Moving to Ecuador: 
An Idea Whose Time has Come

By Linda McFarlin 

Has moving to Ecuador ever crossed your mind, even fleetingly?  Come on...Confess...How often have you wiled away an afternoon imagining a wonderful life...somewhere else?   

Ever see yourself deserting a tedious board meeting and grabbing a plane for parts unknown...dancing on a moonlit beach instead of paying the bills...bargain-hunting in foreign markets, river rafting? 

You may not be aware that you can do all of that, and more, just by moving to Ecuador.  Ecuador is a hidden treasure.  Atacames, Mindo, the Galapagos, the Amazon, Otavalo, Chachimbiro... These exotic destinations await your discovery and exploration.

Ecuador offers a whole new world to enjoy.  Much of it is little-known. Have you ever actually seen a blue-footed boobie, a condor or a carunculated caracara. . . even in a zoo? Although these birds are endangered they can still be experienced in their natural habitat.    

Moving to Ecuador entails some planning if the experience is to be optimum.  And if moving to Ecuador is a serious consideration, the information on Ecuador contained here will help smooth the transition for you.

Get up-to-the-minute information on Ecuador:  news and weather, as well as commentary on the political climate.

What You Must Know Before Moving to Ecuador

Living in a foreign land yet continuing to act as if you are still in your home country is guaranteed to end in misunderstandings, puzzlement and downright upsetting situations.  So why not come to Ecuador armed with a new way of looking at the world other than your own?

North America is experiencing an increase in negative publicity around the world.  No need to contribute personally to the “ugly American” syndrome.  When moving to Ecuador be a responsible resident.  Our thought-provoking and somewhat controversial views about global responsibility will make your integration into the country smooth and less stressful. 

Moving to Ecuador?
FREE!  Find Out How to Effectively Navigate Ecuador’s Culture!

Click here for Pro-Ecuador’s, “The Responsible Global Citizen’s Top 7 Tips for Global Living”

Ecuador Visas

Ecuador’s tourist visa is issued for 90 days with a maximum 90-day extension.  If you will be living permanently in Ecuador or staying for most of each year, you will  need to obtain a resident visa.  There are six different categories of resident visas and you can also stay longer than the 6 months allowed each year by applying for and receiving a non-resident visa.  

A non-resident visa is for things like student, work, missionary or cultural exchange.   However, the resident visa is the only visa that allows you to bring your furniture and personal belongings into Ecuador duty-free.

Click here for complete resident and non-resident visa requirements and information.

Bring or Buy?

Even though Ecuador is considered a third-world country, moving to Ecuador can be surprisingly luxuriousin many ways.  The country is full of furniture makers and world-class wood carvers.  With a little perseverance, and a lot of patience, you canpurchase a house full of custom-designed and custom-made furniture from woods like laurel, seike, roble and nogal.  More exotic hardwoods are available at a higher cost.  These amenities make your move to Ecuador exciting and enjoyable. 

Comparison shop and you will be the proud owner of wonderful, unique pieces of furniture at a fraction of their price in the United States or Europe.  Many Ecuadorian woodcarvers are masters at copying any design or style.    San Antonio de Ibarra, home of master wood carvers, is one of those places in Ecuador where treasures are hidden around every corner
Very good quality mattresses are plentiful, but finding high-quality sheets, blankets and bedspreads can be challenging.  And even though the package says “twin” or “queen,” the linens will be shorter than North American sizes, with little if any overhang for tucking.  Towels are also much thinner and less luxurious than those found in North America in better stores. So it’s best to bring your own sheets and towels.  

Click here for our free report on what to bring with you and what is best to purchase after you arrive in Ecuador along with the name of a wonderful store that sells excellent wool and cotton/wool blankets and bedspreads amongst its other natural wool products.  

