What It Really Costs To Live In Cuenca Ecuador (2015)

Before I go into the specifics I want to say how fortunate it is for my wife and I to have the privilege of living in Ecuador. The purpose of this article is to review some of the costs and to debunk some of the myths that you read about concerning unrealistic low costs. Everyone is is an individual and what is a good for me may not be that person’s choice.

Last year at this time I wrote an extensive post on my family’s cost of living. You can see the post here . I highly recommend you read the post because I’m only going to amend the costs that have changed.

Here is what has changed from last year.

  • Food in the Mercados and SuperMaxi have increased significantly in costs. For example Milk has increased from $1.07 to $1.37 a liter. Thc cost of fruits and vegetables have also increased significantly and the prices of imported products (i.e. liquor, wine, specialty items) have gone up as well.
  • Water and Electricity have also risen. Today, I paid my water bill and it was $7.95. Last year it was $4.95 per month.
  • We are enrolled in the IESS Medical insurance program. The premiums increased about $4 per month but more significantly last year 5 of the 8 family monthly prescriptions were on the formulary now it is 3 adding additional monthly medical costs.
  • One of the houses on our street had a home invasion and for safety we installed an electric fence around the perimeter of the house. That amortized to an extra $50 per month for this year.
  • We added fiber optic Internet since the previous provider could not provide adequate bandwidth for streaming video. That added another $30 per month.
  • Going out to eat to at a fine restaurant has increased. A meal for two, with wine, tip and a taxi is $60
  • We have two cats and they eat IAMs cat food. Our first cat died from the local cat food here. A 15 kg bag is $132. Up about $30
  • Airfare back to the United States once a year has increased and the cost of staying a month in the U.S. (i.e. rental cars, gasoline, food, presents) has also increased.


Again I encourage you to read last year’s posting on costs to get the full picture and the difference between last year and this year.

My point is that to flourish, travel and maintain good medical and dental health requires much more than you read in some of the comments and blogs. My estimate for 2015 has increased 10% from last year.




4 thoughts on “What It Really Costs To Live In Cuenca Ecuador (2015)

  1. Thank you for this update, I appreciate all the great info you have shared. Looking forward to our second visit in November 🙂 Debbie (in Oregon)

  2. Pingback: 4 Year Anniversary – Cuenca Tech Life

  3. I doubt very much if your cat died from the cat food here unless it was a one-off accident or you managed to get some of the contaminated cat food that came from China several years back. Many people use those dry foods to feed their cats in this country. I know several and they seem to be fine. But, having said all of that, my cat gets mostly wet cat food almost all the time. I have dry cat food for him as well. But I feed him the wet food during the day. I also make sure to add more water to the wet food because some cats do not drink enough water on their own. An only dry cat food diet and lack of sufficient water can lead to kidney disease. We inherited a cat that already had kidney disease and it is not pleasant to go through especially for the animal. You eventually have to decide that it is best for the animal to have it put down before it has to suffer too much.

    If I feed a cat dry food only it’s fur will become rougher to the touch and not silky shiny as it should be. I have done lots of experimentation with this. I was even giving my cat some home made wet cat food that is made here in Cuenca. He started to lose his fur around his tail and hind quarters and lost a fair bit of weight. That was after using this food for about 6 months. Then I stopped using that food and just about that time a new canned cat food became available here in Cuenca called “Pure Nature” made here in Ecuador. I started feeding him the “Higado de Pollo” version and within a few weeks he started putting on weight. His fur was nice and silky shiny and he has been doing great ever since. The can costs about .95 so is not a big expense. He eats one of these a day. I also feed him Purina Felix Pavo Pate and Atun Pate as well. That is a bit more costly because it is imported. I believe it is close to $2.90 per can at Supermaxi. It is more costly at Fybeca (around $3.10 per can). I know another guy who had a cat for several years and had brought his cat to Cuenca with him. He was feeding it solely Royal Canin dry cat food. Just last year the cat died of kidney failure. If you do your research on the Net you will see that there is a lot of speculation over this issue, but one thing is clear: There are a lot of cats succumbing to kidney disease. So why risk it?

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