Cotacachi : Ecuador

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What it's Like to Retire in Cotacachi

Cotachi is an undiscovered village of about 9,000 between two volcanic peaks. Itcan be viewed from the Pan-American Highway as one travels on the way from Quito and Otavalo north to Ibarra. There are a number of quaint old colonial structures among the shops and residences that comprise most of the village.  Expatriates like living in this area for the mild weather, pretty scenery, and very low cost of living. It is located about an hour and a half from Quito. There are views of the Andes. Photo of dancers courtesy of Chris Feser and Wikipedia.


Where to Retire in Cotacachi and Home Prices

Reasonably priced apartments are available for less than $100,000.


What is special about Cotacachi

The indigenous Quichua people, who still wear their festively colored clothing, live near Cotachi.  The Quichua festival of Inti Raymi is a celebration of the sun.The Cotacachi Volcano in the Cotacachi Cayapas Ecological Reserve has 750,000 or more acres of protected forests. Lake San Pablo is the largest lake in Ecuador.


What is not special about Cotacachi

It is a 2 hour drive to the airport; the closest shopping is 20 minutes away by bus in Ibarra.


Who will like retirement in Cotacachi

People looking for a low-key South American adventure.


Local economy is driven by

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Climate and Physical Environment

The year round temperature tends to be between 50-70 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Other than Quechua artisans and festivals there is not too much in the way of culture. The region is known for its leather goods and handicrafts. Cotacachi residents are also well known for their carne colorada (filet of pork cooked in red achiote sauce), and queso de hoja (soft cheese wrapped in a plant leaf).



Crime rate is low.


Medical facilities

There are medical facilities in Cotacachi but for anything beyond an emergency you would go to towns further away, including Quito.



The nearest international airport is 60 miles away in Quito.


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Facts about COTACACHI
  • State: ECUADOR
  • Environment: Small Town,
  • City Population: 25,001-50,000
  • Median age of Population: 25-44
  • Avg Jan Temperature: 61 +
  • Avg July Temperature: 60-80
  • Median HH Income: 0-20,000
  • Average Home Price (MLS): Less than $100,000
  • Annual Property Tax on a $200,000 house: Less than 2000
  • Total Crime Index: 81-90 (low)
  • Cost of Living Index: <80 (Very low)
  • Culture Index: <80 (Very low)
  • State Sales Tax: No
  • State Income Tax: Yes
  • Name of the Guide: Gale

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