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Archive for April 2017

Explore the Village of Puerto Lopez

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | April 25, 2017

Located in the Manabi Province, along the central coast of Ecuador, Puerto Lopez is a small coastal village that’s famous for its myriad of tourist attractions, including humpback whale watching, the scenic Machalilla National Park, and so much more.

One of the best things about Puerto Lopez is its simplicity – the village boasts a very laid-back charm, as it lacks the bustling venues and high-rise buildings found in other coastal villages. Outdoor lovers in particular, will be able to find a wide variety of stunning destinations, including beaches, reefs, hiking trails and forests.

The unique coastal town truly has something for everyone, so it can be challenging for visitors or new residents to figure out what to see or do first. LiveTheLife has prepared a list of some of the best attractions and activities you can experience in Puerto Lopez:

Humpback whale watching

Humpback whale watching is one of the main reasons why Puerto Lopez is a big tourist attraction. The best time to see these majestic giants is during the months of June to September, as this when they usually stop along the coast of Puerto Lopez.

Puerto Lopez has several licensed tour agencies that offer whale watching tours – you can find many of these offices in the town’s beach area as well as in the plaza. Tours typically last around 30 to 45 minutes and can cost about $15 to $20, depending on the season.

If you’re interested in going on a whale watching trip, LIVETHELIFE can book a guided tour for you!

Isla de la Plata

Avid birdwatchers will enjoy visiting Isla de la Plata, as the island is teeming with a wide variety of unique bird species, including Nazca boobies, frigatebirds, tropicbirds, Peruvian pelicans, waved albatrosses, and more. You can see some of these marvelous creatures while walking along Isla de Plata’s many established nature trails. You’ll be able to find tour companies that offer complete tour packages that include whale watching, guided treks, and snorkeling.

Trips from Puerto Lopez to Isla de la Plata typically cost around $30 to $45, depending on the time of the year.

Los Frailes Beach Park

Located around 10 kilometers from Puerto Lopez, Los Frailes Beach Park is a beautiful beach with spectacular ocean views and rock formations. The Los Frailes beach is the largest of three beaches included within the National Park of Machalilla.

Outdoor lovers can take an unforgettable two-hour long hike that will take you to the black sand beach of Playa Negrita, La Tortuguita beach, a lookout point surrounded by spectacular views, and finally to Los Frailes.


Foodies can choose from a huge selection of top-notch dining venues in Puerto Lopez. Many of the restaurants offer traditional Ecuadorian cuisine which you shouldn’t miss, such as ceviche, pastel de banano, corviche, and many others.

One dish you should definitely try when in Puerto Lopez however is encebollado, a delicious fish stew that’s made with yuca and served with crushed fried plantain chips. The dish is very popular in the Manabi Province, and is usually offered as a breakfast meal in either street carts or restaurants.

If you’re looking for another great place to visit in Ecuador, check out our guide to Yunguilla Valley.


Must-try Restaurants in Puerto Lopez

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | April 19, 2017

Dining is an absolute treat when you’re in Puerto Lopez. At this coastal town, foodies will be able to indulge in a terrific mix of great-tasting dishes, all of which are guaranteed to satisfy your taste buds.

Restaurants in Puerto Lopez come in all shapes and sizes, from cozy cafés to lovely seaside bistros and more. While Ecuadorian specialties such as ceviche, encebollado, and pastel banana are definitely the highlights, different types of cuisine from all over the world such as Italian, Mediterranean, French, and more are also available.

If you’re looking for some of the best Puerto Lopez restaurants, here’s a list of places you should visit:

Moby Dick Restaurante

Malecón Julio Izurieta (near Alejo Lascano corner)
Puerto López, Manabí
(+593) 98 700 7326

If you’re craving for some of the finest, freshest seafood in Puerto Lopez, you can’t go wrong with Moby Dick Restaurante. Their grilled fish is highly recommended, with its melt-in-your-mouth lightness and flavorful herbs.

Photo courtesy of

The restaurant offers a great view of the ocean, which is enhanced by its quirky nautical motif, creating a relaxing ambiance for diners.

Bell Italia Restaurant

1 block off Malecon, between Abdon Calderon and
Maria Immaculada Concepcion, Puerto Lopez
(+593) 99 617 5183

Bell Italia may be located a few minutes away from the city center, but is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Puerto Lopez. The venue boasts a welcoming and romantic ambiance, which diners can enjoy along with top-quality homemade Italian dishes.

Bell Italia serves a wide selection of pastas and lasagnas. One of their standout menu items is their homemade pasta topped with salmon and prawns – a delightful dish that is sure to tickle your taste buds.

If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy a hearty Italian meal while taking in beautiful surroundings, Bell Italia is for you.

Paella Mar

Malecon, beside Hotel Pacifico, Puerto Lopez
(+593) 99 219 90 914

Paella Mar is a Spanish restaurant and wine bar that serves a delightful mix of Spanish-style seafood, Mediterranean cuisine, and vegan options. Their dishes are made from scratch with fresh ingredients, so it might take some time to prepare, but everything’s worth it.

As their name implies, their specialty is paella – and boy, are they heavenly! They’re served in generous proportions, and come in several variations. The best one is definitely the lobster paella, which is truly a phenomenal dish.

In addition to their great tasting paellas, Paella Mar also features a good selection of wines, which guests can enjoy along with scenic views of the ocean.

Etnias Cafe

Calle General Cordova (next to the fire station), Puerto Lopez
(+593) 99 167 6876

Located close to the beach, Etnias Café is a cozy coffee shop that is owned and managed by a French couple. The place is designed with coffee lovers in mind, with its authentic espresso and great tasting cappuccino.

