Cotacachi / Cotacachi Real Estate / Ecuador / Ecuador Tours / Moving to Ecuador / View from the Roof

View from the Roof: Eagle and Condor Cotacachi Real Estate Tours are Back!

-By Gary Phillips-a-view-from-the-roof

After a six month hiatus, Eagle and Condor Internacional  and are resuming our Cotacachi/Imbabura Real Estate and Introduction to Ecuador Tours.

Frankly, the reason we stopped conducting them is because Linda and I were just too busy.  But now our staff has expanded and we feel ready to show you the best of Cotacachi/Imbabura real estate offerings.

What is the difference between us and other tour groups?  First, we are a full service real estate company. We are with you from start to finish in the real estate buying process, making sure your interests are represented and that you are treated fairly.

In the past year and a half, we have assisted more than 50 families and individuals to purchase real estate in Ecuador.  But our service doesn’t stop with the sale.   We can help you in your move to Ecuador too.

What does that mean to you?  It means that we know the market, we know prices, and we know what works and what doesn’t. Not only that, we have a professional bilingual staff with lots of experience.

Three months ago, we hired Doris Jimenez, an Ecuadorian with a degree in business management.  Doris worked in Ibarra  for six years with one of the largest real estate and development companies as their chief of operations.  She knows this business like the back of her hand.

Then there is Jack Sorensen, a Montana expat who came to Ecuador 37 years ago as a Peace Corp volunteer, married an Ecuadorian woman and raised a family.  He loves his adopted country.  Jack is our Ibarra specialist.

One of his daughters married into one of the most influential families in the beautiful city of Ibarra, which has a population of 150,000 and is about 30 minutes from Cotacachi.  He knows the city and surrounding countryside intimately.  We believe Ibarra will become home to the next large expat community.

Dale Oelrich, a Colorado expat, has been helping us sell real estate here for more than a year.  Dale was in the Peace Corp in Columbia in the 60’s, speaks fluent Spanish and specializes in personalized mini real estate tours.

Brian Schrupp, a Minnesota transplant, and his El Salvadorian wife Sandra, are a husband and wife team who have purchased a 15-passenger van and can help our customers move around in comfort and safety as they look at excellent properties.  Brian and Sandra are fluent in English and Spanish.

Ecuadorian Fernando Sanchez  used to read meters and delivered bills for Emil Norte, the electric company, for more than 20 years.  He knows the entire canton of Cotacachi and its residents like no one else.  He is our listing specialist.

Often, we just tell Fernando what a client is looking for and he knows exactly where to find it.  Because he is Ecuadorian, he knows true real estate values and is the one we check with to make sure prices are fair and equitable.

Our most recent hire is our Otavalo specialist and translator, Alexandra Montalvo.  She speaks perfect English and Spanish as well as some Dutch, German and French.  Alexandra has also worked in tourism, so she knows all the wonderful spots in this area.  She is available for private tours as well.

In addition, we cooperate with other agencies in Ibarra and Otavalo to help us find houses, farms and businesses.  Tell us what you want and we will do our very best to find it for you.

So when you go on a real estate tour and introductory course with us, you will get the benefit of  our sales  experience and market knowledge from a team dedicated to finding you the best property at the lowest price possible.  In addition you will learn about Ecuador from expats who have made Cotacachi their home for several years.

Don’t be misled by those who say that they can get you a better price because they don’t charge commissions. They make their money on tours only.

We offer lower prices, longer, more informative tours, and a level of professionalism, service, and knowledge that raises us head and shoulders above the competition.  We earn our keep from satisfied real estate customers!

We are professionals.  We charge a sellers’ commission and occasionally a buyer’s commission.  We are committed to keeping real estate prices down.  We know that if we can’t hold the line on price escalation, then nobody else will, and then we, and you, will be priced out of the market.

One difficulty is the uninformed gringo buyer.  This is the buyer who ventures into the market either alone or with uninformed tour guides who don’t really know market prices.  Sometimes he falls prey to locals who lie in waiting for unsuspecting buyers.  Even one naive buyer who over-pays can greatly affect market prices for everyone by establishing the new price norm.

