Prices, Shopping and Services!

We have been in Salinas for a bit over a month now.  I have noticed so many differences between here and other places we have lived and wanted to share our experiences.

Salinas Beach - before

Salinas Beach - Before

Salinas Beach - After

Salinas Beach - After

Lets take buying a plant for instance — they don’t use pots they sell you a plant in a black plastic bag. Cost for a big beautiful asparagus fern $4, house plants around 2 ft tall $2 – $2.50, a large palm $8 and a 30 lb bag of soil $1.70 all 5 plants and soil packed in a cab and delivered and unloaded to our apartment for $3.  Internet seems to be slow but at least it does not go out for hours at a time. The cost is $34 per month.  Here in Salinas we do not have power outages in Puerto Lopez every day the power went out for a few hours and in Dolega we had our share of the power cuts as well but what was worse were the power surges – you needed to have surge protectors on everything especially your refrigerator.  Let’s talk thunderstorms we saw our share while living in Miami but nothing to compare to Dolega it would shake the house and Joe and I would bring chairs and sit in the hallway away from the windows after unplugging everything in the house. Salinas and Quito have a water system like in the states. Puerto Lopez has no water of it’s own and it is hauled in by trucks each day. You cannot drink the water and must use bottled water for cooking, brushing your teeth etc.  You have a cistern in P Lopez and must remember to have it filled or you could find yourself without water.  The sun does not shine every day in Salinas, this time of the year,  it’s bright and it does not rain but the sun may be out for several hours 2-3 days a week and 2 days full sun all day the rest of the time it is nice, warm but not tanning weather but that does not stop you from going into the water.  Veggies and fruits, are inexpensive especially locally grown items like strawberries $1 a pound, blackberries, papaya $.30 for a nice size, pineapple $1 for a large and many other tropical fruit and veggies. We found most basic vegetables were available in Panama but if you wanted mushrooms, brussels sprouts, asparagus or anything a bit out of the ordinary you could not find them often and when you did they were very expensive. The above list is found locally at very inexpensive prices: white mushrooms $1.50 a container, .626 kg which would be almost 1 1/3 lb. container of asparagus $1.90 and brussels sprouts .81 looks to be a pound are just a few of the items I purchased this week.

We were told that toothpaste in Ecuador was $5 a tube – that is not a fact, what we found was Quito, P Lopez and now Salinas you can get almost any brand of toothpaste at a reasonable price. What is most common is Colgate and the cost is as low as $1.50 a tube or if it is for sensitive teeth maybe as high as $3. Don’t buy it on the malecon as the price will be double these shops are for the tourists go one block off the malecon and you can find good prices.  Bathroom tissue in Panama was $2.35 for a 4 roll pack equivalent to Scott’s here I get Scott’s brand in a 12 pack for a bit over $4.

Telephone local service is $6 a month with .01 cent a minute for local calls, .02 cents a minute for the region, to call cell phones is .145 cents a minute.  I opened a PO box yesterday it was prorated for the balance of the year to $12.50 in January I will pay $20 for the year. No home delivery of mail in Ecuador I think you could get overnight or express type mail delivered but I have not looked into that yet. I understand that if a package is over 5 pounds it must go through customs in Guayaquil where you must pay customs fees and pick it up yourself but if it’s under 5 lbs it will be delivered to our local post office with no customs fees.

Clothing shopping here compared to Panama is better for us because I can find sizes that are similar to the US. In Panama everyone seemed to be shorted, thinner and both Joe and I could not fit in any of the clothes.

Going out to eat is very inexpensive we go to Cevichelandia which is around the corner from our apartment, for lunch we order almuerzo which means lunch for $2.50 each we get a bowl of shrimp soup, a plate of fried fish, rice, a few pataconies (twice fried green plantains) and a salad with a glass of fresh fruit juice. Dinner ranges from $3 for a fish dinner to $4 to 6 for shrimp and there are street vendors that sell many different items for a few dollars or very nice expensive restaurants where you can get great steaks. It just depends upon what you are interested in.

6 thoughts on “Prices, Shopping and Services!

    • Thanks for your comment – we are enjoying our time in Salinas after living in Panama for almost 4 years. This is a really big change as to climate, living conditions and just about everything in your day to day living. Hope I can answer some questions as to life here on the coast and in our upcoming travels around the country. Nancy

  1. Ooops, sorry. Your photo says Nan, but your signature says Nancy. My name is Mary and when someone calls me Mare I don’t really care for it (makes me think that my butt must look as big as a horse.)

    We’re waiting for the house to sell and then we’ll be coming down for an exploritory visit and to get some dental work done. We will probably be in Cuenca for that but we are looking at the coast as a home base.

    • Hey Mary – call me either I answer to both and it does not bother me either way – growing up I was one of 5 girls so when Mom would yell for us she just started with the first and yelled our names until someone answered – ha ha

      We basically did the same when we moved to Ecuador – we had to go to Quito because our attorney is there but we went to the coast while waiting on our residence cards – we loved Puerto Lopez (as you can see from my earlier posts) but could not find a place to live. Salinas was a good choice as it has more of an infrastructure and places we could rent. Just loving this apartment living especially up so many floors – the view is breathtaking and different every day sometimes every minute of the day!! I woke up this morning to see the beautiful tall ship had left sometime in the night – I actually was disappointed to see it gone!

  2. Pingback: Morning Update – Sunday, July 18, 2010 « South of Zero

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