Their beverages go along perfectly with their top-notch selection of desserts, which include crepes, homemade brownies, waffles, and pies. If you’re looking for a great place that serves coffee and dessert, stop by this wonderful café – you won’t regret it.

2017 Economic Forecast for Ecuador and its real estate market

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | April 11, 2017

Here are a few updates on factors that may affect Ecuador’s economy as well as its real estate market in 2017:

More than 251,000 jobs within the next several years

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa recently announced that several policies and investments currently being pushed by his government are designed to aid the creation of over 251,000 jobs within the coming years.

According to Correa, Ecuador will be able to raise its Industrial GDP, which is currently around 12% to 13% of its total GDP to more than 25%, thanks to improvements in infrastructure, policy decisions, and investments totaling between $27 to 28 billion.

The President stated that the government’s industrialization plans are based on factors such as quality, innovation, productivity, and the market. With this in mind, Correa predicts that the country will have multiple value-added manufacturing and service operations by 2025.

Ecuador’s trade agreement with EU

The long-awaited signing of the trade agreement between Ecuador and the European Union is expected to facilitate an increase in banana exports. The deal, which was signed on November 11, 2016, has been provisionally applied since the beginning of this year.

The neighboring Andean nations of Columbia and Peru had previously signed the agreement with the EU in 2012, and negotiations between the EU and Ecuador started in 2009.

According to Juan Patricio Navarro, Ecuador’s European representative, joining the agreement places Ecuador on equal footing with its two neighbors. He states that with increased volumes shipped to the marker along with tariff reduction, the deal will be a huge benefit for both Ecuadorian exporters and European buyers.

With this milestone deal Navarro believes that the exportation of Ecuadorian fruits such as bananas as well as exotic varieties including dragon fruit, golden berries, avocados, papayas, and granadilla are set to increase in volume substantially.

Ecuador’s healthy lifestyle and gorgeous weather attracting more and more expats

Ecuador is named for the equator, which runs right through the entire country. Due to the country’s location, Ecuadorians get to savor a day-in, day-out temperate climate, along with perfectly equal days – both daylight and nighttime last for 12 hours, every day of the year.

Combine this with incredible views of the Pacific Ocean and the enchanting Andes Mountains, a year-round growing cycle for a variety of healthy fruits, a low cost of living, and affordable real estate and you get an environment where you can live longer and happier.

When you’re living in Ecuador, you’ll likely be spending more time outdoors. Most expats in the country don’t own a car, as many of them opt to get around on foot while doing their daily chores.

As an added bonus, food in Ecuador is not only more affordable, but it’s much healthier than what you can find back home. You won’t find as much packaged or processed food, and most restaurant dishes are made from scratch, using fresh local produce.

These reasons make Ecuador one of the top retirement destinations – Cuenca alone is home to more than 5,000 expats.

Reasons to Move to Yunguilla Valley

LiveTheLifeinEcuador  | 

Yunguilla Valley is fast becoming one of Ecuador’s top retirement destinations, with its relaxing countryside atmosphere, pleasant sunny weather, and stunning views of deep green farmland surrounded by mountains.

If you’re searching for an excellent place to retire, Yunguilla Valley is a wonderful choice. Here are a few great reasons why:

The pleasant climate

Geography plays a huge part in Yunguilla Valley’s pleasant climate – the area has an east to west orientation, which means it gets plenty of sunshine as well as a shorter rainy season.

The valley has an altitude of approximately 4,500 feet near Santa Isabel and around 7,000 feet close to Giron, resulting in temperatures that reach the low 80s during daytime to a pleasant high 50s to low 60s at night. With these conditions, retirees get to enjoy lower air conditioning costs, which is not common in most tropical locations.

World-class outdoor activities

If your idea of retirement is spending more time outdoors, then Yunguilla Valley is perfect. The region offers a top-notch variety of recreational activities, which include bird watching, horseback riding, and many more.

Love hiking? There’s an exceptional network of hiking trails that will take adventurers through breathtaking scenery, where you can soak up views of majestic mountains, dense forests, and spectacular waterfalls. The area also has numerous banana, coffee, papaya, and orange plantations, which tells you just how lush and fertile the region is.

Hiking with Torrin @ Yunguilla Valley area.

Quality infrastructure

Many parts of the Yunguilla Valley may be underdeveloped, especially when compared to Cuenca, but its infrastructure is top-quality compared other rural communities in Ecuador.

Residents get all necessities, including water, electricity, and telephone lines, along with numerous restaurants and entertainment venues. In addition, Yunguilla Valley residents are also less than an hour away from Cuenca, which means quality healthcare services are a short drive away.

Well-constructed and affordable real estate options

If you’re searching for a home in Yunguilla Valley, you’ll be able to find plenty of excellent options. The quality of construction in the region is superb compared to other areas in Ecuador.

Properties are very affordable as well, and many of the lots already come with necessary infrastructure (water, electricity, and phone). Even with all the modernization around the area, property values have remained relatively low, with prices that are sometimes as much as 30% less than comparable properties in other areas. And when you factor in the relaxing atmosphere and gorgeous panoramic views surrounding most of the homes, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better deal in such a beautiful location.

Fantastic investment opportunities

Yunguilla Valley is not only a terrific place to live; it’s a fantastic location for investors.

as well. The region is experiencing constant, steady growth, which will likely continue for several years. Moreover, its close proximity to Cuenca as well as the number of hotels in the valley ensures easy access to visitors as well as new residents.

Want more information? Take a look at some of our other articles and pages on Yunguilla Valley here and here.