Quito Where to live: The old or the new?
I like having a bit of action and Quito has Ecuador’s largest concentrate of ex-pats stationed here. Like any city, you need to get the heck out every now and again. And getting out is easy; to the north and south lay Mindo, Papallata, Banos and Otovalo—all great little respites of naturalness. The main question for anybody coming to live in Quito is where. Quito proper has two parts worth living in: the new town or central historical. Here follows a little guide that might help you decide between the three places.
Quito new town
Probably the more fashionable choice is Quito’s new town. If you move out here, you’ll find yourself within minutes from great shopping, eating, cinemas, nightlife, fitness and moving from north to south, the New town is connected with the central historical, bus stations and the airport terminal with excellent public transport. Some of the nicer districts to look into ar Gonzales Surez, Bellavista and Parque Carolina.
Most folks end up living in condos which are all very modern now and up to codes on par with what we have in the US, so have no preoccupations there. Most have 24 hour security and onsight parking so your personal safety is also not a concern. I’ve always rented which will run very cheap—like 200$ per month, but for $500—wow–one could get a real nice single apartment!. To buy– think 60-100K.
Quito Central Historical
Ah, the Historical center. It is a crazy meandering neighborhood of shops and cobblestone streets. Street vendors, children running about, tourists and politicians. It is Ecuador’s, and South , best preserved historical district having gained UNESCO’s world heritage status. Imagine passing the presidential palace each day on your way to get a carton of milk and imagine living in an old colonial mansion. Well, here you can. The best thing about property here is that a large portion has been renovated inside while preserving the historical facade. This means you can live in a fully modern building with updated heating and plumbing, all structurally sound.
It’s actually good value here to rent and buy—generally 25-30% lower rent wise than the New town. And to buy—wow! What about living in a colonial mansion or running a quaint B&B? Here you have 7+ room/5 bathroom converts for between 140K—350K that are modernized and ready for you alone or renting out to guests.
Whichever way you go, it’s best to get some local advice before you rent or buy. If you want my advice, take a room in La Mariscal—or “Gringolandia” how it’s known to the locals. Here you can meet a lot of local gringos living in Quito.
Go check out Finn McCool’s, Uncle Ho’s, The English Book Shop or Bungalow 6—all gringo run and all popular with gringos. Talk to folks and get the real scoop. You’ll probably find a place to live in one night!
If you have anything to say about this article or would like to voice your opinion about living in Quito then leave a comment below!
- The South American Explorers Club – Travel Advice in Quito
- Finding an Apartment in Quito – Short and Long Term Rentals
- Associated Health Benefits of Living in Ecuador
- Historic Hacienda Stays—Half the fun is getting there