Tag Archive for: Quito Ecuador

Living in Quito Ecuador, The Pros and Cons

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is a popular place to live for expats from all over the world. We’ve spent a lot of time exploring the city and surrounding areas, and we lived in one of the suburbs for almost 2 years.

It’s a big city with almost 2 million people and it has all the amenities you would expect from a big city, including a new Metro rail system.

However, even though Quito is a great place to live, there are some downsides that you need to consider before calling it home.

In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of Quito, Ecuador to help you decide if it’s the place you want to live abroad.

Watch Our Video About the Pros & Cons of Quito, Ecuador

Living in Quito: The Pros

View of Cathedral and surrounding neighborhood in Quito Ecuador

Here are the things that you might love about living in Quito.

Conveniences: Quito is a big city so you can find most things you need. There are  large malls and a variety of specialty shops, plus small mom and pop stores in the neighborhoods making it easy to get what you need without driving all over the city.

Culture: If you love cultural activities then Quito is the right place for you! There is much to experience, from museums, historical sites, art galleries, to the national ballet, and more. Quito is a haven for cultural enthusiasts.

Mitad del Mundo Quito EcuadorActivities: Quito provides a plethora of activities. Explore the historic Centro Historico, take a ride on the Teleferiqo, visit the iconic Mitad del Mundo, or enjoy a leisurely stroll through Parque La Carolina. There’s hiking, cycling, classes, and a variety of day trips.

Global Connectivity: Quito has an international airport with direct flights to the United States, Europe, Mexico, and other countries in South America.

After flying through multiple airports we are even more impressed with the efficiency

and the quality of the airport. It is quick and easy to get through security, go through customs, and pick up your luggage.

There are always taxis outside and they are safe.

View of the city with neighborhoods and high rise buildings in Quito EcuadorDiverse Neighborhoods: Whether you seek the vibrancy of urban living or the tranquility of the suburbs, Quito offers diverse neighborhoods catering to various preferences and budgets.

Some popular neighborhoods within the city are Centro Historico, La Floresta, and La Carolina.

The suburbs are in the valley and they are approximately 20 to 30 minutes from Quito by car. Popular areas include Valle de los Chillos, Tumbaco, and Cumbayá.

Living in Quito: The Cons

Now for the downsides of living in Quito Ecuador.

Safety Considerations: While certain areas are safe, Quito does come with safety considerations. Being aware of your surroundings is crucial, as safety levels can vary across neighborhoods.

Traffic Challenges: With a population of around 2.5 million, traffic congestion is a daily reality in Quito. Navigating the city streets requires patience and strategic planning.

View of Quito, Ecuador from mountain Elevation and Weather: The elevation of Quito is 9400 feet! The sun can be very strong at times. It can also be cloudy, cold, and rainy. You can have strong sun and cold temps in the same day so you’ll need sunscreen and layers.

If you struggle at high elevation or don’t like cloudy and cold weather, consider moving to the valley. In general it is much sunnier, warmer, and drier.

The elevation is still high, around 7000 feet, but the difference is noticeable and much more pleasant, at least to us!

Cost of Living: Quito tends to be pricier than Cuenca, Cotacachi, and smaller cities and towns in the mountains of Ecuador. Depending on your lifestyle, the cost of living may impact your budget.

Clouds over mountain in Quito, EcuadorLanguage Barrier: There are English speakers in Quito, especially in the tourist areas but you’ll still need to learn some Spanish. We’ve found the most English speakers in Cuenca.

Final Thoughts…

The elevation in Quito proper is too high for JP so we decided to settle in the valley. We enjoyed living in that part of Ecuador and being so close to the airport was a big plus, but we still prefer Cuenca for its affordability, safety and high quality of life.

It can be more expensive in parts of Quito so if you’re looking for a more budget friendly option, Cotacachi, Loja, or Cuenca might be a better fit for you.

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Cumbaya Ecuador Pros & Cons

Cumbayá is one of Ecuador’s most popular expat cities and for good reason! It has a lot of modern amenities, including excellent healthcare, shopping, and restaurants!

