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Living in Ecuador

Many travelers passing through Ecuador fall in love with the country and decide to stay for an extended period of time. According to the U.S. Embassy, about 30,000 Americans live and work in Ecuador. Undoubtedly, even more Europeans make this beautiful country their home. The most popular cities for resident foreigners are Quito, Cuenca, Cotacachi and Vilcabamba.

Quito has a large expatriate community and lots of options for furnished apartments, jobs for English speakers and volunteer projects. Expect to pay upward of $250 a month for a one-bedroom apartment and $500 per month for a luxury one-bedroom apartment in the north of Quito or in one of the valleys like Cumbayá with beautiful furnishings and often a common pool, hot tub and terrace with mountain views.

Outside of Quito, the prices drop almost half for apartments, but it will be harder to find a furnished place. For apartment listings, local newspapers, such as El Comercio, are an excellent source, though you will have to be able to read Spanish, or know someone who does. Another great option for travelers looking to stay a bit longer is living with a family. Many families in Quito (and around Ecuador) offer rooms in their homes as an alternative source of income, or for inter-cultural exchange. Prices for homestays vary drastically, ranging from $200-450 per month, and usually include two or three meals per day.

If you plan to stay in Ecuador longer than three months, you will need to look into getting a non-resident or resident visa. See our visa section for more information. Many people enjoy the options for work in Ecuador. Salaries are somewhat low for the cost of living. Expect to earn between $400-1,000/month in Quito, and much less outside of the city. For more information, see our work/volunteering section.

For retirees interested in stretching their retirement savings the extra inch, Ecuador is an excellent place to live. Property is fairly easy to purchase and makes for a relatively safe investment. Be sure to get a good lawyer and/or real estate agent, though. The climate of this tropical country is ideal with spring-like weather year-round in the Andes and steamy hot weather year-round on the coast. It is not possible to buy land in the Galápagos Islands due to strict restrictions in place to protect the flora and fauna in the national park.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Ecuador: Green Sea Turtle, Swallow-Tailed Gull, Safety, Striated Heron, American Oystercatcher, Getting to and away from Misahuallí, Media in Ecuador, Getting To and Away From Mindo, Blue-Footed Booby and Punta Cormorant - Floreana Visitor Site.

31 Oct 2013

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