Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ecuador why living in Portoviejo has it´s benefits

This post is will cover why living in Portoviejo has it´s benefits,
So i have been living ere for over 5 years and it is safe to say i know my way around the city, who to see if you have a problem of any sort and where the nice areas are.

I joined an expat page on facebook as it interested me to see how many people are living close to me, from browsing i found that there are only a few expats living in Portoviejo, who i have never met, where as most live on the beach nearby.

When i was asked where in Manabi i lived Portoviejo seemed like a big shock to everyone all with the same question of why?
Well there are many reasons why i ended up living here rather than the beach and here they are.

Health this is a huge factor for anyone intending to live in Ecuador, Crucita san clemente really have nothing there, maybe the odd doctor, but chances are if you have a problem you will need to go to Portoviejo or even Manta for treatment, Portoviejo has many hospitals and clinics, the Solca specialises in cancer along with other major illnesses,many people come from all over the province for treatment here, Even the public hospitals i feel are at a decent standard English speaking doctors and just a general relief that you are in safe hands.there are trained specialists around the city,
My doctor is a perfect example Ecuadorian speaks English, is very well educated and looks after you as if you were some sort of celebrity great guy, but everyone will have a different experience with hospitals, i have saw a few gringos complain about public hospitals and opt for the private or clinics, which again are scattered around the city.If you have children there are some brilliant paediatric doctors around so really you have it all here and everything is generally close.

Shops in Portoviejo there really is a shop for everything, in the centre of town there are many outlets for electronics,clothes,car parts, specialist services etc, which you won´t find at the beach, so you will have to come here at some point.there are many department stores and 2 shopping centres one being the paseo shopping and the other a smaller complex on avenue Manabi.the list goes on, if you need something you will be able to get it in Portoviejo.

Food and Drink coastal food is generally delicious fresh fish shrimp etc,and boasts a nice nightlife with beach front bars open all day and night, and in fairness over the years there is a nice variety of food, But again Portoviejo being a small city has it all restaurants fast food you name it we have got it, Italian, Chinese,and typical Ecuadorian food, Ceviche and Encebollado have to be my favourite food here, many outlets, but a normally stick to my local a few minutes from home.There are many bars around the city avenue universitaria where it is mainly students having a beer with friends, but the main area is avenue Manabi leading to the airport where you can find some lovely bars that also do food and a mixture of night clubs or shall we say discoteque if you fancy a boogie or a karaoke night.

Services there are many services you will require over time legal or seeking specialist people, i will start with mechanics body repair and parts, like most things cars need parts things go wrong and you need someone who you can trust to get the job done. again there are many mechanics here some are good some are bad, some are cheap some are also expensive,luckily my father in law introduced me to the good ones, so any issue i take the car there or he will come and get it. If you were at the beach what would you do?
Parts for the car as i said previously Portoviejo has a shop for anything so you should be able to source the car parts you want/need, if you require a hand mad part or modification there are many highly skilled people here who can perform some amazing tasks, at affordable prices, cough cough i couldn´t say the same thing about the UK without having a bill over a grand.

Lawyers keep it brief again there are many about ,mine speaks english did all my visa and even helped me get a visa for my wife when i went back to uk for a holiday, no hiccups everything has always ran smooth, i will name drop Flori Zambrano if you want to mention my name  simon the english man it´s up to you, but she is in my eyes the best very professional

Climate we all like the sun or we wouldn´t be living here, but for me the beach gets too much for me, it is an english man´s dream to live on the beach, well for most it is drinking cocktails watching the world go by,but i am fair skinned so instant red lobster, plenty of suncream and plenty of after sun later on.
I love a good day at the beach with my family, but could i do it every single day? no definitely not, even my wife ( Ecuadorian) and son only like the odd day out there, so if moving to the each with children really think about it before you commit to anything. Many a time i have seen people on these facebook pages move after 2 weeks of being on the beach, because it is too hot, the rainy season can´t be fun on the beach, form previous visits the roads become destroyed and not to mention the houses, so be careful when buying a beach house.

Power and water Ecuador has improved a lot since i first came here, but you have more chance of the power going out living on the beach than you do in the city, then it is a case of how long will it take until you are back on? red hot no air con can´t be fun, most  properties on the coast don´t have running water, so you will need to but a (tanquero) man with a water truck to empty into your cisterna, how much water will you use on the beach? i don´t know but in the city you are looking about $15 per month which is regular running water, a tanquero can be anything from $15 to $30 not fun when you run out or the man has a shortage or busy the day you need it.But in time the beach villages should have running water when though i have no idea?

