Moving to Ecuador: Things you should know before you immigrate to Ecuador

With a thriving expat scene and exotic scenery, Ecuador is rapidly becoming one of the more popular expat destinations. The well-known Galapagos islands are part of Ecuador but they are not the only thing that draws people to this nation on the Pacific Ocean. Mainland Ecuador also has lots to offer with its varied landscape and diverse cultural life. So it comes as no surprise that many people consider moving to Ecuador. With our guide below, you will exactly know what life in Ecuador entails.

International removals to Ecuador with Eurosender

Ecuador has about the same size as Germany but that is about all the two countries have in common. With a diverse population consisting of people from Mestizo, European, African and Asian descent, Ecuador is one of the most culturally diverse countries in Latin America. And even though Spanish is the official language in Ecuador, there are 13 indigenous languages spoken in different parts of the country. All of this is also reflected in the architecture of the country, which is an eclectic mix between traditional and modern buildings. With so much diversity in such a relatively small country, it seems logical that many people consider moving to Ecuador from the USA. With affordable flights available all year long, one can easily go back home to visit family and friends and still enjoy the perks of living in Ecuador. However, excess luggage is extremely expensive and often doesn’t even allow you to bring everything that you want. With Eurosender, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now it doesn’t matter whether you want to ship your furniture, your own mattress or even your personal drumkit. With shipping arranged by Eurosender, you can be sure that you have the fastest and cheapest options available for getting your personal belongings to your new location.

When you want to start a new life in the Republic of Ecuador, you should start with the basics. Take a look at the table below and you can join any conversation about Ecuador.

CapitalQuito, which with 2.7 million inhabitants also the largest city in Ecuador.
TimezoneIn Ecuador, there is only 1 time zone: UTC-5
CurrencyUnited States dollar (USD)
PopulationEcuador has a population of a little more than 16 million inhabitants.
How do you call someone from Ecuador?Ecuadorian
Official languageThe official language is Spanish. Besides that, indigenous languages, such as Kichwa and Shuar, also have the status of recognized regional language.
International dialing code+593
Emergency number911 (for an emergency) 131(ambulance) 101 (police) 102 (Fire department)
DrivingRight side
TippingWages are included in the bill and tipping is not obligatory.
Unusual factEcuador is named after the equator that runs right through the country.

Relocating from the USA to Ecuador may seem a bit daunting at first. Finding employment, obtaining the necessary visas and permits, looking for living space and building a new network of friends, all of this can be interesting and scary at the same time. So, bringing your personal belonging from home can make you feel at ease in your new surrounding. Eurosender can help you with international removals to Ecuador. With the support of our experienced logistics experts, you will experience seamless door-to-door delivery. We can help you ship your luggage or your entire inventory on pallets. When your items exceed standard measurements, you can always ask for an individual offer, tailor-made to your needs.

Living in Ecuador

Choosing for adventure and moving to Ecuador may be the most exciting thing you have ever done in your life. Language, culture and the climate, they will probably all differ from your home country or the place you currently reside. This is what other expatriates before you witnessed when they relocated to Ecuador.

  • The short distances in Ecuador allow you to have breakfast in the Andes and eat your dinner on the Amazon when traveling.
  • Guinea pigs are considered a culinary delicacy, in contrary to most of the western world, where they are seen as adorable pets.
  • Ecuador has been chosen several times as the best location for expats globally.

Another thing to keep in mind when living in Ecuador is that there are 4 different climatic zones.

  • La Costa (i.e. the coast)
  • La Sierra (i.e. the highlands)
  • La Amazonia/ La Oriente (i.e. the East)
  • La Region Insular (i.e. the Galapagos islands)

Visa Regulations for Ecuador

When you decide to move to Ecuador, you need to have your documents in order. Below you see the general visa options you have.

  • Tourist visa: Visitors from most countries don’t have to apply for this and can stay visa-free up to 90 days as a tourist. For those who don’t have this option, you can apply for a visa at the nearest Ecuadorian embassy or consulate.
  • Non-Resident Visa: Consisting of 12 different types of visas, this is the most common type of visa for people who want to study, work or want to do business in Ecuador.
  • Resident Visa: The resident visa is more aimed at retirees and investors and involves more paperwork than the Non-Resident Visa.

