Cotacachi is a small town. That makes it very easy to get anywhere easily on foot. Unless you are carrying things, it is usually not necessary to ever take a taxi in town. Just be sure to plan on plenty of time for stopping and visiting with friends along the way. While there are some housing developments located in town such as Primavera I and Primavera II, many of the expat gated communities are found outside of town. Is it better to live in or outside of town?
The answer to that question really depends on your preferences and priorities. The convenience of living in town is undeniable. Need to pick up some produce or a few other items for dinner? Just walk a few blocks and you are at the market or the local supermarket. After a late night dinner with friends, there is no need to find a taxi when you can just walk a few blocks to your home.
On the negative side, it has become quite noisy in Cotacachi. When we first moved there in 2009 and lived in town, we awoke to the sounds of roosters and church bells. Now it seems that those sounds are often drowned out by motorcycles and busses. It’s not that Cotacachi has a big city feel. It doesn’t. It is just that it is no longer the peaceful place that it used to be. The trade off is that there is much more to do and more places to eat than ever.
Living in one of the expat communities outside of town such as San Miguel, Colonial El Batan, or Jahua Pacha has it’s advantages. Waking up to the sounds of birds and the beauty of nature is a great way to start the day. That is not to say that it is always quiet in the country. The indigenous communities like to party on Saturday nights and that often includes dancing to the beat of drums until the early morning hours. The best advice is to take some earplugs with you to Cotacachi... wherever you decide to live.