Major price reduction on Lot 7! Price lowered by $5000!

We’ve done some soul searching and decided that we’d rather turn over our properties quickly rather than sit on them until the market appreciates to our asking price. We want to keep things moving!

We’ve therefore decided to lower our asking price on Lot 7 from $30,000 to $25,000! Lot 7 has been the hottest lot on our website and we’ve received a number of interested calls and emails, but no sale. So here it is… $5000 off. Be the one to get this great lot where beachfront lots are hard to find. This is a solid investment that will appreciate in the future and a great place to build your own beach escape. Take another look at Lot 7 and get in touch now!

A great house in Cuenca anyone?

A paragliding friend of mine asked that I help get the word out regarding his apartment for sale in Cuenca. I said that our readers are mostly looking for coastal properties… then he showed me photos and I agreed. The place is quite impressive, extremely high quality, in a great neighborhood and comes completely furnished and ready to go. A great option for someone ready to have a landing pad ready and waiting for their arrival to Ecuador… though I’m still partial to the coast!
Here are some photos:
This is the building. He owns 1/2 of the second story (on the right hand side of the photo).

The building is in a great neighborhood and has river frontage and a small park.

Here’s a bedroom

the kitchen


The apartment is 120 square meters (1290 square feet) in an exclusive area of Cuenca. The park in front of the Yanungay River is relaxed and safe. There are 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. The master bedroom has a large closet and hydrospa. The hall, living room, and bedrooms are completely furnished with high quality products. There is a washing machine and washing station, garage access, and storage room. Furniture includes 3 beds ranginf froma queen to a twin, bedside tables, a dresser with mirror, one sleeper sofa, a desk, bookshelves, complete livingroom furniture set, complete kitchen set, refridgerator, oven/stove, microwave, blender, washer/dryer, 2 29″ Sony televisions, 1 DVD player and surround sound.
The price is set at $89,000 and there is a $49.25 monthly maintenance fee. He is moving up to a larger apartment that is currently under construction and would be happy to rent the place from the new owner (potential $300/month income) until December of 2011.
Feel free to write me with any questions:

Condo construction update! Impressive work in 2 weeks.

It’s been two about two weeks since I put up the condo page and I’ve already received much interest. The builders are excited and the construction is moving ahead at full steam. The floor that was poured on July 29th has dried and the rebar structure and molds are about ready to pour the next floor. They are moving at a rate of over one floor per month. Quite impressive.
Here’s a shot from the beach.

And a close-up

and a very close-up.

Check out our CONDOS page for pricing and payment information. This area is appreciating quickly and I strongly feel that a %50 down-payment (~$28,000) would be a great way to lock in a price. When the building is completed, there will be a chance to get a direct return as property values will have risen… or just have your own nice condo with the best views and in the best location in Crucita.

El Pajonal, Chirije, Bahia de Caraquez and Isla del Corazon – another great day

In an effort to introduce my folks and cousin to more coastal towns and the to-do’s along the province of Manabi’s coastline, last week we headed northward on an excellent daytrip with Eduardo. First we buzzed by our properties in San Jacinto… plenty of photos of those on our website. Then we drove further north toward Bahia. The road is in great shape and about halfway there we spun off toward the coast… through a valley call the Pajonal and onto a gorgeous untouched coastline!

Here we are with Eduardo. We had the whole place to ourselves.

Then we travelled on to Bahia de Caraquez and went up to the “Cruz”, a huge cross that you can climb to the top of for excellent views up and down the coast and over Bahia’s bay that is full of sailboats.

Next we crossed the bay on a small ferry boat that leaves about every 5 minutes (30 cents) and grabbed a cab to catch the Isla del Corazon boat tour.

The tour consists of an intro video and guided tour through the mangrove ecosystems that keep the bay alive and act as it nursery for fish and bird species.

My mom got a photo op with the local legend, the dwarf of the Isla del Corazon… watchout ladies…

We also saw a ton of frigate birds (with their huge red neck pouches puffed out for mating season). Then it was back to the mainland for a quick trip to Canoa and northern coast.

Crucita beach hiking, past civilizations and natural beauty

Last Sunday we went for a great walk on the beach with the family… about 4 miles along an amazing untouched coastline. We left from our house in Crucita on foot and made our way south along the coast. There are no roads and we didn’s see a single other person on the beach. Here’s my cousin, mom, and Lynn chatting it up on the way.

We planned the hike during low tide so we had plenty of beach to work with…

Here is one of the critters we met along the way. This fellow was quite huge and relatively passive… I was within centimeters of him when I took this photo.

Then things started to get even more interesting! We started finding all kinds of interesting things on the beach…

Including pottery shards from past civilizations. Coastal Ecuador is known for its archaeological history and on this untouched stretch of beach we ran into the remnants everywhere!

and the wildlife kept things interesting…

We found amazing shells, including the famous spondylus that used to be used for money…

and then things really got crazy when my mom came across a figurine!! We were completely blown away that this was just sitting at the base of an eroding beach terrace!

Here you can see the pot shards eroding down the hillside toward the beach!

and we saw the clear sign of Ecuador’s volcanic history. The thick white layer in this photo is an ash deposit from a past volcanic eruption hundreds of miles away near Quito.

When we arrived in Jaramijo, our destination for the day and the next town south of Crucita we were welcomed by friendly faces who served up cold drinks and brought out extra chairs for us to take a break and enjoy the shade!

We then grabbed a 35 cent bus to Manta, had a great lunch in front of the ocean, and split the $15 cab ride back to Crucita. So many smiles with a such a small price tag. The next day we headed into Bahia for business and so my folks and cousin could go on a tour… and stopped by the archaeological museum to bring them the figurine (we couldn’t leave it to the waves…). I’ll post that story tomorrow! By the way, Lot 7 is one of the closest lots to this undeveloped beach!

