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Ecuador, South America

For the last few years, Ecuador has topped the list of best places to retire, but we think it's overlooked as a great place to visit. Hotels and rental properties are cheap and easy to find, the people are friendly and welcoming, and everything from food to cabs are some of the most inexpensive you'll find anywhere. One great way to save money on vacation is to book a house instead of a hotel. The small charming coastal towns offer affordable housing overlooking the magnificent Pacific ocean for unbelievably low prices.

Ecuador sits right on the equator, so the temperature is a warm (but not too hot) 74F all year round. The country is remarkably beautiful, from the majestic mountains, to the tropical jungles, to the wide, expansive beaches. To book a cheap vacation, get off the beaten path. Instead of staying in the tourist-filled cities, visit the countryside, take a trip to the mountains, and book a place on the beach in a sleepy fishing village. You can also take a boat trip to the Galapagos Islands, an isolated home to unique wildlife species including the famous Galapagos turtles.

The food in Ecuador is both inexpensive and incredibly cheap. Lobster and huge prawns are diet staples, along with vegetables that come out of the ground minutes before landing on the table.

Places to Stay

Oro Verde Hotels: This small chain of hotels has four locations in Ecuador, in Guayaquil, Cuenca, Machala, and Manta. Each hotel offers modern luxury accommodations situated on beautiful grounds with spectacular views, beautiful pools, salons, a business center and a casino. Rooms are remarkably cheap, and transportation, activities, and adventures are offered at unbeatable prices.

Although the rooms are cheap, guests offer glowing reviews, commenting on the service, the fluffy towels, and the comfortable, spacious rooms.

La Piedra Hotel: Located in Bahia de Caraquez, the La Piedra Hotel sits right in the beach with stunning views of the Pacific and the Chone river estuary.

Although the rooms are cheap, guests offer glowing reviews, commenting on the service, the fluffy towels, and the comfortable, spacious rooms. Amenities include flat screen TVs with satellite service, WiFi, and an excellent (and cheap) restaurant.

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