If you think that living the life along the equator is enticing, then you may want to consider Ecuador as your choice for retirement. Despite being one of the smallest countries in South America, it boasts of a rich culture, interesting historical cities, ancient ruins, rainforests and miles of beaches.
About the Republic of Ecuador
The Republic of Ecuador have four distinct regions. It is known as the land of contrasts because of the varied landscapes of these regions.
The first is the Amazon Rainforest that can be found on the innermost region. Despite being associated with Brazil, this rainforest is actually so big that it spills over a lot of countries. It occupies nearly half of the Ecuador territory. Climate in the rainforest is tropical at best.
The second region is the Andean Highlands, which incidentally is part of the longest mountain range on earth. The part running along Ecuador is considered as having one of the most concentrated volcanoes. With over 30 peaks, this place is known as the Avenue of Volcanoes. Cotopaxi in particular is the world’s highest volcano that remains active until today. Because of the high altitude, climate in this area is chilly with snow capped mountaintops.
The third region is right along the Pacific Ocean – the Coastal Lowlands. This is where you find the miles of beaches and a rich marine wildlife. Climate in this area of the country is tropical thanks to the proximity of the Pacific.
Lastly, you have the Galapagos Islands that is found on the western side of the country. It is remote and somewhat isolated from the mainland but it still gets so much attention from visitors. It is a group of 19 islands, 13 of which are considered main islands and 6 as smaller isles. These islands are known for the unique wildlife thriving in it. This is believed to be the place of inspiration for the Theory of Natural Selection by Charles Darwin. The climate along these cluster of islands are mostly warm, sunny with rain showers.
Life of Ecuadorians
Living in Ecuador exposes you to a lot of possibilities of exploration. While the above mentioned regions are worth visiting, most foreigners are intrigued with the ancient ruins of the Incas. Cuenca, is listed among the list of UNESCO World Heritage for having a significant number of historical buildings.
Choosing a region to live in will depend on what you are most passionate about. If you like the cold, historical and cultural places, you may want to reside along the Andean Highlands. Quito, Cuenca, Baños and Ambato are only a few of the cities where you can experience the heart and soul of the country. If you wish for the tropical life, you need to head out to either the Coastal Lowlands or the Galapagos Islands. For the more adventurous and nature thrill seekers, exploring the Amazon may be an appealing activity so you need to choose among the inner cities of Ecuador.
The language in this country is mostly Spanish although places where tourists frequent have some English speakers within them. If you wish to live here, especially in one of the rural places, you have to learn the language. Ecuadorians are generally friendly and warm towards foreigners so they are tolerant of any broken Spanish – as long as you are trying.
The cuisine varies depending on where you are staying. The highlands prefer potatoes while the coastal areas love to eat rice. Soup is almost always a staple at lunch and dinner. People on a budget would do well to order breakfast as it is one of the cheapest meal in Ecuador.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Ecuador is very cheap. In fact, you can live for less than $700 a month quite comfortably. Although some of the foreigners living there say that prices have gone up, it is still relatively cheaper compared to the United States.
Here are the common expenses that one will need to live comfortably. The prices are taken from the Numbeo website who collate price information from various individuals.
Food: Inexpensive restaurant ($3/meal), Fastfood ($5/meal), Beer ($1/0.5 liter), Soda ($0.75/0.33 liter), Water ($0.45/0.33 liter), Milk ($17/liter), Rice ($0.61/kg), Bread ($1.25/loaf), Chicken ($5/kg), Fruits (ave $1.6/kg), Egg ($1.85/dozen), Vegetables (ave $1/kg), Wine ($10/mid range)
Transportation: Local transport ($0.25/one-way, $16monthly pass), Taxi ($1/start, $1/km), Gasoline ($0.39/liter)
Home: Utilities ($30), Internet ($50/Unlimited Data, 6Mbps), Rent City Centre ($350/mo/1bd, $500/mo/3bd), Rent Outside of Centre ($250/mo/1bd, $400/mo/3bd)
Sports and Leisure: Fitness Club ($35/month), Cinema ($4.5/seat)
Clothing: Jeans (ave $65/pair), Dress (ave $38.5/pc), Shoes (ave $55/leather, $120/rubber shoes)
Combining the low cost of living, variety in natural resources, rich culture, modernization and friendly locals, Ecuador is one of the best places to retire in. Being in close proximity to the United States, this may be a popular choice for retiring individuals.