This week I’m going to focus in on the most popular of all overseas properties: beaches. Mountain lifestyles and city living are popular, to be sure… but beaches draw people to a full-time or part-time life abroad more reliably than anything else.
Thanks to today’s volatile (and favorable) exchange rates with the U.S. dollar, the concept of “best value” can be a moving target. So it pays to stop and reevaluate the entire picture every few months.
After doing a quick study over the weekend, here are what I believe to be five of the best values on the beach-oriented market today.
Since I first visited Playas in 2002, it has been my favorite beach town in Ecuador.
The first thing I noticed is Playas’ “fishing village” character. The way the small fishing fleet blends with the beach resort creates a great beach experience with a homey and culturally rich feel… and provides for lots of fresh and inexpensive seafood.
The waters are warm and calm, thanks to Playas’ tucked-away position in the Gulf of Guayaquil—43 miles inland of Ecuador’s western tip at Salinas—which protects it from the open Pacific and the cold waters of the Humboldt (Peru) Current.
Also, Playas boasts 320 days of sunshine per year (thanks again to its position in the gulf), unlike most of Ecuador’s coast, which is overcast for a good portion of the year. It’s the only place on the coast where I’ve seen sunshine every time I’ve visited.
Best of all, Playas is Ecuador’s most accessible beach, at 60 miles from the airport in Guayaquil (97.4 km); a drive that will take you 1 hour, 17 minutes. Beaches in Ecuador can be as far as six hours from the international airports, so this proximity has Continue reading