Cost of Living in Ecuador

Cost of Living in Ecuador: A Detailed Breakdown for a Family of Three


Are you considering relocating to Ecuador and wondering what it might cost to live there with a family? You’re in the right place! My name is Jasmine, and my family and I have lived in Ecuador for almost three years. When we arrived, I was pregnant, and now our child is almost two years old. While our expenses have fluctuated over time, I’ll share our current cost of living breakdown. Check out the links below to learn more about us.

Understanding Ecuador’s Currency

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to note that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its official currency. This change took place in 2000, replacing the Ecuadorian sucre. US dollar bills and Ecuadorian-issued centavo coins are used throughout the country.

Housing Costs

  • Our Family’s Housing Expenses: $0
  • As expats working for the State Department, my family benefits from employer-covered housing costs.
  • For those moving independently: Ecuador is a top destination for American and Canadian expats due to its affordable living costs, especially in housing.

Typical Rental Costs:

  • Modest two-bedroom apartments: $300/month
  • Luxury duplex penthouses: Up to $1,300/month
  • Cuenca: Modern two-bedroom apartments with terraces and mountain views for around $750/month (including internet and utilities)
  • Quito: Three-bedroom furnished apartments in the capital for about $800/month. Luxury living in high-end neighborhoods like Cumbayá and Quito Tenis for around $2,000/month.
  • Rural areas: Cheaper options like a modest house in Vilcabamba with land for $500-$600/month or a one-bed furnished apartment in Cotacachi’s historic center for around $400/month.

Groceries and Food

  • Our Family’s Groceries and Food Expenses: $600-$800/month
  • Grocery shopping in Ecuador varies by location. We typically spend $200-$250 per grocery run, shopping every two weeks, and an additional $30-$100 for grocery deliveries.
  • We occasionally dine out, spending $25-$40 per meal, with my husband also ordering lunch daily for about $5.

To keep costs low and control our diet, I bake and make many of our snacks from scratch.


  • Our Family’s Transportation Expenses: $50/month
  • We are a one-car household driving a fuel-efficient Nissan SUV. My husband uses the car for work, filling the tank every month for around $26.


  • Our Family’s Education Expenses: $0
  • I am a stay-at-home mom and handle our child’s education.
  • Preschool or daycare in Ecuador can cost around $250-$400 monthly. Hiring a nanny can vary, but adhering to local labor laws and paying fair wages is essential. We once paid $25 per day for a nanny.


  • Our Family’s Healthcare Expenses: $340/month
  • Our health and dental insurance is provided through my husband’s employer. Therapy sessions, partly covered by insurance, cost us about $30 per session.


  • Our Family’s Utility (Internet) Expenses:$30/month (other utilities are covered in our housing costs).

Entertainment and Leisure

  • Our Family’s Entertainment and Leisure Expenses: $100/month
  • We subscribe to Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime, Masterclass, Spotify, and NBA League Pass (during playoffs). Without cable, streaming services are our primary source of entertainment.

Toddler Expenses

  • Our Family’s Toddler Expenses: $50-$100/month
  • This includes diapers, wipes, diaper genie refills, subscription boxes, and clothes.


  • Our Family’s Miscellaneous Expenses: $50-$100/month
  • This covers dry cleaning, snacks, cleaning services, and other incidental expenses.

Living in Ecuador with a family of three can be affordable and enjoyable, especially with careful budgeting and planning. Our monthly expenses vary but generally fall within these ranges. If you found this information helpful, check out our links for the resources mentioned and subscribe to our newsletter for more tips and tricks on living abroad. Safe travels and happy living!

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