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Archive for July 2016

Score a real estate bargain in Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 25, 2016

house view fr bottomEcuador’s real estate prices are among the lowest anywhere in the world. You can find gorgeous properties at prices you would consider a steal.

Cuenca Ecuador Real Estate and Homes for Sale, Puerto Lopez Ecuador and Yunguilla Valley Ecuador

From beautiful houses in historic Cuenca, to a beachside home in Puerto Lopez, to a spacious estate in Yunguilla Valley, the choices are wide ranging.

Even better, anyone can score a real estate bargain in Ecuador even if you are not a local.

Here’s how:

    • Be ready for a different real estate experience

Exclusive listings are uncommon but you’ll also find the buying process a lot simpler than it is in North America. All you need is a skilled agent to guide you through steps that may be unfamiliar to you.

    • Consider recommendations

If you’re friendly with the locals or meet up with expats and retirees, chances are you’ll run into leads. Consider what they say. At the same time, proceed with caution. Verify the leads you find interesting. Contact us to check the availability of a piece of property or go through our listings to expand your options.

    • Find out everything you can about the location

Ecuador offers a variety of lifestyles depending on where you want to live. Are you in the market for a vacation-like home by the beach? Or is the tranquility of the mountains more to your liking? Perhaps you’re city folk. Decide early on the kind of environment you prefer. Cuenca, for example, is a good choice for those looking for a home in a big city with access to national parks that offer great hiking trails and rock-climbing opportunities. Puerto Lopez is the perfect destination for people out to have a home by the beach. Yunguilla Valley, meanwhile, is an option for those who prioritize plenty of open space.

    • Get a local to help you

Get a highly recommended local to guide you through the process, which is especially helpful for non-Spanish speakers. LiveTheLife is especially experienced in helping foreign buyers secure their dream property in Ecuador – from finding a suitable piece of real estate to understanding the paperwork.

Best Ecuador Real Estate Deals

For the best real estate deals in Ecuador, check this out.

Top Ecuadorian Amazon Jungle Lodges

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 18, 2016

A stay in Ecuador’s jungle lodges is one of the most thrilling ways to experience the rainforest’s living attractions. Here are some of the best:

Napo Wildlife Center

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

This popular ecological reserve owned by the indigenous Anangu community is dubbed as the ultimate alternative luxury eco hotel in Amazonian Ecuador.

Located in the Yasuni National Park at the edge of Anangucocha Lake, Napo Wildlife Center offers maximum privacy and stunning views of the lake and jungle. There are 10 luxury cabanas with private bathrooms. The wealth of flora and fauna is amazing.

Activities include guided tours and parrot clay licks, natural clay walls teeming with squawking parrots and macaws that feed on the walls as a way to combat the toxins found in the seeds they eat.

There’s more information here.

Sani Lodge

This community-run eco lodge is tucked into an oxbow lake in a tributary of Rio Napo. It accommodates 38 guests and opens the door to a truly personal way of experiencing the Amazon forest.

Get to be in the midst of 1,500 species of trees, climbing vines, exotic blooms, tropical birds, monkeys, and butterflies. Stay in a campsite within touching distance of your lodge or cabin. Go bird watching, walk through guided trail hikes, and get to know the Sani community and the indigenous Kichwa people.

Visit their website for more information.

Sacha Lodge

This prime destination for bird watchers covers 5,000 acres of private ecological land.

Lodgings are designed for utmost comfort and offer excellent opportunities to spot wildlife. Don’t be surprised to find capybaras resting on your hammock. Capybaras are giant guinea pig-like rodents who spend their time near lakes and rivers and are sometimes brought home as pets.

Activities include guided tours, bird watching, a visit to one of the largest butterfly farms in Ecuador, and a trip to the 940-foot-long canopy walk hanging 94 feet from the ground.

Visit their website for more information.

If you’d like to start off on an exciting adventure to the Ecuador Amazon Basin, check this out.

