In the past, Ecuador’s beautiful underdeveloped north coast has been inaccessible to all but the most dedicated explorers. Today, with improved infrastructure and access to the new international airport in Quito, it may only be a matter of time before land prices increase significantly in this region. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
I’ve just clocked over 1,000 miles exploring a stretch of coast where virgin forest carpets undulating hills. It’s dry season, but the canopy is almost luminous green.
Sunlight hits the forest floor like silver swords. Brightly colored butterflies flutter…hummingbirds hover…howler monkeys growl in the distance…
I’m in Ecuador’s north, on this country’s nicest stretch of coast. Until now, this area has been hard to get to. But the infrastructure is improving rapidly. As it does, I expect real estate prices to rise—and rise fast.
This will soon be the closest beach area to the capital, Quito, and to its new international airport. That’s why—a year after I first told International Living readers about this region—I’m covering it again now. The window of opportunity for the biggest profits will start to close over the coming months as the various highways and bridges under construction are finally connected.
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Here—between Canoa and the area just north of Pedernales—the water is clear and blue. When the sun shines it looks turquoise. This is an area rich in nature, beauty…and opportunity.
It’s not just Ecuador’s loveliest section of coast; it’s also its most under-developed. On this trip, I took the road from Quito for the first time. On previous visits I flew to Manta and then traveled north by road. But highway improvements made over the past five years mean the road route from the capital is now feasible.
The improved Quito highway is impressive. This used to be a dirt road that served no purpose other than connecting little mountain villages. Carved out of the Andes, stretches of this road are now major engineering feats.
The first two hours of the drive from Quito are incredibly scenic. Just 30 minutes from downtown Quito, you are in an otherworldly, mountain wilderness. There is very little development; just a few viewing points and some small hotels.
Drive time from Quito to this coast will be down from seven hours to three-and-a-half hours once the final stretch of road is complete. This highway links up with the main highway connecting Atacames and Manta.
Right now, crews are busily completing the remaining stretches.
Work is also on schedule to complete the bridge from Bahia de Caraquez to San Vicente by the end of this year. It will be the longest bridge in Ecuador. San Vicente has a shiny new airport terminal…staffed and ready to go. I expect the airlines to announce new flights in and out of there soon.
This article has been republished from International Living.