment of this Pacific region, we'll dine at some of our favorite restaurants, divine little spots on the beach where the seafood is so fresh you can see the fishermen bringing it in.

After three days on the coast we'll fly to the capital city of Quito which also has bargains galore. High in the Andes, this capital has been called the most beautiful city in the world. Its colonial buildings give it a stately feel. And at 9,000 feet-nearly twice as high as Denver-the air is crisp. You'll have a clear view to the ice-capped mountains that ring the city.

The Spanish had such a great European influence on the city's culture Quito was known as the “Paris of South America” in colonial days. Much of this heritage remains. At the five-star Hotel Alameda Real where we'll stay, for example, a string quartet serenades guests in the evenings.

Despite its sophistication, prices in Quito-and throughout the nation-are very affordable. International Living has long considered Ecuador a country with a high quality of life and a low cost of living. You'll find that to be true when you investigate the local real-estate market with us in July and August. ( As I aid earlier prices are especially low right now. ) Yet you'll find these bargain properties boast the kinds of finishings you almost never find anymore in homes in the North America: thick hardwood floors, cabinets, and doors, elaborate moldings, carved mantles on working fireplaces, and beautiful tile work throughout.

If you decide to live here, you'll find you can hire hard-working, friendly labor for $150 a month. (Domestic labor like maids, cooks, gardeners often work for as little as $150 a month per couple.) You can dine at a restaurant on a gourmet meal of fresh-caught fish and a bottle of wine…and have trouble spending more than $10.

And we'll take you to see the best properties available. For example one speaker at last years tour bought a 400-acre farm one hour from the Quito airport with 150 acres of virgin forest, a rushing river (excellent for trout farming), springs, a furnished farm house with a brick oven and a barbecue, three workers' houses, and farm implements. It sold for $75,000 and the owner threw in a 1996 Chevy pickup with about 25,000 miles on it).

In the heart of Quito we'll look luxury condos near the American Embassy complete with shining hardwood and handmade tile. The views of the mountains surrounding the city are fabulous. Prices are in the $50,000 and below and that's negotiable.

Outside the city two readers just bought two story houses for $20,000 and we will look at houses that cost een less.. You'll also find an old elegant 8,000 square foot three story house in the colonial part of the city wth an asking price of $20,000.

Once you have a firm idea of what's available up in the highlands near the city, we'll leave Quito and head back to the coast to Same, the area where Quito's rich vacation and play. Here at the Casa Blanca Resort you'll find everything, tennis, golf, marina and water sports, yet houses and apartments as low as $40,000.

Then at the end of the tour we will visit Otavalo, the largest market in South America. Wool coats, handmade “fishermen” sweaters, and vicuna blankets cost under $10. A good leather coat goes for under $100. Panama hats are made in Ecuador, and the least expensive come in their own handmade balsa boxes for about $3. Rugs, jewelry-especially silver and emeralds, crafts, wood carvings, and pots are on offer at bargain-basement prices.

When you've had your fill of the market, we'll have lunch at Hosteria Pincaqui a 17th century hacienda that has been turned int one of the country' most charming inns. Here you'll see some magnificent 200 year old gardens and can stroll, enjoying bird life and fauna you'll have never seen before.

On the way back to Quito we'll inspect brand new vacation homes that can be purchased for as little as $2,400 These are not only an unbelievable bargain but thiose who purchase them also help the poor. I did not believe this could exist when we looked we were were amazed at how nice these houses are for the price.

During the week you will gain a unique overview of Ecuador in the mountains and on the sea, plus see real estate bargains of every sort.. This broad perspective is important because finding the right place to settle here is not always easy. There is such a huge and incredible choice at this time. Getting the right people to help you is a time- consuming process, too. Merri and I will do all we can to ensure that you meet all the right people to make sure your experience here is a real pleasure…and very productive.

We have spent the last few years investigating Ecuador and learning the ins and outs of living and investing in the country…discovering the dead ends…finding the right people…learning the easy ways to buy land and get things done. Merri and I are eager to share with you all we have learned and we have lined up an impressive group of speakers for you-valuable contacts that will help you gain immediate insights into this nation, its investment climate, and its culture.

  • You'll learn about the real-estate market-where to buy, the questions you should ask, what to avoid, and what to make sure you do-and you'll meet an Ecuadorian real-estate agent who spent many years in the States. He specializes in bank-repossessed properties and will be an invaluable help to you as you look for a place to buy.
  • We've invited lawyers, accountants, businessmen and brokers to speak with you about the investment climate and the property laws. And I share with you about why I believe so strongly that Ecuador as a smart investment.
  • You'll meet other expatriates while you're here, too. They'll talk to you about how and why they've chosen Ecuador. And you'll have plenty of time to ask them questions about day-to-day living and the practicalities of life.

A special guest will be Taita Yatchak, a renowned Andean healer who has spoken at the United Nations among other prestigious venues. He'll talk about the local culture and healing traditions.

Then we will cap off the trip with a flght back to Esmeraldas on the Pacific where we will saty at the oceanfront Casa Blanca Resort where we'll spend the night right n the beach soothed by ocean sounds. We'll share breakfast on the beach and look at condominums that run as low as $39,000 despite the many swimming pools, tennsi courts and Arnold Palmer desied golf course.

This trip promises to be one of the best we've put together. You'll come away knowing more about Ecuador than you thought possible and with a feel for whether you'd like to make it your next home. Whatever you decide, I promise you'll have enjoyed a vacation like no other, in a warm, welcoming, beautiful country.

I hope you'll take the time to travel with us this fall. We sold out the forst toow of these tours that we recommend that you do not delay signing up.

How to Book

We can only take a limited number so if you're interested in joining us, please sign up today. To sign up contact our daughter Francesca at Agora Travel at