Is Ecuador a Good Place For a Single 60-Year Old Woman?

My name is Chrisandra and I am a youthful, fit 60-year old woman thinking of retiring (alone) to Ecuador (Quito?) or Panama in maybe 2 years.  I will have about $1,400 a month to live on and am frugal with simple tastes.  I hope to rent a small place, live without a car and walk to shops and farmers markets.  I have quiet hobbies but like "a night out in the pub" once in a while. I have a working knowledge of Spanish and am working on improving.  I am a world traveler, have lived in Hispanic neighborhoods i Los Angeles most of my life and am comfortable being alone. Would appreciate anyone's thoughts on an older woman alone in Ecuador and suggestions for places to live and safety tips.  Would love to have a penpal or two to make the dream more real.

The simple answer is Yes!

For the longer answer, subscribe to the blogs here and do a search for Ecuador expat on Yahoo and Google and join as many forums as you can handle.

Here on the coast in and around Salinas we have a growing and thriving expat population and I would say more than 50% are single females over 55 who have come here after the same search as you have made. There is another thriving community in the Cuenca area.

Do plan to come visit and see if Ecuador is really for you -- it is worth spending a month traveling and getting a feel of the different areas, life styles, and opportunities so you can find just what fits you best. And of course this will allow you time to visit with some of the attorneys who specialize in Visas to discuss the options available for you to live in this country.

Good luck with your plans and come visit soon!


Hi Chrisandra,

Welcome to Expat-blog! :)

RE:  OceanHideaway.  Very little to be said but yes to the above, especially the part about visiting before moving.

I only know one single expat here in Cuenca.  He reports some difficulty with being single as a lot here are married, myself included.  I would think that an extended stay would give you a better idea if this is for you.

As to visas, you meet, under the present law, the qualification for a retired visa.  While a few have reported doing the visa without a lawyer, for me that would be like doing a root canal by myself with a drill from Home Depot.

I live in Cuenca, and know of several single women here who are integrating just fine. One is a massage therapist, and the other I just met the other nite. Both seem very happy and comfortable in their new lives here.

Please take the visitation advice to both countries. As you said you are comfortable with Spanish, so going to both will give you a sense of how you would "fit" with the culture and communities in both.

Good Luck. Hope to meet you if you visit.


I am 62, retired, female and happy. If you are coming, get in contact with me and I'll show you around Manta. I lived near Quito for 8 months but the elevation was giving me health problems so I moved to the beach. I can make some suggestions as to where you might stay. Very nice places and inexpensive. I am going to be giving up my apartment in August(2 bedrooms, 1 small room (I use for an office. 3 bathrooms (all with showers), large kitchen, large living room and dining room, 2 balconies, and a workroom (for tools and such). If windows are open (they stay open all year 24/7) I get a breeze through the spartment. I have a great view of ocean; the beach is about 400 feet away. Stores in walking distance, downtown (with a beautiful park, post office, electric company and many small stores)) is a 10 minute walk. I walk up to about 15 minutes and get everything I need. You might be interested in renting my apartment. I only rent because I like to be free to roam. My rent is $750 (which is very cheap for being near ocean) My expenses (Food, electric, water, gas, internet) is approximately
$225. Many restaurants around. Expats in Manta (about 70) get together at one restaurant on Thursday evenings and another on Saturday afternoons. Sometimes 15 show up and sometimes 60. Very nice people. Quite a few singles retirees.
I have a U.S. line on my computer. Call anytime 818-392-8003. Dont use Skype, just use your phone.

Why not Chrisandra? You will make your dream come true it that is your intention. I am male, but also older and single. I don't think that gender is an issue living Ecuador and being single is what you make of it. People here are so genuinely warm and happy; I love being around them. After running into some health issues, I was invited to live with a family, which has been a great blessing. I know people report many different experiences in Ecuador. Mine has been so delightful, I think sometimes I must be missing something. I don't feel unsafe, i don't experience prejudice from being a foreigner, no one has ever been rude to me, and I have never been shown anything other than respect.

If you want to find a partner here, you may find the average Ecuadorian male (if that is your preference) a bit behind the times in terms of female equality. But, that is not to say that the perfect person is not here waiting for you. It would be an adventure to find out.

