Cost of Living in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

  Cost of Living in Vilcabamba  

Expats who live here report that their cost of living in Vilcabamba is low. Consider the spring-like weather all year, the large variety of fresh-grown fruits and vegetables available and the stunning mountain scenery and it’s no surprise that Vilcabamba has been appealing to expats for years. Those who live here can enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle at or below half the cost of many places in North America.

 

The temperate climate cuts down on utility costs as there is no need for heating or air conditioning in houses. The fact that many foods can be grown nearby and all year round means great savings in grocery bills. And life in a small town makes getting around by foot very easy. When longer trips are necessary public transportation is readily available and inexpensive so most expats don’t bother owning vehicles—another huge savings for the pocketbook!

 

Average costs for electric usage costs between $10 to $20 per month. Propane used for cooking and hot water typically runs between $5 and $7.50 depending upon the household.

 

The cost of groceries can vary wildly depending on a couple’s diet and preferences. But in general you can count on saving a good amount of money on food and basic needs in Vilcabamba. Fruits and vegetables are often half the cost of what a grocery store in the U.S. would charge. Eggs from free-range chickens will cost under $2 per dozen. And a dozen freshly baked dinner rolls can be had for $1.20.

 

You’ll find that after a few month of living in Vilcabamba you’ll find the stores with the best deals and which market vendors will throw a few extra goodies in your basket for free. Your new expat friends will also be full of great information on money saving tips and tricks in this part of the world.

 

Meat products tend to cost about the same as what you would pay in North America. And any imported goods like wines, special sauces, and name brand cereals will all cost a bit more. If you don’t mind adapting to what is available locally you can save considerably on your grocery expenses here in the southern Andes.

 

Look below for two comparisons of monthly budgets for life in Vilcabamba. One showcases how a couple could live nicely on a relatively small fixed income while the other explores a more luxurious lifestyle.

 

Example #1 – Life on a Budget in Vilcabamba:

 

Housing: $300 for a modest two-bedroom apartment, furnished.

 

Utilities (including phone, Internet and CATV): $175

 

Transportation (four round-trip bus rides to Loja for two people per month plus taxi fares): $20

 

Groceries: $350

 

Clothing: $50

 

Entertainment (two people dining out six times per month, with drinks, dessert, tip): $200

 

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

 

Water rights (for one family—this can vary by neighborhood): $5

 

Total per month: $1,120

 

Total per year: $13,440

 

Example #2 – Luxury Living in Vilcabamba

 

Housing: $1,250 (three-bedroom furnished house on private lot with access to tennis courts and horse stables)

 

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

 

Maid (twice a week): $92

 

Groceries: $500 (this takes into account purchasing many imported or high-end products from a Loja supermarket)

 

Maintenance and fuel for one car: $175

 

Clothing: $50

 

Entertainment (two people dining out eight times per month, with drinks, dessert, tip): $270

 

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

 

Water rights (for one family—this can vary by neighborhood): $5

 

Total per month: $2,512

 

Total per year: $30,144

 

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Vilcabamba

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