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Ecuador - Life of a Digital Nomad | Work - Travel - Repeat

Ecuador

Ecuador

Etymology

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Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

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How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Latin American Cupid – Latin American Cupid is the best place to find love in Ecuador. The site has thousands of members. A simple search of women 21-35 who live in Ecuador will turn up more than 1000 profiles. The quality of the profiles and people on the site is also the best of any other dating site on the web servicing Ecuador. [visahunter]

Badoo – A massive worldwide online dating site launched in 2006, Badoo is a second option if you are looking to date someone in Ecuador. It is a step down from Latin American Cupid in terms of quality, but it is still worth setting up a profile. You will have to weed through a lot of frogs on this site though before you find your prince or princess. Because of my issues with the quality of profiles on Badoo, I would not focus on it as a starting point for my dating search.  [visahunter]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

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Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Adventure Time in Baños de Agua Santa – Locals know Baños de Agua Santa simply as Baños. The town gets its name (which means “baths of sacred water”) from the natural hot springs that flow to the edge of town from active Tungurahua Volcano. [ietravel]

Colonial Architecture in Cuenca – In many ways, Cuenca is arguably Ecuador’s most beautiful colonial city. The Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was founded in 1557 on rigorous planning guidelines issued in 1527 by the Spanish king Charles V. Cuenca. Much of the city’s architecture dates back to the 18th century, and the cathedral in Cuenca ranks among the most impressive buildings in Ecuador. [ietravel]

Explore the Galapagos Islands – The Galapagos Islands are unlike any other place in the world. The myriad wildlife species are a highlight of any nature-lover’s Galapagos Islands cruise, and many of the animals living on the islands are endemic. [ietravel]

Get Some R&R in Montañita – Just a decade ago, Montañita was a quiet fishing village with a small population of South American hippies. But in recent years it has sprung to life as the country’s most popular beach destination. Sure, the town is still home to its fair share of hippies and beach bums, but Montañita has also come alive with tourists visiting from all over the world. [ietravel]

Hike Cotopaxi National Park – Located just an hour’s drive from Quito, the Cotopaxi volcano is often visible from the city. It’s an imposing sight: Standing at around 19,347 ft above sea level, it is the highest active volcano in the world. It’s also one of the few places on the planet where you’ll find glaciers so close to the equator. [ietravel]

Ride the Devil’s Nose Train – Most of Ecuador’s train lines have now fallen into disrepair and remain unused. But riding a section of the track called “The Devil’s Nose” has become one of the most popular things to do in Ecuador among tourists.

Shop at Otavalo Market – Perhaps the friendliest and most accessible local market in all of South America, Otavalo Market is a brilliant place to wander and explore. Located about an hour’s drive from Quito, this Andean town is built upon trade. On Sundays, locals come to town from nearly every village in the area to trade goods such as fruits and vegetables, and farm animals like goats and llamas. [ietravel]

Take a Boat Down the Amazon – Ecuador’s share of the Amazon Basin is wild and beautiful. It is also completely unique to shares of the forest held by other countries. Where else in the Amazon could you sit and overlook the rainforest jungle while also having the backdrop of a snow-capped volcano? [ietravel]

Visit Quito – Quito is the capital of Ecuador, and a bustling hub in the heart of the country. With most of the city located at just under 9,842 feet above sea level, it will take your breath away in more ways than one!
Quito was founded around 980AD by the Caras people, long before the arrival of Europeans. In the 1460s the city was conquered by the Inca, and integrated into their kingdom. When the Spanish arrived in Ecuador, Quito was serving as the northern capital in an Inca Kingdom that was deeply conflicted. The Spanish finally seized control of the city for good in 1534. [ietravel]

Walk Around Quilotoa Lagoon – The Quilotoa Lagoon is one of the most overlooked destinations in all of Ecuador. The fact that it sits just off the traditional tourist trail (and the paved Pan-American Highway) means that only a handful of privileged people visit this incredible place each year. [ietravel]