Fast forward to present: Family flying day

From mid-July until just a few days ago was a real pain! I spent 4 days in a local clinic, which was actually very high quality, getting blood tests and with a severe fever. It turned out that I had been bitten by a mosquito carrying malaria parasites while travelling to far off places in the rainforest on the other side of the country. After we had the malaria diagnosis I was quickly treated with the appropriate medicine and have been building my strength back-up. A hammock with wireless seemed quite the ideal healing location for me!

My cousin Monica came to visit so we had to start taking in the local sights and experiences… First up was a tandem paragliding flight for my dad (74) and Monica in the skies over Crucita. We were treated to perfect weather and a mild breeze… Here’s my Dad getting ready for action

and Monica getting ready…

With my family in the air I couldn’t help but join them… Here’s my launch… It’s remarkably easy to heave 10lbs of fabric up into the air and fly off along the hillside!

and here is Monica and Raul (her tandem pilot) buzzing the tower!
It was quite an experience to see my Dad and cousin floating alongside me here in Crucita. My dad and I got quite high up further down the way and waved at eachother while taking in the incredible views and peaceful sounds while high above the Ecuadorian Coast. You never quite know what experiences life will bring your way next! After the malaria experience… this was bliss!

Retroblog 3 – Puerto Lopez, Isla de la Plata, and whale watching (July 14-16)

After finishing up in Guayaquil we took off using the regional busses to get to Puerto Lopez. We had a one hour traffic jam on the road so we arrived in about 5 hours. Here’s my folks getting situated for the ride. They had front row seats which gave my Dad plenty of legroom (nice) and gave my Mom a clear view out the front window (a bit more excitement than she was after!). After our one-hour delay, our driver tried to make up time which made for some exciting twists and turns. Local transportation takes some getting used to but adds some extra flavor to the trip!

The next day we left at a reasonable 9AM and spent the day on the water and on Isla de la Plata. Within just a few minutes of departing from Puerto Lopez we saw a pod of humpback whales!

Magnificent creatures! One the one hour trip out to the island we saw at least two other pods.
We went for a three hour hike at Isla de la Plata along the Putna Machete trail. The nesting blue-footed boobies barely flinch when your 3 feet away. We also saw Nazca boobies, pelicans, and frigate birds in droves.
The views on the island are enchanting and and very reminiscent of the Galapagos Islands.

After the hike we took the boat to the shoreline of Isla de la Plata for lunch and some snorkeling.
After the boat ride back we spent one more night in Puerto Lopez (At a great place called Hostal Mandala) then packed up, hopped (all four of us plus bags) on a mototaxi and headed for the bus station and eventually on to Crucita.
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Retroblog 2 – Parents, dentists, and immunizations oh my! (July 13)

The day after my folks arrived we headed out on the town in Guayaquil. The first stop was the iguana park. We of course didn’t mention the iguanas to my folks and let them discover them on their own. First one ran across the path, then the next, another scampered up a tree, then you see them everywhere! Here’s a great shot of my folks with one of the critters in the background.

After a great breakfast we headed out to take care of the days business. First we headed to a dentist that our friend Paola went to dental school with. I had a couple fillings and my mom had her crown recemented and got a pesky chip fixed. His office was clean, he used modern equipment, and 3M filling material. His prices were very reasonable (I believe I payed $15 for the each filling). Lynn will be posting the dental info on our forum website: soon. Here’s a shot of mom getting her work done. The dentist (Boris Farfan) also has a handy dental video camera so he can easily show you what needs to be done. He also takes before and after photos and prints them out for you when you leave! Better service than I’ve received in the US.

The next order of business was getting my folks their immunizations. As they were starting off on the coast and not too concerned about waiting until they arrived, we suggested they get them taken care of in Guayquil. Also on, Lynn has put up a post that has the immunization types, costs and clinic details. This saved my folks at least a few hundered dollars between them. The clinic is very clean and orderly and the kind nurse even gives you an ice-pack to numb your shoulder slightly before the shot.

Business taken care of… we planned to leave the next day for a bus ride to Puerto Lopez to visit Isla de la Plata and say hello to the migrating humpback whales!

Retroblog 1 – From the Oriente to the Coast

Here’s a bit of retro-blogging (July 8-13th):

We came out of the rainforest and travelled by bus back to Quito. We stopped on the way in Papallacta for our anniversary. The Papallacta hot springs are a “must” on your Ecuador visit list especially if you are flying into or out of Quito (which is recommended so that you can grab an easy 30 minute flight to Portoviejo or Manta, each about 45 minutes driving from Crucita and 50 minutes from San Jacinto). The Hot Springs complex is beautiful and well-maintained. Aftern having spent a month tromping through mud, crossing slippery logs and generally roughing ourselves up a bit, we decided to spoil ourselves with a night at their hotel. Our room included a semi-private hot spring soaking pool… which we had all to ourselves!

We then headed straight for Quito to wrap up office-related loose ends for our water project. Then it was off to Guayaquil to meet my parents! The flight from Quito to the coast is breathtaking on good-weather days. I was pasted to the window watching the volcanic mountain ranges passing underneath then dropping off to the broad coastal plains. Ecuador is truly an incredible and diverse place!

Leaving the “Valley of the Volcanoes” from Quito

A close-up of one of the many volcanic peaks that divide the coast in the west from the Amazon basin in the east.
We landed in Guayaquil in the early afternoon with plenty of time to get set-up in a hotel and get ready to receive my parents, Walter and JoAnn Saunders, at the airport. They are here for their first trip to Ecuador!
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