Moving to Cuenca, Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 15, 2016

Cuenca as seen from the west

Cuenca as seen from the west

The city of Cuenca is one of the best destinations in the world for expats. Teeming with an old world charm, the city offers a very relaxing and enjoyable lifestyle for residents, with its scenic cobblestone streets, stunning historical buildings, great selection of beautiful and affordable properties, numerous cultural attractions, and unforgettable activities, events, and festivals.

There are plenty of great reasons why the city attracts countless tourists and new residents. For most people, the city’s nostalgic character, unique attractions, and high quality of life is simply too hard to resist. In addition, the cost of living in Cuenca is very affordable – you’ll be able to reduce your monthly spending significantly as you get more and more used to the lifestyle.

If you’re thinking about moving to Cuenca, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

Take a Spanish class

As an expat, you’ll be able to make an easier transition to your new life in Ecuador by learning Spanish. Having a basic grasp of the language and familiarizing yourself with the local lingo has many benefits, like getting better prices for goods, for example.

Finding a Spanish class is really very easy, as there are hundreds of options to choose from. The classes are very affordable as well – they’re much cheaper than language schools found in the US. If you want one of the best options, look for the Simon Bolivar Spanish School, which is known as one of the largest and most successful Spanish schools in the country.

Consider joining the Cuenca for Expats program

Because of the huge number of expats living in Cuenca, the city’s Chamber of Commerce has organized a Cuenca for Expats program, which is designed to give expats a smoother transition into the city, and make them feel more at home. Joining the program is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with your new city, and it can help you meet other people in the same situation as well. In addition to showing expats the many common pitfalls to avoid, the program is also a great way to find out how you can start benefitting from cheaper living immediately.

Find out about Cuenca’s culture

To say that Cuenca is a great place to live in is a huge understatement. The city is designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site, which shows you just how rich it is in terms of historical attractions. The city is home to a great selection of world-class museums, including the Museo de las Culturas Aborigenes, Museo del Monasterio de las Conceptas, Museo Pumapungo, Museo del Sombrero, and more.

There’s also a diverse amount of great local events and festivals to enjoy throughout the year, most of them free.

Visit the SuperMaxi grocery store

It may sound a bit weird, but visiting the SuperMaxi can be very helpful for anyone looking to meet new people and learn a few handy local tips. The grocery store is a well-known meeting location for expats, so you should be able to learn a few new things when you drop by.

For more helpful tips for expats, take a look at our Expat guide to living in Ecuador here.


Finding rentals in Lentag, Ecuador

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 11, 2016

Lentag is a town located less than 350 miles south of Quito. Surrounded by views of refreshing open space, deep valleys, and breathtaking mountain slopes, this quiet little village is a paradise for outdoor lovers, nature enthusiasts, or anyone looking to relax while breathing in the fresh mountain air.

Although the town is mostly surrounded by nature, it offers plenty of convenience as well. It is less than an hour away by car from Cuenca, and just around four hours away from Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city and busiest commercial district. Lentag is also situated close to nearby communities such as Giron, San Fernando, and Santa Isabel Canton.

Rentals in Lentag

Due to its overwhelming abundance of enjoyable outdoor activities and beautiful natural destinations, Lentag has become famous for many tourists from all over the world.

With its breathtaking landscapes and endless wonders to explore, you’ll need a comfortable place where you can rest and refuel, so you can plan your next activities. Luckily, there’s a superb selection of rental options in Lentag to choose from, ranging from cozy 2-bedroom apartment units to rustic ranch-style properties surrounded by acres of space, and nearly everything in between.

The best part is many of the rentals are very affordable, some of them costing as little as $400 a month.

Here are a few examples of properties available for rent in Lentag:

  • Fully-furnished single-family homes with 1 to 3-bedrooms, located conveniently close to a great selection of shops, restaurants, and transit hubs.
  • Rustic villas with spacious and well-designed interiors, high-speed internet, and panoramic views of lush, rolling landscapes.
  • Stylish 4-bedroom homes with features such as hardwood floors, rustic interiors, large bedrooms, and resort-style swimming pools.
  • Vacation homes perfectly suited for relaxation, with features such as al fresco dining areas, large kitchens, and sweeping mountain and forest views.
  • Large estates surrounded by over two hectares of space and unforgettable views of forested hills and majestic mountains.
  • Comfortable 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom homes on organic farms, perfect for soaking in the lush views and fresh mountain air.

