Palmera Beach was designed with the best in mind for you.
Now that you know that Ecuador is a great place to invest in property and to even retire to – you are probably asking yourself… but why would I want to build in Palmera Beach?
Remember – we were once in your shoes. We knew we wanted to come to Ecuador. We also know we wanted to build on the ocean. However – Ecuador has over a 1000 miles of coastline so the question becomes – which town do we want to call home?
After working like a dog for most of our lives we knew we wanted to get away from the rat race. This meant we were not interested in beaches highly populated with tourists, party goers, and condos. So we set sail in search of the perfect place to call home and build our development for like-minded individuals.
In searching, we had to keep in mind that when living in a small town on the coast there are only a few cities that will support your essential needs… They are: Salinas, Guayaquil, Bahia [to a large extent], Manta and Portoviejo. Take a look at the map and you will where they are located. You may even want to download Google Earth to follow along.
We started our search at Playas, which is south of Salinas, to discover that the water is always a dirty brown. After asking around it became evident that the River Guayas and other rivers all dump in Playas which explains the dirty brown color. We knew that Ecuador must have some beautiful blue water so we continued our search.
Next we explored Salinas. Salinas was really nice but for us it did not fit our search criteria because it has party goers, tourists and lots of condos. In fact, it is impossible to find a piece of beach where you can have any peace or quiet time on the beach. Not to mention that many times during the year the population swells to over 100% capacity and the congestion drove us crazy.
Hitting the road and heading north again we found ourselves in a town called Ballenita. If you love looking out at the ocean covered with beautiful oil tankers then you will love Ballenita.
Many of the next little towns were so small that we felt that there were not enough conveniences to accommodate even a laid-back lifestyle. So we moved north till we came to Montanita. We had heard good things about Montanita.
The first thing we noticed here was that the beach was so short and offered no privacy. We found the town to be very clean and that there was a large selection of food. We could even get pancakes here.
However, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the town was overrun with really young tourists that like to party. Even so, we loved the activity and the area but did not feel it was the place in which to invest.
If you are looking for a town where the party never stops then this may be the perfect town for you.
Heading north, we found ourselves in Puerto Lopez. One of the first things we noticed about the beach was the big trawlers and a large floating building that obstructed our view of an otherwise beautiful ocean.
Even so – we continued to explore Lopez and soon discovered this town has some of the best food we had eaten on the coast. The selection includes Italian, Columbian, Russian, American, Sushi, and of course Ecuadorian.
With no great view of the ocean we toured on. We did however – keep in mind the great selection of food because seafood, believe it or not, can get old after a while.
Leaving Lopez and heading north we found ourselves in a town called Puerto Cayo. Coming down into the city was like eating chocolate for the first time. What a treat!
The beach seemed to go on for miles and the water was a beautiful green-blue color.
While we were there we saw a machine cleaning the sand on the beach like an expensive resort would do. this really flipped us out because we had not seen this elsewhere in Ecuador.
We also noticed that the people seemed to be friendlier than the other towns we had visited. We felt it was because this town is not overwhelmed with visitors and therefore the locals take more time to help you and get to know you.
We also loved the fact that there were no trawlers, oil tankers, or other floating objects spoiling our view of the ocean. We also loved the beach. It is one of the whitest beaches we had seen and was certainly a very long beach. We also enjoyed being able to walk on the beach without being mobbed by crowds of tourists.
So we did the next logical thing and that was to look for a piece of property large enough to build an exclusive development on that would allow us to provide large oceanfront lots for our development.
In searching for property we noticed that there is an area just past the traffic circle where there seems to be nothing but beautiful homes. There are no cheap shacks. And because land is out of reach for the poor, we felt that there would never be any eyesores in this area.
Then we stumbled upon what we immediately put on our short list.
There was also no malecon. For those of you not familiar with a malecon it is simply a road and board walk that lines much of Ecuador and separates the homes from the ocean.
This means that this particular piece of property is not separated from the ocean by a road/boardwalk but instead it allows you to have direct access to the beach. This property would actually allow our home owners to walk out of their front doors and dip their toes into the ocean. And talk about views. Puerto Cayo has a beautiful mountain range that sticks out into the ocean that provides a most interesting backdrop.
And to make the deal even sweeter, this property had been filled and packed seven years earlier. In other words, this property was ready to build on just as it was.
Talk about putting this one in our love it column. However – knowing that we would have such a large investment meant that we must continue our search even though we felt we had found exactly what we were looking for.
So… you guessed it. We once again headed north.
This time we found ourselves in a town called Santa Marianita. This beach is famous for its strong winds. In fact, there was a kite surfing school there. The beach was beautiful in Santa Marianita.