Quito is a great city, but a bit cold for my tastes. Buildings in Ecuador do not have central heating and Quito gets pretty cold. You will need to invest in some wool clothing. All of what you listed would be easy to achieve in Quito. You wouldn't need a car; buses and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Perhaps a visit would help you decide. If you want a little warmer weather and an equally delightful city, you might want to check out Cuenca. Cuenca is, in every respect, able to provide what you wish. And, it has a thriving expat community, if that is what you would like. I do not recommend Guayaquil, but some people do like living there. My biggest complaint regarding Guayaquil is that I don't feel safe there.

Panama is quite different than Ecuador. I am not an expert on Panama, but I do believe that expats in Ecuador generally express greater satisfaction that those in Panama. It would be ideal to visit both countries, but if you had to choose only one, Ecuador might be your best bet. Say a little bit more about what makes you like living somewhere and I, or someone else, would be glad to provide greater insight into those specific issues.

Hello > just to inform you that this is an old thread [2011].

Thank you.

Thanks for the info.

So, what happend to Chrisanda? And, what do women who live hear really think?

Hi, everyone!

My name is Barbara (aka 'Tulip') because there appear to be so many 'Barbaras 'in this world. I am a professional,educated woman in her late 60's who is hoping to connect with some persons there who might help me in this process of re-locating which I am now seriously exploring. No more cold winters here with icy sidewalks.  Even though I am fit and in very good shape--having been athletic most of my life--I choose not to face the wintery challenges anymore. I enjoy horse-riding, hiking and cycling as well as dancing. I wonder what there might be there? -- I have been reading the comments which I find mighty informative and helpful. Living here in Calgary, Canada--I have been an ESL instructor for adults--corporate clients and immigrants. I speak about an intermediate level of Spanish and lived in San Miguel De Allende in Mexico some years ago with a Mexican family. I loved the culture and the friendliness. I am looking for a community of like-minded people so that I won't fell too lost when I do move. I am considering making the move as early as June of this year--2014 and would so appreciate it if someone out there could reach out and say' hi'. I want to come for a look see first --likely around the end of April.Please contact me if you would be so kind. Thank you!!! :)

Hi Barbara,  I seem like a copy of you!  My name is also Barbara (not so common in my country - Belgium).  I am also a professional, educated woman in her early 50's, very fit and in great shape. I have lived in California for more than 30 years, lived 6 and 7 months in Costa Rica and a semester in Ciudad Guzman, Mexico, where I taught ESL.  Love San Miguel De Allende, as well as many other beautiful, intriguing places in Mexico. I also speak intermediate to advanced Spanish.  I am also seriously considering to move to Ecuador.  Most probably not this year, but for sure next year.  I'll be in Cuenca from April 10th till the 22nd, with my oldest brother, Bart.  Let me know should you be there during that time.  Hopefully we can meet and share our experiences and future endeavors.

I have travelled to more than a dozen Latino countries.  Love the culture, its language, and the people. Ecuador does seem like a good place for expats, but I'll have to check it out first.

Hi Barbara,
I also live in Calgary, I am 57, lived in three countries and we will be moving to Ecuador hopefully Sep 2014, I too am tired of cold and snowetc, we visited Ecuaodr few months ago, if you have any question we can talk, send me PM

So glad to hear that quite a few women my age are moving to Cuenca.  Looking forward to meet you all!

Maybe we can meet when you visit Cuenca? There are three gringo gatherings for happy hour each week at various restaurants around town.

Wow! That's great information--would love to 'hook up' with the 'gringos! BTW--I had a great experience in San Miguel De Allende when I was there some years ago--meeting lots of ex-pats and having fun. They were great!!

Hi, Eva!

Thanks so much for your reply! That's great! I would love to meet up and share some info and ideas. Perhaps you could call me - My number is 403-630-1076 (cell)--look forward to hearing back from you! Where are you in Calgary?


Hi, Barbara,

Thank you for reaching out and saying 'hi'--yes we do seem very similar. That's great! I will post a photo soon so you can attach a face to my name. I look forward to meeting you. Perhaps it might work out that I can be there around the time that you and your brother are both there. In the meantime--I would live to stay in touch with you if that's alright with you!!


Hey, everyone! :)

I am getting really excited about all of this.What a big move it is --but first I do want to come for a visit. I would love to see Cuenca --especially. From the posts so far--it seems best for me--given that Calgary is at 4000 feet above sea level and I prefer less humid and cooler weather. Also--does anyone have some suggestions for an inexpensive stay while visiting Cuenca?

Can you please provide some names of the restaurants and the days expats meet?

