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2014 Update

2/22/14 - The updated 2014 Insider's Guide and Cost of Living Report are now available!  See below for details.

Cotacachi Living

Did you hear about Cotacachi, Ecuador while looking for a low cost overseas retirement destination and wanted to know what it is really like to live there?  Do you wonder if it is as inexpensive as some articles on the internet claim?   After living in this small Ecuadorian mountain town for three years and experiencing all of the changes that an influx of expats have brought, my wife and I created Cotacachi Living to give others a true, unvarnished perspective on what life is like in the Ecuadorian Andes.  No place is a paradise, and the experience of living in Cotacachi has both positives and negatives.  We hope we can give you a more complete perspective of this life in a way that you can't find anywhere else. 

The Complete Cotacachi Information Kit is designed for those who want to know if Cotacachi is the right place for them.  How much money, time, and frustration it would have saved us if we had access to this information before we arrived!  The taxi driver contact information alone will reduce the cost of the trip from the Quito airport to Cotacachi by an average of $20 and will ensure that you have a safe, reliable driver.  Knowing what to bring with you and what to leave at home will prevent needless aggravation. 

The downloadable information kit includes: 

  • the 2014 Insider’s Guide with contact names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, prices, recommendations and other information needed to simplify the process of learning about, moving to, and settling into life in Cotacachi

  • transcripts of interviews with expats who live in Cotacachi giving their perspective on the reasons for their move as well as the experiences they have had and challenges that they have dealt with in living there

  • special report to help you calculate the true cost of living in Cotacachi in 2014

  • a 10-minute video highlighting various aspects of expat life in Cotacachi 

  • a short ebook with stories about what daily life is like

  • As a bonus, we will include "The 50 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cotacachi," a compilation of the things we wish we would have known before we moved to Ecuador

The complete "Everything You Need to Know" kit is available for $27.99.  After purchase, links to all items will be emailed to you. 

Add to Cart  

2014 Insider's Guide to Cotacachi, Ecuador

Insider's Guide Cover

This is the essential information that you need to know to research, make the decision, and have a smooth transition to living in Cotacachi, Ecuador. This Ebook is packed with facts, including contact names, addresses, phone numbers, websites, prices, recommendations and other information that will save you a fortune in money, time, and frustration and will greatly simplify the process of learning about, moving to, and settling into life in Cotacachi.

Topics covered include:

Making the Decision

  • Online Research
  • Things to Consider

Taking an Exploratory Trip

  • Airfare
  • Staying in Quito
  • From Quito to Cotacachi
  • Hotels/Hostels
  • Short Term Rental

Making the Move

  • Renting an Accommodation
  • Buying a House or Apartment
  • Shipping to or Buying in Ecuador
  • Visas
  • Attorneys/Immigration Services
  • What to Bring/Not to Bring
  • To Buy or Not to Buy (a Car)
  • Health Insurance

Getting Settled

  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Metal Work
  • Housekeepers
  • Phone
  • Gas Tanks
  • Food
  • Internet
  • Television
  • Laundry
  • Paying the Bills
  • Emergency Numbers
  • Internet Cafes
  • Transportation

Daily Life

  • Getting Money
  • Eating Out
  • Spanish Lessons
  • Excursions
  • Tours
  • Bookstores
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Manicure & Pedicure
  • Hardware Stores
  • Barbers
  • Banks
  • Office & Paper Supplies
  • Postal Services
  • Computers & Accessories
  • Computer Repair Services
  • Webpage Design & Hosting Services
  • Doctors
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Optometrists
  • Translations
  • Churches
  • Local Charities
  • Entertainment

Other Matters

  • Organic Food
  • Water Purity
  • Coffee
  • Holidays
  • Political Stability
  • Climate
  • Insects & Other Critters
  • Street Map of Cotacachi

Read a sample by clicking here.


Customer Reviews

As a Cotacachi, Ecuador, resident, I can tell you that Gary Kesinger has produced a minor masterpiece here. Minor, in that it's short, no-nonsense, and to the point (the point being essential information). Masterpiece? Yes ... the book covers all the essentials that a newcomer to our little town needs in order to "hit the ground running." If Cotacachi is in your future, this book ought to be, too.

Dennis J. Tonsing


It is hard to express just how beneficial your book has been to Claudia and I as we are making our permanent move to Ecuador. It addresses virtually every bit of information we needed. We look at it as our "Total Guide". Thanks so much for all the time/effort you and Angela have put into this book.

Bruce & Claudia

Expat Interviews

Expat<br />
Interview Cover

One of the best ways to learn about a place is to talk to those who live there. With that idea, we interviewed several expats who live in Cotacachi to get their thoughts and impressions on the life of an expat in Ecuador. These interviews contain a wealth of information to help those who are considering making the move to Cotacachi. Their advice and experiences will help you avoid the common pitfalls and misconceptions and make for a smooth transition to life in Ecuador.

Example Questions:

How long have you lived in Cotacachi?
What made you decide to move here initially?
How has it been different than you expected?
What has been the most difficult part?
What is the best part of living in Cotacachi?
Are you glad you made the move?
What did your family/friends think?
How has Cotacachi changed since you moved here?
Did you rent, buy, or build a home? Why?
Did you ship your belongings or buy everything here?
Do you own a car? Why or why not?
What is hard to find here?
What do you miss most from home?
How often do you return to your home country?
What would you do differently?
How do you keep busy? What is a typical day like?
Is it possible to live as inexpensively as reported on the Internet?
Do you speak Spanish? Do you have problems communicating?
What has been your experience with the Ecuadorian health care system?
What is your opinion of the food/restaurants?
Do you feel safe? 

