Living in Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador   /  

Are you moving to Quito (Ecuador) for work, to retire or just for an adventure you’ve been waiting to take? First off, congratulations on your new and exciting venture. Second, there are many things you should know before moving to Quito so that you will be extra prepared. I had the liberty of interviewing an expatriate recently living in Quito and he kindly let me in on a couple tips.

How much money do you need to survive in Ecuador?

First off, the good news is if you are moving to Ecuador from the United States you will be very comfortable with the currency here since Ecuador uses dollars. This has been in place since September 2000. It really depends on how long your stay is. If you are planning on coming here for only 3 months then you will need around $3,0000 if you are planning on staying in a hostel you can get away with coming with maybe $2,5000. If you are going to stay at a hotel the whole time and you are in Quito, which is one of the more high-end areas of Ecuador then coming with $5,000 would be more appropriate.

Go Living In Quito Ecuador

Photography by Pablo Alejandro Araujo Granda

If you were staying for a year and you wanted to get a house what would that entail?

There aren’t a ton of homes in Quito however, there are more to rent in the valleys outside of Quito like Cumbaya or Tumbaco. To rent you will be looking at around $80-$450 a month. If you can’t afford that on the Northside of Quito there are some cheaper options. Also, make sure you are getting an apartment that is fully furnished, that will cut down on cost as well.

What type of credit card is more user-friendly in Ecuador?

A Master Card or Visa are the best credit cards to use here. There are ATM machines spread out throughout Ecuador that you will be able to use, however, in some of the smaller cities they will only have independent/local banks that only the locals have access to so if you plan to travel to any of the smaller towns please take out money before you depart.


Living in Ecuador provides you with access to many different nature encounters.  One of the most coveted destinations in Galapagos National Park is where you can see the giant land tortoise and the ocean swimming marine iguanas.

What type of food do people eat?

Much of the diet here is quite healthy. Locals survive on organic fruits, vegetables, preserves, and fresh bread that you can get at any of the local markets, tamales, empanadas, rice-based dishes, and even Ceviche (a local delicacy made with freshly cooked shrimp, red onions, tomatoes, lime and orange juice with a dash of chopped cilantro, olive oil, and salt and pepper.) This dish is served cold and is perfect after a hot day at the beach.

Is there a lot of public transportation?

golivingin quito ecuador

Photography by Lesmode

Buses are the cheapest form of transportation in Ecuador. There are a couple of lines that all cost 25 cents no matter where your destination is. If you wanted to go somewhere by cab just make sure to use one before rush hour or else they will be hard to flag down. Meters usually start at 35 cents, however, most cab drivers aren’t required to have a running meter after 10 pm, so make sure to negotiate the cost of the ride before you get in the cab at nighttime. If you enjoy biking you can rent one for $3 an hour if you’re looking to do a ride around town.

What happens if you get sick?

This part is every American’s dream. For emergency cases, you can go into any public or private hospital and get helped. If you don’t have insurance the cost for the visit won’t be any more than $50. If you have a common cold or anything else, you can also ask a pharmacist for medical advice and they will be able to give you the medication you need without a doctor’s note.

I hope these tips were helpful to you. I must admit after the interview I was ready to book my own ticket to Ecuador.

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Miki Mo

I am a traveler. I have seen lots of places – from exotic Asia to sophisticated Europe! What makes me appreciate every place the most are the warm people who welcome me – and their willingness to show their culture and tradition! Most of the events I really love, involve feasts and celebrations – each country, each ethnic group has a unique way of celebrating nature, and each has unique tradition – which is such a magnificent scene to watch. Truly, there is a lot to learn in the world – a lot of things to explore, and the journey never ends, well, at least for me ☺


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  • Jennifer says:

    Getting ready to head to Quito for a several week stay. Thanks for the helpful post!

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