Own In This Pacific Coast Resort Town For As Little As US$40,000
The coast of Ecuador is dotted with beautiful, unspoiled, and undeveloped seaside towns. In this context, Salinas distinguishes itself. This is one spot on this country’s coast that offers amenities such as restaurants, cafes, nightlife, etc., as well as groomed beaches and an active rentals market.
Best of all, condo prices here start at just US$40,000.
Making Salinas my pick for coastal investment in this country.
Located at Ecuador’s westernmost tip, Salinas occupies a unique position in more ways than one. It is Ecuador’s premier and most mature resort destination with a substantial property market and a healthy tourist trade.
With around 35,000 residents in town, Salinas is a small city but large enough to offer the services and infrastructure required by year-round residents.
It’s convenient to the international airport in Guayaquil.
And, finally, Salinas draws rental traffic during off-season periods in a way that I haven’t seen elsewhere in Ecuador. More on this in a minute.
The beach at the western end of Salinas is wide, sandy, and clean, bordered by the blue Pacific. Looking toward the end of the peninsula (west), you see motor yachts and sailboats from around the world parked in the attractive marina. In a country with few marinas (I’ve seen less than a half-dozen along the entire coast), Salinas has two nice yacht clubs.
Looking to the mainland, the curving shoreline stretches for miles into the distance, with tall modern buildings lining the waterfront alongside old-fashioned apartments and seaside restaurants. A well-kept boardwalk runs the length of the beach.
On the beach, people relax under colorful umbrellas, play games, and swim in the safe waters. Just offshore, jet skis race back and forth, leaving shimmering wakes trailing behind. Cuenca and other mountain cities empty out during vacation periods, while Salinas fills to capacity.
My favorite part of Salinas is Chipipe, close to the naval base. It draws a quieter crowd and, because it’s at the end of the beach areas, sees less traffic than elsewhere in Salinas. The beaches are wider and nicer than anywhere else in town, and just a couple of blocks in from the beach is a pleasant downtown area with fine old homes and lower property prices.
Salinas is famous for sport fishing and holds a number of world records for sailfish, tuna, and black marlin. The year’s best weather starts in November, with sunny skies and pleasant temperatures. February through April, this weather gives way to sunny mornings with showers in the afternoons, still quite pleasant. April through November, it’s often cool, dry, and overcast. If you burn easily, you might like it; if you crave sunshine, you won’t.
But Salinas benefits from the school schedule in Cuenca. The kids are out of school in Cuenca in June and July, and that’s when a lot of families go on vacation. So there’s a demand for vacation rentals during the time of year with the least-pleasant weather.
This is good news for North American investors, who can escape their winter to enjoy Salinas’ best weather and also enjoy local rental demand during the off season.
Bottom line, what makes Salinas such an appealing property-purchase location is the low cost. Here are examples of properties currently on the market:
- A two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in an older, well-maintained building near the beach, with 100 square meters of living space. The unit has a kitchen with new cabinets, a living-dining area with built-in seating, a laundry room, and a bonus room that could serve as a maid’s quarters, an office, or a third bedroom. The unit is a walk-up on the third floor. The asking price is just US$40,000.
- Another condo is less than 2 years old and located in a complex with direct beach access in a residential area of Salinas, just a short drive from the malecón entertainment zone. (In this part of Latin America, the malecón is the beachfront road or often a boardwalk.) The complex has a gym, pools, social area, sauna, and 24-hour guard. The living area is 70 square meters and includes two bedrooms, two baths, laundry, Internet, and DirecTV. The complex has parking, a pool, and a social area. This property is on offer for US$90,000 furnished.
- Located in a quiet beachside community about 10 miles north of Salinas, with tranquil beaches and within easy driving distance to entertainment and amenities, is a 117-square-meter condo with three bedrooms, three baths, a kitchen, a living-dining area, and a large terrace with a Jacuzzi. From its hilltop location, this condo offers panoramic ocean views. The complex has parking, a pool, and a social area. Furnishings are included in the list price of US$125,000.
- A large, 300-square-meter condo with two master suites is located on the 10th floor of a well-located building on the malecón of Salinas and has amazing views. There are three large bedrooms, three baths, a huge living room and dining room, and an oversized terrace. The views from the terrace are incredible due to the high floor location. The owner says you can see north up the coast to Manta (87 miles away) on a clear day. The beach is right across the street, and stores, bars, restaurants, and pharmacies are also right outside. The asking price is US$150,000.
- With ocean views from the center of the beach district is a four-bedroom, four-bath oceanfront condo with a large balcony. With 160 square meters of living area, this condo comes fully furnished and move-in ready for the asking price of just US$115,000.
I recommend Salinas as your best coastal choice in Ecuador if you’re interested in a place where you could live part time and rent your place out when you’re not there. You’d enjoy great weather during the North American winter and rental traffic during North America’s summer.
And, again, you can position yourself here right now for as little as US$40,000.
Editor’s Note: Lee Harrison, is our Overseas Property Alert editor.