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Monday, August 4, 2014

Expats opinion of Salinas, Guayaquil, Bahía de Caráquez, Playas, Punta Carnero. Ecuador, August 2014.

From Expat Exchange Ecuador forum - Expats opinion of different cities in Ecuador.
About Salinas
1. Salinas is another nice destination in Ecuador if you like being near the ocean. It is a vacation town with over 100 condo towers along the beaches (I counted them). Salinas has a small town feel with all of the necessary amenities, especially when considering the commercial district of La Libertade adjacent to Salinas.
It's a great family beach town with a lot of expats, so it's easy to make new friends here. Hope you can stop by for a visit.

2. I'm not sure what you picture as "small" when you refer to Salinas. It has a year around population of over 40,000 and much more than that on the summer weekends.
There are two beaches; each of which is about one mile long, so I don't think the beach is small. It's a lot like Acapulco in that regard -- a U shaped beach lined with condo's and restaurants. I don't think there is an English school here that I have found, so that might be a good business opportunity.
The new years eve crowd/party was an amazing event with well over 100,000 people enjoying over three hours of fireworks, music, dancing and bonfires to burn away the regrets of the old year.

About Guayaquil
It´s not mass shootings that are a worry in Guayaquil, It is the petty crime (although we haven't felt it was petty when we´ve faced down the wrong end of a gun). The issues here are street robberies, car-jacking, and kidnappings and robberies on public transportation, etc.
No, I am not trying to b e a fear-mongerer, but after eleven years here, many as the SO of an Ecuadorian police sergeant, I have seen a lot. It pays to not only do everything you can to prevent becoming a crime victim, but also to prepare for what to do should it happen. Sometimes it happens no matter what precautions you take, Most of mine were on the bus, and there´s not much you can do if an armed man gets on a bus you are already on. But planning ahead can save you injury or worse. For example, have something readily available to give a robber. Ten dollars in a change purse that you can access immediately. He doesn't want to spend time with you. Give him something and he will be on his way. This is what many Guayuaquileños do, and it makes good sense to me.

About Bahía de Caráquez
Due to my health, also breathing problems, I cannot stand high humidity, that is over 75%, nor cold, less than 60 degrees F. So we settled on Bahia de Caráquez as the temp runs from 70 to 90 and humidity averages about 65% except on rainy days. We live about 1/2 mile from ocean and can see it out our windows. We almost always have a breeze and do not have to use heaters but do have A/C for those rare high humidity days.
After 5 years here we find we have adapted to the 80 and 90 degree heat and now 80 feels cool. We are only an hour drive to Manta or Portoviejo for shopping and enjoy the quiet and hometown feel of Bahia. There is a small, perhaps 50 , expat community here that are very helpful to newcomers.
As has been stated, many have a home base on the beach and a second home in the higher territories, or vice versa. Many Ecuadorians also do the same. Many expressed surprise when we came and told them we only had one home. They believed all US Americans had at least 2 homes and 3 cars.
My wife and I lived on $700 a month when we came 5 years ago and now it takes $900 for a basic good life. The food is healthy, fresh and mostly natural, sin GMOs. Our health has improved and we lost weight without really trying.
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...Now we live a very small amount of time in X and a lot of time in Bahia de Caraquez, EC. We chose Bahia 3 years ago after doing a very extensive real estate tour. we too wanted ocean, and after several visits here, we bought into a condo complex that was going to be built. We love living in our condo here in Bahia as we have some decent amenities but are only about an hour from Manta or Portoviejo, which are much larger cities, and 4 hours from Guayaquil, which is the second largest city in Ecuador as well as the biggest port city. The weather is pretty temperate, warmer than X in the summer, but only humid for part of the year, which is now until maybe May (Summertime). We get a lot of high cloud, not all intense sun, which to most of us who live here, is very welcoming. The ocean breezes are very welcoming, and are most always blowing, the people here are friendly, fabulous bounties of fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, fish, poultry and beef. Every day more people arrive here from all over the world, but North Americans seem to be the in the majority.

About Playas
I live in Playas -- between Salinas & Guayaquil -- many people in the ocean every day. Playas is known as the sunniest beach in Ecuador and the UN says we have the world's second best climate. Families (from nursing infants to grandparents) come by the truckload to enjoy our beach and cuisine. Hope you can visit soon.

About Punta Carnero
Punta Carnero...which is a strip of road sort of like well...a 2 lane highway that cuts between a beach and the houses, high rises on the opposite side...is no Montanita. it is a weekend area that folks from Guayaquil used to use as well, weekend homes. Gringos have discovered it and bought up places because...wow there is beach here! Only to discover that it turns into a crazy area of cars and parties for 2 days a week...and is pretty much strewn with garbage the rest of the time. The two lanes are not much monitored for speed and provide quick access, since it was repaved, as a back way into Salinas, so cars speed through. It also has a pretty high rate of robberies. It´s what they DON´T mention on HHI... yeah, that´s the area you see on those old episodes...
The folks who live there tend to flip their houses, usually marking them up by 50K each time...to the next unsuspecting group of gringos. One set of old timers there has been robbed 3 times (including having their beautiful white boxer Cosmo stolen 3 years ago) I give them credit, they have stayed. The rest? Well, when you decide to look there, just remember...put in a low bid... really low...
They are a bit whacky...one neighbor for fun likes to fly his drone past his neighbors home...and take photos which he puts on the web... Another likes to butcher pigs on his old tennis court... yeah photos of that too...oh those zany gringos! and their weird expat ways...
I can understand why someone who stayed there...would be pretty turned off of the rest of Ecuador... It´s not quite the bastion of haute civilization on that particular stretch. Roll up the windows and drive through swiftly...it´s what I do. 


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