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Ecuador once again acclaimed as a world tourist destination.

World Travel Awards recognizes the best of South & Central American tourism:  Ecuador was awarded last weekend with the title of South America’s Leading Green Destination.

Ecuador’s World Travel Awards:
2014 South America’s Leading Green Destination
2014 South America’s Leading Tourist Board
2013 World’s Leading Green Destination

The World Travel Awards™ is the most prestigious, comprehensive and sought after awards program in the global travel and tourism industry. To be voted a World Travel Award™ winner is an accolade which many strive for but few achieve.
World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “It has been an honor to host our annual South & Central America Gala Ceremony here in Quito, Ecuador. From the moment we arrived we have been made to feel at home by the members of Quito Tourism, and their professionalism, endeavor and initiative are the envy of the world.”
He added: “We have seen some regional leaders recognized here tonight and I offer my heartfelt congratulations to them all. World Travel Awards voters have cast their ballots and selected the best in South American tourism. I look forward to greeting all of our winners in Morocco for the Grand Final in November.”

For the WTA 2014 edition, Ecuador was nominated in 18 different categories:

South America’s Leading Tourist Board
Ministerio de Turismo
South America’s Leading Beach Destination
Bartolomé – Galápagos
South America’s Leading Business Travel Destination
Guayaquil y Quito
South America’s Leading City Break Destination
Guayaquil
South America’s Leading Culinary Destination
Ecuador
South America’s Leading Cultural Destination
Ecuador
South America’s Leading Green Destination
Ecuador
South America’s Leading Heritage Destination
  Ecuador
South America’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination
Guayaquil y Quito
South America’s Leading Airoport
Aeropuerto Internacional “Mariscal Sucre” – Quito
South America’s Leading Destination
Galápagos y Quito
South America’s Leading Luxury Train
Tren Crucero
South America’s Leading Boutique Hotel
Casa Gangotena – Quito
South America’s Leading Business Hotel
  Hotel Oro Verde – Guayaquil
South America’s Leading Conference Hotel
Swissotel – Quito
South America’s Leading Green Hotel
Finch Bay Eco Hotel y Mashpi Lodge
South America’s Leading Hotel Suite
Suite presidencial del JW Marriott Hotel – Quito
South America’s Leading Resort
Arasha Tropical Fores Resort & Spa

 

Reference and source: www.worldtravelawards.com

Theses pictures will show the elegance and variety displayed at all events here in Ecuador, enjoy them:

 

 

Ecuador – World’s Leading Green Destination

All lovers of nature tourism have in Ecuador an ideal country to find different ecosystems and natural wonders very close to each other. For that reason, it was awarded the World Travel Award for best Green Destination in 2013.

Ecuador world's Leading Green Destination 2014-03-25 16-48-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With this recognition Ecuador was paired with destinations as: 2012 – Machu Pichu, Peru; 2010-2011 – Cousine Island, Seychelles; 2007-2009, Tobago Main Ridge Rain Forest; 2008 – Costa Rica.
The awards sponsored and directed by the prestigious Wall Street Journal, conduct their selection through a strict selection process which involved more than half a million travel professionals and consumers of direct travels (Selected Voyagers) from over 170 countries and all continents.

mapa

CONNECTIVITY: Reaching this beautiful country, Ecuador is simple, as it is located in a privileged place where you can enjoy four different worlds (Regions) within little distance from each other. Ecuador has enabled 27 airports in its different provinces.

 

Online source: http://www.ecuador.travel.com is an excellent website to get travel information and latest news about Ecuador – Text and Images from: http://visit.ecuador.travel/destinoverde/en

 

 

 

Carnaval in Ecuador = Traveling around Ecuador

Carnaval 2014:

Great time off to take advantage and travel to new places in Ecuador. With four days in our hand, we decided to travel up the highland in to the amazing Andes Mountains to the Province of Chimborazo (named after this wonder of nature, the Chimborazo Volcano). I will share my pictures that can show you how fun it was and a really interesting gastronomic adventure. I decide way before the trip started that I will try just any interesting local treat along the road.

We planned to drive through local highways up to the mountains, which gave me a chance to check all that luscious vegetation that can only be found in a place like Ecuador,  from the tropical Coastal greenery to the dry high altitude -Paramo- vegetation when crossing the Chimborazo.

Our trip was going to start at 5 am, which meant that BK was our first option to try on the road trip. So our first food stop was Pallatanga, which is a very small town about 3 hours from Guayaquil, just when entering in the Province of Chimborazo and the road starts claiming up hill. Here we found a Tortillas shop with the most amazing natural herbal infusion that really help me with the altitude and the cool weather.