It’s a suburb of Quito and functions as a bedroom community for many people who work in the city center. A good comparison in the U.S. would be the Denver suburb of Cherry Creek.

We lived in Cumbaya for almost 2 years and loved it, but there are some downsides. In this article, we’ll share the pros and the cons to help you decide if it is a good fit for you.

The Pros of Cumbayá

There are a lot of factors about living in Cumbayá that are appealing to foreign residents, especially from the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Ideal Elevation and Climate

View of fountain and flowering trees in Cumbaya Parque CentralCumbayá’s elevation is 7200 feet / 2200 meters, which is significantly lower compared to Quito proper where the elevation is 9400 feet / 2800 meters. It’s also lower than the popular expat cities of Cotacachi and Cuenca.

Thanks to its location in the Quito valley, the weather is much warmer and drier than Quito, Cotacachi and Cuenca. The UV is still high so don’t forget your sun protection!

Great Location

One of the reasons why Cumbayá is so popular is because it is easy to get to the international airport and the downtown area of Quito.

It takes 30 minutes to drive to the airport and Carolina Park in Quito is a 20 minute drive. The historic center is a 30 minute drive.

There are also a variety of day trips to experience such as Ilaló, Cotapaxi, Quilotoa Lake, and Cotacachi, which is just a 1 ½ hour drive.

Diverse Housing Options

Cumbayá boasts a range of housing options, from single-family homes to townhomes and condos, accommodating various preferences and lifestyles.

You can find luxury apartment complexes and gated communities with pools and private parks. You’ll also find renovated buildings in local neighborhoods such as La Primavera.

There’s a lot of new housing complexes under construction with different price points as well.

Variety of Shops

Street view of mixed use buildings in CumbayaThe suburb offers a plethora of shopping options, including two malls, Scala and Paseo, as well as Megamaxi, Supermaxi, local mercaditos, and even an organic farmers market in El Paseo on the weekends.

There’s also a great organic farm, or huerta, located on the Chaquiñán trail next to Scala mall and you’ll find several organic, bulk, and specialty stores.

If there is something you can’t find in Cumbayá you should be able to find it in Quito proper.

Excellent Restaurants

Amelia reading menu at Paccari Restaurant in CumbayaThere are a lot of restaurants in Cumbayá, from fast food to fine dining. Some of our favorites are Pacari, Zanto, and Noe.

The Pacari located in El Centro has a rooftop restaurant with amazing views of the Ilaló Volcano to the south and Quito proper to the west.

You’ll find a variety of cuisines in Cumbayá, from traditional Ecuadorian food to Italian, Asian, Indian, and more.

Parks and Trails

Surrounded by nature, Cumbayá provides residents with opportunities for outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, biking, and birdwatching.

View of entry to the Chaquiñan trail in Cumbaya

There are small neighborhood parks and the Chaquiñan urban trail, which was converted from an old rail line into a 20 mile walking and cycling trail.

Along the trail you’ll find the Parque Los Algarrobos, a beautiful and peaceful dry forest.

Another popular spot for walking and jogging is the Reservoir. The city has been renovating the trail and amenities making it much more accessible. There are great views of Quito and the surrounding mountains.

Active Community

The community in Cumbayá is known for its vibrancy, with people frequently seen walking, cycling, working, and attending school.

There are a lot of students attending the San Francisco University adding to the liveliness of the area.

Family-Friendly Environment

Cumbayá is particularly suitable for families, offering good international schools and attracting European expats seeking a family-oriented lifestyle.

Safety

The city prioritizes safety, with a noticeable presence of police and security guards. It’s common to see women and children walking by themselves during the day and groups of people walking at night.

Excellent Healthcare

Access to excellent healthcare facilities, such as SIME in Mall del Paseo and Hospital de los Valles, ensures residents have quality medical services available.

You can typically see a doctor within a few days (or less). You can also get tests done within a couple of days and the results are usually available the same day.

