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Real Estate Tips

Reasons to Move to Yunguilla Valley

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.

The Best of Cuenca Real Estate – Beautiful Homes You Don’t Want to Miss

Coming to Cuenca is like stepping into a lovely European city, with its intricate colonial architecture and cobblestone streets. But there’s more to this mountain city than meets the eye.

Considered Ecuador’s most attractive city, it has everything you need to live well – outstanding healthcare, a burgeoning culinary scene, an established expat community, and gorgeous homes.

El Agave in Tarqui

El AgaveThis single-family home gives you pastoral views and mountain vistas. The 3,000-square-meter lot it’s situated on lends itself to gardening or open-air gatherings.

With over 600 square meters of living space, there’s enough room for you to bring your vision of your ideal home to life. The vast outdoor kitchen is perfect for when you entertain guests, and an horno – an oven made of adobe – is also available.

A bar and restaurant comes with the property, making it ideal for those who want to establish own business. A basement can be used for storage, or converted into an additional room. Vaulted ceilings improve airflow, keeping you comfortable during the warmest days.

With a central location and a price tag of only $450,000, this Cuenca home could be the right choice for you.

Villa in Paute

pauteCome home to panoramic views in this splendid villa, about 25 minutes away from Paute, Cuenca. Situated on three hectares filled with fruit-bearing trees and flowering plants, the property will appeal to anyone with a green thumb.

Harvest apples, pears, chirimoyas, avocadoes, corn, and potatoes in your own backyard, which is irrigated with an aspersion system that flows from a reservoir. There’s also enough pasture land for cattle. The perimeters are fenced off, so your privacy and safety are guaranteed.

A detached Red Barn quarters adds a touch of whimsy, and may function as a guest house or a studio. Not that the main house itself lacks space – there are four bedrooms and two deluxe bathrooms.

The large kitchen is furnished with custom cabinets and top-of-the-line appliances. The covered BBQ area is great for parties and picnics, while the fireplace is a wonderful place to gather around after a long day.

At $310,000 – still negotiable – it comes with all the accouterments of a modern home, such as efficient LED lighting, Direct TV, and excellent phone signal.

Rustic getaway in Paccha

pacchaPerched on a corner lot, this gorgeous home is surrounded by exquisite gardens and plenty of open space for outdoor activities. With more than 1,000 square meters of land, you’ll have room for a few crops and flowers.

The house itself covers about 243 square meters – enough to include a living room, dining room, kitchen, laundry area, study room, and a mini-apartment with a full bathroom – on the first floor alone. On the second level, you’ll find four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and an extra room with a lovely fireplace.

Located in a quiet town just 15 minutes away from Cuenca, the home is a steal at $250,000, with room for negotiation.

ChalluabambaChalluabamba home in gated community

This 300-square-meter home comes with luxurious finishes like tile floors, fine cabinetry, and marble countertops. Breathtaking views of the mountainside will help you unwind, while a spacious lot of about 2,000 square feet gives you plenty of space for gardening and outdoor gatherings.

If you’re looking for the kind of Cuenca home that will usher in a life of ease and comfort, give us a call at 239-848-5876 (USA), 098-316-0067 | 097-994-7640 (Ecuador) or send an email to

Finding the best rentals in Yunguilla Valley

dsc00036Yunguilla Valley is located just 45 minutes away from Cuenca. This stunning region feels worlds away from the bustle of the historic city and boasts verdant green farmland and panoramic views of cloud-crowned, sun-dappled mountains. The valley is one of the most beautiful places in Ecuador, where you can enjoy being out in nature all while having modern conveniences close by. It’s no wonder the region is quickly becoming a popular option for retirees in Ecuador.

You can read more about what life is like in the Yunguilla Valley here.

At Live the Life, we can help you find the best rentals in beautiful Yunguilla Valley. Below are some of the things you’ll want to keep in mind when you’re looking for rental properties in the region.

Rental Properties in Yunguilla Valley

In general, the area has limited options when it comes to rental properties. This is because when rentals do hit the market, they are often not widely advertised and are almost always quickly snapped up.

The valley has long been very popular among locals and tourists due to its ideal location and numerous outdoor recreational options. These include world-class bird watching, horseback riding, hiking, trips to spectacular waterfalls, and more. In fact, Yunguilla Valley is the traditional vacation address of many of Cuenca’s prominent families.

Here are a few examples of the kinds of properties available for rent in the area:

  • A rustic home with a full kitchen at the base of Girón Falls close to multiple hiking trails
  • A 4-bedroom and 2-bathroom home in Yunguilla Valley with a pool
  • 1 to 3-bedroom homes located close to restaurants, shops, transport, and pharmacies
  • A spacious home on several hectares of irrigated land with large gardens and a pool perfect for vacation or retirement

While they’re in demand, these rental properties remain relatively affordable. Many have rates that start at just $400 a month. There are many other kinds of rental properties to be found in Yunguilla Valley with varying features and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a cozy cottage or an expansive home with enough room for a large family, you will find more than a few options here.

Let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll help you find the property that best meets your needs. Get started today and check out our listings here.

Because few properties are going to be fully advertised, whether online or more traditionally, the best way to find rentals in the region is to keep an ear to the ground. Many people still find properties through referrals – information is often spread via word of mouth as locals usually prefer to find clients that have been vetted by their friends or family.

Rentals in Yunguilla Yalley – Ecuador Rental Properties

Don’t know anyone in the Yunguilla Valley? Get help from a local real estate expert. At Live the Life, we’ll help you locate the ideal property, negotiate the best possible terms with the owner, and close the deal with the proper paperwork. Get in touch with us today!

Score a real estate bargain in Ecuador

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.

Moving to Cuenca, Ecuador

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

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.

Tax benefits from your Ecuador property

Tax BenefitsInvesting in Ecuador real estate doesn’t only give you a piece of paradise. It also presents a slew of tax benefits. Here are a few details you need to know.

1. Deductions on taxable income

Just like your properties in the US, the real estate you own abroad will be taxed in much the same way.

This means you get the same tax benefits for properties abroad as you do for your real estate investments back in the US.

Here’s a list of tax deductible items:

  • Mortgage interest and property tax payments you make on properties for personal use.
  • Expenses you incur for renting out property for more than 14 months. While you’re taxed on what you make off your rental, you can deduct insurance premiums, utility payments, and property management and advertising fees.
  • Depreciation costs. In Ecuador, the depreciation for a property is amortized over a period of 40 years, versus only over 27.5 years for a US property. This means you enjoy this tax benefit longer for a property abroad.
  • Travel expenses related to maintaining and managing your rental property abroad

2. Deductions when you sell your property

As with a US property, you get capital gains tax benefits for a long-term property investment abroad. In Ecuador, a piece of property is considered your prime residence if you’ve lived there for at least two years.

This means that when you sell the property, you can deduct up to $250,000 (or up to $500,000 if you’re a married taxpayer) from the sale amount, and save on capital gains tax along the way.

3. No double taxation

If you’re afraid of being taxed twice for your Ecuador property– once by the Ecuador government and again by the U.S. government — relax.

Taxes you pay on your overseas property may be credited against your US tax return. This means you only need to pay the higher amount stated on either your US or Ecuador returns – and not totals on both.

To find out more about buying property in Ecuador, contact us today.

Why you should invest in Ecuador real estate

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

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.

Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Ecuador

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