Listen to an audio sample from three of the interviews by clicking on the following link:

Expat Audio Interview Excerpts


Richard & Cheryl Johnson

Richard and Cheryl worked as administrators in the education field in the United States. Upon retirement, they packed up and moved to Boquete, Panama. However, after several years, they decided to purchase a townhouse in the Jahua Pacha development on the outskirts of Cotacachi. They give their take on the positives and negatives of life in Ecuador as compared to Panama.


Jim & Dede Lovell

Jim and Dede Lovell have traveled extensively all over the world and lived abroad for many years. However, when it came time to retire, they chose to settle in Cotacachi. In this enlightening interview, they describe why they chose Cotacachi from all of the beautiful and interesting places that they have been, and their decision to build a house and ship their belongings from the United States.


Jack & Debbie Moss

Jack retired from a long career in politics, business, civic service, and government and Debbie from a career as a prosecutor and general magistrate in Broward County, Florida. Both were ready for a change when they moved to Cotacachi in 2009. Their transition from a hectic and busy life to a small town expat retirement destination is profiled in this interview.


Bob Brown

As a widower living in small town Colorado, Bob retired from construction and began researching low cost overseas retirement destinations. After first visiting Panama, he decided to sell his home and belongings and move to Ecuador. Bob’s experiences shed light on life as a single person in Cotacachi.


Gary & Angela Kesinger

Gary and Angela worked as teachers both in the United States and internationally before deciding that they needed to change course at the age of 43. They quit their jobs and started anew in Cotacachi, Ecuador in 2009. In this interview, they describe the challenges and rewards of early retirement in Ecuador.

2014 Cost of Living Report

Cost of Living Report Cover

What is the real cost of living in Cotacachi, Ecuador? While it is easy to find articles promoting the idea that an income of $600 per month is all that is needed, the truth is that most people want to have a comfortable lifestyle with most of the amenities that they have in their home country. While expenses can vary greatly, this report will break down the costs and make it possible to get a realistic and clear picture of what YOU will need to live the lifestyle of your choosing.

Topics include:

  • Set-Up Expenses
    • Housing
  • Kitchen
  • Dining Room
  • Living Room
  • Bathroom
  • Laundry Room
  • Odds & Ends
  • Non-housing
    • Closing Costs
    • Residency Visa 
  • Ongoing Expenses 
  • Food & Personal Items
    • Staples
    • Packaged Products
  • Housing
    • Renters
    • Buyers
  • Utilities & Services
    • Electricity
    • Water
    • Gas
    • Trash
    • Phone
    • DirecTV
    • Internet
    • Laundry
  • Transportation
    • Taxi
    • Bus
  • Entertainment
    • Dining Out
    • Books
  • Health
    • Insurance
    • Out of Pocket
    • Prescriptions
    • Veterinary Bills
  • Vacations/Excursions
    • Local
    • Return Home Tickets
  • Other
    • Church/Charitable Giving
    • Haircuts/Beauty
    • Clothing
    • Miscellaneous​
  • Sample Budgets
  • Single - Renter
  • Single - Homeowner
  • Couple - Renter
  • Couple - Homeowner

A Video Tour of Cotacachi

A Video Tour of Cotacachi takes you on a trip to see the shops, parks, people, and celebrations of this small Ecuadorian town.  
Learn about:
  • Shops on Leather Street
  • Accommodation
  • Restaurants
  • Supermarkets
  • Retail Stores
  • Nearby conveniences
  • Medical Facilities
  • Pharmacies
  • Housing Developments
  • Churches
  • Transportation options
  • New Airport
  • Banks
  • Climate
  • Things to Do
  • Festivals
View a sample clip.


A Taste of Life in Cotacachi, Ecuador

Taste of Life Cover

When I wrote “The Insider’s Guide to Cotacachi, Ecuador,” I wanted to include all of the essential information (names, phone numbers, websites, recommendations, etc.) that someone would need to research, visit, and make the transition to a life in Cotacachi. I was then told by readers that, in addition to the facts, something needed to be written that would give the reader a feel for what living in Cotacachi is really like.

With that came the idea for “A Taste of Life in Cotacachi, Ecuador.” In it, I have written 15 articles on different topics that give a sense of what the expat life is like with the purpose of helping others to determine if living in Ecuador may be the right decision for them.

You can read one of the articles free by clicking here.

50 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cotacachi, Ecuador

The 50 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cotacachi includes tips, warnings, and interesting tidbits about living as an expat in Cotacachi that you should know but probably don't.

50 Things Cover

“You say things in such a lovely, succinct way” - Cynthia Collett

The complete "Everything You Need to Know" kit including:

1) Insider's Guide
2) Cost of Living Report
3) All four Expat Interview Transcripts
4) Taste of Cotacachi Ebook
5) 50 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Cotacachi
6) Unlimited access to "A Video Tour of Cotacachi"

is available for $27.99. 

Add to Cart

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