Expats have been coming to Ecuador for a few decades now from a range of countries around the world. In the last decade, the number of expats has jumped, and in the last five years, the influx is tremendously greater. It’s a popular spot to retire. Millennials are also jumping ship from their homelands and making a new life and quickly learning to love Ecuador.
What Do They Love About This Small South American Coastal Equatorial Country?
There are five features that I have noticed, that seem to be the main attractors.
Love Ecuador Reason #1 Affordability
Both retirees and millennial travelers need better affordability than they can find in “advanced” cultures. As a generality, the cost of services (doctor, vet, repairs, hair styling, massage, insurance) in Ecuador is about 1/3 the price for the same service in the US. The cost of food – depending on what you eat and where you buy it – is around half of that in the US. Renting is far cheaper here, as are hotels. For cost savings think of this: Houses aren’t heated or air-conditioned because it’s not needed!
Love Ecuador Reason #2 Pleasant Climate
Retirees tend to want to avoid snow. Millennials tend to want nice weather for outdoor sports. The four climate zones of Ecuador provide an abundance of options. The Amazon rainforest region is hot and humid year-round. The Andes Mountains region has mild spring-like temperatures year-round. The coastal areas are warm to hot all year. And the Galapagos Islands have perpetual heavenly beach weather.
3. Ancient Culture With Modern Amenities
Ecuador was inhabited by ancient Inca and then Cañari tribes.
500 years ago, the Spanish conquistadors began building ornate cathedrals, houses, and buildings.
Those sumptuous structures are often still standing and occupied.
Traditional festivals happen almost monthly, filling the towns with parades, artisans, costumes, food, music.
Expats can explore parks with ruins and museums with artifacts.
Then, the modern amenities make Ecuador ideal for expats who work online.
Most cities have strong fiber optic internet connections, as do many of the towns.
Cafes and restaurants abound with Wi-Fi and food from all parts of the world. Cafes welcome customers with laptops to make it their office away-from-home.
Food delivery services, luxury apartment buildings, symphony orchestras, and an extensive network of walking and biking paths in the cities complete the sense of having most of the desired conveniences: affordably.
Love Ecuador Reason #4 Outdoor Adventures
Starting with the Galapagos islands: All water sports are available, especially snorkeling among the coral reefs.
On the mainland, wildlife parks and bird sanctuaries are plentiful, so in Ecuador, you can meet giant tortoises, condors, llamas, monkeys, jaguars, and more.
Hiking, climbing, kayaking, surfing, parasailing, whale watching, and fishing are popular.
Take a tour along the Avenue of Volcanoes: visit 8 dizzyingly high, snowcapped volcanoes, some of which are active.
More mundane things to do include biking and dog walking along the river trails, picnicking in the mountains, visiting the organic farm communities, and photographing colorful nature that you’ll see nowhere else.
Love Ecuador Reason #5 Bonded Communities of Expats
Though most expats seem to be from the US and Canada, I’ve met expats from South Africa, Australia, Iran, Germany, China, Taiwan, The Philippines, India, and Ukraine, all who love Ecuador. They find their countrymen and form sub-communities that socialize together and create related businesses. I’ve noticed that expats from all countries feel a kinship with one another.
Among the English speakers, most take part in such things as karaoke and trivia nights, card games at sports bars, concerts, craft groups, gallery openings, volunteering to help needy locals, and taking group tours to the rainforest, beach, or bird sanctuaries. They celebrate familiar holidays at restaurants that serve that culture’s foods. Young families with babies form a cross-cultural sub-community.
These five reasons for loving Ecuador truly do make it a comfortable home for retirees, millennials, and all sorts of other categories of expats. Come see for yourself!
What are the five reasons you love your host country? Share them with the TCI Community.
by: Bonnie Willow