Named after the equator it straddles, Ecuador is another Latin American country rapidly becoming a retirement destination for expats.  Covering a landmass of 283,560 km2 and with a population of around 14 million, it’s one of the smaller countries in Latin America, (the UK including Northern Island is around 245,000 km2), but it offers a diversity of natural formations and climates difficult to find in other countries, from the dry and arid southern coast, to the Andes mountain range to the plains of the Amazon basin.

Ecuador is also home to one of the highest active volcanoes, has 2,237 kilometres of Pacific Ocean coastline as well as the world famous Galapagos Islands and is a stunning and dramatic nation.  So, is Ecuador right for expatriate retirement?

Well, retirement in Ecuador is possible if you can prove via 3 months bank statements that you’re in receipt of a pension over £550 per month and have another £70 available per dependant.  If you’re in receipt of annuities or are a trustee you can also live off money deposited in an Ecuadorian bank account.  So yes, in theory it is possible to retire to Ecuador…but would you want to?

Ecuador has risen in popularity as an alternative retirement destination for North American expatriates – and where the Americans lead Europeans are now following.  So it’s time us Brits got our head round the fact that Ecuador is indeed a stunning place to live in retirement too.

In order to apply for a visa to retire in Ecuador you’ll need to supply a police check, health check or letter from your doctor stating that you’re free from contagious diseases, as well as supplying the above detailed financial information.

If you’re not in receipt of a pension you can apply for the “investor of real estate or securities visa”.  This visa can be applied for with an investment of £17,000 in property in Ecuador, or if the same sum is deposited into an Ecuadorian bank account.

Both the above visas are resident visas allowing you to come and go as you please, the advantage of applying for a resident visa over a non-resident visa is that it also allows you to import your goods duty free.  In order to get an Ecuador resident visa you will have to live in Ecuador for 9 months out of 12 for 2 years, and after the second year you shouldn’t leave Ecuador for more than 18 consecutive months.

The cost of living in Ecuador is very low and the lifestyle on offer is extremely good.  Quito, the capital, is the location most people who retire in Ecuador choose, its year round spring like climate, good healthcare facilities and range of shopping facilities being a draw.  You can expect to pay around £350 per month for a good 2 bedroom apartment, although if you’re not to fussy they do start at around £100 per month!

A full time maid will cost around £170 per month and health and dental care are also very cheap, with a dental bridge costing around £80 and a visit to the doctor’s clinic running around £15.  The cost of transportation is also very cheap with a 10 mile taxi ride costing around £3.50, and bus rides around 20 pence per 15 miles.  Add to all this the fact that you could start your day shopping in Quito, then fly to the Gulf of Guayaquil to swim in the Pacific ocean, jump back on the plane to the Galapagos islands before returning to Quito in time for tea, (the most expensive internal flight is just £170), and you’ve got another good reason to retire in Ecuador!  For more information on our right to retire in Ecuador, visit Ecuador’s UK consulate’s website.