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An Expat Talks about Moving to Guayaquil, Ecuador


What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?


Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

Wish I'd Brought

My furniture - harder than expected to find a furnished apartment

Personal care products - expensive here

Everyone's phone number and email address - tough to make friends here as the "upper class" society is pretty closed

Wish I'd left home:

Warm clothes - 90-95 on cool days here, although the sweaters come in handy when I go to Quito

DVD's - pirated movies are big business here

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Get a realtor. Look around a lot. Start and finish with Sanborondon if your budget allows. Venture out to Los Ceibos and Via la Costa if the distance from the "fun areas" of Guayaquil isn't an issue. Talk to other expats (if you can find them).

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

I live in an apartment within an 8 unit building (tower) within a gated community of about 20 towers. Ideal mix of privacy and neighborly acquaintances. I don't know what the house/apt mix is, but I would imagine expat families with kids go for houses (in Sanborondon, Los Ceibos, or Via la Costa) and expat singles and couples go for apts. The houses in Sanborondon are usually huge, expensive, and not many to rent.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

Fortunately, my company hired a relocation firm. Sanborondon is the upper class, safe, and happening nearby suburb of Guayaquil. It was almost a given that I would live there as an expat with Company-provided housing. The Company also hired a realtor for us who helped with our search options (furnished, gated community, 3 bdrms, spacious, pool). Newspaper ads weren't very helpful at all. Word of mouth or realtors are the way to go.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

I am originally from New york City. NYC is expensive but you get little space. Economically, would say the same, but I have much more space both in and outside of the apt. The company pays $2200 monthly plus about $75 in utilities for a 3 bdroom (plus housekeepers room), 5 bath furnished apt. The community has ample green areas, soccer field, tennis court, several bbq grills and villas, basketball court, an adult and kiddie pool, and a ballroom for gatherings. The only thing missing is a gym. Average for Sanborongon is about $1300/month. Urdessa, Ceibos go for about $900, but not as nice.

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Comments about this Report

Sep 6, 2010 01:37

There`s so much more options to find in Ecuador. I think maybe your realtor didn`t tell you about that. Maybe wasn't conveniente for him/her, because they get more money if they take you to the expensiest area. You also can find in Samborondon (the exclusive area) apartments for $600, or $800 and they are very nice. Los Ceibos is a good option and is quite and safe. Houses or appartaments for $500 to $1500, sometimes more, sometime less deppending on what do you want (2 rooms, 4 rooms, etc). There are also nice areas in downtown as in Barrio Las Peñas (the old city) is a beautiful area, close to the Guayas River and The Malecon. There are a lot of artists and some bohemian culture (intelectuals and that stuff).

Nov 17, 2010 01:22

hey thanks for the info. Just a couple of questions - are they lots of gym etc which are good in the area you stay in? How difficult is to make friends in Guayaquil? Also is it safe to go for a run around the area you life in or it has to be restricted to the compound you life in?

Dec 8, 2010 12:55

This is not an English-speaking city. Know some Spanish or have a translator to get by in it.

Aug 14, 2011 09:42

Thanks for a gerat review. I am shocked at the prices you quote. I thought Ecuador was cheap living. Are there nice places for expats to live that are more affordable? I read so much about living well for a tiny sum of money but cannot seem to find anything. Thanks.

Feb 11, 2013 03:39

I surely agree with many points in this review. I must say that there are many cheap houses for sell near A la Costa. Yes Saborondon is a very nice but it is not everything. There is a lot of land in Ecuador that is waiting to be constructed. There are places called urbanizaciones privadas and they are a very good choice because they are far away from the regular population and the place is like a close city where you can find eveything no need to go out of it. They have gyms, pools, football courts, and more. There are affordable and I think it is a good investment...

Feb 11, 2013 03:44

I would also like to add that it is a very different cultural change in Ecuador. You can expect every country to be like US. It is not going to happen because one of the reasons US is what it is, because of the multiple cultures that there are here in US. THat is one of the main reasons it is soooo great as everybody thinks. Ecuador is different, if you are ready for a change and if you arent afraid of them .... then go ahead and travel where ever you want Chile, Nicaragua, Belize, etc. Adventure is wonderful and you just have to like it. I am getting ready for my great adventure. I am so looking forward to this big project.

Feb 18, 2013 10:00

In many "decent" sections of Guayquil, you can find apartments in the $250 dollar range!

Mar 7, 2016 08:33

Hello ! I would much appreciate some help here ! Just about to move in quayaqil with my husband work and i would love to know more oppinions about this city. I have a 4 years old daughter and we live in London. I just dont know if ot a good oportunity for us or not? It is a good job but is it a good city to live in? Is it safe? Is it good for kids? Good schools and medical services? I have so many questions :(

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