Another purpose of this trip to the Chimborazo Province was any woman’s favorites: shopping, I was told that in the Town of Guano (another 2 hours on our road trip), I could find great leather shows, handbags and any leather accessory… they were so right, I was in real need for flats, and I found the most amazing designs and colors, also they felt so soft that I bought 3 pairs at $35 USD each, all leather and fit me perfectly.

Since was late morning, we needed a small snack, what better treat then CHOLITAS… is the one hundred year old traditional delight in this village. CHOLAS, what? Yes, Cholas, here I’ll explain. A Chola is made of a sort of biscuit like dough, with a center stuffed with delicious brown sugar, it is rolled into a ball and later baked in a wood-burning oven. You usually get 7 for a dollar.

After this treat, we decided to head back to the City of Riobamba for a quick lunch and to visit the place, this was about a 25 min drive from Guano. Here the traffic was chaotic,  a lot of road construction and everybody was on the streets playing Carnaval, that is a serious festivity here up the mountains of Ecuador…. And we had to be so careful on avoiding no to get wet or hit with water balloons or Carioca foam…

Sadly Carnival in Ecuador has been known to be quite savage. Living it up has come to mean dousing your neighbors, family, friends and any other passerby with every liquid imaginable. The water is sometimes topped off with flour to make you a really sticky mess. There is Carioca a colored foam similar to shaving cream that has become very popular. It’s also less messy. 🙂

A law prohibiting Carnival savagery has been passed in Ecuador. During the weeks leading up to the days of partying, repeated television announcements are run urging the people to play nice.

Carnival used to be a two week affair in Ecuador, but with this new law you are usually safe up until the weekend before Ash Wednesday. And the streets are not safe with players seen in all out war, armed with their buckets and water guns.

So we basically decided to go for a quick bite in the City of Riobamba, park the car close to a deli that look nice and run in to avoid getting wet. On our way out getting into our car, one of us was almost hit by water thrown from a passing car, good thing they missed the shot, we just drove fast out of the city.

Our next stop was this nice Hacienda Hotel located between Rioabamba and Ambato. An incredible Spanish style hotel, every detail was in place for a great boutique experience, what an amazing lodging place… La Andaluza.

 

We enjoy our stay at the Hosteria, and for the next days we took small trips around the area to visit different highlights in the central part of Ecuador, like The Chimborazo Volcano were we found Vicuñas; and El Tren del Hielo (dress warm since it is 3600 meters above sea level and gets cold). Also Villages like Lago de Colta, Penie and Guayabamba.

On the way back, we decided to visit another Province of Ecuador, Bolivar, I need to taste those local hand made cheese, chocolates, and other sweets.. Salinas de Guaranda, in the Province of Bolivar, images speak by themselves, we bought Mozzarella and Fresh Cheese, Home made marmalade, cocoa tablets to make hot chocolate and few sweets for our friends back home.

Road Conditions — Most of the major highways in Ecuador are in pretty decent shape. But once you venture off the major thoroughfares, the situation deteriorates dramatically.

Even the major highways and tourist destinations are only sporadically marked with up-to-date signs and markers. And once you get off the beaten path, you may not encounter any signs or indications as you pass intersection after intersection.

Always keep an eye out for the sudden appearance of a pedestrian, bicycle rider, dog, or cow, even on major highways. It’s best to avoid driving at night, as very few roads or highways are illuminated.

The road through the Province of Bolivar was in a poor condition, there were lots of pot halls and un even pave road, which made driving difficult and slow us down a lot. It is always hard to drive in Ecuador; the way locals drive plus weather conditions like fog can be very challenging. It is best if you opt for the help of a local driver, or take your time to familiarize with local driving before you hit the road.

 

Some of my friends decides to visit some beach locations in Ecuador, they complain of a large crowd and everything more expensive than usual. Maybe is good to avoid those local’s hot spots and travel some other great places in Ecuador, check in the near future some of the images send by my friends..

Enjoy Ecuador, until next time…. Adios.

Tourism by TRAIN in Ecuador – Tren Crucero Ecuador

A new Touristic Train service is ready in Ecuador – Tren Crucero – following an investment of some $280 million, and the rehabilitation of 456 km (283 miles) of the country’s railway system. This amazing Ecuadorian Tour service aims at the high-end of the market that is ready to ride the rails.

The “Tren Crucero” will travel from the Guayaquil on the Coast to Quito, or vice versa, with overnight stays in traditional haciendas, and between visits to colorful indigenous markets, museums, towns, farms and national parks aboard the innovative carriages.

