Huaquillas, Ecuador: Population: around 48,000. The entire metropolitan area has a population of about 82,000. The city didn't really start to grow substantially until the 20th century. The economy is based on shrimp farming, agriculture, and commerce.
By 1935 tobacco was the main source of income for the tiny town of about 200. The land was/is very rich and crops grew extensively, until the war with Peru in 1941. The Peruvians diverted the river and it has never been the same since. It wasn't until 1964 that the issue of the border with Peru was finally ironed out.
Huaquillas has a hot arid climate. The daytime average high of 29° C (84° F), and the night average low of 22° C (71° F). Huaquillas receives an average of 769 mm (30 inches) of rain per year. The elevation of the city is 11 meters (33 feet).
So, my impressions: It's just another coastal town, nothing especially interesting. The few parks are very small and there are no special parks or ecological areas. It is sandy and dusty like all coastal towns, as well. It's also the border crossing into Peru, so at the border, the road is jammed full with kiosks of vendors selling anything and everything.
This is my goal: to find a new place to live. So to reach that goal I am traveling most of South America, visiting the countries of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, passing through Argentina, visiting Paraguay, passing through a bit of Brazil, and finally visiting Uruguay. I have a list of towns, about 70 towns, that meet these qualifications: Cities with average day temperatures of 22-28° C (72-83° F) and night temps of 14° C (57° F) and higher; and a population between 28,000-300,000. I analyzed climate and population data of around 700 towns in the countries mentioned above and then pulled out the ones that meet the previously mentioned criteria, which leaves about 70. My preference leans towards towns of less than 100,000 people. And, now that I have visited more than 30 towns/cities, I've decided I will probably want an inland town. I love the beach and walking in the warm water, but, getting sunburned is just too easy, even on a cloudy day. At least, here in Ecuador. I've also decided that any town with more than 100,000 population will be too big. I've decided that any small town/city (less than around 80,000 population) that meets the temp specifications and has a supermarket and ATM is one worth considering to live in.
At this point in my journey I have two towns on my top-20 list - Catamayo and Puyo. In my travels in Ecuador, I have visited 31 towns/cities. Tomorrow I enter Peru.
Next up: Tumbes, Peru.