Ecuador Infrastructure

by | Feb 7, 2011 | Archives

Update on Ecuador Infrastructure


New road construction near Bahia, Ecuador.

In the 15 years Merri and I have been coming and going to Ecuador… looking everywhere at Ecuador real estate, we have seen the Ecuador economy have enormous ups and downs.

Despite this the Ecuador infrastructure keeps improving.

We have seen new roads created across the country… especially from Quito and Guayaquil to the Ecuador coast.  We’ve seen roads built, improved AND completed!

Quito’s new airport is almost complete.  These shots of…


the new Quito Airport as of August 2010 show…


that completion is…


also near.  This new Ecuador infrastructure will enhance real estate values in Cotacachi and Urcuqui.

The bridge over the Chone Estuary is now complete and open.


This changes coastal property values north of Bahia.

Jean-marie-butterlin-chone photo

Jean Marie Butterlin took this shot while crossing the newly competed bridge across the Chone Estuary at Bahia.

When Jean Marie Butterlin took over the task of providing Ecuador real estate tours… he and his wife did the same thing that Merri and I did 15 years ago.  They took a car and started riding all over Ecuador. This is the only way to really know this great country and to compare Ecuador real estate values across the Andes into the Amazon and to the sea.


Jean Marie Butterlin (center) with his wife Pascale and economist Jeff Rubin recently joined Merri and me for an International Investing Seminar in Copenhagen.

Here is an update on Ecuador’s infrastructure from Jean Marie’s latest Ecuador journey.

Update on Ecuador infrastructure

By Jean Marie Butterlin

Pascale and I have traveled over 1,100 miles in Ecuador during the last 20 days. We rode  all over Ecuador by car with our friend Omar, who chauffered us. We went from Cotacachi to the Amazonia through the Valley of the volcanos. Then we journeyed up to Puyo towards Maca and Canelos.  Then we drove down the new highway that goes from Quito to the coast through Santa Domingo, El Carmen down to Manta and then all the way up to Atacames. Then we followed this new road  back to Ibarra through the cloud forest.

What struck me is the amount of infrastructure work that been done and that is still going on all over Ecuador. This ranges from widening roads to four and six lanes of the Panamerican Highway south of Quito to Ambato.   This includes to the work on the future highway down the Andes from Quito to Santa Domingo.

There is still plenty to be finished but Ecuador is on its way to have some really good road infrastructure.  I have seen great progress on the road between San Vicente and Pedernales.  It  just takes one and a half hours  to drive the 65 miles. (110 kms).

North of Pedernales there is a splendid new highway to Cojimies.  This only took us  20 minutes to drive 20 miles (36 kms).

The road from Pedernales to Atacames is well done and the infrastructure improvements really cuts the travel time by car.

Last week I saw the first work being started on the widening the Panamerican Highway to  between Quito North and Guayllabamba to four lanes.  When this is done, it should cut about 20 minutes off the time from Quito to Cotacachi.

The new highway from Bahia to Manta, will run along the coast, and  should take about two years (and a bit) to build.  This will put Manta at about 45 minutes to 1 hour maxim drive from Bahia.

It is amazing to see the amount of progress being made all over Ecuador…  the six lane highway from Otavalo to Ibarra is 95% finished. Now it just takes 15 minutes to go to Ibarra from Cotacachi.

All of this new Ecuador infrastructure will help Ecuador real estate prices rise and create new opportunities.

Jean Marie.

Sidewalks often tell a tale about a town.

This is one thing that turned us on to Cotacachi years ago when the sidewalks started upgrading from this to




When a town is in trouble, its sidewalks crumble.   Cotacachi sidewalks were in reverse… getting better… and better… each and every day.

Merri and I saw this as a sign.    The book, “Tipping Point”, by Malcolm Gladwell looks at how simple signs like this can be indicators of better times and this helped us see the opportunity in Cotacachi well before so many others arrived there.

One of the points in Gladwell’s  book is that it is little things that causes a social-economic events to tip.  For example the book explains the “Broken Window Theory ” that says that if a window is broken and left unrepaired, people walking by will conclude that no one cares and no one is in charge. Soon more windows will be broken and the sense of anarchy will spread from the building on the street on which it faces, sending a signal that anything goes. In short crime is contagious. As are bull and bear markets, stock values, etc.

The police in New York used this theory in reverse. By aggressively attacking simple crimes such as vandalism and putting graffiti on trains, and subway fare-beating, major crime fell dramatically. The point is epidemics can be started or stopped by tinkering with the smallest details of the environment. Throw two or three small changes into any environment, be it economic, social or biological and you move towards a tipping point… good or bad.

We used this knowledge to spot small things that made a big differences… like Cotacachi sidewalks that are getting better all around the town.

We saw the sidewalks were a harbor of safety for small children early morn or at night.


The streets as well.


Cotacachi sidewalks and streets reflect the indigenous culture. These are not ordinary sidewalks and streets. These ancient symbols put in the sidewalks reflect the history of the indigenous community.


These patterns are symbols of the sun…


and the concepts of universal existence.


These are sacred symbols… speaking to us everywhere in town… that said…


that Cotacachi would become a special place. And it has become very special.

Now we are seeing this upgrade in the nearby village of Urcuqui as well.


The Cathederal glows and  the streets and the sidewalks are clean.


Urcuqui town center.

The infrastructure is dramatically improved.


Urcuqui street.

Learn more about how to buy Urcuqui lots for $1,000 to $2,000 here.

Learn more about Urcuqui at our Mt. Dora International Investing & Business course next week February 11-13.