Safe secure living Although it is nice to live on the beach people take the security for granted there, like literally no security other than a bamboo kind of front gate,big mistake although locals are lovely people the tourism side can attract the odd bad apple, that stays over night and decides that they will take a chance of  opening up you house,by all means that is the worst case scenario,but looking at some of the houses if it were to happen you are not very safe, I can´t brand coastal living as unsafe, but for my piece of mind we live in a gated community guards at the gates with cameras, and like everyone we have bars on the downstairs windows with the metal door, something i am not used to as it is unheard of in England,but i can go to bed at night or leave the house knowing everything is safe and secure, let´s face it foreign country out of your comfort zone, safety should be high on your list.

Schools for your kids  only applicable if you have kids, but Portoviejo has many schools you can choose from public to private  ranging in different prices there is more of a selection here.

Things to do  living on the beach i feel you are very limited to what you can do, so if you want a change you will need to take a bus or drive, Portoviejo has many activities/places to go, like the local parks,swimming pools,cinema or shopping, you won´t get bored, but the sun plays a big factor in what you can do.

Housing and accessibility  For housing there are more and more projects, gated communities being built here in Portoviejo  at reasonable prices along with land up for sale,which in turn will gain you profit in the long run,beach houses in san clemente san jacinto are way over priced, and an ecuadorian will never pay those prices,
 Portoviejo is an up and coming city plans to develop the airport into a mini Dubai are on the agenda funded by a Spaniard, this will be interesting once it gets the go ahead, which should lead to an increase of tourism over here, if only  Manta airport was allowed to be an international airport then top destination i feel would be Manabi, but it will never happen as Guayaquil  will lose out.
Accessibility really living here in Portoviejo,you can get to any destination you want,there is a bus station that fires out buses to every area in Ecuador Quito Esmeraldas, Guayaquil Cuenca, and all the small surrounding villages and cities.
You have a choice of what beach to go to Manta Crucita or San Clemente leading to Canoa or you can head the other direction down the route del sol puerto cayo etc
Don´t get stuck in a rut generally living here everywhere is easy to get to, which is why without being bias Portoviejo is everything i need in my life.

So i hope this clears up a few things on why i don´t follow the sheep and live in those coastal villages, paradise is where you feel happy not just because there is a large community of expats at the beach telling you to move there would you like more information on manabi and if you came here would you be happy to use an English speaking guide? if so check out my  guide post

For more information on life in Manabi here is a new post Ecuador Expats living in Manabi the truth!


  1. Thanks for the information. You are absolutely right - there is more to do in PV than in San Clemente, but the small community here looks out for each other and really is quite safe and, when we need to shop or take advantage of bigger city advantages, we are only a short bus ride away. To each his or her own. Life is good!

    1. Thanks for the comment Mary and John,you are a perfect example of people who have found their paradise in San Clemente, and as you say the community looks out for each other which is great,i also notice that the population of expats seem to be rising more and more each year there, it is a lovely place, but think i would be looking like a cameron if i lived there ha ha

  2. I found your post very interesting. We are a family with four kids spending several months in South America, mostly Ecuador. We are currently living in Bahia. We bought a car and need to get the direction fixed. I heard that it was much cheaper and easier to get the work done in Portoviejo but don't know where to turn to find the good, rather than the bad "mecanico". We traveled throughout Ecuador and have experienced the various kinds! Any help would be welcome.

  3. Hi Martin when you say the direction do you mean the steering rack? and what kind of vehicle is it, yeah i can take you to a few places to get some quotes

    1. That would be awesome. I probably didn't use the right terms. We are from Canada and French is our first language. It's the power steering that is causing us trouble. We have a '93 Toyota Lancruiser. Here is my e-mail address: Thanks for your reply!

  4. I would not have envisaged this type of review was possible after reading previous publications that really did not get to the core of either visiting or considering living in Ecuador. This particular review covers all aspects of the 'need to know' type of information that anyone either visiting or intending to settle in Ecuador would require to satisfy their curiosity before setting foot in this marvellous country. It really is an A-Z 'personal' account of what to expect as for most venturing into the unknown. A great read with all the facts/figures you would really like to know.