Cost of Living in Loja

Restaurants [ Edit ] Avg. Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.00 $ 2.50-5.00
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 15.00 $ 15.00-28.00
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 3.50 $ 3.50-6.50
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 1.25 $ 1.00-2.00
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.25 $ 2.00-4.00
Cappuccino (regular) 1.08 $ 1.00-2.50
Coke/Pepsi (11.2 oz small bottle) 0.63 $ 0.35-1.50
Water (11.2 oz small bottle) 0.37 $ 0.30-0.75
Markets [ Edit ] Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 3.95 $ 3.03-5.12
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 1.69 $ 1.13-2.27
Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.50 $ 0.45-1.00
Eggs (12) 1.82 $ 1.25-2.67
Local Cheese (1 lb) 1.91 $ 1.70-4.08
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1 lb) 2.00 $ 2.00-3.86
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 1.81 $ 1.81-4.25
Apples (1 lb) 0.91 $ 0.45-3.50
Banana (1 lb) 0.42 $ 0.23-0.68
Oranges (1 lb) 0.45 $ 0.45-1.13
Tomato (1 lb) 0.51 $ 0.29-1.13
Potato (1 lb) 0.46 $ 0.23-2.00
Onion (1 lb) 0.44 $ 0.23-0.91
Lettuce (1 head) 0.42 $ 0.25-0.85
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.86 $ 0.50-1.50
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 12.00 $ 10.00-18.00
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 1.07 $ 0.80-1.50
Imported Beer (11.2 oz small bottle) 2.17 $ 1.75-3.00
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 5.40 $ 5.00-5.80
Transportation [ Edit ] Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.30 $ 0.30-0.30
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) ?
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 1.05 $ 1.00-1.50
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 2.01 $ 1.61-2.41
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 10.00 $ 7.00-10.00
Gasoline (1 gallon) 1.48 $ 1.48-1.65
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 27,000.00 $ 20,000.00-30,000.00
Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 32,666.67 $ 28,000.00-35,000.00
Utilities (Monthly) [ Edit ] Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 33.09 $ 20.00-60.00
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.15 $ 0.10-0.20
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 36.93 $ 25.00-100.00
Sports And Leisure [ Edit ] Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 28.33 $ 20.00-30.00
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) ?
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 4.50 $ 3.50-6.50
Childcare [ Edit ] Avg.
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Private, Monthly for 1 Child 350.00 $ 300.00-400.00
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 830.00 $ 400.00-1,260.00
Clothing And Shoes [ Edit ] Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 64.54 $ 40.00-90.00
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 40.00 $ 20.00-70.00
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 105.62 $ 60.00-150.00
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 50.00 $ 35.00-150.00
Rent Per Month [ Edit ] Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 250.00 $ 200.00-300.00
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 216.67 $ 120.00-325.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 450.00 $ 350.00-600.00
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 275.00 $ 220.00-500.00
Buy Apartment Price [ Edit ] Avg.
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 40.00 $
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre ?
Salaries And Financing [ Edit ] Avg.
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 466.67 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 7.50 4.00-18.00

Prices in Loja, Ecuador

This city had 21 different contributors in the past 18 months.
Some data are estimated due to a low number of contributors. If you are living here, please update our data.
Last update: May 2017
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24 Comments so far

#Eddie Donnelly on Jun 16, 2016 :
I am an American musician and composer who is interested in living there.
#Jae on May 04, 2016 :
My husband and I are considering spending 3 months a year in Ecuador for the weather. We are older Canadians who will be renting out our home so that we can afford to pay rent in Loja and be able to enjoy some nice sunny weather January through March. We were told to rent in the historical area so we can walk everywhere. We were also told that the Historical area is safe. I am wondering if anyone knows of a nice place to rent in that area that isn't too dear. We are hoping to learn to speak Spanish.
Thank you
#Rebecca Simonson on Dec 08, 2015 :
In reply to Maria, I find it funny YOU'RE (you are) calling out Nancy on her comment full of grammatical and spelling errors when you fail to use the right form of you're.
For the record:
you're: you are
your: possessive
#Maria on Sep 14, 2015 :
To Nancy's comments from March 31st, 2013