Healthcare in Ecuador

There are two kinds of healthcare available in Ecuador: Public and Private. Public healthcare in Ecuador has a bad rep but after major improvements to the system, starting in 2006, there has been an impressive improvement in conditions. However, most expats still opt for private healthcare as the overall quality is much higher. Make sure that you have a credit card with you when visiting a hospital or clinic. You often have to pay in cash and are then reimbursed afterward.

School and education

The education system can be easily understood with the table below.

Type of education Number of years
Primary education6 years
Secondary education6 years
Post-Secondary education2 years
Bachelor’s degree4 years
Master’s degree2 years
Doctorate’s 3-6 years

Even though education is compulsory for 9 years and free of charge, no less than 25% of children drop out before reaching 6th grade. Schools in Ecuador often struggle with a lack of funds and staff.
Expats usually favor private education where there is a good student-teacher ratio and the possibility of education in English.

The job market in Ecuador

The two biggest sectors of the Ecuadorian economy traditionally are agriculture and oil. However, these days you can also find many multinationals with offices in Ecuador. Some other things to consider are:

  • There are 4 Free Trade Zones (FTZ’s) in Ecuador that create a great stimulus for companies and expats to start a business in the sector of production/manufacturing, tourism or other service industries. Other benefits of the FTZ’s are being located near airports, having their own security and companies active in an FTZ, are exempt from practically all import duties and taxes.
  • To work in Ecuador you need a work permit, which you need to apply for at the Ecuadorian embassy or consulate in your home country.
  • Doing business in Ecuador is more based on people than on schedules and frameworks.
  • Hire a tax adviser to help you save money or your taxes.

Property information

Your life in this beautiful Andean country near the Pacific Ocean offers you a wide range of accommodation. However, it will take quite some time to find a reliable realtor or landlord, that won’t propose you overpriced apartments in unpleasant areas. As there is living space available matching each budget, it is best to go online and get in touch with other expats who have already been to Ecuador. This way you will find invaluable contacts and you don’t have to be worried about being cheated.

Cost of moving to Ecuador

When you want to know: How much is shipping from the USA to Ecuador? Then you have come to the right place. The cost of moving house to Ecuador will dramatically decrease when you use the services of Eurosender. We do not only offer the cheapest way to move furniture to Ecuador, but we can ship your entire household across the globe. Pianos, motorcycles or other heavy parcels, with Eursender you can be confident that the average moving costs to Ecuador are as low as possible. On top of that, we provide you with great packing instructions and insurance at the best rates.

Cost of living in Ecuador

The cost of living in Ecuador compares favorably well to countries such as the USA or Canada. However, there are also a few things that might be a bit more expensive.

  • Cars and fuel are cheaper than in the USA. A negative side effect from this is that many city centers are clogged with cars, causing many traffic jams and pollution.
  • Being North-American (or European) may evoke people to ask for “gringo” prices. Learn a few words of Spanish to avoid this.
  • Ecuador has put a lot of effort into improving its rail system. Thanks to that you can enjoy affordable train journeys in modern wagons.
  • Ecuadorian soil is extremely fertile and certain areas allow for year-round growing vegetables and fruits. Fresh local produce will save you lots of money, compared to buying imported food from the USA or other countries.

Driving in Ecuador

In Ecuador, you can use your driving license from your home country. However, it is recommended that you bring an International Driving Permit (IDP) or at least a translation in Spanish. Looking at driving in Ecuador, these are some of the things you should know.

  • Ecuadorian traffic is very chaotic and people frequently make up their own traffic rules.
  • Using your horn is a way of communicating with other drivers. They can be used to signal things as danger, anger, or just a traffic light that turned to green.
  • Buses always have the right of way and they know it. They frequently abuse this right and basically make up their own rules. So watch out when you want to overtake a bus, it might do something else than you expect.
  • Keep your eyes open for the so-called window washers. They might start cleaning your windows without asking and then charge you a hefty fee.

The most popular destination from where you can move to Russia


Moving to Ecuador from Canada has become more and more popular over the past decade or so. When you want to escape the harsh Canadian winters, the heavy snowfall, and the sometimes desolate landscape, then Ecuador is the right choice. With such a wide range of climates and vegetation, there are few countries that match the diversity of life in Ecuador. So when you want to experience something completely different, opt for Ecuador and you will not be disappointed.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.