Cost of Living in Quito, Ecuador

Prices in Quito

More about Quito:
Restaurants [Edit] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.50 $ 3.00-5.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 27.00 $ 25.00-50.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 5.85 $ 4.99-6.50
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 1.00 $ 1.00-2.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.25 $ 2.50-4.00
Cappuccino (regular) 2.17 $ 2.00-2.50
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.83 $ 0.50-1.00
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.65 $ 0.40-1.00
Markets [Edit] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.64 $ 3.03-4.54
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.11 $ 0.91-1.59
Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.52 $ 0.30-0.91
Eggs (12) 1.81 $ 1.30-2.50
Local Cheese (1 lb) 2.01 $ 0.91-3.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 2.63 $ 1.50-3.63
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 2.76 $ 2.60-2.95
Apples (1 lb) 0.56 $ 0.45-1.00
Banana (1 lb) 0.30 $ 0.23-0.45
Oranges (1 lb) 0.70 $ 0.45-1.00
Tomato (1 lb) 0.44 $ 0.34-0.50
Potato (1 lb) 0.43 $ 0.23-0.60
Onion (1 lb) 0.32 $ 0.23-0.50
Lettuce (1 head) 0.45 $ 0.25-0.60
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.95 $ 0.75-1.00
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 12.00 $ 8.00-15.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.17 $ 1.00-2.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2.89 $ 2.00-4.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 4.22 $ 3.00-5.00
Transportation [Edit] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.25 $ 0.25-0.25
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 10.00 $ 4.50-10.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 0.50 $ 0.45-1.00
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 0.52 $ 0.42-0.80
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 5.00 $ 3.60-8.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 1.95 $ 1.48-2.27
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 24,500.00 $ 17,000.00-25,500.00
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 32.27 $ 22.67-42.50
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.17 $ 0.12-0.20
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 36.55 $ 30.00-42.00
Sports And Leisure [Edit] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 55.62 $ 45.00-70.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 22.00 $ 10.00-30.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 6.00 $ 5.00-7.00
Clothing And Shoes [Edit] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 63.75 $ 50.00-80.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 45.71 $ 35.00-55.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 105.56 $ 90.00-120.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 87.22 $ 60.00-120.00
Rent Per Month [Edit] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 487.50 $ 300.00-700.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 286.36 $ 200.00-400.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 827.78 $ 650.00-1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 511.11 $ 350.00-800.00
Buy Apartment Price [Edit] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 150.63 $ 74.32-185.80
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 109.62 $ 92.90-139.35
Salaries And Financing [Edit] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 570.40 $ 354.00-800.00
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 11.32 10.00-12.45

These data are based on 681 entries in the past 18 months from 79 different contributors.

Last update: November, 2015

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22 Comments so far
#Anna on Aug 13, 2015 :
I'm thinking of moving to Quito or Tambaco to work. I'm super white looking blonde American and I'm afraid I will stand out too much. I was offered a job there. Do you think I will be safe? I don't know anyone living there and my Spanish is just introductory. I think it will be a good opportunity for me though. What do you think?
#Diego on Jul 21, 2015 :
This is very sad i live in us for 18 years and planning to go back but i can see i cant live over there is so expensive im going to reconsider maybe go to a different state thanks everybody for sharing.
#leonidas on Jul 05, 2015 :
I regret 1000 times for choosing ecuador,in 5 years prices gone up 3-5 times,from properties to cigarettes,cant stand the fact that a simple small fridge costs more than 700 usd......shame on them,full thieves everywhere,dont trust even your shadow.
#Michael on Jun 28, 2015 :
How's the internet access and reliability? Is it so expensive as to be available only to the really really rich?

I mostly use it (the internet) to buy electronics and frivolous doo-dads (often from Amazon and ebay, but many international vendors also). Which I get the feeling might be frowned upon by some of you, mostly from comments of the happier folks in Quito who like the nice neighborhood scene. Well the neighborhood thing has a lot of appeal for me too, and it has a lively existence here where I live in a small university city in Virginia. But everybody has a private life here too, as I imagine they do in Quito too. Which they don't share with everyone they know (not to say that there aren't intimate friendships with the neighbors, just that you're closer to some neighbors than others). Like anywhere else I've ever lived (and there have been plenty of those, although all in the US).