I really wonder if your boasting about your Canadian education- eight years- could possibly be taken seriously after reading your comments so full of grammatical errors and misspelled words.
#John Fisher on Dec 26, 2014 :
Looking to visit Vilcabamba in 2015 to explore as a possible place to retire. Can anyone recommend a good, reliable place to find reasonably priced accomodations for, perhaps, a month long visit?
#Alli Guaman on Oct 21, 2014 :
Hey there (: My name is Alli Guaman and I was born in America. In New York City. I am a recent high school graduate and am fulfilling my dream of getting to know my root country. I am currently in Machala, Ecuador on vacation, but have travelled to other cities. Loja's tranquil and friendly atmosphere has caught my attention. And since I have no direction in NY but have found it in Loja, why not? It even centers around art! Also interested in Vilcabamba as a place to let loose if you know what I mean. I live a very open lifestyle and Vilcabamba seems to appeal to it. So regarding Loja, anyone know of the job opportunities for an artistic bilinguil (Spanish) author graduate? Where to take art courses in English like theater writing or music? Regarding Vilcabamba, any hippie communes or cheap/ friendly places to stay? Any expat in Loja wanna keep in touch? Just message me (: Good luck to all and I hope you guys find what you're looking for (:
#norm wright on Aug 31, 2014 :
Lots of general info on here, but short on specifics such as food prices, internet costs, medical plan costs, cell phone costs, house rentals, etc. especially in Loja!
#hhunter on Aug 03, 2014 :
It really Is a scarey world and reading the comments posted Is justification for my deep felt concern with sharing Ecuador,etc with any gringo's ....I'm a California gringo and live on the beach with great weather and have a nice lifestyle and you maybe asking why leave .....? Well its about respect and humbleness and values that come from inside each individual....nonexistent in the good ole U.S.of A least the people of Ecuador are making a effort to live with values that reflect respect and a shared i'm usearching just like you gringos ... I will choose wisely with whom I share the rest of my !!! Why relocate to Ecuador or anywhere else and live with arrogant..disrespectful...greedy..egomaniacs..real estate spectulating!!! No Gringo influence needed where ever I relocate....GO LOCAL AND BE REAL HAPPY!!! Good Luck!!! Hh Ps.still working on Being humble....etc....LOL!!!!!
#Bernardo on Jun 15, 2014 :
I wish to find a small place around Loja to Zamora with garden to grow plants. I wish to integrate with the land where I live. In my life I have moved and lived in many places and consider myself as a human, not some national thing. Since years I learn Spanish, from German to English now to Spanish, because I believe my future is in South of America. I am not interested in a gated community of expats. I observe what I is going on in the North. Invited by an Ecuadorean friend I have visited Quito and the Intag area, which is extremely attractive with the mix of small farms and wilderness along the mountains. However, there remains the threat of copper mining with great destruction of the land. So, who could help in the South to find a place around Loja to Zamora? Thank you, Bernardo en Espanol. My email is
#carolyn hunter on May 31, 2014 :
copy of email i sent to some helpful people;

i FINALLY got my e mail address straightened out, even though my computer is still halfway not ok.

i think im going to fly to Israel for a month .....I got a super half price cheap ticket.....tentatively....before going to equador orderv to compare the two different qualities of the 2 areas......which is going to be hard.

because the qualities are so different, but the advantages of a lower cost of living opposed to first world but very expensive cost of living are...well...difficult to evaluate.

will keep in touch ......but as of yet I have STILL not been emailed by your friend who speaks english and spanish...altho i do speak a little spanish i do need all the helpi can get in case i decide to permanently live in lower and less hot and humid .......but very 65 to 75 degree mid size city there.

please tell me if you see this. my e mail address for any who may wish to help me is;

carolyn hunter, in oroville, CA.
#Nels on Feb 14, 2014 :
I appreciate everyone's point of view on list Loja thread. I lived in Costa Rica for 3 years in the late 1980's and loved it. My friends were all Ticos and I lived in a small one room apartment for $90 month, utilities at $20 a month. The place had no hot water, we had no refrigeration. Just a 2 burner propane cook top that we bought in Panama. We washed our clothes outside in a concrete sink in cold water and hung them up to dry outside during the dry season and inside during the rainy season. It was the only time in my life that I actually saved money and was the happiest.

