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Archive for March 2016

Why you should invest in Ecuador real estate

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 24, 2016

EcuadorShould you invest in stocks or real estate?

Experts often advise a diversified portfolio or investments in both.

If your funds are limited, however, you may have to choose one over the other.

Stocks and bonds vs. real estate

Investing in stocks and bonds certainly has its advantages. However, investing in real estate – particularly those in a country like Ecuador – offers benefits that go beyond profitability.

Besides, the age-old question of stocks vs. real estate has taken an added dimension now that real estate properties abroad are available as investments.

For instance, properties in Ecuador present very attractive opportunities for people in the United States, because:

1. Real estate is a tangible investment

Investment experts say the biggest advantage real estate has over stocks is its tangible nature. You can actually see and touch your investment when you own a piece of property. It gives you pride of ownership.

2. Real estate is a hard asset

Real estate is less volatile than stocks. It guarantees stored value for your investment.

3. Owning property abroad means diversifying your portfolio

The low cost of properties in countries like Ecuador lets you diversify your portfolio by investing in various real estate options like single-family homes, condominiums, and commercial properties.

4. You’ll enjoy tax benefits

Your investment abroad gives you the same tax benefits as the ones you get in the US.

5. You’ll be part of a booming market

The government of Ecuador has made the real estate climate safe by opening its doors to foreign investors. With capital flowing in, more people are expected to make Ecuador their new home. You can take advantage of rising economic opportunities by buying now while real estate prices are low.

6. You’ll enjoy a better quality of life

This is perhaps the best reason for investing in a property in Ecuador. Its spectacular beaches, nature reserves, and rich culture and history make the country a tourist haven.

Ecuador’s excellent health and education services only cost a fraction of those in the US. In fact, prestigious publications have named the city of Cuenca as one of the best places in the world to retire in.

7. Real estate investments in Ecuador yield perks

If you buy an Ecuador property for profit and live in it for two years, it becomes your primary residence and you get substantial capital gains tax deductions for it.

And because you have a good excuse to fly to this beautiful country regularly and look after your property, the government allows you to deduct your travel expenses from your taxable income.

8. Real estate prices in Ecuador are a steal

Any real estate investment expert will tell you properties in Ecuador, especially when compared to those in the US and Europe, are some of the lowest priced in South America.

Ecuador Real Estate – Bienes Raices

To learn more about investment properties in Ecuador,contact us today.

Real estate buying opportunities in Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 21, 2016

Rock-bottom prices are not the only reasons why investing in Ecuador real estate is desirable.

The country also offers a high quality of life at very affordable costs.

In fact, the city of Cuenca was recently cited in various lists as one of the best places in the world to retire.

Buyer’s market

Ecuador recently entered a buyer’s market, so now is the best time to make that investment. You will never run out of great options.

It’s important, however, to work with an experienced real estate agent.

We are here to make sure your interests are well-protected and to help you avoid stumbling blocks.

DSCF0604Business opportunity properties

Take a look at some of the excellent options we have on sale in Ecuador’s various growth areas:

  • In Puyo, we offer a 103.78-acre(42-hectare) plot of land ideal for eco-tourism, fish farming, or cocoa and pitahaya growing, for only $100,000.
  • In the heart of Cuenca, right in front of the National Electoral Council, check out a 3-story commercial property housing a 3-bedroom apartment, 9 independent spaces, a pizza restaurant, and two-garage spaces. Lot size is 3,875square feet (360 square meters) and floor size is approximately 5,167square feet (480 square meters). This multi-use piece of real estate is listed at only $500,000.
  • Discover a 7.4-acre(3-hectare) land with more than enough irrigation and mature trees in nearby Yunguilla Valley. It includes a 3-bedroom house and is offered at $1.67 per square foot (or $18 per square meter).
  • We offer a 2.7-acre (11,000-square-meter) irrigated land with high yields of fruits and vegetables and excellent pasture opportunities in the Cachiloma-Lentag area (also near Cuenca). It is offered at$143,000 only.

Residential properties

  • In Tarqui, just 20 minutes away from the city of Cuenca, a 4-bedroom 4-bathroom country house occupies 2,303 square feet(214 square meters). It sits on two lots totaling 0.42 acre (1,700 square meters). The property is listed for $175,000.
  • In Cuenca, a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom penthouse unit in Palermo, the capital’s most prestigious building, occupies 1,862 square feet (173 square meters). It also features a Jacuzzi tub, 2 parking spaces, and more – all for only $220,000.
  • In Yunguilla Valley, a grand main house with 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 2 smaller houses, and a custodian house sit on a 4.45-acre (18,000-square-meter) estate. The property includes a large pond, full irrigation, and many fruit-bearing trees. The estate is listed at only $380,000.

