Maybe you can agree with us that there are still many questions that haven´t been answered yet about Ecuador, and you or either your travelers are still waiting for the proper answer to minimize their level of stress before landing in Quito or Guayaquil.
That´s why we decided to publish some of the questions that one of our travelers from Belgium, Ms. Lauren Vanmullen, had about Ecuador and how she answered them nowadays after her trip with us, Latin Trails.
When I decided that I´ll be traveling to Ecuador, my day couldn’t get any better. I knew nothing about Ecuador, absolutely nothing, but traveling to South-America has always been my dream. And, here I am, living the dream in Quito! But to be honest, before I traveled to Ecuador I had so many questions about it! Do I have all of the answers? No. Will I get an answer to all of my questions? Probably not. But while traveling, living here and/or working here, you get some pieces that fit the puzzle.I summed up my questions about Ecuador, that probably you our your travelers may have, and I tried to answer them in detail. These questions are not answered by Google, but by my own experience.
1) Will Ecuador be more or less the same as Mexico or any other South American country?
I learned that Ecuador couldn’t be compared to any other South-American country. Ecuador is unique, like any other country in this world. So, I would recommend you to come here without any ingrained prejudices and try not to compare it with any other country. As far as I noticed, the only similarity is the language. And still, the accent is different, they use different words, and the way they say things is different. The only way to discover traditional Ecuador is to travel within it and experience the Ecuadorian-style in everything!
2) Is it a modern country, or is Ecuador more like the Google photos tell you: indigenous, colorful, but not modern?
There is no univocal answer to that question since there is too much diversity in this country. Yes, there’s a government, and there are human rights but don’t expect indigenous tribes to live like people in Quito. I would say that most cities of Ecuador are modern in the way I would define it, the economy is quite good, the government does their job, and everybody tries to fit in the system. There is still some work, but isn’t it like that in every country? However, if you travel to the Amazon to meet with indigenous people (which I recommend), don’t expect them to be the most modern people. However, not being modern doesn’t mean that they are not smart. They have their own way of living, and they are part of this country, so respect them in every way you can, and you might start to like the fact that not everything here is as modern as the big cities.
3) Is Ecuador a macho-country?
Yes and no. I would describe this country as traditional! Latin-America is known for having some sort of macho-culture, more than anywhere else in the world, but it’s not that bad as people say it is. It also depends on where you’re traveling. Nobody bothered me while I was strolling around in Otavalo, but when you’re walking around in huge cities like Quito or Guayaquil, then it might be possible that someone looks at you for longer than 10 seconds or that they try to talk to you. But then again, it’s not that bad. Most guys here are just trying, and when they see that you are not interested in having a conversation about your blonde hairs or the way you look, they will leave you alone. So, don’t worry, girls and boys, as long as you are not interested and you show it properly, you won’t have any problem here!
4) Is it safe to travel within Ecuador?
You might be wondering about the safety of Ecuador, and so did I before I left. On the internet, you can find a lot of posts and blogs about the safety of Ecuador, and most of them write about the same things: Quito is safe but not in the north and the south of the city and try to avoid Guayaquil. Does this help you any further? No. At least it didn’t help me.
Quito is safe, but there are some places you should try to avoid, like it happens everywhere in the world.
The neighborhoods ‘La Mariscal’ and ‘La Floresta’ are the most popular ones among students and tourists, so they are safe. Also, the historic center of Quito is a place where you shouldn’t worry about, although I do recommend you not to put your smartphone in the pocket of your pants, and to put your valuables somewhere safe where nobody can reach (or see) them. There can be some pickpockets looking for your belongings in busy places, so be careful with that!
In the case you are traveling with a guide and a driver, then you are super safe! Just try to avoid the dark alleys in the middle of the night, which I am sure you do too in your own country, and nothing will happen to you. Ecuador is a safe country, as long as you don’t act like you are the richest person around!
5) How’s the weather in Ecuador?
People in Ecuador like to describe the weather as a woman: it changes multiple times a day. But the weather depends on where you travel. You can divide Ecuador into four main regions: the Andes, the Coast, the Amazon and the Galapagos.
In the Andes, you can have all four seasons in one day. In the early morning it can be really cold; around 10 am it will be sunny; around midday it can all of a sudden be really hot (use a sunscreen with factor 100, believe me); and then in the afternoon, if you are traveling during the rainy season (December – May), you will get heavy showers and maybe even a thunderstorm. Every day, the weather in the Andes is different, so make sure you are prepared for any season here! I recommend you to dress in layers and to bring a jacket for the rain and cold. Yes, you might be carrying your whole closet with you, but you won’t regret!
In the Amazon, it might be humid and warm throughout the whole year, and the dry season is different than the one in the Andes. The dry season of the Amazon usually takes place from November to March so that temperatures might rise to 28 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit).
Are you traveling along the coastline? Expect some sunny days and high temperatures rising to 30 degrees Celsius (92 degrees Fahrenheit). The coastal rainy season usually takes place from December until May, but then again, Ecuador’s weather is as unpredictable as a woman so that it might change a bit!
6) Is Ecuador expensive to travel?
Compared to, for example, Europe or the United States, Ecuador is not that expensive, no. But it is more expensive than other South America´s countries for example. Everything always depends on where you go and what you buy, but I wouldn’t say Ecuador is expensive. If you find yourself in a rich neighborhood or a very touristic place, then yes, it can get expensive.
7) What’s the vision of Ecuadorian people about foreigners?
Most people in Ecuador are always nice, and sometimes too nice. So, because everybody here is really nice all of the time, I have no clue of what they think of tourists and foreigners. Ecuador is not one of those many mass-tourism countries, so some people here just don’t see a lot of tourists. They might look surprised to see someone with blond hair, but they will be kind. People in are very tranquil and kind; it’s almost impossible not to love them.
These are just part of the questions that Lauren had before traveling with us, and then her answers that may help you to know a bit more of Ecuador and what to expect while traveling within the country.
If you would like to know more about the options that Latin Trails has to offer for different types of travelers, don´t hesitate to contact us at [email protected]