I'm visiting Ecuador for 3 weeks this April and am touring around many parts of the country. My Spanish is good and I am a licensed TESOL/TEFL teacher with a Bachelor's Degree. I would like to assimilate into a new culture, and live like most ordinary folks. I do not drink, smoke or take drugs, and live a very simple clean life here in the U.S. There is a richness to many CA and SA countries whose priorities and view of life differs from the U.S. That is what attracts me. That and living in a tropical climate.

I subscribed to International Living for 6 months and was disgusted by the blatant "get rich schemes" and "live like a millionaire for only thousands of dollars". This is why I appreciate this thread because it is challenging finding out what it is really like to live in Ecuador like an Ecuadorian.

I'm visiting the Quito area, Guayquil area, Cuenca, Lojas, Puerto Lopez and Vilcabamba (my one indulgence). As a fiber artist I am looking forward to visiting many of the artisan towns and villages. If any of you have any suggestions or know of any language schools in your areas, I would be grateful if you let me know. My email address is


#Alan on Jan 29, 2014 :
I am thinking about retirement in Loja and have half a plan to visit in mid Feb' '14. Suggestions on decent low cost temporary accommodation would be welcome. Also, how best to make contacts in ex pat community (I have little Spanish) and do some net working. Have any ex pats considered the merits of a shared apartment?
#Gerard on Dec 15, 2013 :
Hi Niki Voyles, I will answer your queries as much as I can, but I will do it here for the benefit of others also. A lot of expats are living in Cuenca and are paying top price. The lifestyle you describe is what I live and I certainly understand your desire to get maway from the rat race. A few exapts are now finding their way to Loja and are being welcomed with open arms. The prices as quoated above are pretty accurate, however rents can go as low as 180 usd a month if you are prepared to live the Ecuadorian/ Loja lifestyle, this i think you are prepared to do. Your grandaughter will settle in very quickly as the relaxed pre-disposition of the people rubs off on the receptive children making for an all round happy place.If you are prepared to adjust to the locals way you could live on as little 700usd a month (I do) and remember the locals earn about 300usd a month and they rear families on this but the lot of the expat is always more expensive at least until you learn the langauge and integrate, if you can speak spanish you will be ahead already. Another idea for you is along the coast there are many beautiful small undiscovered towns and villages where the prices are even cheaper but they take a little bit of legwor to find. I will send you my email so you can communicate with me if you wish. I sincerely wish you all the best and hope someday you will make Loja your home.
#bernardo noven on Nov 24, 2013 :
my wife and I would like to rent a furnished aptment from jan 15 until april15 (approx. Hablamos espanol bastante y viviamos en la mayoria del paises de latino america. Tambien, me gustaria saber si hay un lugar donde puedo nadar en una piscina (alberca) a menos 25 metros.
#David on Oct 04, 2013 :
How well can you well on $3800.00 per month.
#Anonymous on Oct 04, 2013 :
How well can you well on $3800.00 per month.
#Niki Voyles on Sep 29, 2013 :
My hubby and I are 59 and have adopted out granddaughter that is now 11. We are concerned about safety first and foremost. And a school that she will be able to integrate into. We are not tattooed druggy looking to be slackers nor are we interested in hob-knobbing with rich expats. We believe that we are fleeing our country for survival reasons. We just want a healthy simple family lifestyle. I am so sick of this materialistic, throw away, greedy nation. We have only just begun our research process. We are planning to make a 2 wks trip soon to get a feel for the place . We are looking at the Loja area. ANY and ALL Truthful info would be very much appreciated.Niki
#Carlos on Jul 30, 2013 :
I have lived frugally (and well)in the most expensive cities in the world. If you have time and are willing to put the effort, you can live anywhere for very little money. Presently, I am in Vancouver which is one of the most expensive cities in North America. I spend $800 per month total. This includes rent, utilities, food (I am a vegan) supplements, transportation, and so on.
I don't drink, do drugs, smoke and rarely go to restaurants. I am sure I could live anywhere in Ecuador for less than that.
I will be going there in two months from now.
When you are fluent in the local language and customs (which is my case) you will be treated like a local. You have to think like one to be treated like one.
#Rose on Jul 01, 2013 :
I would like to visit Loja soon what hotels do you recommend
#Jerry on May 29, 2013 :
Attention! Loja is not the most expensive city to live in. Another lie. Samborondon (Guayaquil) and Cumbaya (Quito) are much, much higher. A 3 bdrm apt in Samborondon starts at $700 and goes up to $1200+. It is a little cheaper in Cumbaya.

