Moving to Ecuador
What to Bring

Moving to Ecuador? Not sure what to bring and what to leave behind?

You can obtain just about anything in Ecuador, if you know where to look. Sometimes it can turn into quite the treasure hunt before you find what you are looking for.

When moving to Ecuador I have some "must have" items. So here are a few things that I've found so useful in Ecuador, that I just bring them from the U.S.

  • A bread maker. You can find nice little rolls in the Ecuadorian panaderías, but for other bread creations I love having my bread maker. I use it for making loaves of bread and pizza dough. The delay timer is great for waking up to the smell of fresh bread.
  • Pizza stone. This is just one of those things I prefer to use, and have never seen in Ecuador.
  • Juicer. Because of the wide variety of fruits and almost non-existence of juice concentrate a good juicer is very useful. Some of the heavy duty models like the Vita Mix, which offer a variety of options like making ice cream and soups can be a great help. But finding them in Ecuador is hard and if you did find one it would probably be expensive. 
  • Slow cooker. This is my newest addition to this list. Most of the time I've lived in Ecuador I've stuck to vegetarian meals. Now that we cook more meat I've found what others have....that beef in Ecuador can be very tough. The slow cooker is great for this problem and it also helps on those busy or hot days when you don't want to or have time to cook. 
  • Knives. Yes you can buy knives in Ecuador. But if you want a good set of knives, the easiest option is bringing them from home. Just don't put them in your carry-on luggage...that's another story. 
  • Medium sized battery powered lantern. This is a buy that we just recently acquired. Before, when the power would go out we'd all be scrambling around. "Where did I leave those candles?" "Who has the matches?" "Little ones...don't get too close." Now we keep a LED lantern in our kitchen. There's no question as to where it is or if it's on its last wick. Very handy.
  • Good walking shoes. A must. If you have a favorite pair of walking shoes buy an extra pair or two. They get used. I used to think only kids wore shoes out, but in Ecuador we all wear our shoes out and fast! A good, comfy pair of shoes is a life saver. For places where it rains frequently some good plastic shoes, like Crocs, can be great since they don't fall apart easily even after being wet repeatedly.
  • Small power tools. Are you handy at fixing things? Have a hobby that requires small power tools? Bringing these tools from home can be a good investment. Finding a hammer or screwdriver is easy, but a nice little hand drill can be expensive. 
  • Small electronics. Most things are pretty cheap in Ecuador. Electronics is one major exception. Not only are they a little behind on the newest and greatest, but the prices are high. Laptop computers, tablets and cell phones are especially high. Bring one from home.
  • Cookbooks. Not just any cookbooks though. You'll need a good cookbook with recipes from scratch. Moving to Ecuador will most likely change the way you cook. Lots of things that we just pick up at the store in other countries, have to made from scratch. My most common one is spaghetti sauce. For recipes that call for stewed tomatoes or chicken broth, you'll have to make it yourself. Of course the Internet has tons of resources, so just bring your favorite cookbooks.
  • UV Water Purifier. After several years of boiling water to purify it, my dad found a nice simple solution. He bought a UV Water Purifier. After connecting it to our kitchen sink we were able to have purified water right from the tap.

A lot of other household things are easy enough to find. Even some of the things I've listed can be found. I just find it easier (and sometimes cheaper) to get in the States.

Large things like furniture items can be made to your personal taste in Ecuador. So these items don't have to be brought when moving to Ecuador. There are many carpenters that can make beds and tables, just from a photo out of a magazine. And at reasonable prices. You can even find upholsterers who can make your chairs and sofas just the way you want.

Please note: Customs limits the number of certain items you can bring in to Ecuador. For example, there is a limit of three electric cooking devices. For most electronics you can bring one used and one new item in the different categories per person (not including minors). For a complete list see the Ecuadorian Customs webpage

If you plan to ship your belongings to Ecuador see this page

Already moved to Ecuador?
What's your "Must have" item from home?

When living so far from what you're used to, we all have that comfort item that make us feel more at home. Or we've brought something that just makes life easier. What's your "must have" item? Share how it makes your life in Ecuador easier.

Other Must Haves from My Visitors

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Juice and More Juice 
We brought our bread maker, cookbooks, slow cooker (broken lid when unpacked), knives, lantern and electronics. NO JUICER!! There is a blender here but …

Manta Marauder 
Unless you love flying insects called "mosca" {flies}, bring plenty of FLY-Traps with you. Home Depot has a big selection. One is non-toxic. The rest may …

Things I Left Behind When Moving to Ecuador 
When packing to come back to Ecuador I did not know that I would be working with a sign language group. I left behind a small DVD player. It is essential …

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