Or is it that it's just the old-tymie retro thing that maybe some folks believe close neighborhood institutions promote?

If I moved there someday I wouldn't want the encumbrance of buying a house, and wouldn't mind driving a modest car as long as it ran reliably. Is the public transportation OK coverage-wise? What about the evil poor who ride the bus and kill you for your iPhone?

Main draw for me to Quito if what I imagine to be the perfect weather. High altitude equatorial location must make for stable and desirable weather year-round, or so I am imagining. Of course I could be wrong, maybe it's monsoons and ebola and horrible solar electrical storms, and everybody is miserable and afraid of the elements. I was only there a few weeks in the Northern Hemishere's summertime.

Sure does sound like an attractive place to live though.
#zeus on Mar 21, 2015 :
...they basically ask you for three months worth of rent to move in. Thus, whatever the monthly rent is- multiply it by three.
#Zeus on Mar 21, 2015 :
By the way, that old ass Suzuki or datsun will run you around 4grand$...
#zeus on Mar 21, 2015 :
I really believe Ecuador sucks!!! Most of what you hear is based on hype. Those who think it is cheap-- wake up!!! It's very expensive here. Try buying a decent used car--- the cheapest/dependable ride you'll find will be a Suzuki/Datsun from the late 80's and 70's respectively, but first make sure they have passed the ''revision''-- if not you won't be able to put the darn thing in your name and much less drive it. If you want to rent an o.k. apartment , it's going to run you around 300$ or more ( 300$ deposit ,300$ security, total: 900 to move in).
Luxuries are wayyy over-priced. You are going to pay like 3 times more for some electronic devices-like flat screen TVs- tan you do in the states. Food isnt cheap either. If you plan on cooking for yourself basic stuff like rice , chicken and beans it's going to run you around 7$ per day. If you plan on eating out(depending on the eatery) it could be anywhere from 12$ on up--- way up!!! Oh, hopefully you won't get mugged, raped or murder--- 'cause ecuadorian laws favor the victimizers instead of the victims , and the pĆ³lice is slow and their justice even slower. Some of their laws are down right criminal--- and so are their tariffs and taxes!!! Their politicians are thee worst-- especially their president. That guy is better suited to be a stand up comic a la Jim Carey than a president...
#John on Mar 16, 2015 :
I guess most of you don't remember the $ 450.00 winter utility bills and my $300.00 Air conditioning costs and the mosquitos so thick you can't sit outside ( Ever ) My fuel and insurance cost ( All) $ 268.00 per month . Now lets get to the truth I lived Jackson Mi. and my life was Hideous ! Highly rhythmic individuals Lurching around only living for drugs and Rims for there Chevrolet and Loud thud , thud , Boom all the time . Life is heaven here and I don't care what you motivation is, When in Rome live like a Roman . Speak there language and shovel the dog shit off the side walk and pick up trash ( Every Day ) The next thing that happens is there no more dog shit or trash after they see you cleaning up after 3 months . Be somebody don't go there and be a Gringo ( Period ) Your a citizen not a expat " America is pitiful " The doctor are just fine and if you want real cost go down to Lima for a month and shop at Wongs or any grino'est or Narco shoppers go . Well I'm getting bored thinking about all the cry baby cheap skates . Good Night and think about the minus 30 below weather and the neighbors that hate them selves and you ? Huh
#Alfredo on Nov 19, 2014 :
I don't understand what most negative comments are about.... I am born and raised in Quito and although I live in the U.S currently, the cost of living mentioned here by some users are just outrageous... it seems like those individuals are only used to live the "rich life." I have plenty of family living in Quito that own beautiful apartments (paying mortgage), have a car payment, they food shop (megamaxi ocasionally) and all basic utilities (gas, electric, water, internet) and I am absolutely sure they make no more than $1700 to $1800 a month. They are also young and only in their late 20's which obviously involve going out on a occasionally... a full meal is is no more than $3 and most just drink coffee and eat fruit in the morning which is extremely cheap. The only expensives costs are imported items such as foods, name brand clothing and electronics. Although I live in the U.S.A, I constantly travel down there but don't live the life of the "tourist with plenty of cash to spend," I live just like and Ecuadorian would live. I eat in a regular cheap restaurant, take regular public transportation and taxis and go out on weekends like most people my age do (I'm 25). I own a home down there so rent is not needed but in a month of being there I don't spend more than $900 during that month, but I'm talking $900 well spent, doing some travelling, eating well, going out, drinking moderately, etc.