They offer 1 to 4-day adventure tours which will be an experience for all your senses. This will bring you into close contact with the Ecuadorian people and the landscapes of the Andes and Coastal regions. A once of a life time experience while riding aboard real comfortable custom-designed carriages – and, the train is using restored 20th-century steam locomotives.

 The route includes the dramatic “Devil’s Nose” segment which connects the Andes and the Coast, the main reason the Ecuadorian system is regarded as “the most difficult railway in the world”.

 The four thematically-styled carriages will carry 54 guests through different fascinating regions, people and culture. Two of the four carriages are furnished with tables and chairs where guests can enjoy a light aperitif, read a book or simply enjoy the scenery picturistic view through large windows. One of these coaches is equipped with personal lockers for storage, while a fourth one offers a coffee bar where the crew will serve beverages and snacks including Ecuadorian favorites.

 The last carriage of the Tren Crucero consists of two sections: the first with a lounge area for socializing, and the second with an open terrace where guests can travel viewing all the elements as the train winds through Ecuador’s majestic landscapes.

 Train trips includes: the train ride, overnights in selected hotels or haciendas, Ecuadorian meals in each region, guided excursions to main natural and cultural attractions, bilingual English/Spanish guides, excursions aboard a tourist bus.

 The crew who will assist guests on board has been hand-picked and trained to the highest standards in customer service. This team will be led by the Train Director, responsible for the train operators, guides, stewards and all service staff.

More Ecuador Travel info at Ecuador Services – Travel section

Discover a natural moment in the South of Ecuador – Ecuador Travel

Travel to Ecuador - Forest the Guayacan

Bloom with intensity and yellow brilliance demonstrating the magic of Mother Nature.

Since the dawn of time, Ecuador has been related to nature.  When you travel around Ecuador you will find an abundance of butterflies, gathering of fishes or this amazing tree called Guayacan.  At the South end of the country, you will find 5,000 square foot of an incredible natural setting for this tree, “Los Bosques de Guayacan” a forest that is still intact. Next to this wonder of nature, you will find so many different areas that are full of wildlife, botanical plants and exotic trees, so many species that have not yet been discovered by modern scientists.

Guayacan, a tree that stands out at in Ecuador due to its stunning beauty. The botanical name is Tabebuia guayacan (Bignoniaceae). You would find it everywhere in Ecuador, but especially appreciate all its flowering beauty at this untouched forest site located at this small touristic town Mangahurco in the Province of Loja.

Many flowers appear on still leafless stems at the end of the dry season, making the floral display more conspicuous. The Guayacan Tree usually produces big yellow flowers by end of January with the first rains at the end of the dry season. It is a notable flowering tree. The flowers are 1 to 4 inches wide and are produced in dense clusters. Corolla colors vary between species ranging from white, light pink, yellow, lavender, magenta, or red. They are useful as honey plants for bees, and are popular with certain hummingbirds.

The Guayacan is not only beautiful but also offers relief for several health problems. Tea made from the flowers treats urine and kidney trouble. The flower tea has also been used to treat tuberculosis in Latin America.

Promoting touristic sites of this tree in Ecuador will help so much to prevent deforestation of this species. Guayacan’s wood has high local commercial demand, reason why Guayacan deforestation needs to be managed and control. If locals are able to obtain an income from touristic harmless resources like this one, changes will happen through time, and we will see less damage down to Mother Nature.

Here I leave you with a promotional video from the Secretary of Tourism from Ecuador – Ecuador Travel

Discover in this next video Guayacan Forests, music and folklore from Ecuador – Location: Zapotillo, Province of Loja, Ecuador

Touristic Bio diverse site: Forest of Guayacan – Location: Mangahurco, Loja, Ecuador

MLS Services in Ecuador…. is free!

Multiple Listing Service in Ecuador, there are many of them for free and with great online services.

Others will tell you that they are not available mainly because they are still making a profit out of gray “pocket listings” or marking up the For Sale By Owner properties.

Ecuador has no restrictions on foreign investment in real property; you can buy real estate the very same day of your arrival using only your valid passport as identification

You can check my Personal adds on free Multi Listing Services in Ecuador:

Luxury Condos in Olon

Oceanfront Condos – Club and Marina

Pre-Venta Departamentos de Lujo en la Playa de Olon

Legal Real Estate and Development Transactions in Ecuador:

When informal business transactions were first recognized in Ecuador, the discussion focused on inefficient public institutions, cumbersome registration processes and a general distrust of the government – all factors that spur the creation of a market outside a country’s formal structures – does days are gone, Ecuador Real Estate Law enforcement is making its way into this new emerging economy.  If you put together all these new changes with a stable US Dollar economy, Ecuador becomes a great property investment location to live and retire.

