Yes, Ecuador is cheap, but it depends a lot on how you play the game.
For someone who wants to move to Ecuador without a large pension or nest egg, here is what needs to be done.
First, look for cheap flights to Ecuador, the cheapest are from Miami and New York. During the low seasons (May to November) you can find flights starting for around $350 round trip.
Next, know what to bring down.
Clothing and electronics are more expensive down here in Ecuador so bring down everything you will need in that regard…digital camera, laptop, dress clothes and shoes, etc.
Once in Ecuador, don’t spend a lot of time in hotels. But DONT look for long term rentals online either!
Come to Ecuador first, stay in a hotel, then once here on the ground, get to work on finding a place to rent.
You don’t want to agree to a long term rental (and even send a deposit) before you see the place and the surrounding area (I have been burned like this).
Then, once in Ecuador in a cheap hotel you found on hostelworld.com, buy the local paper (in Quito it is El Comercio). Check the classifieds for rentals, and solicit assistance from a local friend or the receptionist of your hotel when calling the ads in the paper (for language help).
Looking for rentals in this way, you could find a room in an apartment starting around $150/month or a small suite-apartment starting around $350/month. In the small towns it is even cheaper to rent.
Then, once you find a place to stay, locate the nearest supermarket and grocery shop. Cooking can save you several hundred dollars a month on food and is healthier than always eating in the street.
If you don’t know how to cook or don’t want to, I recommend eating heavy during lunch, when you can buy a plate lunch in Ecuador for $2, and eat light snacks for breakfast and dinner.
Then, to get around… please see part 2 of this article when published in a couple days, thanks…
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