Try to imagine miles of beautiful, sandy beach on the Pacific Ocean. Colorful fishing boats at one end, and parasailers soaring along with the pelicans and frigate birds at the other. Offshore, you may even get a glimpse of a humpback whale breaching the surface. Along the beachfront, there are dozens of restaurants and bars with great food at low prices where you can sit and enjoy the view.
Now imagine you’re less than an hour from two major cities. Finally, imagine that you can buy a home there for less than $100,000.
It’s not your imagination…you are picturing Crucita, in the Manabi province of Ecuador.
This picturesque location is only about a 45-minute drive from the port city of Manta, the sixth-largest city in the country, and even closer to the seventh-largest, Portoviejo. It is the perfect balance between getting away from it all, and still having access to ”big city” shopping and services whenever you need them.
Crucita offers good value if you would like to rent for a while before committing to a home purchase. I found an oceanfront, furnished 2-bedroom condo offered for $850 per month, or rent a full house on the hills overlooking the beach for $750.
If you are on a really tight budget, there’s a villa with a studio-type arrangement a block off the beach for only $220—and that includes cable television and WiFi internet.
Crucita currently has available DSL (wired) internet service via the local phone company and several wireless access options, but plans are underway to bring fiber out from nearby Manta as well—making Crucita a picturesque location where you could earn a portable income.
Despite a population of only 4,000, there are some wonderful homes on the market if you’re looking to buy, with beachfront lots and land on the surrounding hills still available for new builds. A 1,000 square foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo right on the beach recently sold for $99,800. There’s a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom condo currently on the market for $89,500. And if your taste runs more to a single family home, there is one just around the corner from that building (still with ocean views) for $75,000. It features two floors, two bedrooms, and two bathrooms. And also comes with a balcony.
Remember, all of these homes are on the Pacific Ocean. The Ecuador coast is one of the few remaining places in the world where it is possible to get warm, oceanfront property in a price range that is affordable for so many.
Like most of the Ecuador coast, Crucita is blessed with a climate that is perfect for beach lovers. It is rarely hotter than the low 90s F or cooler than the low 70s F. The sea breezes that make it so perfect for hang gliding and parasailing, also make for relaxed outdoor dining on your balcony or at one of the great restaurants.
Speaking of food, in addition to the fresh fruits and vegetables brought in from the hills behind Crucita, the fishing fleet provides plenty of some of the best fish you can find on the planet—nearby Manta is, after all, the Tuna Capital of the World! You can stroll down the beach and buy your fish right off the boat, and they are happy to filet it for you on the spot.
Crucita is a very friendly place as well. The locals are used to having visitors come in from the city on the weekends, and there is a small but active expat community that is happy to help newcomers settle into the relaxed lifestyle of coastal Ecuador.
So if you want an affordable and beautiful small-town home at the beach—all the while generating a completely flexible, portable income—and still close to city services…you should take a closer look at Crucita, Ecuador.