South America is not cheap. Don't be fooled by the investors that draw you to the region. Ecuadorians want to keep the prices down but the gringos buy he properties and rent to more gringos. Since 2010 prices have increase dramatically. Almost like Panama and Costa Rica. Soon it will be worse.

Expect to pay $400 per month for a "livable" 1 bdrm apt in Loja and surrounding. A flat or similar rental is available for $200. Look for a secure place. These prices are without furniture. Without a dishwasher, laundry, fridge and stove. Look at the place at night and during the day. Thieves rob gringos! If you look like you have any money at all the thieves will follow you for a week to learn your habits. They will break into your house as you sleep. Don't advertise your laptop and expensive watch. If you buy a car it will cost you the sticker price in the states plus 50% more at least. Used cars are very expensive also.

Consider noise! Latinos play basketball at midnight. The parties last throughout the night and they will not turn down the music.

Look around the internet for online newspapers like and others. Try and find a suitable rent for less than $400.00.

Ecuador and most of SA is wonderful. People are nice. But you are invading their turf. Try to fit in. If you must dress like a banker you will be robbed if you do not use caution. Keep your windows rolled up and you won't lose your watch when you stop at the traffic light.
#RMiller on May 29, 2013 :
Coming to Ecuador.

You can not find a secure, nice place to live for only $250.00. That is a lie. Key word is secure. You will spend about $400.00 minimum. A good apartment costs about $550.00 with gated security.

Beer is $1.25 for a large bottle and $1.00 for a small bottle if bought in the tiendas. Buy the same in the restaurants or bars and it is $2.50 for 12 oz of draft. Bottled beer in the restaurants is $3.00 and up.

Don't listen to how cheap it is to live in EC. International Living Razazine tells lies. They have vested interest in Ecuador as most countries. It's how they make their money through advertising and investments.

Come to EC but don't wear your Rolex. It will be removed by a local. Stealing is a way of life much like it is in most countries. You are a gringo. Ecuadorians do not like gringos to stay in their country. They want your money and then go. Hence, green go!

You can wear "flip flops" just about anywhere and expect Ecuadorians to do the same. Use discretion like you would in the states.

Come to visit before you retire. Look at the prices and what you get. Buying is reasonable, not cheap. Renting is fair, not cheap. For a couple expect to spend at least $1,800 per month living (without tours and lots of entertainment). Add some fun and you will spend $500 month more.

My apartment is $450.00 and uts run about $70 more. If you want to eat good add $75 per week. Add transportation if you don't have a car. About $50 per month. Movies, beer and playing is about $150.00 month.

If you are retired and don't leave the house you can live here for $1,200 month. You won't have much fun.

#Bob Moyers on May 16, 2013 :
Is it possible to drive from the U.S. to Ecuador?
#Guayaquil on May 10, 2013 :
Why do you let people lie on this site? The prices are very close to actual. You can not live in EC for $500 month.

You won't let anyone comment that doesn't meet your lies. What are you getting out of it to see these people lie about the low costs?
#Guayaquil on May 10, 2013 :
Caution when coming to EC with a pet. Doctors here are not very educated. There is no such thing as emergency surgery for pets. It is Monday thru Friday.

As for prices here in EC throughout the country they are about the same. Guayaquil is same as Quito and Cuenca. I have lived in Cuenca, Conocoto, Playas and Guayaquil (Samborondon).

Food prices are high in Megamaxi. You have to get away from using the chain stores.

To live on $1,100 a month is stretching it. More like $2,000 if you want to have a life outside your apartment.

The days of the $200 month apartment is gone in the nice areas with security. Not it is about $400 to start for a 1 bdroom.

I have lived in a small place and large places. Currently live in a place for $900 month without uts. Uts are about $50 which will run a small air conditioner part time. Propane is $3.50 and will has 2 or 3 months.

You have to look for the air conditioners. Not all places have them.

Best to come here for 2 weeks and look. If you don't speak Spanish stay in Cuenca or Quito (Cumbaya).

I've been here 2 years. Your biggest enemy here is the gringos trying to sell you their lies. Don't read the "ragazines" or believe Gary Scott.