With all that being said, anyone with a salary of approximately of around $1500 a month can easily live great in Quito or surrounding areas without any type of issues as long as they administer money well, and might even be able to save a couple of dollars. I am finishing up my masters in the US and plan to immediately move down there with a starting salary of $1500 a month (working as an ESL teacher at a private school). However, this does not include any extra work I can do besides teaching. I am a single man that will easily make around $2000 - $2500 a month which would even be enough to have a wife and a child and still live perfectly comfortable.
#Eric on Nov 10, 2014 :
If you think Ecuador is expensive, do a trip to Brazil (Rio is the best example)... You will find that Ecuador is Cheap !!! Most of the people here aren't comparing the same things... People who say that things are very cheap in Ecuador tend to live in small cities an to buy stuff from small farmers...(and like). If you want to live in a Big City, Like Quito or Guayaquil, and buy stuff on supermarkets... Usually the same stuff you buy in US... for sure it will be expensive... (probably more expensive than in US)
In my point of view, Ecuador is cheap, but tend to be cheaper if you live in a small city and eat veggies and fruit. (if you wanna buy electronics, for example (imported) for sure it will be much more expensive than it is in U.S.
#Anonymous on Mar 19, 2014 :
Hmm.... I believe that most of the people who are saying quito is expensive are living in the 'burbs", like cumbaya or in the ritzy sections like floresta.
My home is in la loma grande and I wouldn't live anywhere else! My total utilities- electric, water, phone, Internet are less than 80/ month and I go through a tank of gas for hot water and cooking about once every 2-3 months at approx 3.50 per tank. I also love my neighbors and the energy of the area.
I find it incredible that someone posted that they spend 2,000/mo. on food! I buy local produce from the vendors on my street, get wonderful shrimp from Santa Clara market( less than $5/ lb.) and cheeses, olives and organic coffee from camari and bolivar stores right near the Santa Clara market. Very rarely do I go to super maxi-'only for the occasional meat purchase I have no interest in American type foods like jiff peanut butter, canned soups. My food bill is less than 200/month, which includes a few bottles of decent red wine. I eat much better in quito than in the states.
I have used ecuadorian doctors for annual physicals, eye glasses and dental work for years, even when I had access in the states.
Full blood panel is less than 150, mammo/ sonogram combo, $45, GYNO visit( private doctor 40 with no charge for follow up visits. A full abdominal sonogram done by a doctor, not a technician, was 45. Dental work- panoramic X-ray, 25, cleaning 60, standard filling 50, dental on lay 280, dental inlay 240( on lays and inlays cost around 1000 in the states).
#doug on Feb 20, 2014 :
it doesn't seem to good a a place to live same as a communist counrty to much b.s.
#Judith Maglione on Dec 06, 2013 :
I live in Boynton Beach, FL and cannot believe the prices you are quoting as "expensive". To rent an apartment here, not at all close to the beach, is over $1,000 US or more per month and I'm talking barely 50 square meters. As far as food prices go, the only thing you can buy for a dollar is chewing gum, a candy bar, cost more! A brand name 1 pound loaf of white bread is almost $3 and a gallon of milk is almost $4. If you buy bakery bread a 2 pound loaf of rye bread is between $8 and $10.

Since I live in a tourist area there is restaurant competition for meal pricing. However, if you do not have a coupon, including one for KFC, McDonalds, etc., restaurant food is more expensive than I have seen on the on-line menus for Ecuador.

The added taxes in Ecuador are higher, 6.0% here, believe it or not down this year from 6.5!

Banks here now charge for everything too. For example, if I use my debit card in another country I am charged 3% for just using it and then 3% for the "exchange fee", plus if the foreign bank charges a fee to the US bank, I am charged a fee. Anyone for cash?

