When Travel around Ecuador you should always keep in mind that each place is different regarding tradition and culture, but it is good to gain some recommendations so your experience in these new places can be as pleasant as possible, here we give you some recommendations
- KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN The country has so much to offer! Incredible landscapes, little lost villages or big and modern cities, volcanoes, jungle, beaches, country sides, farms, rivers, lagoons, waterfalls and so many animals: whales, toucans, monkeys, alpacas, horses, hamming bird, pink dolphins, eagles, cows, pigs, anacondas, bats, dogs (a lot!) etc. Observe the different colors of each house, the beautiful children and old people with their unique facial features, indigenous couples with their traditional clothes, epic curves in a bus trip, typical decorations kitsch like calendar with Jesus Christ or Chinese landscape posters. The Ecuadorians have their charming habits you shouldn’t miss out! So do not forget to bring your camera!
- BE OPEN MINDED TO MAKE FRIENDS Everybody here is your friend! You can start a conversation with anybody and about whatever you want! In buses, in taxis, in restaurants, on the streets, in shops, in bars… everywhere you will find someone to talk with! And one of the beautiful qualities of Ecuadorian people is that they always make an effort to understand and help you. They will be very friendly and give you some advices (even if they do not know about what they are talking about!).
- DO NOT BE AFRAID OF TASTING TYPICAL FOOD Here in Ecuador, there is so much variety in the meals because of the huge variety of first material (fruits, vegetables all of the year)! They love pig (“hornado, fritada, chicharron, lechon”) and they cook it with local products as potatoes, a special variety of corn “mote”, and avocado. You have to taste the Indian Pig, yes! The “Cuy”, which is a pet in several countries in the rest of the world, but here is just like a chicken! Depending on where you are, you will get the opportunities to taste grilled crickets “catsos” or larvaes “mayones”, some cactus juices, a lot of soup with quinoa, vegetables, potatoes “locro de papa”, chicken, meat, the unconditional plantain banana in different form (ball, soup, chips, fried, sweet), all of the sea fruits that you can imagine in “ceviches”, and all of that with a touch of Chili “aji” that it is always in option!
- BE PATIENT Ecuador is charming because people here people is never in a hurry, here you can relax. Ecuadorians have always time to talk about weather and family, they walk slowly, they enjoy their meals, they used to arrive late because it does not exist pressure neither stress. This is one of the biggest reasons why many foreigners love to stay here for a while or to stay here to live, because life is more enjoyable. But the consequences are: you have to be patient too! So take it relax when the bus is more than 30 minutes late, when you are in a long queue, when the waiter comes after 10 minutes and your food after 20 minutes, when they say to you “en un ratito” (in few minutes) and before serving you they call their mother, they tell a joke to a friend, they go to toilet and they eat a plate of rice!
- BE PREPARED OF CHANGING WEATHERS Ecuador has such a big so biodiversity that in the same day and same place you can have winter in the morning, spring at 10am, summer at midday and autumn in afternoon. Like this you could imagine your trip if you are travelling from the Amazon, crossing the Andes and finishing at the Coast! Your luggage has to be ready as if you will do a round trip to the world! Ecuador will surprise you during your whole trip!
- MOVE YOUR BODY “Fiestas”, parties with music and beers are part of the way of life here. Ecuadorian people enjoy dancing from 2 to 99 years! Salsa, cumbia, bachata, regeeton, typical music of the Andes or of the Cost. Nobody does care about how you dance but more about how you join them and do not be so shy! You will understand that the important is sharing and not performing. You will enjoy these moment with friends or family just letting your body follow the Latino rhythms.
- BE RESPECTFUL Mostly the people are very friendly, which means you should treat them also with respect. Is important to wear adapted clothes when you go to a family meeting or to typical events, to use a basic vocabulary without bad words, to have a correct behavior in group, to be humble with poor people. If you are in parties or with young people, it will be probably more and more relax but always in a beginning is better to show respect. If they offer you a gift, you have to accept it in a simple way, but do not reject it, because they will think that you do not like it or that you were expected to receive something better.
- BE AWARE OF YOUR STUFF Unfortunately, foreigners are the symbol of richness and so robberies often happen. It does not mean that you will have to create a paranoiac behavior, but just do not let your staff without vigilance or do not walk in the street counting all cash that you just withdraw from the cash machine or avoid to use your last IPhone in the bus!
- NEGOCIATE Not too much and not always but yes, Ecuadorians used to make a price for nationals and another one for foreigners. In artisanal markets, you can offer for 3 until 5 dollars less, but no more, because they also need to live from their sales! Take care with the taxis, first: take the yellow ones and second: ask for “taxi metro” which is a machine counting the kilometers and let you see the price; like this, the driver cannot raise the price as he want. Do not forget that negotiating is an art and make it with a diplomatic attitude.
- LET TIPS In Ecuador, the national taxes are the 12% of the bill and the service taxes are mostly not included. Tips are everywhere! In restaurants, in bars, in hotels, in parking lots, for your driver, your guide… And the fact is that most of the staff working in those places is earning the basic wage.
If you have any questions about Ecuador and their living style, get in touch with Gulliver Expeditions, they will be happy to tell you more in details about how you can travel Ecuador in a safe way and experience the most of this amazing country!