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Archive for October 2016

A Tour of Cuenca’s Culinary Delights

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | October 26, 2016

Cuenca is synonymous with stunning colonial architecture, colorful festivals, and artisanal goods. Food might not be one of the first things that enter your mind when you think of Ecuador’s third largest city, but the local dining scene is fast evolving – and the city’s gastronomic landscape is as fascinating as its storied past.

From fine dining restaurants in hotels to stylish sushi joints, a tour of the city’s culinary delights will leave you hankering for more.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

1. El Jardin at Hotel Victoria

Calle Larga y Presidente Borrero

One of Cuenca’s most iconic restaurants, El Jardin serves continental food using only fresh local ingredients. Their numerous offerings include everything from prawns and heart of palm to vegetarian plates and pastas. An attentive staff and a sophisticated interior puts it on par with the world’s top restaurants. 

2. Casa Alonso Restaurant at Mansion Alcazar 

Calle Bolivar 12-55 y Tarqui

Casa Alonso prides itself on being the only gourmet restaurant in Cuenca, offering Ecuadorian and international cuisine to satisfy both local and foreign diners. As far as menu, presentation, and ambience goes, eating here feels like dining at a fine restaurant in New York, Paris, or London.

3. Tiesto’s

Juan Jaramillo y Mariano Cueva 4-89

Cuencana and traditional fusion cuisine make up Tiesto’s bold menu. Food is prepared and served in traditional clay pots, while hand-decorated dessert dishes add a personal touch to your dining experience. Try the potato soup with avocado garnish, or the flavorful chicken curry.

4. La Quinua

Benigno Malo

Quinoa salad, potatoes Bombay, and gnocchi in tomato sauce are just some of the vegetarian offerings in this restaurant. The colorful interior exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere that you and your company will surely enjoy.

5. Good Affinity

Gran Colombia 1-89 y Capulies

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike have professed their love for this Taiwanese restaurant, where the menu revolves around soy and wholesome produce. Hot noodles, chao fan, and spring rolls are served alongside local fare like fried plantains and corn patties.

Highly recommended are their affordable almuerzos, or lunches, that include soup, an entrée, and drinks. 

6. NOE

Padre Julio Matovelle 2-25 y Federico Proaño

Hailed as the leading Japanese-Ecuadorian restaurant in the scene, this trendy sushi joint is getting rave reviews left and right. Come here for expertly-cut sushi and sashimi, followed by fried ice cream and lemon cream for dessert. Every dish is a visual treat – the presentation is always exquisite. 

7. Moliendo Café

Honorato Vasquez 6-24 y Hermano Miguel

Sit down for a lovely meal at the city’s historic center. Moliendo Café offers the best of Colombian cuisine, from hearty arepas to simple but tasty empanadas. Wash it all down with some Colombian coffee and admire the décor, which includes photographs of other cities, different currencies, and wooden dioramas.

8. Mediterraneo

Honorato Vasquez 7-64 y Luis Cordero

If you find yourself longing for authentic Italian cuisine, this restaurant serves steaming plates of pasta, pizza, and risotto in the midst of historic Cuenca. Feast on freshly baked bread, flavorful dipping sauces, and sumptuous mushroom ravioli.

An attentive staff makes for a memorable dining experience, while generous portions will satisfy your craving for excellent food.

Ready to explore Cuenca’s food scene? Feel free toCall us at 239-848-5876 (USA), 098-316-0067 | 097-994-7640 (Ecuador) or send an email to

Ecuador’s Top Coastal Destinations – Montañita and Olón

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | October 20, 2016

With a coastline of over 2,200 km, Ecuador has no shortage of golden beaches and beautiful beach towns, among the most scenic of which are Montañita and Olón.

Just minutes away from each other, Montañita’s carefree hippie vibe will make you feel younger than your years, while Olón’s serene, low-key feel is ideal for families. At both, you can look forward to fine golden sand, warm waters, and friendly folk.


MontanitaBig waves, an unspoiled coastline, and an uninhibited environment await the traveler in this sunny town on the Santa Elena peninsula, about two hours away from Guayaquil’s busy port.

Montañita means “little hill” in English and the village is a surfer’s paradise and both beginners and professionals alike will enjoy the reliable surf. The waves are strong and consistent – they go as low as three feet in the summer, and up to six feet and a half between January and March.

Surfing not your thing? You’ll still have plenty to do in and around the area. Enjoy other water sports like scuba diving, jet skiing, windsurfing, and kite surfing.

Hike or ride a horse to two waterfalls – Cascasas de Alex and Cascasas de Dos Mangas – which are about eight to 10 kilometers from the beach. The Point, a mountain that lies between Montañita and neighboring Olón, is a challenging but fulfilling climb.

And let’s not forget the lively party scene. Dance clubs blast techno all night long, while DJs spin house music at beach parties. It’s a wonderful place to meet all sorts of people, including surfers who come to town for international competitions, and a sizeable expat community primarily composed of Australians, Canadians, and Americans.


While it’s just a few kilometers away from the reggae-flavored energy of Montañita, life in Olón is low-key and unhurried. If you want to slow down and get back to basics, then this idyllic town is for you. The village is largely undeveloped, and brings you closer to Ecuador’s natural beauty and the simplicity of beachside living.

Here you’ll find a small but eclectic number of bungalows, hostels, and restaurants. A boardwalk with a charming red brick esplanade is perfect for leisurely beach walks.

Ride the waves, go for a refreshing swim, or hike to nearby waterfalls – the possibilities for water sports and relaxation are endless. Olón is tucked against the Cordillera Chongón-Colonche mountain range, with the cloud forest just minutes away from the beach. Here, you can easily switch from surfing to catching a rare glimpse of the endangered great green macaw in its sylvan habitat.

Now and then you’ll be treated to the stunning sight of humpback whales or wild horses galloping on the beach.

Montañita and Olón Real Estate

These coastal towns’ real estate options include oceanfront condos, single-family homes, and parcels of land. Housing remains quite affordable and you can choose from basic cottages to homes that have all the modern comforts and conveniences.

Whether you want to enjoy the bohemian vibe of Montañita or the more low-key joys of Olón, we’ll help you make the most of your stay. Call us at 239-848-5876 (USA), 098-316-0067 | 097-994-7640 (Ecuador) or send an email to