So I invite you to join us for one of our tours, especially if you are serious about finding property in Cotacachi or the surrounding area. Here’s what do you get on our tours:

**Three-day comprehensive tour for a lower price than two days with our competitors
**Half day at the world-famous Otavalo market, the largest indigenous market in South America
**Free farewell dinner and social
**Valuable insider information about moving to and living in Ecuador
**Many years of combined experience by real estate professionals
**Reasonably-priced hotels and restaurants to decrease your overall tour cost
**Fully bilingual tour guides
**A delightful experience that will help you make an informed decision before purchasing Ecuadorian property

So whether you’ve been reading about Ecuador for a long time and dreaming of making a move to Ecuador or you are just beginning your exploration, let Eagle and Condor’s professional team help you make the right decision with confidence and ease.  Even if you don’t purchase anything, this trip will be the highlight of your year. In our experience after traveling in 20 countries in the past 15 years, there is nothing quite like Ecuador.  That’s why we now choose to call it home.

You owe it to yourself to sign up for one of our tours.  Discover first-hand why Cotacachi is one of the best places in Ecuador to live.

And that’s today’s View From the Roof.



  1. Mike Johnson says:

    Hi Gary,

    I’m considering retirement in Ecuador and am planning my first exploratory trip to Quito, Otavalo/Cotacachi, Cuenca for October. This will be just a 10 day trip to look around, talk with as many ex-pats as possible and get a feel.

    I’m thinking a day each in Otavalo and Cotacachi. Any suggestions on places where I might meet and chat with ex-pats in these towns?

    Thanks – Miker

  2. Iván Díaz says:

    Sr. Gary Philips
    Mi nombre es Iván Díaz, soy arquitecto tengo una constructora, y estamos construyendo un complejo de 37 viviendas en la ciudad de Ambato, me enteré de su empresa a travez de un reportaje periodístico. Si es de su interés estaré encantado de proporcionarle información de las viviendas. Si ustéd desea puede visitar en You tube la dirección – Conjunto Habitacional Santa Clara – alli están dos videos en realidad virtual,de nuestro conjunto, también estamos terminando la construcción de la casa modelo.
    En espera de sus comentarios me despido de usted
    Arq. Iván Díaz

  3. Hi,
    I’m interested in more info, photos and location of the properties you mention below:

    “Among our current exclusive listings are 75 acres and a small house for $16,000 and a half-acre lot with a rustic fixer-upper for $20,000.”

    Thanks, Todd

    • Hi Todd,

      The 75 acres mentioned is in the Intag, a subtropical valley that is a part of Cotacachi. It is a remote area. It is about 90 minutes from Cotacachi over very rough roads, although the distance is really only about 30 miles. If you want to be quite isolated, then this is the place to be. See our other posts with descriptions of the Intag. Land there tends to be very cheap, due to the isolation.

      The rustic fixer upper is just outside of Quiroga, a small town about 5 minutes from Cotacachi. The house is a typical cement block Ecuadorian house. It would need alot of work to get it up to North American standards, but it is liveable. The lot is quite nice with good views. A bus goes right by the property regularly, so it would be easy to live there without a car.

  4. Larry Turner says:

    This is very interesting to us. We would like to make a visit later in the year due to previous commitments. Would it be better if we planned to visit for a month and take in your seminars and get to know the area better.
    Would there be a hotel or condo we could use while there? Would we need to rent a car or is there local transportation services available.
    This is a very well done Blog and it appears you have experienced personnal on board.
    Best regards, Larry Turner

    • A month in the area is always helpful. You can take our tour and introduction to Ecuador course to see what is available, get familiarized with the area, learn the ropes, and have a good time.

      We have vacation rentals for long or short term. Check our webpage at

      There are several good hotels in Cotacachi at reasonable rates. Check the link on our hotels page. A new one that just recently opened is La Cuadra. It is run by an Ecuadorian who lived in the states for some time.

      Price is $15 per person. There are nice comfortable lounges, and also a communal kitchen so you can do your own cooking if you like. The 4th floor patio has a great view.

      Local transportation is readily available and cheap. Taxis in town are $1. They typically charge $7 per hour, but you must negotiate before you get in. Buses run every 15 minutes to most anywhere.