Why Haven’t You Checked Out Cotacachi, Ecuador?
If you could retire anywhere in the world, where would it be? Florida? Hawaii? For more and more people, especially North Americans, the answer is Cotacachi, Ecuador, a utopian town sought out for its scenic beauty, rich culture, ideal climate, and low cost of living.
Tucked between the breathtaking mountains of Volcan Imababura and Volcan Cotacachi in the Ecuadorian Andes, Cotacachi is but a ninety minute drive north from the Ecuador capitol of Quito. An artisan town, famous for their hand-crafted leather goods, Cotacachi just might be the ideal place for those that crave the small town life.
With so many options out there, what is it about Cotacachi, Ecuador that makes it such a popular choice for expats?
Expats are choosing to settle down in Cotacachi for many reasons, but one of the biggest appeals is the climate. Not too hot and not too cold, Cotacachi is just right with an average daytime temperature of 70-75 degrees F and an average night time temperature of 50-55 degrees F.
And because Ecuador is positioned just north of the equator at an elevation of 8,000 feet, Cotacachi will experience this ideal, spring-like climate throughout the year.
The chance to slow down
For many, Cotacachi is the perfect place to slow down and savor the simple things in life. You can hike, ride horseback, and fish, or simply head down to the local market to stock up on delicious organic food. These markets are open daily in Cotacachi, but the biggest market will always be on Sunday when the locals come out to sell everything from fruits and vegetables to hand-woven goods, spices, and freshly picked flowers.
Of course, due to its small size (the length of the village can be walked in thirty minutes) there are certain things that you won’t find in town, like major shopping centers or an exciting nightlife. But not to worry, for it is only a twenty minute drive to the nearest city, Ibarra.
Although Cotacachi embraces the laid-back lifestyle, away from the bustle of city life, it is in no way isolated. The capital of Ecuador, Quito, is only an hour and a half away from Cotacachi and international flights arrive in Quito daily.
So for the occasions when a small trip to the local market just won’t do, the city of Quito is there to offer all of the urban amenities you could possibly need.
The local people in Cotacachi, the Quichua, are a very spiritual people and they really cherish their traditions. Most of the Quichua continue to dress in colorful, traditional garb and shamanic and healing rituals are still performed on a daily basis.
In Cotacachi you can have a Shaman cleanse your aura or mix you up a custom batch of medicine to help heal your ailments.
But don’t be intimidated, for the Cotacachi locals are known to be very friendly and welcoming to expats, and you can expect to make a few new friends as they introduce you to life in their village.
Beautiful and budget friendly
Another great thing about retiring to or visiting Cotacachi, Ecuador, is the cost. The cost of living in Cotacachi is quite low and you will be able to enjoy this scenic paradise on a budget, making living in a place like Ecuador not just a dream, but for many expats, a reality.
Renting an apartment in Cotacachi can start as low as $150 per month and because the town is so small, cars aren’t necessary. Of course, if you so desire, taxis are available to whisk you around the village for little more than a dollar and a round trip bus ride to Ibarra will only cost you ninety cents.
Is Cotacachi the place for you?
So if you have been thinking of making a move down to South America, Cotacachi, Ecuador just might be the place for you. Do your research, consult a local realtor, and make a trip down to Cotachaci to see what life in this mountain village is really all about. Who knows, you may just find your new home, or at the very least, a great new place to visit.