Rent overseas before you buy. That’s good advice for anyone looking to try a new country on for size. Despite its incredibly low real estate costs, Ecuador is no exception.
(After all, not everybody wants to buy a two-bedroom beach condo or an apartment in an historic World Heritage city for less than $50,000.)
Fortunately, rental costs in Ecuador are very affordable, too.
In Cotacachi—the sweet Andean artisan village where I live—an expat who has decided to move to the coast, recently sent out this e-mail: “I have an apartment for rent that, for the money, is a great deal. It is a completely bare, one-bedroom place (no fridge, stove or anything else), but for $100 a month it is a great space.”
Of course, an unfurnished apartment means you’ll need to buy furniture. But still, an apartment with a monthly price tag that’s the cost of a fancy meal back home? Not a bad deal.
Admittedly, furnished rentals are harder to come by here in Cotacachi, thanks to the growing number of expats coming to check out the lifestyle options of our quiet little village. Still, we know of furnished rentals available for about $200 a month. And it’s possible to sublet a home or apartment short-term from a fellow expat who’s going back to the States or Canada for a visit.
Rent in the larger cities in Ecuador
In larger cities, like cosmopolitan Quito or popular Cuenca, you may pay more. But not a lot: $500 to $600 a month gets you a furnished three-bedroom apartment in central Quito.
In Cuenca, a two- or three-bedroom apartment or house (maybe near the river) rents for around $400 a month.
In rural Vilcabamba in southern Ecuador…at a lower elevation and therefore warmer than Quito, Cuenca or Cotacachi…an expat couple has renovated a 6,000-square-foot house and is offering fully furnished and equipped apartments for rent. You can rent a room with a shared kitchen for $180 a month or a three-bedroom apartment for $550 a month.
The cost of living is also low in Ecuador
So what are you waiting for? Daily living costs here are so affordable…even more so when you have a kitchen to cook in. At the local farmers’ markets you can buy enough fresh produce for $5 to last you a week or more. Bakeries sell fresh bread hot from the oven for 50 cents or less. Delicious 22-ounce bottles of Pilsener beer sell for 75 cents. You can get your haircut for $3, hire someone to clean your apartment for $5 or +$10, take the bus anywhere in the country for about $1 an hour…
Whether it’s for a month or a year or forever…now is the time to check out Ecuador.
Editor’s note: International Living’s Fast Track Ecuador Conference takes place in August. Suzan will there with our other Ecuador experts to take you step-by-step toward the perfect destination in this country for you.
We expect seats to sell extremely quickly when we open registrations next week.
Today is your last chance to register early and guarantee your place. Simply sign up for the “First in Line” list. You’ll have plenty of time to find out what’s on the Conference schedule…even contribute to it, if there’s something specific on Ecuador you want covered. Review the details, check your travel plans…and, if you choose, get an advance seat…all before most people are even allowed to register.
This “First in Line” service is free. All you need to do is let us know you’re interested.