Cost of Living in Quito, Ecuador

  Cost of Living in Quito, Ecuador  

Ecuador in general is one of the most affordable countries to live in. Some areas, especially rural towns, tend to be cheaper than others, but no matter where you live it is easy to do so on a fraction of North American costs.

The cost of living in Quito is no exception. You can spend as much as you want in Quito, but most people live a comfortable lifestyle for $2,000 or less per month. And as most neighborhoods have restaurants, shops, and food markets you’ll save big on transportation costs when you shop local.

If you buy your own house or condo upfront you’ll save on monthly rent payment, but even so rentals can be quite affordable. A nicely furnished one-bedroom apartment in the Financial District can cost as little as $400 per month. Larger spaces and certain neighborhoods will cost more, but deals can always be found if you’re willing to put in the legwork. Making friends with locals can go a long way towards finding good-value housing as many opportunities are only found through word of mouth.

It’s easy to save money on groceries as well. With so many fruits and vegetables grown in Ecuador the price of produce is low. And you’ll find better deals at local farmer’s markets than you’ll see in the chain grocery stores. You’ll spend much more if you must have name-brand products from North America, but if you can adapt to the Ecuadorean equivalents your grocery bill will shrink considerably. The sample budget below accounts for a mix of both worlds and assumes that you buy mostly local products while allowing for some comfort foods from back home.

Here are a few prices for staple foods in Quito: One dozen free-range eggs: $1.30; one gallon of milk: $3; 10 bakery bread rolls: $1.30; six large tomatoes: $1; and two mangos: $1.

Eating out and entertainment is affordable as well. For example, dinner at a high-end Indian restaurant in the Mariscal District of Quito will cost less than two-thirds what it would at a similar establishment in Seattle. But many low budget options abound as well. A lunch complete with soup, salad, rice, potatoes, chicken, and juice can be had at any number of diners for $3. And you can find plenty or restaurants that fit somewhere between those two examples.

Recent musical events include a jazz concert where tickets were sold for $5 apiece. Entrance to a performance by the National Symphony of Ecuador could be had for $10 per person. And not long ago a chocolate expo came to Quito where visitors could sample treats from around the country for $5 each.

If you opt to not own a car you can expect to pay $12 for a taxi ride from one end of the city to the other. City buses charge 25 cents per person and run anywhere you might want to go.

Here is a sample budget for a couple living well in Quito. The expenses are approximate, but we’ve erred on the side of extra spending to come up with a budget that allows for a comfortable lifestyle for two people for $1,850 a month.

 

Housing: (rental of a luxury two-bedroom apartment): $800

Utilities: (including phone, Internet, and CATV): $150

Maid: (twice a week): $60

Groceries: $375

Maintenance and fuel for one car: $150

Clothing: $70

Entertainment: (two people dining out eight times a month at top restaurants or other entertainment): $225

Health care: (four $30 visits to a doctor per year for two people, divided by 12 months): $20

 

Total per month: $1,850

Total per year: $22,200

 

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Archives

Quito

My Love Affair With Ecuador’s Capital City

From the moment my husband Tyler and I landed in Quito with our two kids, two-and-a-half years ago for his assignment at the U.S. Embassy, I knew the city was one of the most beautiful I’d ever seen. We’d lived in the U.S. and other countries around the world but we immediately fell in love with Quito. We’ve always enjoyed the places we’ve lived in but I haven’t adored a city in the way I adore Quito since I lived in my hometown of Chicago.

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