Playa de San Lorenzo in Salinas
Playa de San Lorenzo in Salinas
Playa de San Lorenzo in Salinas

Moving to Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

Summary: Moving to Ecuador: Expats, retirees and digital nomads talk about everything you need to know before moving to Ecuador.

International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide
International Relocation Guide

What do I need to know before moving to Ecuador?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Ecuador, they said:

"This is not for everyone so take your time and pick the place you love don't settle. Bring as many of your current household items to make it feel like home and not a beach rental. It will make all the difference in the world. Ask questions to everyone you meet in the area. They will give you honest answers on the pro and cons of the area," said another expat in Salinas.

"Find a local you can trust. Start with small tasks you can do together to help both of you understand how the system works and to establish your working relationship. Change is inevitable you have to learn to accept it. Once you learn this life becomes much easier. Most countries will not do it the way western countries do it. That does not mean their way is necessarily wrong," added another expat who made the move to Cuenca.

"Good idea to take a exploratory trip first, get an idea of the area and where you might want to live. Check out available apartments and rent cost. Many expats arrive here with a container full of stuff that they cannot live without which is an added expense considering you can have furniture made here at very reasonable costs. And then many of them move back to their country just after 6 months selling all their stuff here," explained one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"Most importantly, ask yourself if the place is a spiritual or emotional match Are the values similar? Or are they so different that you are always on pins and needles. Even though there are wonderful people in every country (I've lived or worked in over 40 countries), this is the hardest place for my sensibilities, I am not accustomed to toughness and indifference, so I may not stay. I've given it two years, done my best to fit in. It's also too cold for me, no insulation or heating in buildings. Why not move to the coast? Fewer amenities and not the best idea for a woman alone," said another in Cuenca.

"Be open minded, flexible and leave over exaggerated expectations in your mother country. You are moving into a foreign country for a reason - don't bring your bad with you," explained one expat who made the move to Puerto Cayo.

"THis process esp with minimal Spanish is NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART, trust me. I have struggled at times and have lived before out of the United States in South America. Visit, do your homework, trust that you will be taken advantage of (as I have several times with trusted Ecuadorians) and you REALLY have to WANT TO MOVE HERE sometimes to simply stay here. I am overall happy with my move/immigration to Ecuador but it is tough and challenging esp as a soltera at times, very tough," explained one expat living in Quito, Ecuador.

How do I find a place to live in Ecuador?

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000. Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Some of Joshua's more popular articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 8 Best Places to Live in Croatia and the Living in Mexico Guide. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Playa de San Lorenzo in Salinas
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Living in Ecuador GuideLiving in Ecuador Guide

Expats in Ecuador share some of the pros and cons of living in Ecuador. Topics covered include where to live, the bureaucracy, the people and more.

Ecuador Forum Ecuador Forum
Meet other expats and talk about living in Ecuador.

Best Places to Live in Ecuador Best Places to Live in Ecuador

Expats share some of their favorite places to live in Ecuador from beautiful colonial cities to affordable beach towns.

Healthcare in EcuadorHealthcare in Ecuador

Expats in Ecuador share their experiences with healthcare and overseas medical insurance in Ecuador.

Cost of Living in EcuadorCost of Living in Ecuador

Expats offer insight into the cost of living in Ecuador.

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Expats in Ecuador offer advice to newcomers and people considering a move to Ecuador about clothing, sunscreen, renting before buying, gringo pricing, Ecuadorians politeness and much more.

Real Estate in EcuadorReal Estate in Ecuador

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Ecuador.

Pros Cons of Living in EcuadorPros & Cons of Living in Ecuador

Take off your rose-colored glasses and learn what expats have to say about the biggest challenges and the greatest rewards of living in Ecuador.

Retiring in EcuadorRetiring in Ecuador

Advice for people retiring in Ecuador.

Contribute to Ecuador Network Contribute
Help other expats and newcomers by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Ecuador.

10 Tips for Living in Ecuador10 Tips for Living in Ecuador

Expats in Ecuador appreciate the cost of living, the friendly people, the beautiful weather and warm culture. The bureaucracy can be very trying, petty theft an issue and driving downright dangerous.

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