How Much we Spent in Otavalo Ecuador



How much money do you need for a week in Ecuador?

World Winder recently spent 87 nights in Ecuador between August and November 2011.  Ecuador’s currency is the United States dollar.  (The currency for paper money is the same as in the USA).  We spent time in Otavalo, Quito, the Galapagos Islands, the Ruta del Sol, Cuenca, and Vilcabamba.  We spent time as visitors and residents in the famed hot springs town of Banos de Santa Agua.

eggs and tomato

We saved money by cooking our own breakfast.

While exploring Ecuador we enjoyed a full week in Otavalo a relaxed market town in the Andes Mountains.  Over seven days and nights we spent $445.44 as a couple.  That works out to $222. 72 for each of us for one week of travel.  Those totals divided by the seven days that we explored in Otavalo gives us our averages per day.  As a couple we spent $63.63 per day or about $31.82 each per day.

World Winder Budget Chart Otavalo, Ecuador

Day Total Money Spent Sample Item Activity
1 $112.72/ $56.36 each Taxi Quito to Otavalo- $17 Check in at Riviera Sucre hotel
2 $58.50/ $29.25 each Laundry- $3 at our hotel First meal at Quino’s Restaurant
3 $53.90/ $26.95 each Tickets for Yamor Rock concert- $6 for a 12 hour show Browsing Otavalo’s famous markets
4 $59.60/ $29.80 each Ticket for Parque Condor bird sanctuary- $7 All day hike with a new friend
5 $51.85/ $25.92 each Tip for street musician- Bone Man of Bolivia- $2 Bodega run and balcony chill
6 $82.02/ $41.01 each Scarves and souvenirs from local craftsman– $12 Peguche waterfalls, Nanda Manachi band workshop
7 $26.85/ $13.43 each Free night stay at hotel- $0 English lesson
Total $445.44/ $222.72 each
balcony hotel

We splurged on a room with a balcony since we were getting one night free anyway at the Riviera Sucre Hotel in Otavalo.

How we saved money:

Melissa found us a great hotel called the Riviera Sucre.  We saved $27 because we got the last night free since we stayed a full week.  They had a kitchen for cooking and storing food.  We saved money by shopping at a local store for easy to make and easy to clean breakfasts.  On daytrips we took long walks to Peguche and Parque Condor.  The walks are rigorous but can save you money compared to using taxis.

How we splurged: 

We enjoyed the food so we ate dinner at many great restaurants in Otavalo.  Quino’s became our favorite.  Melissa doesn’t eat meat but she found there were vegetarian options in Ecuador.  Melissa bought some handmade souvenirs in Peguche.  We went to an all day heavy metal concert called Yamor Rock and I videotaped some bands.

How we could have saved even more: 

Since we got a free night stay at our hotel we decided to go for a bigger room with a nice balcony overlooking a busy intersection in Otavalo.  We could have saved money by getting a less expensive room or staying at a hostel.  We could have saved money on transportation from Quito to Otavalo by taking the bus instead of a private taxi.   The taxi also wound up delivering mail which added time.

Here is a video from the WorldWinder Youtube page of a family of musicians performing in Peguche


About Neil Friedman

A Wheel of Fortune winner and former motivational speaker, Neil Friedman is a freelance writer, videographer and certified teacher of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). He has journeyed to over 35 countries and 30 U.S. States and lived in various parts of New York, Japan, and South America. He is currently on a two-year trip to parts of South America, Asia, and Europe. Connect with Neil on  Google+ . Twitter: @WorldWinder and