Shipping Household and Personal Belongings to Ecuador

Once you have decided what to bring and what to purchase abroad in Ecuador, the next hurtle will be to arrange packing and transport from your home country to facilitate your move to Ecuador.  Choosing the right shipper is of utmost importance.  There are horror stories of improper packing, precious belongings damaged beyond repair or simply missing, and containers sitting in the port of exit or entry for long periods of time.  

Best to do your homework before picking a shipper.  Compare prices and shipping details as well as collect references first.

Automobiles:  Ship, Buy or Rent

Cars cannot be shipped in the same container with your household goods and personal belongings.  Used cars can’t be shipped to Ecuador at all.  The car must be in the current model year or the new model year.   If your car is a 2009 model and it arrives in 2010, too bad!  

It will be impounded and sold at auction or shipped back to your home country at your expense.  

We Never Leave Home Without It

During our ten years wandering the planet together, Gary and I always carried with us one primary natural remedy for those foreign bugs and inevitable stomach problems that result from a change in locale as well as tainted foods or less-than-pure water.  

We consider this simple citrus medicine our most indispensable remedy and one you absolutely must have when you move to Ecuador.

Click here to find out all about this remarkable natural medicine and detox.  

What to Wear and Where to Wear It

Even though I have been living and traveling in Ecuador and other South American countries for years, I still brought the wrong clothes when I moved here!  I just couldn’t get it into my head that living in Ecuador at the equator wouldn’t always be, well. . . equatorial.  Hot.

While many parts of Ecuador are sizzling during most or part of the year:  the beaches, lowlands, jungles – Cotacachi, where we live, is in the highlands and rarely hot.  It’s paradise when the sun is out, but when the sun goes behind a cloud the weather immediately cools off, sometimes quite dramatically. It has been raining even in the traditionally dry season this year and every afternoon, like clockwork, the wind begins to blow.  This is one of the key pieces of information on Ecuador everyone needs to know.

I have seldom worn the shorts and sleeveless tops I brought with me to Ecuador because I haven’t spent much time at the beach.  What I do find indispensable are those travel and hiking pants with zip-out shorts, long-sleeved shirts and layers for the sudden changes in temperatures.

Although Ecuador is only the size of New Zealand, it is loaded with geographic diversity.  With such a large variance in weather, terrain and temperatures, you need to bring an assortment of clothing.  Ecuadorians say that in one day, you can experience spring, summer, fall and winter! Sometimes all in one location! 

Before moving to Ecuador, check the weather for the places in Ecuador you will be living and visiting.  This will help you decide what clothes are most appropriate to bring.  Click here for more information on Ecuador, including weather.

Carry These Words with You!

When you REALLY need a bathroom, you better know the word for it in Spanish!  Baño, or bathroom, is a much-used word in South America.  And while you’re at it, learn the words, “varones” and “mujeres,” which mean, “men” and “women” respectively, in case the bathrooms aren’t marked with the appropriate pictures.

How about a glossary of must-know Spanish words and Spanish phrases that will get you the help you need whether in an emergency or just everyday interactions. . .or better yet, keep you from making a ghastly social error! Even better, why not learn Spanish in Ecuador!

Moving to Ecuador:  Q and A’s

Moving to Ecuador can be a problem----because there are so many wonderful places in Ecuador to choose from!  If you are thinking about moving to Ecuador but need more help, considering the answers to these questions may bring additional clarity: 
Can I afford to live in Ecuador:  What’s the price of food, houses, cars?

Is building a house anything like it is in my country?

Can I finance land or houses in Ecuador when I am ready to buy? 

How is land measured in Ecuador?

Are the people friendly or antagonistic toward my country?

What is the social and cultural environment like?

How hard is it to get a resident visa and what does the process cost? 

Is it difficult to receive and send mail in Ecuador?

Need More Information on moving to Ecuador?

If checking out all the helpful and informative information provided on this web page finds you still with unanswered questions, click on Information on Ecuador.

Return to Living in Ecuador from Moving to Ecuador.

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