Live Abroad Now Articles

These are the main articles on Live Abroad Now that will show you the way out.

Bad Things About Living in Ecuador

Ecuador is a beautiful country with amazing people, but like most countries on the planet, there are also some bad things about living in Ecuador. Some of them are to be expected just like in any other country in the world, while others are specific to developing countries.

So, if you’re thinking about visiting or moving to Ecuador, there are several downsides that you need to take into account. From income inequality and pickpocketing to noise and litter, here are some of the main disadvantages of living in Ecuador.

Income Inequality 

Income Inequality 

Income inequality is one of the worst things about Ecuador. The wealth gap is quite significant in Ecuador, with approximately 26% of the population living in poverty. With a minimum wage of $400 per month, a large part of the population struggles to make ends meet.

While the minimum wage could be enough for one person with a minimalist lifestyle, lots of families have to live on the income provided by a sole earner, which translates into poverty for many of them.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, things were looking better for people in Ecuador, with fewer of them living in poverty when compared to the numbers from 10 years ago. Prior to 2020, the middle and upper middle class accounted for about 72% of the population in Ecuador, but there has been a decline in the middle-class as a result of the pandemic.

When it comes to the wealthy, they only account for 1.5% of the population in Ecuador, with the top 10% holding 50% of the country’s wealth. However, to put things into perspective, the top 10% of the United States population holds 68% of the country’s wealth, which translates into a greater wealth gap in the U.S. than in Ecuador.

Pickpocketing & Theft 

Pickpocketing & Theft 

Pickpocketing and theft are a rather common issue in Ecuador. From having your phone stolen to taxi robbery, travelers can encounter several safety concerns in Ecuador.

The good news is that with a little common sense and a few tips, it’s possible to prevent yourself from being a victim of theft.

Try always to pay attention to your surroundings and keep your belongings with you at all times. Keep your bags and pockets zipped at all times. You should also avoid putting your bags in the upper head bins or under the seat when you’re traveling by bus.

Keep your belongings close to you on public transport and never hand them to people who offer to stow them for you for “security.” They may be pretending to work for the bus company, but they’ll take your backpack, and you’ll never see it again. Another method employed by thieves is to slice open a bag placed underneath the seat to take valuables out, so it’s best to try and keep your bag on you at all times and invest in a cut-proof bag.

It’s also important to remember that there may be drug-related violence in some of the neighborhoods in major cities, so it’s always a good idea to know what to expect when you’re traveling to such neighborhoods. If you’re unsure about which neighborhoods are safe and which aren’t, either avoid unfamiliar areas or talk to the locals to find out where it’s safe to visit.

Price Gouging (Getting Gringoed)

Price Gouging (Gringoed)

If you’re wondering what “getting gringoed” means, it’s when you pay more than a local would for the same thing just because you’re an American (or any foreigner, for that matter). This typically happens in Ecuador because Americans are not used to negotiating, so they tend to pay the asking price, which is often higher than it should be.

Americans generally get gringoed in Ecuador in taxis, at the market, or when they hire a contractor to do some work on their home. To avoid it, make sure you ask what the price is upfront and remember that the culture in Ecuador is a negotiating one, so it’s ok to barter before you buy.

It’s NOISY!

Noise

Ecuador can be really noisy at times, which may be something you’re not used to, depending on what country you’re from. There’s music on the beach, people have loud parties, and there are lots of fireworks to deal with.

But it’s not just Ecuadorians having fun that causes the noise — there’s also construction, honking horns, and even roosters. You may also expect announcements over the loudspeakers, church bells, car alarms — you name it.

Living in Ecuador typically means that you have to learn how to live with a lot of noise. It’s just a fact of life, so if you don’t think you’ll be able to cope with it, Ecuador, or Latin America in general, might not be the right place for you.

Street Dogs & Cats

Street Dogs & Cats

Street dogs and cats are another thing that you need to get used to when you live in Ecuador. There are lots of dogs without collars on the streets, and it’s not always possible to tell whether they have a home or not. They’re generally friendly, but you can never tell for sure, so you may want to remain alert, especially if you notice large packs of dogs coming towards you.

Another issue with street cats and dogs in Ecuador is that people can’t always afford to take care of them properly, so many of the animals are underfed or have various health issues. Because people in Ecuador aren’t fans of neutering dogs, they end up with lots of puppies, which later become strays because they’re just too many of them to be kept as pets.

Some of the dogs you see on the streets in Ecuador are not strays and they go home at night. So even though they are in the street, they actually have a home and family somewhere. Most Ecuadorians have dogs for the purpose of property protection, so the relationship between dogs and humans is a bit different than what you might be used to.

​Litter

Litter

While litter is not such a big problem in large cities where the public administration has crews that sweep up the trash regularly, that is not the case in smaller rural communities. Expect to encounter lots of litter and trash, especially plastic. There’s also a lot of trash on the side of the road in smaller cities and the surrounding areas.

Several new laws that ban single-use plastic are rolling out over the next three years, so you can expect to see a significant reduction in single-use plastic around the country. Many of the provisions in these laws are due to come into effect in 2021, so hopefully the streets of Ecuador are on track to becoming much cleaner in the near future.