Health insurance was also mentioned, minimum price for a doctor's office visit is $65-75, plus whatever else they do like blood tests. We pay almost $9K a year for health insurance for 2 people and that price is for a company retiree. I went on the "new Obama care" site and the 9K was for 1 person with less coverage.

I smiled at $8 an hour for a taxi driver -- here even a cleaning lady charges over $20!

I do have a question. How much should a taxi cost from the Quito airport to Roca and Amazonas Ave.?

#D:) on Oct 09, 2013 :
Hello everyone, I lived my whole life in Ecuador and believe me it is not cheap, maybe it was. I'm living in Canada now in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I wouldn't change for anything. Ecuador is beautiful but corruption, a bad health system, pollution and many other negative factors have ruined my country. Right now it is not cheap. If you want to live there with $1,500 per month, you have to live in a not very good neighborhood. It is sad but that's how it is. Perhaps Cuenca is the best option to live in. Safe, clean but I don't know the cost of living. Anyway, go and visit Ecuador, there are beautiful places but to spend the rest of your life there?... I don't know
#steve jr on Sep 22, 2013 :
please give me some reasons to retire in ecuador, my wife is Ecuadorian and we bought a house and spent 3 months in ecuador and did not like it very much. I spent 2000 per month on food etc. the climate in quito is to cold, its not cheap , the health care im afriad of ,but cannot afford insurance in the USA. it cost 40.00 just to take a taxi from the new airport to our house in Quito. Its a buitiful new house with security but affraid to walk out at night.I know my spelling is terrible but im just trying to make some points. I cant even walk on the sidewalks for the dog dropping.
#Anonymous on May 29, 2013 :
Oh, use caution when getting a cedula and resident visa. Attorneys are usually thieves. Same everywhere huh!

The gov office has a form that include everything you must provide for you visa and cedula. One step at a time.

You can get the visa by yourself if you speak Spanish, or if you have a person that does. It takes the same length of time as the atty. After the mess up by the atty in Quito I got my visa and cedula with the help of a native! No cost but for a few beers and two lunches. You need patience and it will take about 30 hours of your time waiting in line and revisiting the gov offices about 7 times. They have most everything on computers now but it is still a mess.

If you do not want to do this it will cost you $1,300 per person. Includes resident visa and cedula. Use caution with the female (GE) atty in Quito.

Study the driving test in Spanish and pass it. It isn't to hard. Most of it is signs. Memorize the questions and only the correct answer. Get it because everyone asks for it. Cedula will work though. I have heard that you can get it translated by a local for a price. Then just transfer the answer. Ask.

Cedulas are required for everyone 18 and over. They will fingerprint you. They will even run some checks if they don't like your attitude.
#Anonymous on May 29, 2013 :
I have lived here since April 2012. Before that I lived in Guayaquil, playas and Cuenca. I have been in Ecuador for 3 years as of May 2013. Most everything is the same price plus or minus 10% (across the country).

It is not cheap. The apartments start at $300.00 for unsecured and that means no gates. A nice 1 bedroom starts at $400.00 without security.

Prices here are not cheap in Megamaxi. Fruits and veggies at the mercados is fair but deal with them. Every thing is packaged to sell for $1.00 so buy 2 packages and maybe pay $1.75.

Visit other cities and adjust prices by 10% up and down. Beer in Ecuador is $1.30 for a big bottle at the tienda. A good beer "Club" is $4.85 6pk for small bottles. The same beer will be 3X that in a restaurant. Alcohol is not served or sold on Sunday. But if you have a local tienda and a friend they will sell it to you.

Food in restaurants catering to gringos is not cheap. McDonalds is not cheap. Papa Johns is the best chain pizza and not cheap. Either is KFC.

Gas for the car is cheap. Utilities are like in the states. $50 pays for running a small air conditioner 1/2 time in GYE but usually not necessary in Quito or surrounding areas. But you will want a fan. Propane is $3.50 and should last 2 months. Water is $8.00 per month. Expect to pay $80 per week for food at least for 2 people. That is eating pasta and chicken.

So really, you can live here for about $1,200 month. But you won't have much fun. If you live in your apartment 80% of the time you can do it. Go out and you will spend money just like in Europe or the USA. A budget of $2,000 month for 2 will be more in line. I budget $3,000 for the two of us.

