There are so many beautiful places to visit in South America that it would be an outright crime to leave it out. Thus, with a little more than 16 million people living within its bounds, Ecuador is not a very large country but a sight-packed one nonetheless. So, before you brave this tropical wonderland, be sure to keep these top six things in mind!
1. Language barriers:
Well, here we are looking at a country that will most certainly encourage you to learn Spanish. Why? Well, simply because not many people speak English there and even the ones that do are limited in terms of vocabulary. The younger generation will yield more results if you ask the eternal “do you speak English” question but the older generation will be a lot less susceptible. In spite of all that, getting the basics of Spanish down will accomplish just about anything in Ecuador for the locals greatly admire foreigners who make an effort to communicate with them in their mother tongue. Which leads us to our next point…
People in Ecuador are so friendly that you are going to feel as though you were visiting relatives. Really, they are that welcoming! It is not uncommon to be invited in someone’s home or for someone to accompany you on your trips, offering delightful insight. There really is no better guide than a local who lives the wonderland that you are visiting day-by-day. Add the friendliness and the how talkative they are to the mix and you have yourself a reliable guide!
Did you know that there is something called over-tipping in Ecuador? That’s right, leaving too much extra is considered out of place in most establishments there. An adequate tip is no more than 10-15% and be sure to do it if you consider the service to be impeccable. In fact, if you were to calculate it in USD terms, you can tip around 1-2 dollars and it would be more than enough. And this directly translates into the best news: the next point.
Yup, you are going to have the time of your life in Ecuador and have no problems whatsoever with the budget. Housing is so affordable that you are not going to regret staying at any establishment (of course, we are not talking about global hotel chains as they will retain their own prices – be they sky-high or a bit lower). Taxi fares are also cheap (don’t forget to tip them) and other public transportation will only cost you a few bucks. If you are travelling on a medium budget, you are going to feel like an elite, so, have fun (wink)!
5. Macho culture:
If you are a lady, you really have to keep an eye on what you are wearing as the Ecuadorians still live in what people call “macho culture”. Basically what that means is that the better you look, the more susceptible you are for sexual harassment. The best thing to do is to avoid miniskirts and other inviting pieces of clothing just to be sure. Also, getting used to being catcalled is something that cannot be avoided there as challenging the howlers can only land you in deeper troubles. Just ignore the attention and stay safe!
If you thought that the Vesuvius was a terminator, know that Ecuador is called the land of volcanoes. There are so many of the within the borders of the country that you are not likely avoid them completely. But don’t get paranoid, they are not dangerous for you – they are just magnificent sights for you to bask in.
Did you enjoy our list? What experiences have you had in Ecuador and how have they shaped your overall feel of the place? Hit the comment section below and tell us all about it! Safe travels!