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Ecuador’s 7 Best Budget Beaches

Do you ever feel like your dream of living on a tropical coast is just another one that’s far beyond your reach?  Maybe you long for a permanent vacation from the never-ending hamster wheel, but you’re afraid you just can’t afford to make those dreams a reality.

If that’s the case, then you can’t afford not to look at Ecuador’s seven best budget beaches.

ecuador cheap land


You can scale down (or up) for less.

Despite its reputation as a budget destination, Ecuador also has plenty of popular upscale beaches. Atacames and Salinas are two. If you’re looking for Miami on a budget, then look at real estate here. You’ll be surprised how much you get for your money.

You can salsa your night away with well-heeled partiers at the yacht club. Or dine in a luxurious high-rise with five-star accommodations. You’ll love the crowded umbrella-lined beaches, glamorous vibe, and South American prices.

But if you’re looking to scale down, then one of Ecuador’s seven best budget beaches can easily accommodate your lifestyle. Ecuador has one of the lowest costs of living in Latin America, and its real estate market offers many of the same bargains you’ll find across the board in this destination that’s long been a favorite among North American expats.

Another great selling point is that much of Ecuador is experiencing rapid growth in its expat communities.  So much so, that in many cases, the available services and consumer offerings can’t keep up.

So if the lower price tag still isn’t enough to help you realize your goal of starting a new life in Ecuador, there’s always the opportunity to parlay the opportunity to move abroad into twice the adventure by starting an expat business.

Here are 7 of the best budget beaches in Ecuador where you can enjoy paradise without breaking the bank.

You can live in Ecuador on a budget. It’s not just a dream.



Best Budget Beaches - Olon Beach Ecuador


1. Olon has many treasures for you. Settle in for an up-tempo, yet tranquil lifestyle. Tropical jungle flows to the sea. Hike trails and swim in waterfalls. Watch hummingbirds, iguanas, and even wild horses.

Surf conditions are excellent. Olon’s wide, long and sandy beaches host a myriad of restaurants and kiosks. One drawback (or potential opportunity, depending on how you look at it) is that convenience shopping doesn’t exist here. Residents of Olon travel far for shopping, groceries, and services.

This gap in consumer offerings equates to the perfect place for entrepreneuring expats to open an apparel shop or maybe a convenience store for food items and sundries.

Best Budget Beaches - Canoa Beach Ecuador

Meredith Cook

2. Canoa has a quaint, laid-back character. It’s small, but solitude is never hard to find. The long, wide beach stretches for miles.

Canoa is becoming more and more popular with foreign travelers, but it’s still mostly a small fishing village.  As a result, accommodations are still limited here. So now could be the perfect time to open a guest house or lodge.

Best Budget Beaches - Ayampe Beach Ecuador


3. Ayampe is the place to go for complete serenity and tranquility. It’s essentially a wildlife sanctuary – a divine spot for yoga and meditation. From your rainforest or seaside perch, you’ll love the picturesque Los Ahorcados Islands views.

Picture a large, inviting family home made of cane and wood in a jungle setting. Or a rustic cabin with a straw roof. Ayampe is the ideal spot for building your holistic retreat. Your health-conscious customers won’t be able to resist organic fruit jams, natural soaps, and fruit-infused herbal teas.

Best Budget Beaches - Montanita Beach Ecuador

Yassef Briceño García

4. Montanita (Guayas Province) means action-packed days and nights. Get ready to live it up in this multicultural party town. Picture “Little Amsterdam.”

When you’ve relaxed and people watched enough, go surf.  With some of the region’s best conditions, Montanita even plays host to international surfing competitions.

If residents and visitors want to sleep soundly, they’ll most likely have to get out of town. As a result, the even more affordable areas around Montanita might be a great place for an adventure-based resort away from the noisy beach crowd.

Best Budget Beaches - Mompiche Beach Ecuador

Juan Martinez

5. Mompiche (Esmeraldas Province) Beach thrives on ecotourism. Backpackers and surfers trek to this black sand beach for one of the best surf breaks in Ecuador. But that’s not the only attraction.

Mompiche’s proximity to Mache Chindul National Reserve opens a whole new world of adventures. Whale watching is a favorite pastime. Canoe or kayak the mangroves and Rio Verde River for bird and monkey watching. Head to the jungle for a hike or horseback ride.

Like most other budget destinations, Mompiche still lacks an abundance of variety in its accommodations and services, including restaurants. As a result it’s a great up-and-coming spot where expats could get a steal on their dream property or savvy investors could find the perfect niche for launching a successful business.

Best Budget Beaches - Salango Beach Ecuador


6. Salango (Manabi Province) is for history, culture, art enthusiasts and conservationists. You can stay busy attending artisan workshops or spending time at the Pre-Columbian Archaeological Museum. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, Machalilla National Park outings will.

There’s always scuba diving, whale watching and endless snorkeling. You’ll adore the shallow natural aquarium and sea excursions. But your experience won’t be complete until you hit the trails on foot, horseback, or bicycle.

An outdoor outfitter store could be your calling. Everyone in Salango is hooked on nature. Stock quality hiking and biking gear, camping accessories, cameras, and binoculars.  

Best Budget Beaches - Sua Beach Ecuador

Mundo Croqueta

7. Sua (Esmeraldas Province) Sua is a super tranquil setting surrounded by hills and cliffs. If you like calm water sports and little wind, Sua is the location for you.

You’ll have fun sunbathing, swimming, rowing, stand up paddle boarding, and walks around the beachfront promenade. Aside from that, there’s not much else to do.

You can always take a quick boat ride to Bird Island or the Cave of Love. Or jaunt on over to party down in nearby Atacames.

Restaurants are limited in Sua. So are activities. As a result, properties are incredibly affordable.  It’s a great place for expats seeking a simple, relaxed lifestyle.

You Can Live Your Dream in Ecuador

Now you know Ecuador offers many beach communities where you can afford to simplify your life. But you can’t just dream about it. You have to dive in. Pick a spot (or two) that sparked your interest. Explore the real estate opportunities there. Your dream home (and your escape route) will suddenly become clearer. And if you still need to earn a living, there are plenty of niches ready to be filled.

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4 thoughts on “Ecuador’s 7 Best Budget Beaches

  1. 1

    interested in cooler climate and low cost of living–and english spoken–also looking for close proximity of yogic flyers (tm-sidhis)

  2. 2

    If anyone is seriously considering moving to Ecuador, make time to come and visit ‘My Ola – stop & shop’, a mini-market that’s just opened in Ballenita, Santa Elena (minutes from the main bus terminal for anyone heading to Salinas or Montanita).
    The owners of the store speak fluent Spanish & English and there is a big ex-pat community that regularly meets there. You can benefit from the free Wifi, plus there are some real estate companies that offer that advertise their services there…so it’s the perfect base to explore the local area from and pick up all of your basic provisions. It’s also got a very relaxed atmosphere with chilled out reggae playing, which makes it a really nice spot to stop and have an ice cold beer, a bite to eat or an ice-cream.
    Just ask for Juan or Jorge.

  3. rozer smith

    I liked the complete article…. great written,Thanks for all the information you have provided.

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