​Dark & Cloudy

​Dark & Cloudy

Ecuador has multiple microclimates, but you should expect lots of dark and cloudy days from June through November. It’s not all dark and cloudy in all parts of the country at the same time, as the clouds are related to the geography of the country.

The Amazon rainforest is located in the eastern part of the country. It releases lots of moisture that evaporates, then gets condensed by the Andes Mountain range, which results in clouds, mostly in the high cities such as Quito and Cuenca. The climate is typically drier and sunnier in Salinas and Manta.

Are there TOO MANY bad things about living in Ecuador?

These are the main bad things about living in Ecuador that you should be aware of if you’re planning a trip or even consider moving. The people of Ecuador are amazing and welcoming, the country is indeed a beautiful one, but like most places in the world, there are some dark sides to it.

From income inequalities to lots of noise, you should be prepared for a bit of culture shock when you land in Ecuador. But getting to know and love the Ecuadorian people and their beautiful country is definitely worth it if you have an open mind and are willing to adapt.


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Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Condos for RENT in Manta Ecuador on the Beach (2021)

In our last video, we showed you condos for sale on or near the beach. In this video, we’ll show you a few condos for RENT in Manta Ecuador on or near the beach.

The first and most affordable condo in this video is in the Poseidon, the second two are in the new Mykonos development, and the fourth is in the Santorini near Mall del Pacífico.

We share a variety of rental price ranges; however, if you’re looking for truly low budget rentals, you’ll need to stay tuned until our next property tour. We already have plans to film both for sale and for rent properties that aren’t right by the beach, which means they’ll be much lower cost.

If you would like to get more information about this property or others that we didn’t show in this video, please contact Ryan Kelly at Ecuador Shores Realty directly.


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Buying a Home In Ecuador

The process for buying a home in Ecuador, whether it’s a piece of land, a house or a condo, is quite a bit different than the United States and other countries. Thankfully, we were able to sit down with Ryan Kelly from Ecuador Shores Realty in Manta Ecuador to answer a long list of questions and walk us through the process of buying a home in Ecuador.

If you would like to work with Ryan and Tiffany to buy a home in Ecuador, or someone from their vast network of real estate professionals, you can contact them through their website at EcuadorShoresRealty.com and be sure to tell them you saw this video.


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Raising Kids in Ecuador: Sports, Activities, Socializing and Cultural Differences (2021)

If you’re considering a move to Ecuador with your children, this interview with Jason and Michelle from ExpatsEcuador.com will help you prepare for the differences you’ll encounter.

Jason is an expat from Australia who met the love of his life in Ecuador. Michelle is an Ecuadorian born in Quito who has two children from a previous marriage. This makes them a blended family with a unique inside, as well as outside, perspective on raising children in Ecuador.

If you would like even more information on this topic, checkout this guide from Jason and Michelle on their amazing blog:https://expatsecuador.com/living/kids


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

10 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Exploratory Trip to Ecuador

If you’re considering a move abroad to join the expat ranks, use these 10 tips to get the most out of your exploratory trip to Ecuador. As you’re scheduling your visit, plan to spend as much time as possible in Ecuador to explore your future surroundings and make preparations for your move.

Tip #1 – Thoughtfully plan your trip

1. Thoughtfully plan your trip

Some careful initial planning will help you maximize your time in Ecuador so that you can see as much of the country as possible while identifying a place you might like to live.

If you have at least a month to travel in Ecuador, take a national bus tour. Buses are a popular way to travel in Ecuador. The private and public bus systems are safe and reliable. Three of the top tour companies you should consider are Ecuador Expat Journeys, Wander Bus and Ecuador Hop.

Ecuador Expat Journeys provides a guided tour across the country geared specifically towards expats. They do a great job of introducing you to towns and properties, giving you local insight into the areas where you may want to live.

Wander Bus and Ecuador Hop are hop-on/hop-off buses. When you depart, you have the option to stay in multiple places for a few days at a time or even longer than that.

Since they’re both self-guided tours, you’ll have more control over the itinerary, but you’ll also be responsible for your activities. Both companies will give you an excellent high-level tour of the main cities. The most popular routes start in Quito and stop in popular tourist cities, such as Cuenca, Montañita/Olón, Manta, Salinas, Guayaquil, Baños Ambato, etc.

Tip #2 – Don’t overbook your itinerary!

Manta Ecuador

If you’re only planning to stay for a week or two, choose just one or two cities to spend most of your time. It takes awhile to travel between the major cities so you’re better off focusing on just a couple. There will be plenty of time to explore more cities and areas after you move to Ecuador!

Check out our article, Best Cities to Live in Ecuador for Expats for a detailed list and review of popular expat cities in Ecuador, but two of the best options are Cuenca and Manta.

Cuenca tends to feel more like home for many expats, and this is where you should start if you’re not an experienced world traveler. Though you may need a little bit of time to adjust to the high elevation, you shouldn’t experience too much culture shock. Consequently, Cuenca is full of expats and many English-speaking Ecuadorians, so you’ll fit right in.

Manta and the surrounding towns are great to visit if you want to live near the beach. It’s also an expat enclave with more expats than Salinas, Playas or Olón. Manta is also more developed than many other places in Ecuador, with more amenities and access to better hospitals, too. It’s also safer than Guayaquil if you’re concerned about security.

Tip #3 – Stay as long as you can!

The New Cathedral Cuenca Ecuador

If you’re planning a move abroad, stay as long as you can on your exploratory trip to Ecuador so you get a real feel for the country and its people. While you can always move back home if you don’t like living in Ecuador, moving abroad can be costly so you’ll want to make sure the place you choose is a good fit for you.

We visited Ecuador for 10 days on our exploratory trip back in 2017. We stayed 2 nights in Quito and the rest in Cuenca, which was the city we had chosen as the first choice for our move abroad. A week in Cuenca was enough to confirm our feeling that we could be happy living there.

However, if there are several potential cities on your wish list, you will need much longer than a week to not only visit each of them, but to get a good feel for what it’s like to live in each city.

You get a 90-day tourist visa when you arrive at the airport—there’s no need to apply for one in advance. At the end of the initial 90 days, you can apply for a 90-day tourist visa extension.

Keep in mind that you can only request the tourist visa extension once every five years. If you want to stay longer, we recommend applying for a Temporary Residency Visa.

If you can stay for 6 months, that’s plenty of time to take a good look around the country!

Tip #4 – Focus on where you want to live in Ecuador

4. Focus on where you want to live in Ecuador

Don’t try to do too much on your exploratory trip by trying to squeeze in a trip to the Galapagos or the Amazon. Those are really cool places to visit, but it’s best to save them until after you move to Ecuador for two main reasons.

First, Ecuador residents get discounts on travel to the Galapagos, which will allow you to travel more conveniently and affordably after you move.

Second, going to these fantastic destinations won’t help decide where to live. Visiting them will detract from your focus, which is trying to determine where you want to live!

Tip #5 – Keep it authentic!

5. Keep it authentic!

The best way to explore Ecuador is to live like a local to get a real idea of what it will be like after you move.

To start, rent a place with a kitchen so that you can shop for fresh local foods at the mercados and grocery stores. You’ll experience some of the amazing local produce by making some meals instead of eating out all the time. Check out what’s on TV, visit some local museums, events or attractions to get a feel for how you might spend your free time.

Several housing options will serve as an excellent base for your in-country travels and let you connect to the cities you visit. Apartamentos Otorongo or Gran Colombia Suites are great places to stay in Cuenca. Short-term rentals listed on AirBnB, GringoPost.com (for Cuenca only), or OLX.com (like Craigslist for Ecuador) are also worth a look as you plan your trip.

Tip #6 – Get to know the neighborhood

Cuenca Ecuador from Turi

Once you’ve narrowed your desired destination down to a particular city, spend some time in the neighborhoods to investigate your new potential home. Different areas offer different experiences within the same city.

The best approach will be contacting rental agents in advance to arrange neighborhood tours for when you arrive. Xavier at Apartments Otorongo gives an incredibly informative Cuenca neighborhood tour.

There’s also an enjoyable Cuenca city bus tour that will take you around Cuenca, but it’s mainly for tourists so you’re better off exploring the neighborhoods with the help of local guides.

Tip #7 – Start the visa process before you leave

7. Start the visa process before you leave

If you’ve fallen in love with Ecuador and are ready to plan your move, start the visa process while you’re still in the country.

It’s best to meet with a visa agent in person before you head back home. Their fees can be as high as $1,000 or more so you might feel more comfortable transfering money to them if you meet in real life.

You’ll also have a better idea of what you need to do and what documents you need to collect when you go back to your home country. Here’s some more information about the types and requirements for Ecuador Temporary Residency Visas to help you prepare.

Tip #8 – Meet with a shipping company

8. Meet with a shipping company

Shipping household goods from abroad allows you to take your belongings with you to your new home. If you plan to do this, meet with a potential shipping agent while you’re in Ecuador.

Shipping a container can cost between $2,000-$10,000 so you’ll want to be sure that you’re comfortable with your agent before you wire the money. Here’s a complete guide to shipping a container to Ecuador so you’re better prepared for your meeting.

Tip #9 – Arrange to meet other expats

9. Arrange to meet other expats

Talking to other expats over coffee or a cerveza should be high on your list of priorities during your exploratory trip to Ecuador. Speaking with those who have already moved to your future home can be invaluable.

Reach out to expat groups on Facebook or the community of expats that we host on Patreon/Discord. More often than not, they’ll be happy to share their love of Ecuador and local insights with you.

Talking to expats who already live in Ecuador can give you a more accurate perspective of what it may be like to live in Ecuador while allowing you to ask some crucial questions. They can also provide you with input on optimal neighborhoods and advice on where to eat and what to do during your visit.

Tip #10 – Have fun in Ecuador!

10. Have fun in Ecuador!

Sure, you’re in Ecuador to take care of business on your exploratory trip, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t plan to take in some of the beautiful sights during your visit. Ecuador is full of unforgettable vistas and a wide variety of natural wonders.

If you’re heading to Cuenca, play tourist by taking a city bus tour or planning a day to relax in the hot springs in Baños Azuay.

If you’ll be primarily visiting the coast, head to Isla de la Plata or book a jungle hike to see some Howler Monkeys.

For those visiting Vilcabamba, plan a hike up Fandango or visit Podocarpus National Forest if you’ll be near Loja. You could easily pass an entire week in Quito traveling to the Baños Ambato or the Mindo cloud forest!

Get the MOST out of your exploratory trip to Ecuador!

Planning an exploratory trip to Ecuador can be challenging and exciting. A bit of initial planning with these tips in mind can help you maximize your stay to get a good survey of the landscape and facilitate your move.

The most important goal of your exploratory trip is to determine if you can comfortably live in Ecuador as an expat/immigrant. Visit Ecuador with an open mind, but be prepared for a little culture shock. And if you’re visiting the high mountain cities like Quito or Cuenca, give yourself a few days to adjust to the elevation.

Spend the majority of your time living like a local and laying the groundwork for your eventual move abroad, but take some time to smell the roses so you experience just how magical Ecuador can be.


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

New Ecuador Visa Changes & What They Mean for Expats (2021)

We featured Maité Duran from Gringo Visas in a recent video discussing the various Ecuador Residency Visa options available to expats.

While the visa types and most of the major details remain unchanged, Ecuador has revised several of the laws to make it EVEN EASIER for expats to move to Ecuador.

Maité and her team put together the following information to help explain the changes to Ecuador’s immigration laws.

Temporary Residency Visa Changes

The temporary residency visa is still valid for two years; however, it can now be renewed multiples times for all types of Visas: Retirement, Investment, Professional, Volunteer, Student, and visas for Dependents. Previously, it could only be renewed once.

Additionally, all temporary resident visa types no longer have travel restrictions. Previously, only the Investment visa had no travel restrictions while all other visa types were limited to 90 days outside of Ecuador per year.

Permanent Residency Visa Travel Restriction Changes

Permanent resident visas still have the same 180-day travel restrictions per year for the first two years of permanent residency (years 3 and 4 of living in Ecuador following the 2 year temporary residency).

After two years of being a permanent resident visa holder, you can leave the country for up to 2 years. If you are out of the country for more than 2 years, your visa will be cancelled.

The previous law stated that you could be out of Ecuador for up to 5 years as long as you return even for one day within the five-year period. That law no longer exists.

Ecuador Dependent Visa Changes

Dependent visas will NO LONGER be cancelled if the main visa holder dies, divorces, or applies for citizenship, or for any other reason not related to the dependent.

Previously, if the primary visa holder was no longer in the picture for any reason, the dependent visa holder either had to leave the country or apply for their own temporary visa and start the process over.

Can You Get a Visa with Felony or Misdemeanor Convictions?

If your background check has felony or misdemeanor convictions, you may still be eligible for a resident visa in Ecuador.

If your conviction was for murder, homicide, rape, kidnapping or similar violent crime that required more than 5 years imprisonment, your visa application will be denied.

If your conviction was a misdemeanor, or it was a non-violent felony that required you to serve less than 5 years in prison, your visa application may be approved following an interview with a visa officer at the ministry office.

The interview will be in Spanish, and the visa officer has complete discretion to deny your application. You can appeal the decision, but successful appeals are uncommon.

Unfortunately, the only way to know if your visa will be approved is to go through the entire visa application process, which means you will also need to pay all the associated fees.

Ecuador Tourist Visa Overstay Fines

If you enter Ecuador with a 90-day tourist visa and exceed the time limit without requesting an extension, or if you request an extension and exceed the 180 day limit, you will not be allowed to reenter the country for a period of 1 year starting from the date of departure from Ecuador unless you pay a fine of $400, or obtain a temporary resident visa at an Ecuadorian Consulate. The fine will be voided 12 months after leaving Ecuador.

Additional regulations about this law are still pending. Maité at Gringo Visas will keep us posted when these new regulations are released. In the meantime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be working to initiate this new law, and some Ministries may implement this law immediately.

For more detailed information and specific questions, we recommend contacting GringoVisas.com directly.


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

BREAKING NEWS: Ecuador Revises Covid Travel Guidelines

Yesterday, Juan Zapata, president of the National COE, revised the COVID travel guidelines relating to vaccines and testing for travelers who enter Ecuador.

Effective March 22, 2021, a negative PCR test will no longer be the only option for entering Ecuador as a foreign traveler. You will ALSO be allowed to enter Ecuador by presenting a vaccine card or certificate showing that you have received both doses of an approved vaccine.

The currently approved vaccines in Ecuador are: Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac, Covax and AstraZeneca. These are the only vaccines currently available in Ecuador. We expect the government to clarify which vaccines will be approved for travel in the coming weeks or months.

Additionally, negative antigen tests will also be accepted, as well as negative PCR tests. However, both tests must now be less than 72 hours old upon arrival in Ecuador. Prior to March 22, only negative PCR tests were accepted and they needed to be less than 10 days old.

According to Ricardo Zambrano from the Ministry of Tourism, the objective of these changes is so Ecuador can reactivate the tourism sector for worldwide vaccinated travelers.

You can watch the full interview with Juan Zapata in Spanish here: Ecuador announces changes for the entry of passengers with a vaccination card against covid-19.

COVID Information for Ecuador

Here's a handy list of resources for COVID-related travel guidelines and status updates:

How to easily translate Spanish websites to English...


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Ecuador Culture Shock 101: Things That are Strange to Expats, but Normal to Ecuadorians

Transitioning to Ecuadorian life comes with a few surprises that may leave you scratching your head as you adjust to the Ecuador culture shock.

Here are a few things that Ecuadorians do a bit differently than Americans. Some of these Ecuadorian quirks are fascinating, some are endearing, and a few of these strange customs are downright dangerous!

Voting in Ecuador

Voting

Voting in Ecuador is mandatory for adults between 18 and 65. If you’re 16 or 17, over 65, or a permanent resident who has lived in Ecuador for at least 5 years, you are also allowed to vote, but it’s optional.

Ecuador is currently in the midst of a democratic presidential election. Initially, there were a whopping 16 different candidates on the ballot!

In order to win the election, a candidate must either get 50% of the popular vote, or 40% of the popular vote while beating all other candidates by at least 10%.

Since there was no clear winner in the first round of elections, a runoff election is set to take place between the two leading candidates in April 2021, and again, everyone must vote.

Elections are held on Sunday’s so most people are available to vote without taking time off of work. However, employers are legally required to give workers time off to vote.

Things get a little stranger when you learn that there are no alcohol sales in Ecuador during the three days leading up to the elections. Apparently, this law is in place to ensure that everyone is sober when they walk up to the ballot box, as well as to prevent candidates from using free drinks as incentives for votes!

Driving in Ecuador

Driving

If you’re accustomed to turning right-on-red, as many do in the US, you might experience some Ecuador culture shock when you start driving.

Strangely enough, right-on-red really isn’t a thing in Ecuador. Instead, expect to see people turning LEFT-on-red and into oncoming traffic while dodging pedestrians!

ALWAYS look and NEVER assume you have the right-of-way!

Banking in Ecuador

Banking

Ecuador is Cash-based

Ecuador is a mostly a cash-based society thanks to a large number of mom-and-pop shops in the country. Consequently, you won’t use debit or credit cards nearly as often as you did back home.

Big stores and chain restaurants do accept them, but you’ll need cash to get through most of your daily interactions. Only a few small stores or restaurants accept cards, so you’ll need to pay with cash most of the time.

Bank Accounts in Ecuador

Since everyone uses cash, there are often really long lines at the bank and in front of ATMs when you go to withdraw money.

Additionally, banks hire armed guards to protect their customers. It’s common to see bank customers carrying bags of money into the bank, so the extra security is a necessity, but the show of force might cause a little Ecuador culture shock on your first few visits to the bank.

Opening a bank account in Ecuador is also different. Instead of opening an account online in just a few clicks, you have to physically visit at a local bank branch. You’ll also need to provide two letters of recommendation to the bank from people who are willing to vouch for you before you can open an account in Ecuador.

Check out our article Money and Banking in Ecuador for more on this topic.

Safety Concerns in Ecuador

Safety Concerns

Expats arriving in Ecuador will be astonished at the number of blatant safety violations that regularly occur. Over time, as you get more familiar with the country and your Ecuador culture shock diminishes, you’ll find these situations less shocking.

Lack of Safety Standards in Ecuador

In Ecuador, you’re pretty much responsible for your own safety since there are very few safety standards in place for workers or for the general public.

There is no OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration like in the US) to create and enforce safety regulations to protect workers from their companies (or from themselves).

Seriously, don’t be surprised to find sidewalks that aren’t blocked off when workers are throwing chunks of cinder blocks from two stories above you. That actually happened to us in Cuenca. You’ll come across similarly dangerous situations all the time.

Keep your eyes open to keep yourself safe. Since Ecuador is a relatively non-litigious society, you don’t have much recourse if something happens. Look out for open trenches, missing manhole covers, and flying cinder blocks.

Weak Building Codes in Ecuador

Like other parts of Latin America, there are plenty of unfinished homes. Unlike in the US, where the dwelling must be inspected and certified as safe before people are allowed to occupy it, many houses in Ecuador are in varying stages of completion.

You’ll see part of the house finished with exposed rebar sticking out of the top floor, waiting for the next addition. This practice is common for several reasons.

First, we’ve heard that homeowners aren’t required to pay taxes until the home is finished so they have a financial incentive to delay completion.

Second, many homeowners build what they can afford and add on as they can afford to build more. Others choose to leave room for potential expansion to accommodate a growing Catholic family.

Finally, some land agreements require construction to begin by a certain date, but there is no requirement to end by a certain date so builders rush to start the project, but then stop once the entry gate is built and a part of the foundation is poured.

No Postal System in Ecuador!

No postal system!

Expats often experience severe Ecuador culture shock when they learn that there’s no coordinated mail delivery system in Ecuador. There are no mail trucks or mail carriers to deliver letters and packages directly to your home or office on a daily basis.

If you need to send things inside Ecuador, there is a private courier service called Servientrega that you can use if necessary. They are affordable and reliable, but we had to go meet our delivery driver in the center of town to get our package. Since exact addresses aren’t common in Ecuador, he couldn’t find our condo building.

Limited Online Shopping in Ecuador

Since there’s no postal system to make regular deliveries, online shopping hasn’t quite caught on in Ecuador. Instead, you’ll need to visit markets and malls to get what you need. This may prompt you, as it has several expats, to adopt a more sustainable, minimalist lifestyle.

Though Amazon claims to deliver to Ecuador, it often takes several weeks or months to receive a package. Even worse, on occasion, packages have been intercepted and held for ransom by customs or shipping agents who require hundreds of dollars to release them!

One friend had a package shipped to Ecuador from Poland by her mother. The shipping costs were prepaid, but when our friend went to pick up the package at the shipping center, she was told that it would cost an additional $100 to get it. If she declined to pay, they would charge her or her mother $200 to to ship it back to Poland. She paid the $100 ransom to the shipping company, which shall remain nameless.

If you’re planning an expat life in Ecuador, it’s best to leave your online shopping habits back home.

Carrying Copies of Government ID Cards

In Ecuador, everyone has a cedula, which is a government-issued ID card. Many Ecuadorians don’t drive, but they must still obtain a cedula if they’re 18 or older.

Since pickpocketing is a common occurrence in Ecuador, and since it’s annoying and costly to go through the process of getting a new cedula, most Ecuadorians leave the original at home and carry a laminated copy or a photo on their mobile phone. However, if you need to conduct legal or financial transactions, you’ll need the original.

Strange Holiday Traditions in Ecuador

Holiday traditions

Christmas in Ecuador

Ecuadorians have a few Christmas traditions that expats will find strange. For Christmas, locals buy dolls that symbolize Baby Jesus, dress them up and carry them around. And there’s even a Baby Jesus parade that takes place every year in Cuenca!

New Years Eve in Ecuador

On New Years’ Eve, Ecuadorians create papier-mâché mannequins called monigotes that look like people they love, people they hate, sports figures, politicians, cartoon characters, animals, or anything else that has personal significance. Then, they tie these dolls to their cars or display them at their houses.

At midnight, to start the new year, they set these dolls on fire and jump over them. As a result, many people are sent to the hospital with severe burns each year. While we have enjoyed this tradition for several years, it still makes us feel a little Ecuador culture shock on occasion.

Carnaval in Ecuador

Like most other South American countries, Carnaval is a huge celebration in Ecuador. The youth have a great time partying, but most of the older Ecuadorians prefer to stay home and safely out of the way.

In a uniquely Ecuadorian twist, these celebrations usually include pelting participants (or complete strangers) with water balloons, water guns, buckets of water, muddy water, eggs, foam—really anything that will make a wet mess!

And you’ll often see young people throwing these things from moving cars so always stay alert when you’re walking around during the week leading up to Carnaval in Ecuador or you risk a wet, messy bout of Ecuador culture shock!

Prostitution is LEGAL in Ecuador

Prostitution

Most expats will find it pretty shocking that prostitution is legal and regulated in Ecuador, especially since Ecuadorians are thought to be very Catholic and conservative.

While it’s still generally frowned upon, it’s not uncommon for married men to frequent some out-of-the-way motels that essentially function as brothels.

There are plenty of motels on the outskirts of town that rent rooms by the hour for this purpose. Most are hidden behind high walls for discretion, but everyone knows what you’re doing if you’re spotted turning into one of these places.

These hourly motels aren’t just for debauchery, though. Since many Ecuadorians live under the same roof as their parents and grandparents, young couples visit these motels for privacy and alone time.

Larger cities like Cuenca and Quito have dedicated red-light districts where prostitutes can easily be found. We’ve been told that the cost is shockingly low for the various services that are provided, while the women are shockingly beautiful.

Ecuador may be a largely Catholic country, but Ecuadorians are very open-minded and liberal about some things. A short walk down any of the beaches in Ecuador will reveal a plethora of dental floss thong bikinis worn by all ages and sizes of women. You may even spot the occasional topless sunbather and speedos are popular with men. You’ll also see sex stores in regular shopping malls and suburban neighborhoods.

When it comes to sex, drugs and alcohol, Ecuador is more like a Mexican soap opera than a conservative 50’s sitcom, which might cause some culture shock for more traditional, conservative expats.

Ecuador Culture Shock Is REAL

Ecuador Culture Shock 101

Expats arriving in Ecuador may do a double-take at many of the strange things Ecuadorians do, but it’s an integral part of the country’s charm. Where else can you routinely see people causally carrying machetes to chop bamboo and perform other jobs? There truly is no place like Ecuador.

Be prepared for some culture shock since there are plenty of significant differences that you’ll encounter. Driving and banking will require some initial adjustment on your part, but you’ll find that these changes are pretty essential to getting along with an Ecuadorian way of life.

Assimilating these new traditions and experiences only adds to the uniqueness of living in Ecuador and getting to know and love the Ecuadorian people.


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Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Ecuador Health Insurance: Private vs. Public IESS – EXPLAINED (2021)

Health insurance in Ecuador can be complicated and confusing, so we were very fortunate to have Carlos Ramírez from Blue Box Insurance stop by to explain it to us.

Blue Box is an insurance broker representing several health, auto and home insurance companies in Ecuador. They have an office in Cuenca, and they will be opening an office in Manta in April 2021.

We are not being compensated for this article, other than the time Carlos donated for the interview and for answering our questions about health insurance and healthcare in Ecuador.

Health Insurance in Ecuador Explained

Ecuador Health Insurance

Universal participation has provided Ecuador with an excellent healthcare system. Medical procedures are a fraction of the cost in the US, and the quality of care is high.

Health Insurance in Ecuador is a bit different than the United States. You have the option of getting Private Health Insurance with one of Ecuador’s many health insurance companies.

Or, you can sign up for the Public IESS Health Insurance, which is Ecuador’s version of Universal Healthcare (Medicare/Medicaid). You’ll need your Temporary Residency Visa AND your cédula before you can apply for this plan.

Or, you can get both Private AND Public Health Insurance to make sure ALL your bases are covered. Since the cost of healthcare and health insurance in Ecuador is so much more affordable than in the United States, this is a viable option for many people.

The decision then comes down to a few significant distinctions: price, flexibility, and treatment of pre-existing conditions. Here’s what you can expect regarding each of those considerations for private insurance and the IESS. Hopefully, this information will help you choose which option or combination might work best for you.

Private Health Insurance in Ecuador

In Ecuador, there are 28 private health insurance companies to choose from. They provide health insurance that allows you to visit any private doctor and receive any treatment in Ecuador at private hospitals. Some plans even cover treatments outside of Ecuador.

Monthly premiums are generally affordable but can vary according to your current health factors (age, smoking, pre-existing conditions, etc.), coverage maximums, and the deductible that you choose. There are no network limitations like you’ll encounter using the public IESS plan.

For private insurance, in addition to the monthly premium, you can expect to pay a deductible on an annual or per-incident basis. You’ll also be responsible for a small co-pay for each doctor’s visit or prescription.

Ninety percent of in-network healthcare costs are covered, and 80% of costs out-of-network are covered by private insurance companies. Submit a claim, and the insurance company will reimburse you.

The government mandates coverage of pre-existing conditions, but there is a two-year waiting period before those treatments must be covered by private insurance. You’ll also have to secure private insurance before you go through the residency requirements of obtaining your cédula (Ecuadorian National Resident ID card).

Ecuador Public IESS Health Insurance

IESS Hospital in Manta Ecuador

Once you have received your cédula, you can sign up for the public IESS health insurance plan. The IESS is the national social security healthcare system that all Ecuadorians must pay into unless they obtain private coverage.

Under the IESS coverage, expect no co-pays or deductible and all medical costs are covered at 100%. However, you will be restricted to the doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies within the IESS network unless you are referred elsewhere after seeking treatment from an IESS facility.

All pre-existing conditions are fully covered after a 3-month waiting period, which is often why expats choose to have both IESS and private coverage at the same time.

Health Insurance Deductibles in Ecuador

Private health insurance providers in Ecuador offer both low and high deductible plans. A plan with a low $100 annual deductible will cost more than a plan with a high $5,000 annual deductible.

You’ll have to pay up to this amount before your private insurance coverage kicks in, but you can also purchase additional gap insurance for as little as $40/month to cover the deductible.

Your premium will depend on the maximum major medical coverage level you choose and how high you’d like your deductible to be. The higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. There are plenty of coverage levels to fit most budgets, as you can see in the examples below.

Health Insurance Prices in Ecuador

Overall, both health insurance and healthcare are very affordable in Ecuador, especially compared to the United States.

Ecuador Private Health Insurance Cost

Here are some examples of current private insurance rates for an average 65-year-old.

Total Coverage Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
$100,000 per incident $180 $220-$230
$500,000 annual $5,000 $70
Up to $6,000 (Vida Buena) $39.20

For some, combining private plans makes the most sense. Combining the Vida Buena plan for about $40 per month with a plan that covers up to $500,000 per year with a high deductible will cost about $110.

Effectively, by paying for both, you’ll avoid paying the high deductible and have substantial coverage in place for major medical emergencies.

Ecuador Public IESS Health Insurance Cost

Ecuadorian nationals pay a percentage of their claimed income into the IESS system as their monthly premium.

Expats who choose IESS insurance are permitted to pay a voluntary amount based on the minimum wage, which is about $72 per month.

Again, there are no deductibles or copays and all medical care is covered at 100%. You just have to pay the monthly premium to access services in the IESS network.

Health Insurance Claims Reimbursement in Ecuador

Claims Reimbursement

With the IESS, you won’t need to do anything other than pay your premium to access national healthcare services.

Filing Claims with Private Health Insurance

Private insurance companies require that you to pay for healthcare services out-of-pocket before you can submit claims for each visit, procedure, or prescription that you’d like to have reimbursed.

You have three months (90 days) to submit each bill using a reimbursement claims form. Don’t wait too long to submit the paperwork in case additional documentation is required. Try to submit medical bills with the accompanying claims forms as soon as possible. Your insurance broker can assist you with preparing these claims forms and submitting them correctly.

If your insurance provider initially denies your claim for any reason, you can appeal the decision to the Superintendencia de Companias, who will review the request and make a final decision. If your paperwork is in order for a valid claim, the insurance company will likely be ordered to reimburse you. Otherwise, your claim can be denied.

This appeal process can take 3-5 months for a final decision, but it is free for you to apply. You have the option to file with the Superintendencia on your own, with the help of an insurance agent who’s familiar with the process, or through the free services of a public defender in Ecuador.

What if I can’t afford to pay for expensive medical services out-of-pocket?

Ecuador Health Insurance Filing Claims

Even though healthcare in Ecuador is far less expensive than it is in the United States, complicated treatments can still cost $20,000 or even more.

With private health insurance in Ecuador, you are normally required to pay for the services out-of-pocket and then file a claim to be reimbursed. However, what happens if you need expensive services like heart surgery or cancer treatment and you can’t afford to pay the entire hospital bill while you wait to be reimbursed?

If your treatment is NOT an emergency, you can get pre-approval from your insurance company and then you would only be responsible for paying the regular copays and deductibles.

If your treatment is the result of an emergency, such as an expensive surgery following a car accident, then you will only be required to cover the copay and deductible as long as you go to an in-network hospital. If you go to an out-of-network hospital, you will need to pay for all the services rendered before leaving the hospital.

However, if your emergency treatment is at an out-of-network hospital and you cannot afford to pay the entire bill, it is possible to submit a letter of commitment to pay to the hospital, which will mean you are legally required to pay the hospital even if the insurance company denies your claim.

This is another reason why it’s a good idea to work with an insurance broker like Carlos at Blue Box Insurance to help you negotiate this process.

If you do not have health insurance, you will be required to pay the entire amount before leaving the hospital.

Conclusion

The insurance framework in Ecuador makes it easy for residents to secure affordable coverage. Your best bet is to go through the options available and choose what will best meet your needs. An insurance agent can help you find what you’re looking for and secure that coverage.

There are plenty of significant differences between private and public health insurance and benefits to carrying one type or the other, or even both at the same time. Regardless of your decision, there are plenty of coverage variations for you to find quality, affordable health insurance solutions in Ecuador for your needs.

If you have more questions about health insurance or healthcare in Ecuador, we recommend contacting a health insurance agent/broker directly for more detailed or specific answers. To get in touch with Carlos and his team at Blue Box Insurance, please visit their website at BlueBoxInsurance.com and be sure to tell them you saw this video on Live Abroad Now.

You might also be interested in our article about the Cost of Living in Ecuador: A Guide for Expat Budgeting.


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Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!

Schools in Ecuador: Public, Private, International & Homeschooling

If you have school aged children and you’re considering a move abroad, you have several different options for schools in Ecuador.

In this interview with Jason and Michelle from ExpatsEcuador.com, you’ll learn about the different types of schools (public, private, international and homeschooling) as well as the pros and cons, and cost of each option.

Michelle is an Ecuadorian from Quito with two children while Jason is an expat from Australia. They met here in Ecuador and got married, making them a blended family.

Their perspective may be a little different than parents with expat children since Michelle’s kids speak Spanish natively. However, they are extremely familiar with the various school options in Ecuador, especially the cost/quality comparison.

Head over to ExpatsEcuador.com: Schools in Ecuador for a detailed analysis of the different school options and costs associated with each.


Follow Us on Social Media

Download Our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator

Ecuador Costs of Moving and LivingEach Friday, we send out a newsletter with some expat-relevant news from Ecuador. It's a great way to stay up-to-date with what's going on in Ecuador.

In addition, you'll gain immediate access to our Ecuador Cost of Moving & Living Calculator after you opt-in to our newsletter. It now contains a Low Budget Cost of Living option. You can opt-out at any time and we promise never to spam you.

Get Even More Personalized Information

We have a supportive community of current and future expats on Patreon who are eager to share their experiences, answer questions and provide support to help take the mystery out of your move.

Plus, you'll gain immediate access to dozens of patron-only videos and posts, and your support helps us continue sharing this magical country with you.

Disclaimer

We are not responsible for your use of the information contained in our videos, articles or linked from our web pages. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information. However, news, laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, etc. are often open to interpretation, change frequently and sometimes we make mistakes, so please check the links we reference before making decisions or travel plans. If you spot a mistake, please let us know so we can attempt to correct it.

We are not able to meet with anyone in real life. We would love to meet all of our patrons and subscribers in person, but for time and safety reasons (covid) we can only meet virtually over on Patreon and in our Discord community. Thanks for understanding!