Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Cuenca
Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Cuenca
Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion de Cuenca

Living in Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Dec 08, 2021

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Ecuador: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know about living in Ecuador?

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

"I would first of all tell them that it is winter here now while it is summer in the 48 states. The houses here are not heated, and I wear 4 or 5 layers of clothes. That said, if any of my friends are people who have more money, savings, and bank accounts than I do, I would tell them that they can live very well here. I think that there are ways to tell friends how they can get acclimated to Ecuador according to their lifestyle interests, in several ways. They can visit and have a stay of 90 days, before they need to leave. Some people leave for a few days to a nearby country and return as if for the first time and can stay for another 90 days," added another expat who made the move to Cuenca.

"Bring comfortable shoes and get ready to live in a physically splendid environment. The people are gentle. Like any foreign culture, it is deceptively similar to America, but the little differences can sink you if you aren't totally flexible. Stay away from ex-pats, as a rule," explained one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"I'd say if you are retired and wanting a nice beach area where the views are exceptional. Yes this maybe the place for you. But there are many cities along the coast that you may like better. One plus for us is we live very close to the main mall here, walking distance and we really like that as in the past it would take us all day of shopping when we lived in Montanita. P.S. Just lessons learned would only bring down only what you absolutely need. Shipping items to here is very expensive and a real pain in the butt. Would not recommend that unless you absolutely need to," mentioned another in Salinas.

"I have a close friend who is going to move here. He loved his visit here a couple of months ago. I told him that the culture is very different form the US but that is true anywhere in the world. The only way to learn is through immersion into the life here. I took a job consulting for the municipio, another side task of teaching the local kids in our barrio English and I applied to teach at the local University. The more active I am, the faster I get what is going on here. Ibarra is no Quito; it is like most other towns in Ecuador, just a little larger at 150,000 people. My Spanish is constantly improving. Our farm is becoming more productive, our list of freinds is growing. But it all takes lots of time and personal investment of yourself," explained one expat who made the move to Ibarra.

"Bring whatever technology items you can w you bc they are very expensive here. If your car is less than 4 years old you can bring that, if it has a smaller engine," said one expat living in Cuenca, Ecuador.

"Do not listen to anyone initially, feel the place out first and make sure you enjoy the area. When buying or renting a place such as apartments be careful of all Brokers, even the Licensed, who both I and our friends have seen on many occasions add 20% or more to the costs and who also try to get paid both sides, by in effect charging innocent foreigners much more, where as if you deal with owners directly you will pay less! Brokers means that they are more broke than you so be CAREFUL. I recommend either Tucasaecuador.com on line or their magazine you can buy in the main Shopping center or in Petrol stations. Personally we bought from the Best Tower in Town the PHOENIX LUXURY TOWER who were in this magazine in front of the Banco Pacifico on the second street in Salinas which has over 9 nationalities based there and found that in dealing with the OWNER we got the best and fairest deal and no broker crap trap! They have suites, medium and large apartments but are over 80% sold now," explained one expat living in Salinas, Ecuador.

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Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

How do I meet people in Ecuador?

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William Russell International Health Insurance

Need health insurance in Ecuador? William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite).

Learn More Get a Quote

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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William Russell Health InsuranceInternational Health Insurance

Get a quotes for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get a Quote

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