The Cons of Cumbayá

While living in Cumbayá does have a lot of benefits, there are also some drawbacks.

Cost of Living

The major drawback to Cumbayá is its relatively high cost of living. The locals call it Cumbayork (as in New York) or Cumbayami (as in Miami) because the costs are much higher compared to cities such as Cuenca and Cotacachi.

Expect to pay more for housing, food, and services such as haircuts. Private schools can cost up to $1000/month. Our cost of living in Cumbaya was about $1000/month more than it was in Cuenca.

However, the prices are still low compared to places like Cherry Creek in Denver.

Crowded

The suburb faces increasing traffic congestion due to ongoing condo construction. There are simply more people with cars than there are roads for them to use.

The malls, restaurants, parks and trails are often full of people making the experience less enjoyable. We avoided the trails on the weekends due to the overabundance of cyclists and joggers, which made walking difficult and often dangerous.

High Elevation

Despite being lower in elevation than some other cities, Cumbayá still maintains a high elevation, which may pose challenges for individuals sensitive to such conditions.

Dry Climate

View of mountains and valley from Cumbaya ReservoirThe arid climate in Cumbayá can be a challenge for those who prefer a more humid environment. It can often be windy as well.

The combination of wind, dust and abundant plant life meant our allergies were worse in Cumbayá than other areas in Ecuador.

Limited Activities

As a bedroom community, Cumbayá might not offer as many activities as some expats desire. You’ll need to go into Quito proper for more cultural activities.

We also found that not as many locals speak English in Cumbayá, which means there aren’t as many English-speaking activities as there are in Cuenca.

Final Thoughts…

Our experience in Cumbayá was undeniably enjoyable, with its vibrant atmosphere and diverse amenities.

We felt very safe there and we loved the weather and the community. However, the higher cost of living took a toll on our budget.

Looking ahead, when we return from our extended travels, we’ll probably move back to Cuenca, our favorite place, primarily for its affordability and enduring charm.

See Also:

Watch Our Video About the Pros & Cons of Cumbaya Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Jaw-Dropping Homes For Sale in Valle de los Chillos Ecuador

Valle de los Chillos Ecuador Real Estate Tour

Valle de los Chillos is located in the southeast corner of the Quito Ecuador Metro Area and offers a diverse range of properties that are perfect for any budget.

This area is just a 30-minute drive from downtown Quito and 45 minutes from the Quito International Airport, making it an ideal location for those looking to be close to both city and airport amenities.

We visited two golf course communities – Club los Chillos and Club los Cerros – and had the opportunity to tour four properties.

Club los Chillos is a large gated community that offers a 9-hole golf course, an Olympic swimming pool, clay tennis courts, a bar and restaurant, a large fenced park, and several other amenities.

Club los Cerros is an exclusive golf course community with houses that line the perimeter of an 18-hole professional golf course and a nice restaurant in the club house.

Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly option or a luxurious home, you’ll find plenty of options in Valle de los Chillos!

Watch Our Video About Homes For Sale in Valle de los Chillos Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Avocado Tasting in Ilaló Ecuador

One reason we love exploring Ecuador is because we never know what to expect and we’re always surprised by what we find!

In this video, we share several things that make the area and communities around the base of the Ilaló Volcano near Quito Ecuador so unique and unusual.

Ilalo is located about 20 minutes from the center of Quito and 10 minutes from Tumbaco Ecuador. The Quito International Airport is about 30 minutes away.

Here are links to help plan your visit:

El Jardín Alado – The Winged Garden

Casa Ilayaku – B&B and avocado tasting

Guangopolo Tourism and Cedazos (Sieves)

Watch Our Video About Ilaló Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Touring Quito Ecuador w/ a Local

We had one day to spend in Quito Ecuador and it was memorable! We asked Xavier to show us a couple places the tourists don’t go, and we wanted to get some aerial shots with Mini before the weather derailed our plans.

The elevation and high winds led to a drone-tastrophy! And Amelia’s herbal beatdown led to a very unexpected and shocking end to our day!

