There are many things that attract expats to Ecuador, like the low cost of living, temperate climate, favorable tax laws and lovely locals. In Canoa, on Ecuador’s northern coast, one can add beautiful beach living to this list of amenities. Canoa is a place where expats can buy beachfront property at a fraction of the cost of similar parcels found in the U.S. and then build a dream home that does not have to conform to any mode or style. Residents there talk about the laid back lifestyle that is expressed in everything, from the attitudes of the neighbors to the very homes they live in. For more on this continue reading the following article from International Living.
“We’re right on the beach and we love that,” says expat Cynthia Kelley.
“We can hear the ocean at night and we love to watch the sunset over the water in the evenings.” It’s easy to get the feeling that you’re a million miles away from the rest of the world in Canoa, on Ecuador’s northern coast.
In the past few years, though, newly-paved roads and a bridge across the bay between neighboring San Vicente and Bahía de Caraquez have opened up this idyllic beach town.
“When we first arrived there was a dirt road to get here and now there’s a four-lane paved highway,” Cynthia says. “We used to have to come across the bay on a little boat and now we drive across a big bridge.”
Cynthia and her husband Ron are part of the growing community of expats enjoying the low costs and laid-back lifestyle of one of the finest stretches of Pacific beach you’ll find anywhere.
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“Canoa is not like in the U.S., where all the houses look the same. Everybody creates their own dream here. They have an idea about what they want in a house and what they want their lifestyle to be and they create that,” says Cynthia.
For Cynthia and Ron, the dream started after a trip to the Galápagos Islands. “We hadn’t planned on visiting the mainland but we liked the people so much that we decided to change our itinerary,” she remembers.
Buying property for a vacation home wasn’t part of their plan, either. But after falling in love with the town’s laid-back atmosphere and being blown away by the low cost of living, they started to consider the possibilities.
When they came across a beachfront property offered at a bargain price, they decided the opportunity was too good to pass up. Once the planning was complete and work began on their home overlooking the Pacific, they were overcome with excitement. They moved in before the construction was even finished.
Now, in addition to the one-bedroom house Cynthia and Ron live in, the property features a two-bedroom guest house, an outdoor kitchen and dining area, a garage/office, and a bamboo yoga hut with a grass roof.
“We could never have afforded to build a home right on the beach in the United States,” says Cynthia. “Now we’ve about four acres and this year we have papayas growing in the front yard.” They also have banana trees, coconut trees, a variety of tropical flowers, and two happy dogs with ample room to roam and play.
“We buy the rest of our produce fresh from the market, where a sack of veggies costs just $5. The flavor is superior to anything you can find in the U.S. I think it comes from being picked ripe instead of picked green and then shipped,” she says.
“And if you know where to go, the selection of fresh meats can be just as rich as the fruits and vegetables that come to town fresh from the countryside. We get our meat from Manta, from a guy who raises his own cattle, and I get my chickens from a woman who raises her own chickens. I can’t get chicken that nice back in the U.S.”
It isn’t just groceries that are low cost in Canoa…
This article was republished with permission from International Living.