We were however disappointed that there was no way to support life at this beach. There just are not enough places to eat or enough of life’s daily needs at this beach. Even though the town was dirty and poor we did however like the beach itself.
Our next town was Manta. If you can call a town of 300,000 a town. It is really a big city and we were not interested in living with lots of folks in condos so we headed on to Crucita.
Crucita had a nice beach and had a pretty good selection of food. We were quite shocked to see an authentic Italian Restaurant there. The town was somewhat nice but we felt it was dirty and we found ourselves only feeling comfortable on the south end of town.
Next we stopped in San Jacinto /San Clemente. We liked this beach and the both towns at either end of the malecon. We found that there are a fair number of gringos or English speaking folks who have decided to call this area home.
However, we also discovered in talking with the locals that the front row of houses are now gone because the ocean decided to take them. We also felt that this area was already so built out that it had no room for future growth along the ocean. And you had to be willing to take the shacks alongside nicer homes. Even though we liked this area it did not make sense for us to try to buy one of the few last remaining lots to develop. We still had Puerto Cayo in our mind and knew it fit all of our criteria for a perfect place to call home so we continued north to see if we would find anything we liked better.
On our way to Bahia we passed several small towns that would not support life so we just kept going until we arrived in Bahia. We had heard that Bahia is the President’s pet project and that he had put a lot of money into this area.
We must admit that the main drag and malecon were beautiful. However, we are not tourists and we started turning over rocks and exploring the area. In doing so we discovered that Bahia has a lot of poverty. The president has blocked this poverty from sight with a huge wall but none-the-less it is still there.
Even though this area has decent shopping, etc. we were not pleased with the small muddy beach and the poverty that surrounds Bahia.
Traveling north across the Chone River we found ourselves in San Vincente. The views looking back across the harbor towards Bahia were breath taking. However, when we inspected the beaches they were full of wood and debris. It is as if the currents in this area seem to deposit all of the trash at this particular beach.
We soon found ourselves in Canoa. This town was different than the others because it is how I think we dreamed of a small town. The huts at the beach were cute and there were no paved roads. It was kind of romantic. But that soon passed with the first rain. The dirt roads turned to mud and we found ourselves a bit overwhelmed by all of the mud. It was also apparent that this is a tourist town and is full of young party goers.
During this time we also traveled back to Bahia and found a woman who knows much about the surrounding beaches. When questioning her about many areas she warned us that the utilities going to Canoa is spotty. So even though we thought Canoa was cute we did not like the lack of infrastructure.
So we headed on towards Matal/Jama. Once again the support for these areas was not sufficient and the towns were very dirty.
So we headed on towards Perdenales. This town was big enough to support life but so scary that we did not even want to spend anytime investigating this area. In truth we would not even spend a night here. So we continued north.
The next thing we know we had arrived in Cojimies. We had heard there were 100’ tall coconut trees in this area. And indeed there were. There were 1000s of palm trees there. The area starts with rolling hills and then ended up with the flattest land we had seen in all of Ecuador. In fact, the beach is so flat that you can see the waves breaking at least 1000’ from the shore. It was also wild seeing the point surrounded on three sides by water. The problem though was obvious that at any time the ocean could easily reclaim the entire area.
We did however like the rolling hills as we were heading towards Cojimies. It is beautiful property but it takes more than beautiful property to call a place your home. With the problem of no infrastructure and having to be solely dependent on Perdenales – we knew this was a no go.
We had now traveled over 800km and we knew in our hearts that Puerto Cayo had everything we were looking for so we headed back to what we would soon call our new home.
This time we wanted to further explore the area. We wanted to know things like… where would we buy groceries, where would we shop, how about going to a movie, or eating at a great restaurant?
We soon discovered that Manta, one of Ecuador’s largest cities, has everything we would need. Less than a 45 minute drive north would provide us with shopping, movies in English, a wide variety of entertainment/cultural events, restaurants and nightlife.
We also remembered that Puerto Lopez, which is only a 25 minute drive to the south, would provide us with additional shopping and great food selections. Not to mention that this is the most beautiful drive we encountered in all of our coastal travels. The views of the ocean and surrounding mountains are beyond belief.
And Montanita came to mind too. Because it is only an hour drive from Puerto Cayo, it would be the perfect day trip. We would come here for the excitement of a busy beach and enjoy the street vendors, variety of restaurants, and just plain ole fun.
And we also learned we would have access to an inland town called Jipijapa for additional shopping and things not found in Puerto Cayo.
And before I forget, the homes that are built and being built near Palmera Beach are everything but typical in Ecuador. It appears that many of Ecuador’s elite families have also discovered Puerto Cayo. This is a big plus for making sure our investment continues to soar.