12 Tips for Living in San Clemente, Ecuador
An expat in Ecuador talks about why expats move to San Clemente - with it's laid back beach lifestyle, low cost of living, hot & dry climate and low crime rate. There are a few things that San Clemente is missing.
Why Expats Move to San Clemente
People move here for a more laid back lifestyle. The price of rentals and property is still fairly cheap so that attracts foreigners.
Cost of Living in San Clemente
The cost of living in San Clemente is very affordable. If you eat at local type restaurants, a typical lunch will set you back at $2.50-$3.00. Even at the more foreign type restaurants, it is still cheap to eat. Rent can range from $250 a month for a typical Ecuadorian house to upwards of $1,000 a month for a condo in a small complex. All in all, the cost of living is very affordable.
Meeting Expats in San Clemente
There really aren't any clubs here. There is an organization that is trying to rebuild peoples home after the 2016 earthquake. The first home was just started due to massive bureaucratic holdups. Expats typically gather at different restaurants on different days of the week to socialize.
International Schools Near San Clemente
There are no international schools in this area. The closest ones are in Manta, which is an hour away, and Portoviejo, which is 45 minutes away. The local schools are beyond horrible. My child attends a local school and it is very bad. Very inconsistent, poor instruction, and the staff basically doesn't know whats going on. We will be moving from the area soon due to the extremely poor local school.
Local Shopping & Markets
Local people shop at the local mom and pop stores. Expats travel to Bahia de Caraquez 45 minutes away or to Portoviejo 45 minutes away. There are big modern grocery stores there that have just about everything one would be used to back home. The prices are not bad either. There is also a large weekly vegetable market in Charapoto 10 minutes away every Sunday. In addition, there are trucks loaded with fruits and veggies that drive around town just about every day.
There are buses that run all the time and cost a minimum of 50 cents. Taxis are also plentiful and are very affordable as well. I have got to know some taxi drivers and call them direct when I need a ride.
Climate in San Clemente
The climate is hot and dry. It is the rainy season right now so it rains off and on every day.
Nightlife & Restaurants
No nightlife and as I stated previously, anything from local mom and pop restaurants to more foreign type. All very affordable though either way you choose.
There are no hospitals in the town and the nearest quality hospital is in Manta one hour away. There are smaller hospitals in Bahia and Portoviejo I have heard. I have only used a local doctor for stomach issues so I am pretty unfamiliar with the medical care.
Expat Health Insurance in Ecuador
Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.
Swimming at the local beach is about it.
Visa & Residency
As can be expected, this is a whole new experience in itself. My wife is Ecuadorian so the process should have been easy. It was not. I visited numerous offices in several cities and finally got my visa after four months. All I can say is bring your patience and be prepared to deal with zero logic.
Crime in San Clemente
The area where I live is very safe. There is petty crime and theft of smaller items but violent crime does not exist. I walk around at night, go down to the town center at night and have no problems. Very safe area.