These are just some of the prime Ecuador properties you can invest in.

Ecuador Real Estate Opportunities – Bienes Raices

To find out more about these properties, contact us today.

Immigration and Visas to Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 17, 2016

Ecuador EmbassiesObtaining an Ecuador visa is fast and simple.

Whether you’re traveling fresh out of college, a retiree looking for a serene place to live, or an investor seeking opportunities, Ecuador makes it very easy for you.

The basics

Ecuador has a number of visa options that come with their own benefits and limitations. Generally,there are only two types of visas in Ecuador. These are:

    • The resident (or immigrant) visa
    • The non-resident visa

Figure out how long you’ll want to stay in Ecuador to determine which visa to obtain.

Non-resident visa

Visas are not required for those who intend to stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days only. This courtesy is known as the “12-X.’

For those who wish to stay for more than 90 days, you will need one of the following visas, depending on your situation:

      • Student Visa
      • Professional, Technical, Consultant, or Official Government Visas
      • Religious and Volunteer Visas
      • Cultural Exchange Visa

Each comes with a set of requirements.

Resident or Immigrant visa

For foreign nationals who want to become a permanent resident of Ecuador, a Resident or Immigrant Visa is necessary.

Applications are approved by the Immigration Board in Ecuador.

Resident visas are issued to:

      • Retirees who receive pensions from their native country
      • Real estate and securities investors
      • Industry investors with export plans for agricultural products, livestock, and minerals
      • Companies with foreign local agents
      • Technicians and experts contracted for a local company
      • Professionals and university degree holders who want to practice in Ecuador
      • Individuals economically dependent on spouses or blood relatives

For queries related to resident or immigrant visas, consult with a lawyer versed in Ecuador’s immigration laws.

Check out our Services page to learn more about relocating to Ecuador.

If you’re in the US and you want more information on the opportunities available in Ecuador, call 239-848-5876. For all other countries, check out the other numbers you find on this page.

Staying Healthy in Ecuador: Safety Tips and Guide to Immunizations

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 14, 2016

Ecuador may be only about the size of Wyoming and smaller than other countries surrounding it in South America, but its immense natural, physical, and cultural beauty surpasses many of its neighbors.

It’s a wondrous place to start your adventure in, whether you’re going on a short trip, or staying a lot longer.

We want you to experience all the good things the country has to offer. So we’ve prepared a list of safety and health tips for you to keep in mind before, during, and after your stay.

Before your trip

See a doctor
It’s important that you consult a travel medicine specialist for questions and medical recommendations about the place you’re going to, 4 to6 weeks before your trip.

Ask about recommended vaccines for the area
Whenever you travel abroad, it’s always recommended to be up to date on routine vaccinations like diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and your yearly flu shot, among others. For Ecuador, in particular, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly urge vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, malaria, and yellow fever, among others. Here’s a full list of CDC-recommended vaccines.

Have a first aid kit
Although Ecuador’s health care system is pretty good and can handle most emergencies and common illnesses, a well-equipped first aid kit is still a great thing to bring with you, especially if you’re going to a remote area.

Get travel and evacuation insurance
It just makes sense to get yourself covered. Insurance is pretty basic for most situations, whether you’re at home or abroad.

During your trip

Have a back up
If you can travel with someone else, that would be ideal. Otherwise, inform your hosts, the hotel concierge, or someone else about your whereabouts or schedule for the day,in case of emergencies, medical or otherwise. Let them know your mobile number and save theirs on your phone.

Be careful with what you eat
Be wary of food-borne diseases. Exercise caution when buying food from street vendors and make sure the ice or the water you drink comes from a safe source. When in doubt, go for purified, boiled,and bottled water.

Stay away from places with malaria
Mosquitos that transmit this deadly disease prefer low-lying areas. So,be extra careful when visiting these places.Follow your doctor’s advice about taking anti-malaria pills and protecting yourself against mosquito bites.

Avoid getting tattoos and piercings from dubious sources
Aside from unprotected sex, hepatitis B can be contracted from unsterilized needles used for tattoos and piercings. If you’re traveling to get a medical procedure, vet the surgeon or facility beforehand to make sure their reputation is above board.

Protect yourself from sun exposure
Ecuador lies smack on the equator. Even if it didn’t, it always makes sense to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by using sunblock with a high SPF (sun protection factor). Wear a wide-brim hat and use an umbrella if you must. Bring water with you at all times, whether you’re on the beach or high up in the mountains.

Stay away from animals and insects
Do not approach, much less pet stray dogs or cats. Always be aware of your surroundings. If you encounter snakes or other animals, calmly back away and do not attempt to handle them.

If you do get sick or get into emergencies, seek capable medical attention as soon as possible.

