7 Negatives to Life in Ecuador

This week on the Insider’s Newsletter I covered 7 big negatives to life in Ecuador…

I love living in Ecuador but it’s not all peachy like you’ve probably read elsewhere…

Many ask, “If Ecuador’s so great, why hasn’t prices shot up already like they did in Costa Rica?” The short answer is that it’s a little further away and not as discovered, but there are other reasons some choose NOT to invest in Ecuador.

7. Prices of consumer goods: It’s true that housing, food, transport and medical costs are all significantly cheaper in Ecuador than in the US/Europe. BUT costs of consumer goods like digital cameras, computers and brand-name clothes are often around double that of the States thanks to the import taxes imposed by the government.

6. Lack of expat community: 90% of the people who write me say they’re looking for cheap property near things to do. Well, the coast of Ecuador is, uh, rural, so in many areas there aren’t many “social” things to do (But Manta is an exception, the coast’s largest city with plenty to do.)

5. Lack of public golf courses: All the golf courses I know of in Ecuador are private, meaning you have to know someone (or do someone a sexual favor) just to get on the green. This could change shortly though. If there is a new public course available I’m unaware of please write me.

4. Price of air tickets from the US: The cheapest ticket I’ve ever found was $250 one way from Miami to Quito. Roundtrip the cheapest out there start around $350/400. Other Latin destinations closer to home usually can be a little cheaper than that these days.

3. Can’t drive there, or bring used cars: As mentioned a few weeks ago, its difficult to bring used cars to Ecuador and you can’t simply drive them down (no road connects North and South America).

2. Left-leaning president: The current president Rafael Correa is left-leaning but he’s studied Economy in Europe and is not nearly as extremist as Chavez. Since he’s came to office with the exception of a few blips, business has hummed along as usual but things have gotten a bit more orderly and for the first time people feel like they have to pay taxes (annoying the country’s rich). Ecuador can’t close itself, it needs the outside world, foreign investment and tourism. And besides, the Ecuadorian people are capitalists, through and through, and are a small, peaceful bunch who generally like foreigners (you’re probably taller than most of them).

1. Cloudy coast: Most of the Ecuador coast is overcast most of the year. Though, there are a few areas that get more sun. For instance, on the southern coast the sunny season with sapphire blue water is from January to early April, the rest of the year is mostly overcast. But I like it though cause I burn easy.

Ecuador’s food, culture, people, weather, and business opps are amazing, but it’s helpful to have someone tell you a few of the negatives before you invest on that flight down.

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3 Responses to “7 Negatives to Life in Ecuador”

  1. Steve says:

    7. Consumer goods are the double in CR too.
    6. Well who cares, it I live abroad it’s to stay with people from that country, or I’ll stay home…
    5. Ahahahaha speechless
    4. You are not European, should I say more?
    3. Ok about importing, roads? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan-American_Highway
    2. Well, look at the state of the world, it’ because of greedy right winged gov’s, but I can understand that from someone that says that lack of golf courses are a problem…
    1. Ok, weather is weather.

    TLDR: First world problems…

  2. RonArt says:

    You left out a few important things. 1) Petty theft is rampant. 2) You are showering in water with germs. 3) drinking non-bottled water may/will kill you. 4) While medical facilities are great in the big cities like Quito and Guayaquil, they are horrible elsewhere. 5) you cannot flush toilet paper. 6) You could do better living in a pup tent in your home country.

  3. Tara says:

    1.The left-leaning president is the reason I’m moving to Ecuador. Look what has happened to the US in the last 30 years–it’s a corrupt shit hole with legalized murder and indefinite detention of it’s citizens written into law -Patriot Act, NDAA. The same fucked up IMF and ECB that propped up dictators all over Latin America until the 90’s are now raping the Euro zone countries and the US is next –that’s why I’m leaving and whether you admit it or not–you would not live in Ecuador under a dictator. Correa and Chavez were democratic elections and even returned to power after failed CIA backed coups. The indigenous people are in charge as they should be–not some Europeans or Asians who proved they are only puppets of the multinationals. And if you want to live around some expats–who are all fat, ex-military looking for sex with young girls go to Costa Rica or the Phillipines. The infrastructure is solid, surplus in the economy and it’s people are rising out of poverty.
    That’s where the import tariffs go–education, discounts for the elderly, transportation etc. Those same tariffs built America and it’s middle class. So called free trade ruined America, Mexico, the Carribean and there is rampant poverty and out of control crime related to the drug trade which is the only game in town. Petty theft and pick pockets–how about mass murder at the local high school, more citizens in prison than in country,
    1/3 of every tax dollar goes to the war machine aka Pentagon. America spends more money on so called “defense” than ALL other countries combined. America makes nothing but weapons and starts wars around the world to keep the customers coming back for more. I know what I say but you look it up for yourself before you try to dispute these facts. Ecuador was voted best place to retire in the world by International Living 2009, 2010, and 2011. Keep Ecuador beautiful and free of traffic by using bikes, buses, scooters, etc. walking is good for you too–keeps the fat off and is theraputic. Buses and taxis are so cheap I don’t see how anyone could complain.

    RonArt–so what you are saying is all the Ecuadorians that don’t drink bottled water or dead or dying–not likely. Water from the tap can be microwaved for 60 seconds or heated on the stove to kill germs if there is any question. Or add a few drops of bleach to a gallon-check google for ratio and no you won’t smell or taste it. The germs you shower with with not hurt you as much the chlorine will as it goes right through your skin into your bloodstream–that’s why they call it poison. Every germ is not a bad germ and you could not live without them so chill the fuck out.

    Only Americans complain like this. In a few years when everyone with the means will be trying to leave America and Europe as their economies continue to implode–immigration policies will change overnight and it may become impossible or too expensive. So try to appreciate that fact that your got out in time if nothing else.

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