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Living in Cotacachi

Cotacachi is a breathtaking and astonishing community of 8,000 gracious inhabitants nestled in a luxuriant, verdant valley between two extinct volcanoes – Volcano Imbabura and Volcano Cotacachi. Cotacachi is located in Northern Ecuador approximately two hours north of the capitol city of Quito and one and a half hours north of the Quito airport.

Cotacachi is renowned for its handmade, exquisite leather goods. The main street, “Leather Street,” is abound with boutique leather stores offering just about everything created from leather; boots, belts, wallets, handbags, jackets, hats, vests, horse tack and the list goes on and on. Many towns in the immediate region posses specials skills from the bygone days of the Spanish occupation and this is the remnants of the Spanish Guild System still prevalent today.

Cotacachi is a fantastic community to visit, live and retire. Only thirty miles from the equator, at 7,800 feet, Cotacachi is blessed with a temperate climate year round. Temperatures range from the high forties (f) at night to the high seventies (f) during the day and there are twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness year round. Consequently, we have no use for Daylight Savings Time. There is a wet season from November through May followed by a dry season, which I refer to as the “windy season” June through October. Dress is always casual and during the day one is adequately dressed in a short sleeved shirt and in the evening a light jacket or vest is usually required. Ecuador’s currency is the US dollar mixed with Ecuadorian coins of equal value and interchangeable with American coins.

International Living has awarded Cotacachi and Ecuador number one as a retirement destination in their ranking of areas. International Living takes into consideration criteria such as security, safety, infrastructure, public transportation, medical services and other criterion.