Note: A shorter version of this
article was published on Jan 8, 2008
as an International Living "Daily Postcard".
See the published version of the article
- The Best Alternative to Vilcabamba?
know of any other small town in the
world that has gotten as much great
press as Vilcabamba. If it’s a peaceful,
back-to-nature life-style that appeals
to you, breath-taking scenery and great
weather, the place is hard to beat.
There’s one other thing that Vilcabamba
is known for: its remote location, smack
dab in the middle of nowhere.
like what Vilcabamba has to offer but
you want something a little closer to
civilization, you should check out Yunguilla.
isn’t a town - it’s a long valley that
begins just south of Cuenca and ends
near the seaport city of Machala, with
a few small towns along the way. The
advantage of Yunguilla is that the best
locations are just 45 minutes from Cuenca,
a city of half million people and the
“cultural heart and soul” of Ecuador.
The elevation in Yunguilla ranges from
about 7,000 feet at the Giron side (closest
to Cuenca) down to 4,500 feet at the
Santa Isabel side (closest to Machala)
– the climate is perfect and warm, with
a very short rainy season. The valley
is at an East-West orientation, so it
gets direct sunshine all day long.
most of the economic and real estate
development in Vilcabamba has come from
foreigners, Yunguilla is mostly Ecuadorian.
This is where the middle and upper class
families from Cuenca have vacation homes,
and it is home base for the Juan Eljuri
family (reportedly the second wealthiest
family in all of Ecuador, behind Álvaro
Noboa – runner up in the last presidential
because of its influential residents,
the area’s infrastructure is well developed
– good restaurants and entertainment,
a well maintained highway, with top
notch water, power, and telephone service.
And the average construction quality
is far superior to that in most of rural
because there are some wealthy families
here, don’t think Yunguilla real estate
is expensive. There are some excellent
properties at prices you just won’t
believe. A recent comparison found land
costs in Yunguilla to be 30% to 50%
lower than those in Vilcabamba. And
the views are … oh, so beautiful!
Greater Ecuador Real Estate Investment
Fund is proud to announce
Vistas de Cataviña, a development
of 15 "ready to build" lots with absolutely
stunning views overlooking the valley.
These lots are ready to build your dream
home, with the necessary infrastructure
in place (water, power, phone). Lot
sizes vary, and pre-construction prices
start at $10 per square meter (~$32,500
offers ample opportunities for nature
lovers, including world class bird watching
and a network of great hiking trails.
Or, if you prefer, you can find local
guides to take you horseback riding.
Drive up above Giron, and you’ll find
a park with a breathtakingly spectacular
mountain waterfall. Last but not least
– this area is known for the hearty
liquor that the locals make from sugar
cane. You can tour the farms where the
cane grows and see the distillation
process first hand. There are also coffee,
banana, orange, and papaya plantations
I believe that
Yunguilla is not only a wonderful
place to live, but a great place to
invest as well. There has been
steady growth in the Yunguilla
valley, which I expect will
continue. The highway has been widened
and improved all the way to Cuenca, and there are some
excellent hotels and hostelerias scattered
throughout the valley.
Put Yunguilla on your list of “must
see” places to visit if you’re considering
a move to Ecuador!
Ecuador Real Estate Investment Fund