Connie Pombo

Freelance Travel Journalist


I explore. I write. I deliver.

A B&B on the Beach Funds This Idyllic Life

When John and Heather Schmit sold their 10-year-old trucking business in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011 they found their dream home amid white sandy beaches, rocky headlands, gentle surf, and inland breezes... Their home in Punta Carnero on the coast of Ecuador "is our piece of paradise," says Heather.

Escaping the Rat Race for Cultured Cuenca

While most New Yorkers are busy trying to make a living and not a life, Diane and Jim Shanley are enjoying the fun life in sunny Cuenca, Ecuador. There was a lot to draw the couple to this city.

What Ecuador's "Little Cuenca" Can Offer You

A little distance away from Ecuador's famed colonial city of Cuenca lies a small city that you might never have heard of...but which is rapidly becoming a retiree favorite. Just about an hour away from Cuenca, you'll find Paute, a destination with a population of about 30,000 people-a tenth of Cuenca's population.

Ecuador's Secret Beaches

Have you ever been to a place so breathtakingly beautiful you never wanted to leave? And once you did, you couldn't stop thinking about it? Los Frailes is that place for my husband and me. Better yet, it's one of Ecuador's best kept I am going to share with you...

Every Day is A New, Exciting Adventure in Colonial Cuenca

Life is a balancing act, but Dave and Sherry Johnson have found what they've been looking for in Cuenca, Ecuador. Before his first exploratory trip, Dave imagined a Third World country with old, worn-out buses, chickens and cargo hanging from every inch, and people riding on the roof.

The Art of Living Well in Cuenca, Ecuador

Like so many baby boomers, Suzy Giles felt she was destined to continue working full-time in the U.S. She wasn't working a bad gig-conducting wine tours in Napa Valley, California-but it didn't leave much time to pursue her passion for painting.

Living Comfortably on $1,317 a Month in Cuenca, Ecuador

When we told our closest friends that we were retiring to Cuenca, Ecuador their first words were, "Wow, that's really thinking outside of the box!" When it came right down to it, we were trying to figure out how to survive on my husband's pension from UPS and pay for our medical insurance premiums without both of us having to work full-time until we were in our mid-seventies.

Rent in the "Beverly Hills" of Ecuador For $400 a Month

Just over the bridge from the city of Guayaquil is the exclusive area of Samborondon, filled with gated communities, shopping centers, theaters, and trendy restaurants. © Have you ever wanted to live somewhere like Beverly Hills but just weren't rich enough or famous enough?

Finding the Perfect Work/Life Balance in Ecuador

When Cynthia Connell visited Cuenca on vacation three years ago, she had no idea that it would become her next home. At the time, she was exhausted from the stress of the American way of life and was ready for a change.

Every Day is a Vacation Day in Ecuador

Every morning, my husband, Mark, and I wake up to a view of Cuenca's Old-World charm...majestic cathedral spires rising before us. Then we take our morning walk along the Yununcay River where cultured gardens line the bike and walking trails. Ecuador reminds me of Italy.

"Bravely" Living a Life of Luxury in Ecuador on $1,300 a Month

At least once a week, I receive an email with the words "you're so brave." I chuckle to myself because everyone back in the States thinks my husband, Mark, and I are so courageous. In reality, I think exactly the opposite...

A Writer's Life in Ecuador...or Anywhere You Want

The sun is out and brilliant blue skies with white fluffy clouds-that you can almost touch-overlook my morning jog next to the Yanuncay River. The linear trails, three blocks from our condo, are immaculately groomed with colorful flowerbeds and towering Eucalyptus trees that give off a familiar scent reminiscent of my childhood in California.

Cuenca, Ecuador Is "Just Like Italy"... Only Yours for $44 a Day

Would you like to wake up every morning and feel as though you're on vacation? I'm used to it, and after two years, I allow myself the luxury of not feeling guilty. As soon as the sun filters through our bedroom window and I hear the rippling sounds of the Tomebamba River, I think about the piece of la dolce vita I have in Ecuador...

Get the Galapagos Experience...Without the High Price Tag

If you don't have thousands of dollars to pour into a Galapagos cruise, consider Isla de la Plata (Silver Island), affectionately termed the Poor Man's Galapagos. The island supposedly derives its name from the centuries-old buried treasure of Sir Francis Drake, but my husband, Mark, and I haven't found it-yet.

Living "La Dolce Vita" in Cuenca, Ecuador

I'll be honest; Cuenca, Ecuador was not my number one retirement destination-it was Italy. My husband, Mark, and I lived there for six years in our 20s and 30s, our older son was born there, and it was the birthplace of Mark's grandparents. Yes, I married into one big, loud, happy Italian family.

See the Galápagos on a Budget -

When my husband Mark said, "Let's go to the Galápagos for your birthday," I couldn't help but laugh. The Galápagos Islands, after all, are one of the ecological treasures of the world-and have a price tag to match. Or so I thought.