On The Road In Ecuador

On The Road In Ecuador

Buenos días from Ecuador!

Sidewalk Atacame Ecuador, Latin South AmericaI’m on the road right now and internet has been a little shabby, but I wanted to get something out there for this week to let you know how things are going.

So far Ecuador has been one of my most interesting trips.  There are things I like and things I don’t, but it’s a world of extremes.  What’s really struck me as odd is the pre-conceptions I had about Ecuador before arriving in Quito.  Through all the travel sources I generally follow, Ecuador is portrayed as a simple and beautiful place.  While it may be beautiful, simple might be misleading.

What I find most interesting is how Ecuador is often portrayed as a great place for retirement.  It seems to me that nothing could be more misleading.  Sure, Ecuador is a beautiful land with great landscape, architecture, and culture.  It’s also very cheap and on the US Dollar, but that’s where the retirement benefits seem to end.  The infrastructure is broken at best and I don’t know how anything could get done around here without a basic level of Spanish.  Security is very pocketed throughout most of the places I’ve been so far, meaning you might be in a secure neighborhood one minute but don’t cross the wrong street.

Tansupo Ecuador, South Lating AmericaWhy point this all out?  Well, a lot of people visit my site looking for information on countries they are thinking about retiring in and there’s been a lot of push lately for retiring in Ecuador.  There are still plenty of places to see and things to do, but as of right now I feel like this might not be the retirement haven it’s been sold as.

Of course, if you’re young and looking for an adventure, maybe Ecuador is right up your alley.  I again caution that it could be quite difficult without a basic level of Spanish and you should take extreme caution, more than normal, and do your homework before arriving.

I’ll be writing more on Ecuador once I’m settled back in Colombia or have more time and reliable internet here.  Just know that I’m in Ecuador now and if you have any questions or recommendations, let me know.  Like I mentioned, internet is sloppy here so be patient if you contact me or comment.

Lobby Art in Gran Hotel Santo DomingoSo far on my trip I’ve visited Quito, Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Esmeraldas, and several of the beach towns around Esmeraldas.  I’m currently in a small beach town called Atacames and it’s been one of the most relaxing stops so far.



A couple of short clips for your entertainment


I imagine that if this playground were in the US there would be a line of lawyers sitting around waiting for an injury to sue on.


This kid was singing for donations on the bus from Santo Domingo de los Colorados to Esmeraldas, Ecuador.  Sorry the video isn’t great, but the kid was funny.

4 Responses to On The Road In Ecuador

  1. I find it interesting to hear about Ecuador at this time. A friend of mine is in the process of finalizing his permanent business visa for
    Ecuador. Apparently the plan allows someone who buys a house/building
    in Ecuador receives permanent residency and can operate a business there. He has bought a nice house on the Pacific side for 25,000 US.
    since he is seasoned sailor with a large cruising sailboat, he intends to run charters to the Galapagos. Wants me to help. I don’t recall the location name at this moment but know it’s not in a big city, and must have an adequate port or docking nearby. I am interested in learning what I can about the country beforehand. He does say that it is a poor country and most people have very little.
    Not much infrastructure.
    Good luck in your travels there. I will send a town location if I can.
    maybe you will pass through the area. Would love to hear your findings.
    Fellow traveler, Tim

    • Tim,

      Thanks for writing and it sounds very interesting. I’m actually at the Quito airport right now heading back to Colombia, but I’ll be writing about my experience on the coast to be sure. I’d love to hear the details on this. Normally business visas are distinct from investors visas, which is what buying a house usually falls under. I’m not sure on all the specifics with Ecuador on visas but I’d be interested in hearing more as the process and your experience unfold.

  2. Thank you for your insights! We have been in Ecuador for one year, and are headed back to US to regroup and contemplate our retirement. We found that Ecuador had lovely people and great scenery and climate, but, boy! when you try to get a visa or residency..wow very very difficult. They change the rules and the requirements even from city to city! Almost get the idea they don’t WANT us here. We had to go from Cuenca to Quito just because the guy who stamped our passports made a mistake. Then we had to leave the country (to Peru) because of another problem caused by an Ecuadorian border official, not us! Crazy. I think Colombia is our country of choice for retirement. Can you give me more more more about Colombia?!! Thanks.

    • I’ll tell you, I’ve been much happier with Colombia than I was with Ecuador. There were some places I really liked in Ecuador, but it’s nothing compared to Colombia in my mind. I’ll be happy to get you whatever information I can about Colombia. I’ll continue writing about Colombia once I get back to some sort of a regular schedule, but feel free to email me via the contact page if you have specific questions.

      Thanks for your comment!

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