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Cost of Living in Quito, Ecuador

Prices in Quito

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IndexInfo
Consumer Price Index (Excl.Rent): 52.86
Rent Index: 18.05
Groceries Index: 52.80
Restaurants Index: 35.82
Consumer Price Plus Rent Index: 35.84
Local Purchasing Power: 36.77

Currency: Default Currency      Switch to imperial measurement units
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Restaurants [Edit] Avg.
Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.45 $
2.50
5.00
Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 30.00 $
18.00
40.00
Combo Meal at McDonalds or Similar 5.48 $
5.00
6.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 1.00 $
0.96
1.25
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 3.00 $
2.50
4.00
Cappuccino (regular) 1.93 $
1.50
2.06
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.77 $
0.50
1.00
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.45 $
0.35
0.60
Markets [Edit] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 1.10 $
1.00
1.28
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.41 $
1.00
1.70
Rice (white), (1kg) 1.80 $
1.50
2.00
Eggs (12) 2.12 $
2.00
2.40
Local Cheese (1kg) 5.00 $
3.00
8.00
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 7.33 $
5.51
8.00
Apples (1kg) 2.25 $
2.00
2.50
Oranges (1kg) 1.25 $
1.00
1.50
Tomato (1kg) 1.75 $
1.50
2.00
Potato (1kg) 1.50 $
1.00
2.00
Lettuce (1 head) 0.88 $
0.50
1.00
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.15 $
1.00
1.40
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 11.00 $
9.00
20.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.00 $
1.00
1.00
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2.70 $
2.00
3.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 3.35 $
3.00
3.80
Transportation [Edit] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.25 $
0.25
0.25
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 12.25 $
4.50
20.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 0.35 $
0.35
1.00
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 0.46 $
0.26
1.00
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 4.00 $
3.60
10.00
Gasoline (1 liter) 0.53 $
0.45
0.60
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 25,000.00 $
25,000.00
30,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [Edit] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 41.80 $
34.00
50.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.31 $
0.12
0.50
Internet (6 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 47.86 $
25.00
70.00
Sports And Leisure [Edit] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 58.00 $
50.00
70.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 20.00 $
20.00
20.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 5.25 $
5.00
6.00
Clothing And Shoes [Edit] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 82.50 $
70.00
100.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 56.67 $
40.00
70.00
1 Pair of Nike Shoes 124.00 $
120.00
140.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 95.00 $
80.00
110.00
Rent Per Month [Edit] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 471.43 $
250.00
650.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 360.00 $
200.00
400.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,000.00 $
1,000.00
1,000.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 570.00 $
400.00
700.00
Buy Apartment Price [Edit] Avg.
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 1,240.00 $
800.00
1,700.00
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 1,000.00 $
900.00
1,100.00
Salaries And Financing [Edit] Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 563.60 $
318.00
800.00
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 10.00
10.00
10.00

These data are based on 476 entries in the past 18 months from 56 different contributors.

Last update: December, 2014

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17 Comments so far

#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.?

Thanks
#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 Xoom.com 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?
#Iván on Oct 24, 2011 :
USD IS the currency we have in Ecuador. "Ecuador money" if you will...
#Mladen on Mar 18, 2011 :
You can see and change display currency at the page. Most likely you did look into USD data.
#Angie on Mar 15, 2011 :
So is this in USD or ECS (USA money or Ecuador money)? Please Reply.

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