Last updated on Jul 11, 2023
Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Otavalo, Ecuador: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.
What do I need to know about living in Otavalo?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Otavalo, they said:
"Expats considering retirement in Otavalo should be aware that the cost of living is significantly lower than in many Western countries, making it an attractive option for those on a fixed income. The official language is Spanish, so learning the language or hiring a translator may be necessary. The healthcare system in Ecuador is generally good, with both public and private options available. Otavalo is known for its indigenous culture and famous market, which could be a draw for those interested in a vibrant cultural experience. The climate is temperate, with a year-round spring-like weather, but it can get chilly at night due to its high altitude. Ecuador uses the US dollar as its official currency, which can make financial transitions easier for American retirees. However, it's important to understand the local banking system and consider how to manage your finances from abroad. While crime rates are relatively low in Otavalo compared to other parts of Ecuador, expats should still take standard precautions to ensure their safety. It's also important to understand the visa requirements for living in Ecuador long-term, as you'll need to apply for a resident visa to stay more than 90 days. Lastly, while Otavalo offers many modern conveniences, it's still a developing country, so infrastructure and services may not be as reliable or readily available as in your home country. It's recommended to visit Otavalo and spend some time there before making a decision to retire in this city," wrote one member in Otavalo.
What do I need to know before moving to Otavalo?
About the Author
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.