Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cotacachi, Ecuador

Today we traveled via taxi ($5.00) to Cotacachi which is a small town located about 9 miles from Otavalo nestled at the base of Volcan Cotacachi.  Many North Americans have settled here as expats/vacationers/retirees. Here's a pretty young American tourist looking around the town. (Yes, it's Amy).

This scene plays out daily countless times in countless towns throughout Ecuador - buying fresh fruit or vegetables from a hole-in-the-wall vendor. A papaya is $0.25 for example.

A typical street scene.
After walking around town at midday in the hot sun, we decided to splurge on a fancy lunch.We hiked to the La Mirage Resort and Spa on the edge of town and had a lunch fit for a king and queen.

A half dozen of these male peacocks wandered around the grounds outside the window by our table.

We have been to many different restaurants and eating establishments throughout the world over a combined 100+ years of living. But neither of us has ever been served an appetizer in a hand carved music box.  A delicious quinoa croquette greeted us with music when the lid was raised. You just can't make this stuff up - who would have ever thought.......

My ensalada of verduras y fruta con aguacate y oliva de aceituna con limon was outstanding (as was the musical croquette).

Instead of a taxi for the return ride, we opted for a bus back to Otavalo ($0.25 each).  Ecuador has thousands of buses like the one above that criss-cross the country frequently and at very low rates.  Short distances are generally $0.25 per person or, for long distances $1.00 per hour of travel.  This is the transportation life-blood of the nation as few have cars.

The bus will stop almost anywhere along the route where a person is standing and waves to the driver.  The driver will let off anyone anywhere along the route. In addition to the driver there is another person that collects the fares and assists the driver.  It's a remarkably effective and efficient system from my observation.
We passed by this typical building leaving Cotacachi which brings up an interesting point.
This building under construction is typical of building methods observed throughout the country.  Machines are few, labor is cheap, concrete is mixed and poured by hand, scaffolds are made of bamboo,  and most structures have steel reinforced concrete floors and vertical supports and brick to fill in the exterior wall spaces. Even modest homes use these methods. Haven't seen or heard of many wooden "stick-built" homes.


  1. Great food photos. Do they have to worry about earthquakes? Looks like the new building is pretty solid. Music box - whoa...

  2. Great photos and post. My wife and I live in Cotacachi and love it here.

    1. Rita, thanks for your comment but I don't have the information to answer your questions. Please contact someone in Cotacachi.

  3. How much is rent there for a small apartment or house?I have about 3 years before I can retire. I would love to live in a small community, but large enough so I can take the bus to places I wish to go. If I truly do make the decision to come, I am a single person, is it safe there for single American Pensionada's? It appears medical is not not an issue there. If I make this decision, it will be my final destination, so I would like to have as much information from another American as possible.. thanks, LIz

  4. I only visited Cotacachi briefly and don't have enough background or experience to answer your questions. Try this link: It is a collection of regular bloggers in Ecuador and you might find a few that could help you more directly. This one might also be helpful: Best wishes to you.