Festivals

Festivals

Carnival – Carnival takes place 40 days before Easter each year, prior to the Catholic fasting period. In Ecuador, the festival incorporates an older indigenous tradition of celebrating the second moon by throwing flowers, water and flour. Most events begin with the Taita Carnaval (Father Carnival) being elected to preside over the festivities and head the parade of each city. Children and teenagers drench everyone around them with water pistols, water balloons and buckets of water. The parades and parties feature elaborate costumes, music, dancing, food, and drink. The city of Ambato celebrates the Flower and Fruit Festival, which includes the usual parades and music, as well as concerts, plays, a beauty pageant, and fireworks (and no water in the main area!). [iexplore]

Santa Semanta – Over 90 percent of the population of Ecuador is Catholic, so Santa Semanta (Easter Holy Week) is the major religious event of the year. Many of the devout fast during Lent and most towns hold massive Good Friday parades recreating Christ’s journey to the Cross and crucifixion. Quito has one of the largest parades where purple-clad penitents depict the suffering for their sins by walking barefoot for five hours down the streets while praying and bearing shrines or heavy crosses, whipping their backs or wrapping chains or nettles around their heads or ankles. [iexplore]

Inti Raymi – Inti Raymi is the Festival of the Sun and has been held in Ecuador and Peru since Incan times. The main event takes place in the city of Otavalo (in Imbabura) on the Summer Solstice of June 21st and 22nd, and features indigenous people dressed in native costume “taking over” the plaza to represent the rebellion against oppression. The week-long celebration features large barbecues, bonfires, traditional dances, and parades. [iexplore]

Día de la Raza – The Dia de La Raza (Day of the Races), also known as Columbus Day, is a public holiday acknowledging the day that Christopher Columbus brought the Spanish to the region. It isn’t necessarily a celebration, although the provinces of Guayas and Los Ríos mark the date with large rodeos featuring male and female riders showcasing their abilities to corral a horse. There is also a parade of horses and riders, a beauty pageant, dancing, and music. [iexplore]

Corn Festivals – Several regional corn festivals take place at harvest time in Ecuador. Tarqui’s Festival of the Corn is on August 16 and involves a Corn Queen competition, dances and music from local bands. The indigenous people in Otavalo hold the week-long Yamore Festival on September 1 to thank Mother Earth for the harvest and to pay homage to Nina Maria, the Catholic patron Virgin of Otalvo. Celebrations feature a special drink made from seven types of corn, folk parades, a Yamor Queen contest, food festival, bull and cock fights, fireworks, cart races, and competitions such as swimming across a freezing lake almost three miles across. [iexplore]

Day of the Dead – The Ecuadorian Day of the Dead takes place on November 2 when families in rural areas engage in a picnic feast on the graves of their ancestors, with a plate of food being set out for the dead. The meal usually includes bread babies filled with sweets or jam and an oat drink made from blueberries and spices. In the cities, families lay flowers on graves at cemeteries then enjoy the meal at home. [iexplore]

Christmas – Christmas is celebrated with much religious and communal fervor. From early December, elaborate nativity scenes begin to appear and the days leading up to Christmas Day are marked with public Novena prayer sessions involving hymns, poems, incense, hot chocolate, and cookies. Christmas Eve is the main event, beginning with midnight mass, caroling, and a bonfire outside the church, followed by a feast. Christmas Day is usually a family affair involving social visits, gift-giving and food. [iexplore]

New Year – New Year is a huge celebration in Ecuador, with the traditional creation of sawdust stuffed Año Viejo (Old Year) puppets being a major feature. The puppets are masked with the face of someone representing all that is bad about the old year and are placed in a shelter decorated with messages and explanations of evil doings. Quito has some of the most elaborate displays that are often financed by large businesses. At midnight, the displays are set afire to banish the old and welcome in the new. There are lots of superstitions that can be seen at midnight and the revelry continues until dawn. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

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Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

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Language Exchange

language Exchange

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LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

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Resources

Resources

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Places in Ecuador

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