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Parque La Carolina in Quito, Ecuador

Moving to Quito, Ecuador

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jan 11, 2023

Summary: Quito, Ecuador is the capital city of Ecuador and home to approximately 2.5 million people. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito attracts tourists, expats, digital nomads and retirees. Foreigners living here admit that moving to Quito is not an easy process. In this article, they share what to know before moving to Quito. Healthcare tip: plan to use private hospitals in Quito for the best care.

What do I need to know before moving to Quito?

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

"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," said another expat in Quito.

"Rent, learn, then leave. Keep in mind I have no business interest here so I am just being honest. You can deposit money into your bank acct & if want to know your balance after your deposit they charge you a fee, service in Ecuador is terrible. Ask for a roll of quarters, & be refused! No reason, just be told no," added another expat who made the move to Quito.

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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.

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How do I find a place to live in Quito?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Not easy... I was offered a teaching job at PUCE , then denied it when my papers came through very late but I knew the barrio where I wanted to live -- however, it has gone up in price and there were few options available. I walked around in the neighborhood I wanted to finally settle in and found what I need. This is a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED way to discover a good apt in Quito," said another expat in Quito.

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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Quito?

"A "suite" or two rooms and bath, lovely little place, good dueno and furnished nicely with condominio fee monthly it's $460. in the swanky neightborhood of Gonzalez Suarez. Noise here is bad," remarked another expat in Quito, Ecuador.

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What is the average cost of housing in Quito?

If you are thinking about moving to Quito, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"Much lower. I bought an apartment for under $30k and I have rented another for just $150 a month," explained one expat living in Quito, Ecuador.

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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.
William Russell Health InsuranceExpat 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.
GET A QUOTE

What should I pack when moving to Quito?

We asked people living in Quito to list three things they wish they had brought and three they wish they had left behind. They responded:

"More books - not the Kindle I was given --personal effects, small paintings, items you love at home (small and transport friendly) Nothing in 2nd category," said another expat in Quito.

"I wish I had brought digital camera, laptop and more books...I wish I had left home medicines (widely available and cheaper in Ecuador), basics like towel, socks, etc (also easily available), furniture (very beautiful pieces avialable locally)," remarked another expat who made the move to Quito.

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How are healthcare services Quito?

When we asked expats and global nomads about the quality of medical care in Quito, they replied:

"Go to the best hospital instead of the government hospital. Use the private clinics for basic healthcare and pay out of pocket," mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Quito.

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"My health insurance is with IESS and I've been completely satisfied with the care I've received. I have high cholesterol and a family history of heart disease. When the doctors at the IESS hospital learned this they ordered a complete lipid profile, an EKG, treadmill stress test and echocardiogram and placed me on a statin drug for my cholesterol and a drug for high blood pressure," said one expat living in Quito, Ecuador.

"Most doctors don't have insurance for malpractice so if you are unhappy, tough luck. There is no medical body to appeal to," offered another expat living in Quito.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Parque La Carolina in Quito, Ecuador

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

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