Watch Our Video About Quito Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Unbelievable Mansion For Sale in Quito Ecuador!

If you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic place to live, close to the bustling city of Quito, then Cumbayá is the place for you.

Situated in the Andean foothills of Ecuador, Cumbayá is a small town that has quickly become a popular destination for expats looking for a new place to call home.

The area is renowned for its pleasant year-round weather, stunning natural beauty, and vibrant cultural scene.

Rancho San Francisco Mansion Real Estate Tour Quito EcuadorWhether you enjoy hiking, biking, or simply soaking up the sun, there’s something for everyone in Cumbayá.

One of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Cumbayá is Rancho San Francisco, which has become a popular hub for expats looking for an active and dynamic community.

With its breathtaking natural surroundings, mild weather, and rich cultural heritage, Rancho San Francisco offers an idyllic lifestyle that many have only dreamed of.

For those looking to buy property in the area, Rancho San Francisco and the surrounding neighborhoods offer a variety of homes to fit most budgets and requirements.

Real estate agent Patty, is an experienced real estate agent who specializes in buying and selling properties in the Cumbayá region.

Patty showed us five properties in Rancho San Francisco and nearby Tumbaco, which is located about 10 minutes east of Cumbayá.

With Patty’s help, you can find the perfect home that meets your needs and fits your budget, and start enjoying the many benefits of living in this charming and welcoming community.

Watch Our Video About The Unbelievable Mansion For Sale in Quito Ecuador!

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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450 yo Neighborhood in Quito Ecuador (Casa San Marcos Quito Old Town)

Walking through the historic center of Quito is like stepping back in time, and back to the old country of Spain!

The colorful buildings of San Marcos with equally colorful flowers adorning the balconies reminded us of a simpler time.

You’ll love staying at the historic Casa San Marcos Hotel and Art Gallery. Tell Mayra you saw her in our video. She is such a neat lady!

Watch Our Video About San Marcos in Quito Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Cumbaya Ecuador Real Estate Tour

We were in awe while recording this Ecuador real estate tour in Cumbaya, which is a suburb of Quito. The homes were amazing and the Aquarela condo development was simply unbelievable!

These are just three of countless homes that are available for sale and rent in the Cumbaya area. This area is one of the most expensive places in Ecuador.

Our last real estate tour in Cotacachi is much more affordable.

You may also enjoy watching our other Ecuador Property Tours.

Watch Our Cumbaya Ecuador Real Estate Tour Video

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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Enter your email address to receive helpful and timely information about living abroad, slow travel, having more freedom, and living life on YOUR terms!

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Quito Ecuador Middle of the World Tour (Pululahua Volcano, Mitad del Mundo)

Since I was a kid, I always wanted to see visual proof with my own eyes that water rotates the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere compared to the Northern Hemisphere. Now I have that proof, and I filmed it!

In this video, we went to the Pululahua Volcano Geobotanical Reserve located about 30 minutes north of Quito, Ecuador.

Then we went to the official Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the Earth) Monument to see where French explorers placed the equator several hundred years ago.

Then we went to the scientific equator as measured by GPS and the rotating water test at Museo Intiñan, which is located 240 meters northwest of the internationally famous monument.

Here’s the link to our TeleferiQo Cable Car video.

Watch Our Video About Mitad del Mundo

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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TelefériQo Cable Car in Quito Ecuador

For our very first time filming in the Quito area, we visited a popular tourist attraction for both local and international travelers.

The TelefériQo Cable Car on the west side of central Quito and takes you to the top of a mountain with spectacular views of the city below. On a clear day, you’ll also see the iconic Cotopaxi Volcano located south of Quito.

If you visit La Cuchara Orgánica on the northwest side of the Quito area, be sure to tell them you saw our video! Here’s a link to their Facebook page.

Watch Our Video About the TelefériQo Cable Car in Quito Ecuador

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING WE GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH OUR LINKS. THERE IS NO COST TO YOU AND SOMETIMES YOU'LL EVEN GET A DISCOUNT BY USING OUR LINK. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

 

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