Tuesdays 5:30
Di Bacco Italian Restaurant
Tarqui #9-61 near Gran Colombia

Fridays 5:30
Pres. Cordova #4-84 near Mariano Cueva

then some adjourn to

California Kitchen
Luis Cordero #5-65 near Calle Larga
Live music and dinner specials


The Jazz Society of Ecuador
Nectar Cafe
Benigno Malo just north of Gran Colombia
Live jazz and vocals

Sundays 1:30
Inca Bar
Benigno Malo at Rio Tomebamba riverwalk, 2nd floor


Those venues all look like good fun and sure will look into those when I am there. i hope to come for a visit in April and I am looking for inexpensive accomodation. So if you know of any place that would be suitable--please do let me know. I think I heard about a hotel there. Can't remember the name--Hotel LI??

Nice to see so activity around this question.  I, too, am planning a move to Ecuador -0- most likely Cuenca.  I am not really in a position to make a look-see visit as I will be on a limited budget.  I teach online for a university here and will still be doing so. Even still I do not have big savings or other things to draw upon. I have another year until I can take early retirement (which I may or may not do). I am 61 next month (March).  I consider myself a global citizen so I do not worry about adaptation to new and different cultures, however, as a single person think more about safety and such.  Hoping to come there this summer though nothing is worked out yet.  Am in a great period of transition in my life so many things are unclear as of now. Just want to connect with others who have done or in the process of doing in the name of a kind of solidarity and perhaps,  :) buddies who can help me navigate the process of such an undertaking.   :-)

Hi, Eva!

Did you receive my message re getting in touch with each other? Please let me know!




I wonder if you received my message I sent a while back? Please do let me know if you would like to meet up in Cuenca?

Hope you are still out there and might answer my e-mail? I am very interested in re-locating to Ecuador-specifically Cuenca. What I need information on is accomodation and employment. I have submitted an application to one of the schools there as I am an ESL teacher or more politically correct-ELL teacher. I have never visited Ecuador but I did spend time on my own in Mexico in San Miguel De Allende. I am not afraid to do that. I hope to hear back from the school which is based in Cuenca but in the mean time--wonder if you might fill in a few gaps for me?? Thanks so much and I really hope you will be able to help me a bit.  :)



I appreciate your e-mail and hope you will be able to receive some good help much as I myself wish to. I have applied to a school in Cuenca to teach English as that is what I do for a loving. What do you teach may I ask? Is it English?

Hi Barbara, I am 62 and will be moving to Cuenca Ecuador a year away, wish I could go tomorrow though! Please get your self onto the facebook page of Ecuador Expats, I belong to a bunch of Cuenca Ecuador blogs and that one is the most active and most informative, IMHO. There is a "file" that has lots of links to questions or you can search for any topic. It is a private page so you do have to ask to join, well worth it! There was a post toady about teaching English and one reply said they will be needing more teachers in that area for sure.
From what I have been seeing there are LOTS of single expat women past 55 living there and wow do they love it. The weather (12 mo a year), the food, the culture, music, art classes, cooking classes, dance classes fresh fruits of all kinds etc.. soooo much there it sounds like a 24/7 vacation to a wonderful place! I don't have any doubt Ecuador is the place for me. I can't wait to make the move. I just  "google" any question I have and find lots of answers and blogs and Facebook sites. Being on the Ecuador Expats (FB) is very handy cause if you are in town (Cuenca) you can just pop a question and you will get many suggestions right soon. Where to eat, places to stay. I google to find the list of "cheap hotels in Cuenca", got a good list starting price of $10 (lots) then from there on up, of course.. Would love to keep in touch with you and hear of your travels and your thoughts of how and where you like on your travels!!  Hope to hear from you!!

Joseph K :

Thanks for the info.

So, what happend to Chrisanda? And, what do women who live hear really think?

Joseph, I wish we would hear from her too!!!

And I will be moving to Cuenca next year (wish it was tomorrow!) I'm in touch with a handful of single women my age (over 60) and none of them are even thinking about finding a "partner" they (as I will) want to live there because of everything it has to offer, Culture, art, music, food, fresh fruit, weather etc,,,Having many friends there, is for them, an added bonus. Many love having the friends they are making there, but also love living alone with the freedom of everything it comes with. I was married for 21 years before my husband died at an early age and we had a pretty darn good relationship, but being single these last 18 years has been wonderful for me too. Everyone has their own way of dealing with how they chose to live, but I know many of us really do love being single!

It is almost April first. Have you made travel plans to visit Cuenca yet? I can help with ideas for accommodations.