Live the Life Lodge in Lentag

If you’re searching for the perfect accommodation in Lentag, Live the Life has its very own lodge located at KM 54.820 Giron Passage, Lentag.

Our lodge is perfect for short stays or extended vacations for those who want to explore the many beautiful destinations in Lentag. It offers the perfect blend of comfort and privacy, with comfortable bedrooms and first-class features and amenities such as a sauna, a swimming pool with snack bar, a Jacuzzi, a volleyball court, fish ponds, and organic garden and seed store, and lush gardens.

In addition, we also arrange trips for visitors who want to see some of Ecuador’s most stunning destinations. We can help schedule trips to attractions such as the El Chorro Waterfalls of Giron, Laguna de Busa, the Mountain of San Pablo, the markets of Giron and Santa Isabel, and the Complejo Arquelogico of Carachula above Santa Isabel.

What are the real estate prices in Cuenca, Ecuador?

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | July 7, 2016

Considered one of the world’s top retirement destinations, Cuenca boasts a scenic charm and a very welcoming atmosphere with its picturesque cobblestone streets and elegant mansions. As Ecuador’s third largest city, Cuenca is home to roughly 350,000 residents along with over 4,000 expats. The city is extremely walkable and has an abundance of tourist-friendly destinations such as the Parque Abdon Calderon, where expats often gather for conversations over coffee or drinks. Cuenca offers the best of both worlds, with its old world charm enhanced by modern conveniences including 18 state-of-the-art hospitals and four major universities that attract students from all over the world.

The real estate market in Cuenca

View of Cuenca, Ecuador

View of Cuenca, Ecuador

Cuenca’s real estate market has experienced stabilization recently, after several years of steady appreciation. This can be attributed to the events after the recession of 2008, when a significant number of Ecuadorians returned home after working abroad, mostly in countries like the US and Spain. This caused a housing boom throughout most of Ecuador, especially in larger urban districts such as Cuenca, Quito, and Guayaquil.

Real estate prices in Cuenca are a bargain compared to prices in North America. New expats in Ecuador often use their real estate purchase (which should have a tax assessed value of $25,000 in order to qualify) to obtain their residence visa.

Foreigners also get the benefit of having the same rights to real estate as locals. The purchase process is also pretty straightforward, and can be less tedious compared to buying a home in other countries. When considering a purchase however, be aware that mortgages are not always available, thus, you may need to settle the full purchase price to complete a transaction.

Examples of homes for sale in Cuenca

Here are a few examples of available homes you can purchase in Cuenca:

  • A well-designed 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse and office with over 1,600 square feet of space. Features include a private patio, parking, and 24-hour gated security. Price: $117,500.
  • A fully furnished 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo unit with sweeping city views of Cuenca. The unit is equipped with a spacious kitchen, large closets, and a laundry area. Price: $68,000.
  • A stylish 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom condo with approximately 1,300 square feet of living space. The property includes a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, an oversized private terrace, built-in closets, and lovely views of the Yanuncay river. The unit is conveniently located close to shopping venues, supermarkets, and El Centro. Price: $139,000.
  • A furnished studio unit with panoramic views of the Tomebamba river, and is close to shopping districts and commuter bus lines. The unit comes with a stove, a water heater, and a refrigerator. Price: $45,000.
  • A comfortable 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse with 1,500 square feet of space. The unit is equipped with a modern kitchen, spacious bedrooms, and a small garden perfect for al fresco dining. The townhouse is a short distance away from public transportation, and is less than 15 minutes away from the city amenities and attractions. Price: $75,500.

Real Estate, Cuenca Ecuador – Ecuador Real Estate for Sale

For more helpful information on Cuenca’s real estate market, see