Whether large cities or small towns, in the Andes or on the coast, all of these places have one thing in common: retirees love them.
Located in the Andes and surrounded by four rivers, Cuenca was ranked the best place to retire in 2015. With its cobblestone streets and historic architecture, Cuenca is an ideal retirement spot. This City of Eternal Spring is a “walkable” city and home to one of the largest expat communities in Ecuador.
Quito’s 800-acre Old Town, the largest historic center in the Americas, was the first-ever locale to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. People never tire of exploring its stone-walled, tile-roofed colonial buildings, museums, and churches, including the gilded Compañia de Jesus Church and the neo-Gothic Basílica del Voto Nacional, which is adorned with animals native to Ecuador instead of gargoyles.
With its rising number of condo developments and tons of tourists during peak season, this trendy coastal city is referred to as “Little Miami.” People travel from all around the globe the world to enjoy surfing at Punta Carnero Beach, located just ten minutes south of Salinas. Retirees can pursue an abundance of activities in this western Ecuadorian town, as well as enjoy historic sites and varied attractions.
Located in southern Ecuador, Vilcabamba, the spring-like Valley of Longevity, is a popular expat retirement community. With its healthy lifestyle, amazing weather, abundant organic food, and mountain water, Vilcabamba offers low-stress living in ideal surroundings. This lush valley ranks as one of the least expensive retirement havens in the world.
Just two hours from Quito but hidden between a pair of volcanoes, the remote mountain village of Cotacachi (population 9,000) is yet to be discovered by crowds of expats. Cotacachi gives retirees a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich culture of the Quichua people. Expats who really want to experience authentic Ecuadorian life will love this spot.
Nestled in Ecuador’s southern sierra and just 40 minutes from Vilcabamba, Loja might be this country’s best-kept retirement secret. Loja lies in a beautiful part of the country that features lofty Andean peaks, emerald valleys, and terrific year-round weather. With its small town charm, attractive town squares and social scene, as well as its cultural richness, Loja is a perfect fit for foreign retirees.