Hi, Sue!
Thanks so much for your message and helpful information. You are a star!
I am planning to visit Ecuador in April for two weeks and I am looking forward to finding a place to live and then securing a post teaching. As I teach ESL--i do believe I will have no problem and yes, I will check out the jobs available now. If anyone can help with that--I  more than appreciate the help. I hope we can stay in touch and meetup when you arrive, I am looking forward to the experience of meeting new people and being part of the ex-pat community there. Please stay in touch!


Hi, Miss Lampshade :)

No, I haven't made any plans for accomodation yet as I haven't booked my flight yet but plan to do that tomorrow. I am leaving on the 22nd and returning on the 6th of May. I have connected with a very nice person who is Hispanic and has offered to help me --she lives in San Diego but has an apartment in Cumbaya. I had thought that it would be good to have someone on the ground there who could help me re accomodation for this visit and when I arrive back at the end of June.I am then bringing my animals--three dogs and a cat. No I won't leave them behind. I, however had originally and still do think that Cuenca is where I want to be . I have read and read so much information which indicates to em that the climate for one is far better for me than other places in Ecuador. I prefer mild climates over hot and humid. Altitude may be a factor but I live in Calgary which is about 4000 feet elevation. Please tell me again--are you there in Cuenca? If so, I would surely appreciate your help and yes, I am coming for sure. Passport is on the ready.

Best Regards,


Lovely, encouraging post--thanks so very much!!

Hi Barbara, thank you for your reply, yes, Lets keep in touch. I really want to hear of how things go for you there, from your arrival and getting the required visa's and a place to live! Good luck in your travels and do keep in touch!

Yes, I live in Cuena. I am Regina, lampshade65 is just my Screen Name. I have toll-free number from US if you want to chat [Moderated: no phone number on the forum pls]
I prefer CUE to QTO.

Hi, Regina,

I have been without my own computer for about a week and relying on other sources. Plus I was having some trouble with logging in. Anyhow, here I am and I am intending to come to Ecuador the weeks of April 24TH to MAY 7TH. Originally I had planned to go first to Quito because I met someone on this blog who said she had an apartment in Quito--is Hispanic--also lives in in San Diego. She offered to help me out by renting me a room in her apartment andshowing me around. She doesn't know anyone in Cuenca. I would prefer however to just target Cuenca as that I where I want to be --climate and size wise. What I hope to accomplish on this trip in April is to find a suitable place to rent which allows animals as I intend to bring my three dogs and a cat at the end of June. I would sure appreciate finding one pretty quickly when I am there but will have enough time to find one that I think might work. I think a place with a view would be nice and one that is fenced if there is such a thing there. I would like to for sure talk with you so I will call you

Best Regards,


Barbara.. Ecuadorians gave me this website.. u could do a search for Cuenca..[/url]

Cuenca is lovely .. when i visited, i thought fumes from the cars (leaded gas?? ) were trapped in small pretty streets.. and really poisoned the air...after just three days my eyes were burning..but of course u can find an apartment that has opened space in front of it...not necessarily in the very center of old town ..?.. probably a good idea to rent smth for one month so with an option to continue .. so u can look around... i read that the best way is to walk around the area and look for the signs for rent in the windows, find an area where u would enjoy them...I have just rented a place this way... we are loving it...really starting to enjoy living here
Very important to SEE the place.. :))  Initially i have rented a beautiful place via Craigs List.. when i got there.. the place was just like in the photo...lovely.. but the town, that i was told was " a nice town with two colleges".. was a total dump with zero can be small things that may or not work... old kitchen.. smell.. mold..etc

Good luck.. :)

my name is RADGE, i am 48 years old, i live in Liverpool Stockholm, Sweden, i am a widower, and a father of one son his name is greg. please i am looking for a good and nice woman that will love me and my son if you want me please send me a friend request on face book my name is RADGE LEONE  thank you

Please I need help am a single woman of 27 of age and I will VE traveling alone will that be safe for me? Also I wish I can help with accomondation like sharing the rent pls let me know I plan to visit ending may

radge leone :

my name is RADGE, i am 48 years old, i live in Liverpool Stockholm, Sweden, i am a widower, and a father of one son his name is greg. please i am looking for a good and nice woman that will love me and my son if you want me please send me a friend request on face book my name is RADGE LEONE  thank you

So you be looking for a 60 year old single woman in Ecuador?

Or even 69 year-old?

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