Retiring in Yunguilla Valley
Less than an hour’s drive south from Cuenca you will find the stunning sights of the Yunguilla Valley. The valley is in a high elevation, though not as high as Cuenca, which accounts for its refreshing climate. Residents here enjoy sunny days and cool nights as well as a short rainy season. The scenery is among the best in the country – imagine verdant farmlands in the shade of green-skirted, cloud-topped mountains that are bathed in sunshine virtually year round.
Yunguilla Valley is fast becoming the go-to destination for expats looking to retire in Ecuador. Here are some of the many reasons why folks keep heading to this verdant mountain valley community.
Top 10 reasons to retire in Yunguilla Valley
- Low cost of living
The cost of living in the area is similar to that of other places in Ecuador such as nearby Cuenca. Just about everything here is much cheaper than it is in North America. Roughly, living costs do not exceed $2,000 a month. Utilities are typically under $60 a month and this already covers electricity, water, heat, and communication. Rent runs at around $600 for a multi-bedroom property. You can definitely live comfortably even with increasing inflation rates.
- Numerous activities
Yunguilla Valley is perfect for those seeking an active retirement. There are numerous great hiking and horseback riding trails throughout – best to explore with a guide, though, as these aren’t always clearly marked – and the landscape higher up in the mountains is still pretty wild. You’ll find rushing rivers, majestic waterfalls, and charming small towns. For retirees looking to have adventures right in their own backyard, the valley is the perfect choice.
- Interesting local flavor
One of the attractions of Yunguilla Valley is its interesting local scene. It is here that you will find the town of Girón, which is known for its waterfalls and its small but lively liquor industry. Folks in the area brew sugar-cane-based liquor that is not just an important source of livelihood, but is also part of their heritage. Tours are offered around local distilleries that allow visitors to see the process first hand.
- Great climate
The valley is long and has varying elevations, but is in general lower than Cuenca. The climate varies from one end of the valley to the other, with some parts warmer than others. As a whole though, the sun shines just about year round and the rainy season is brief. This is due to its east-to-west orientation, which ensures maximum exposure to the friendly Ecuadorian sun.
- Easy access to organic produce
Farms of various sizes are strewn along the length and breadth of the Yunguilla Valley and this makes getting access to fresh, organic produce a breeze. Explore the region and you will find plantations dedicated to coffee, bananas, oranges, papayas, and more–all proof of the abundance that Yunguilla Valley enjoys. Because you’ll be near the source, the prices of produce also tend to be very affordable. Enjoying a healthy diet is easy when you’re here.
- Income-generating properties
As the valley is a popular weekend destination, this affords retirees the opportunity to further capitalize on the area’s prime location. By offering rental properties to vacation-seekers, retirees can further augment their finances. In fact, catering to tourists is already a popular income-generating option for many locals (and a growing number of retirees)who offer food, lodging, and tours around the area, mostly to weekenders from Cuenca.
- Access to healthcare
At 45 minutes away, Cuenca’s healthcare services are easily accessed by residents of the Yunguilla Valley. Cuenca is home to many trusted hospitals and medical institutions that offer quality healthcare at affordable rates. Even better, expats can avail of Ecuador’s socialized healthcare system, which offers complete coverage for costs and procedures at no age or pre-existing exclusions.
- Reliable public infrastructure
The Yunguilla Valley has pretty solid public infrastructure with access to reliable power and communication services. The water quality is excellent. Enjoy well-maintained highways and roads even if much of Yunguilla Valley is untouched by development. All this is largely because the area has long been the location of the vacation homes and estates of some of Ecuador’s most prominent families.
- Affordable real estate
It can sometimes be hard to believe that real estate in this slice of paradise is very affordable. Compared to other areas such as the very popular Vilcabamba, the Yunguilla Valley is notably cheaper – by as much as30 percent. Choices for homes in Yunguilla Valley range from small getaways perfect for couples to working farms complete with irrigation, and sprawling estates that are the definition of a luxurious mountain retreat.
- Convenient location
Because the Girón portion of the Yunguilla Valley is only around an hour from Cuenca area residents enjoy living in the embrace of nature while keeping close to the amenities that Cuenca offers. This also makes settling in easier as there are numerous expats communities in and near Cuenca.
Retiring in the Yunguilla Valley can be the best move you can make. Not only is the region an affordable place to live, it also boasts the very best of what Ecuador has to offer, from a great climate to cheap and delicious food, affordable real estate, and an overall high quality of life.
However, as with any major move, retiring in Yunguilla Valley can be a bit of a challenge. At Live the Life, we look forward to helping you make a smooth transition to the region. If you’re looking for a place to live, whether temporary lodgings or a permanent residence, you can benefit from our hard-earned expertise.
Our team offers the complete range of relocation services. From scouting out the best investment opportunities to helping you set up your new household, you can count on us.
Are you thinking of retiring in the Yunguilla Valley? Interested in other areas such as Cuenca and Puerto Lopez? We have plenty of resources to help you out: