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An Expat Guide to Ecuador

Ecuador is equator in Spanish, and the country lies directly on it. With a beautiful coast,Quito, Ecuador Amazon jungles, and cosmopolitan cities with a low cost of living, Ecuador has a lot to offer expats. Learn about working and living in Ecuador.  

Working in Ecuador

Have a job lined up before you move to Ecuador. Currently, this country may be a better destination for retirees, as jobs are currently tight. English teachers are the exception; they are in high demand in elementary, secondary and collegiate education, as well as in private institutes aimed at adult learners. Expats looking for work in other areas will need to speak Spanish, which is the official language. Work permits and a professional visa are required; visit an embassy for more information.


The cost of living in Ecuador is low. The official currency is the US dollar, and opening a bank account takes just your passport. Cash is the preferred payment options, especially in taxis, small shops and public transit. Keep plenty of small bills and coins on hand, as it can be difficult to get change for large bills.  

Lifestyle in Ecuador

Ecuador gets 12 hours of daylight every day of the year. Ecuador has an Amazon rainforest region to the east, coastal landscape to the west along the Pacific Ocean, mountain ranges that include the Andes, and the Galapagos Islands, each with their own distinct climate and weather patterns.

Housing in Ecuador is affordable, although construction standards are not on par with US. Before signing a lease or paying a deposit, be sure that lights, faucets, showers, toilets, electrical outlets and other items work. Additionally, beware of price inflation for foreigners; it may be helpful to bring an Ecuadorian friend along when negotiating rental contracts and signing leases.

Guayaquil is the largest city in the country, and is popular with retirees. It’s located on the southwestern coast. Quito is the capitol and the second largest city in Ecuador with a population of over 2.6 million. is located inland amongst the Andes mountains. Outside of the larger cities, you’ll need to drive; Quito and Guayaquil have robust public transportation systems. Be mindful of safety, especially in the cities, as expats have been the targets of violent crime.

Outdoor lovers enjoy the numerous hiking opportunities Ecuador has to offer. If you’re up for a challenge, backpacking through the Andes mountains is always an option. City parks and scenic Pacific Ocean beaches are available for recreation as well. And you’ll be near the famous Galapagos Islands. It’s only a short flight away and if you become a resident of Ecuador, you’ll get a discount on your entry fee.

Ecuador is internationally known for its arts and crafts. This stems from the country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Many residents enjoy local markets filled with goods such as ceramics, clothing, wood carvings and more. And with the climate, local produce is always in abundance.

Moving with Kids

Ecuador has an improving public education system, with instruction in Spanish. Most expat kids attend private, international schools in Quito. If you’re moving with kids, you may want to find housing in a gated community, since foreigners can be criminal targets.

Moving to Ecuador

Weigh the pros and cons of moving to Ecuador carefully before you go. No matter the reason for your  move, you’ll need an experienced moving company to handle the transportation and moving process.

Categories: International Moves