Should you require assistance with anything, we are more than happy to help you, and will address any concerns. Just give us a call using the numbers indicated on the site, and ask us about the many different services we can provide.

Altitude Sickness and other diseases

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 9, 2016

cc323537-624e-4c1e-bf78-11ddad7c3d5cEcuador has its own fair share of scary-sounding tropical diseases, but don’t fret – the country has excellent medical facilities and private clinics that will attend to your needs, but let’s hope that’s not the case. Steel yourself against these diseases while you’re in Ecuador.

Insect-borne diseases

Being a tropical country that is home to sprawling rainforests, it isn’t much of a surprise that insect-borne diseases are quite popular in Ecuador. Malaria and dengue fever are the most common insect-borne diseases in the country, particularly in the coastal region and predominantly during the rainy season.

To avoid getting bitten by a carrier, take care to make the following precautions:

  • Cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use light-colored clothing with a loose fit but tight cuffs
  • Use insect repellent religiously.
  • Use a mosquito net, preferably one that’s been treated with permethrin repellent.

Other insect-borne diseases include river blindness, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, but these diseases are quite rare.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

Often referred to as sorocheby Ecuadorians, AMS happens when you fail to acclimatize properly. It doesn’t matter if you’re physically fit – as long as the acclimatization process fails to match with your ascent pace, you’ve no escape from its clutches. Symptoms include insomnia, extreme tiredness, nausea, headache, confusion, and dizziness. To treat acute mountain sickness, you simply need to lose some altitude.

If you fail to recover from AMS, it can develop into two life-threatening forms: high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPO) and high altitude cerebaloedema (HACO).

You’re most likely to get HAPO if there’s a build-up of liquid in your lungs. Symptoms include an increased pulsed rate and fever. If you get HAPO, please descend as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, HACO is HAPO’s more severe yet rare brother. HACO is caused when your brain gets waterlogged with fluid. You have HACO if you experience the following: loss of balance, severe lassitude, weakness on one side of the body, a confused mental state, and loss of coordination. HACO is fatal within 24 hours, so immediate loss of altitude and medical attention is of utmost importance.

We’re just barely scratching the surface of diseases in Ecuador. If you want to know more, check out this great article by Rough Guides. For any concerns, you can email me at See you in paradise!

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | March 3, 2016

Ecuador EmbassiesWhether you visit Ecuador as a tourist, a worker, or to seek permanent residency, knowing the location of your embassy or consul is not only useful but important.

Embassies and foreign consuls in Ecuador are located in the capital Quito or in Guayaquil.

Here are the locations and contact details of some of the foreign embassies and consulates in Ecuador:

The United States

    • In Quito:
      Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro
      Tel: + 593 2 398-5000/ Fax: + 593 2 398-5100
      Visit the website
    • In Guayaquil
      Calle Santa Ana y Av. Jose Rodriguez Bonin, Sector San Eduardo
      Tel: + 593 4 371-7000/Fax: +593 2325-286


    • In Quito
      Av. Amazonas N37-29 and Union Nacional de Periodistas, Eurocenter Building, 3rd Floor
      Tel: +593 25245-5499/ Fax: +593 2 227-7672
      Visit the website
    • In Guayaquil
      Avenida Francisco de Orellana, Number 234, Blue Towers Building, 6th Floor, Office 602
      Tel: + 593 4 263-1109 Ext: 101

Great Britain

    • In Quito
      Av. Naciones Unidas and República del Salvador
      Citiplaza Building, 12 and 14th Floors
      Tel:+ 593 2 2970-800
      Visit the website
    • In Guayaquil
      General Córdova 623 yPadre Solano
      Tel: +593 4 256-0400 / 256-3850,ext. 318
      Fax: +593 4 256-2641


    • In Quito
      Leonidas Plaza 107 y Patria.
      Tel: +593 2 294-3800 / Fax: +593 2 294-3849
      Visit the website
    • Consulate: Diego de Almagro
      1550 and Pradera, Edificio Kingman, 2nd Floor
      Tel: +593 2254-3110, +593 2256-9883 Fax: +593 2250-6468



    • In Guayaquil
      Peicasa 423 entre Cordova y Baquerizo Moreno 1120.
      Tel:+593 4 256-8358 / Fax: +593 4 256-8447



    • In Quito
      Juan Pablo Sanz 120 and Av. Amazonas
      Xerox Building, 2nd Floor
      Tel: +593 2243-4949/ Fax: +593 2 244-9314
      Visit the website

Your embassy can help you in situations related to:

  • Health emergencies
  • Legal emergencies
  • Death
  • Missing persons

The embassy also provides non-emergent services such as:

  • Absentee voting
  • Selective Service registration
  • Transfer of government benefits (e.g., Social Security)
  • Acquisition and loss of citizenship
  • Providing tax forms
  • Notarizing documents