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What´s Northern Ecuador Really Like?

Ecuador has enjoyed a great deal of international attention over the past few years for its incredible beachfront properties. Towns like Playas, Salinas, Manta, and Bahia de Caraquez have received the lion`s share of international buyers, while the province of Esmeraldas has somehow managed to stay off the radar. A visit will leave you scratching your head as to why.

Tonsupa and its neighbor Same have long been the quickest path from Quito to the coast, and for this reason there is a great deal more vacation/tourism infrastructure here than any of Ecuador´s coastal regions.  This is something that expats are totally missing out on.  When I bring up the northern coast of Ecuador, I can tell people imagine high crime and lack of development.  We did not find this was even remotely in line with reality. 

Casablanca in Same is the country´s premier resort community, while Tonsupa is a cleaner, newer, though slightly smaller version of Salinas.  Frankly, the only reason you haven´t heard more about this area is that no one is marketing it to you.  We spent 3-4 days trying to find an English speaking real estate agent in the area and had no luck (though we met a number of very professional Ecuadorean agents who were eager to help us).

Here are my impressions of the area:

-  If I were looking for a unit to buy and visit 2 months out of the year and rent out the rest of the time, this   would be the spot.
- While building construction seems newer in Tonsupa than Salinas there are less bars and restaurants catering  to gringos - this absence could be someone´s opportunity.
- While the bus terminal in Esmeraldas and parts of Atacames strike me as edgier than that of  Salinas/Guayaquil, we did not encounter any crime or any moments of discomfort, and certainly not inside Same or Tonsupa.
- ITS GREEN!!! If you don´t like the dry geography which marks Ecuador´s central and southern coasts, you need to visit Esmeraldas. It feels more like Costa Rica as the jungle comes right up to the ocean.

If you are visiting Ecuador to look at investment or retirement property, it would be foolish not to take a look at Tonsupa and Same.  If you are looking to chart your own path, there is still plenty of undeveloped land, but to find the prices you are looking for, you will have to search outside these communities.  Mompiche, Sua, and Isla Portete are as beautiful as any of Ecuador´s beaches and still offer incredible land deals if you take the time to ask around.Resort Playa Azul is the créme de la créme in Tonsupa, and while we saw a number of impressive projects which attracted our attention, Resort Playa Azul is second to none.Playa Azul Resort features two 20 storey towers, the first of which is completed and sold out and the second currently under construction. It boasts nearly 100m of direct beach access on the town`s northwestern corner. Entering Playa Azul, you feel that you are entering a luxury hotel rather than a condo building. The lobby is designed to wow guests, featuring 16 foot ceilings, spectacular fountains, and a 24 hr guard to welcome you upon arrival, while the exterior is lined with colorful tropical gardens that remind you of the incredible environment that you now call home.

 

Resort Playa Azul

Resort Playa Azul is the créme de la créme in Tonsupa, and while we saw a number of impressive projects which attracted our attention, Resort Playa Azul is second to none.

Playa Azul Resort features two 20 storey towers, the first of which is completed and sold out and the second currently under construction. It boasts nearly 100m of direct beach access on the town`s northwestern corner. Entering Playa Azul, you feel that you are entering a luxury hotel rather than a condo building. The lobby is designed to wow guests, featuring 16 foot ceilings, spectacular fountains, and a 24 hr guard to welcome you upon arrival, while the exterior is lined with colorful tropical gardens that remind you of the incredible environment that you now call home.

Building B features a variety of floor plans including 1BRs, 2BRs, 3BRs, 3BR Deluxe, 4 BRs and 2 Penthouse units. All units come with a private terrace and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and the pool/patio area below. Playa Azul condos come complete with finishings designed to be both luxurious and easy to maintain. The condos include fully equipped kitchens with induction stoves, and high ceilings (10 ft) are utilized to provide natural ventilation from the cool ocean breezes.
 
Worried about infrastructure? Don`t be. In the event of shortages, an electric generator is available to provide power to Playa Azul, and water reserves of 10 days are maintained at all times. Playa Azul even maintains a free WIFI area on the patio. 
 
Outside, you will find no shortage of things to do. In addition to the expansive infinity pool and children`s pool, Playa Azul offers tennis and volleyball courts, a spa/sauna/jacuzzi, a fully equipped gym, a game room, a restaurant/café, and a bar. There is a large oceanfront deck where you will feel free to take in the 300+ days of sun each year, and an inviting hammock area where you can cool off in the shade for an afternoon siesta. Want more? Kayak and jetski rentals and parking are available on site. Be sure to click on the links below to see all properties available. 


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