Travel from GYE to UIO is $70 one way. From GYE to LOH it is $50. Buses are cheap. From GYE to UIO via bus is 9 hrs and $8.00. About 6 hrs from GYE to LOH and it cost about $6.00. Travel via LAN Air and Tame. Visit their direct sights.

Health clubs are $38.00 and up. Cumbaya and some places in Quito charge $57 month and discounts slightly for advance payment. Most places are $5 per day. Most do not have steam or sauna. Some clubs restrict your hours to 4 per day! Ask them.

Get a price from the taxi driver before you get in the car! Do it. It shouldn't be more than $8 to drive from the airport to downtown Hilton. I go for $6. Do not tip taxi drivers in EC. They operate independently. Do not tip.

Get a business card from the taxi driver. You can usually trust it if it is a large business and has radio dispatch. Taxis here are the same as NYC. If you need to schedule for a early or late pick up, no problem.

Banks are another story. They charge for everything. Even to check your balance at the ATM is 35 cents. The clerks will charge what ever the want to transfer your money. No set rules. Ask before you take cash from your debit card.

Use to transfer money. Use your bank card to take money from the ATM and take a max per day. Usually $400 on 2 withdraws. Do not use the "other" option. Make several withdraws.

Do not believe anything from the investors here. That includes Gary Scott. He is the worst offender and liar. He even wrote that the cops don't take bribes in Ecuador. He is a joke.

The tours are expensive. Use caution. They don't pay for food and they don't show you much.

A driver with car charges $8.00 hr or by trip. From Quito to Cuenca it is about $350 in a SUV for 3 passengers. Don't pay more. The city drivers are nuts. But go with it and relax.

They will steal your cell phone if they see you use it in a private place. They will walk up to you with a knife or gun and demand it. Give it to them.

Caution about hiring full time help. You must pay their social security on top of their salaries. So for a salary of $400 you will pay $500. Talk to the attorney. If you mess this up they will jail you and fine you and you will have to pay penalties. Keep a signed receipt of all payments with signatures, dates, times and duty.

Down payment on a house is 30%. Most banks want you to be in their system for 1 year or 6 months before they will finance you. About the same with a car purchase. Open a savings account when you get here. It will turn to a checking account after 6 months. Apply for a credit card. Show them proof of your income.

Ask questions. Remember, this is their country not yours. It isn't the same as in the USA. Remember, if you do not have health insurance you must use your credit card and not a debit card or show them lots of cash. If the service does not recognize your insurance company you will pay cash or credit card. They will let you die with a gunshot wound. Believe it.

A CT cost $200 plus the contrast. The MRI here is $400 to $500. X-rays about $30 for you chest. EKG about $25 in the docs office. Hospital is more. Doctors are only "fair". Best to fly to the states for surgery.

Most pills are available non prescription. Sleeping pills and psychotropics require a doc. Just depends. Ask them. Get a discount card from the drug store and from megamaxi. Most all food and clothing stores have discounts. Some do not take your "debit" card. It must be a "credit" card.

Have fun.
#Steve on May 29, 2013 :
Go to Guayaquil and Cuenca and read the comments. Also look at Loja.

The prices in EC are about the same everywhere you go. Give or take 10%.

If you live here for $1,200 month you are not having much fun.
#Mark on May 16, 2013 :
can live decent in Ecuador on $1200 per month? Is the cost of living there too high now?
#leonidas on Nov 17, 2012 :
Dear friends,citizens of the world,the FACT is (no matter if all taxes is the reason for the higher prices)that you cant live without simple but so important things such as a (CAR,CIGARETTES,INTERNET,CELLPHONE,etc).So MY POINT is that the average cost of life in ecuador is extremely high for the quality they offer,thank U.
#Anonymous on Oct 10, 2012 :
Leonidas...things that are expensive in Ecuador are imports usually. It's taxation.
#leonidas on Sep 18, 2012 :
Ecuador is getting extremely expensive!!! It seems that U.S. dollar has no value there,in supermaxi super market a quarter of virgin olive oil costs 6 usd...more or less 6 times up than in europe.Properties and land in quito and cuenca the same,prices of electronics and cars far away from the west standards.Where are they going?

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