Use to be that many locals and foreigners depended on informal Real Estate employment or businesses for a living, but informal employment has had serious consequences at the levels of both the individual and society. Beyond earning levels, informal employment makes OWNER, BUYER, AGENT ‘s basic legal rights vulnerable and difficult to defend.

The only real problem you may find will be the language barrier, there is a straight forward solution: translation services or bilingual proof services. Remember, there are many local Ecuadorians Professionals that speak English and Spanish fluently.

Do Not Pay Buyer’s Agent or Finder’s Fees!

Ecuador is in the process of strict regulation of its Real Estate Market and Development. For many years, Real Estate Developers, Service Providers, Agents, Locals and Foreigners Vendors, For Sale by Owner….. transactions have been mostly cash transfers due to the relaxed nature of informal transactions.

The Ecuadorian law is enforcing and updating its Real Estate Laws, this will improve the overall Real Estate Service Industry and Development. Important for you to know: Ecuadorian Law estates that the Seller pays a sales commission to the listing agent, then the listing agent splits that commission with the agent bringing the buyer to the transaction much like in the US.

How should you go for assistance?

For consumers or legal claims, any local Ecuadorian Legal Attorney or Buffet will be able to help you out, now just be aware of: ANY ATTORNEY THAT ASK YOU FOR MONEY ONLINE, there is no reason for a professional to request any money until you have verify with third parties of their professional background. Like in USA or Canada, you will find many scams online.

The following links will provide you with details on Ecuadorian Laws and the government institutions to go in case you encounter any problems while doing Real Estate business in Ecuador:

Law for Real Estate Agents of Ecuador

Consumers Protection Law of Ecuador

Government Ministry of Industry and Productivity: Consumers Protection Program

Government Office for Peoples Defense

English Post on Ecuador’s New Consumer Protection Law

Golf & Club Resort in Coastal Ecuador, La Peninsula

New golf course development in Coastal Ecuador is taking into account environmental factors and seeking to be amongst the most Eco-friendly in the world.

The developers will open the first 18-hole championship level golf course in Coastal Ecuador by January 2016.

Located in the scenic Coastal Location of Ecuador, the 1500-acre development is the newest and most exclusive residential resort community in Latin America and has been designed to protect the indigenous flora and wildlife of the area.

The layout encompasses woodlands, meadow lands, ridge lines and riparian valleys coupled with dramatic elevation changes making for a signature golf experience. The developer’s goal is to create a course that blended seamlessly into the unique topography of the land, they sincerely believe in creating one of the most visually stunning courses in all of Central and South America.

This peninsula location is one of the most desirable destinations in Ecuador for those who seek to retire comfortably or invest in a vacation home in increasingly popular Latin America, this location is internationally acclaim as the one of the best micro climates in the world.

International climate experts have section Ecuador Coastal Region in three:

1.      The tropical wet forest of the north – Esmeralda, Bahia, Manta

2.      The tropical savannas of the centre and southeast – Manta, Puerto Cayo, Olon

3.      The dry forest of the west and southern peninsula – Salinas, Anconcito, Playas

This Golf Club Villa development seats right on the peninsula, therefore: ‘The wonderful year round climate and scenic beauty of the region will be a perfect location for an active lifestyle that can include championship golf, hiking, birding, mountain biking and rafting, as well as many other activities.

It is one of the fastest growing retirement and tourism destinations in the country due to its lush vegetation, vibrant population of rare birds and the hiking opportunities. It is also an Eco-tourism destination.

Ecuador’s Coastal Peninsula has been a claim internationally as one of the top destinations to buy a property because of its infrastructure, business services, medical care and telecommunications combined with a desirable but affordable standard of living, some of the finest ecotourism in the world, bird-watching, scores of exotic beaches and islands, snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, white water rafting, rock climbing, fine restaurants, and a multitude of historical sites.

Request all details: info@ecuadorservices.org

 

ECUADOR and Latin America, do we know why they have done better during our on going crisis?

The actual performance of the region’s economies is surprisingly strong particularly when compared to past crises. China’s sustained demand for the commodity exports of the region and the timely monetary action of the IMF liquidity provisions, are two external factors that are undoubtedly part of the explanation.

However, internal factors played a major role too including greater macro policy resilience and the financial sector reforms in most countries over the last decade. One over looked factor is the contribution middle class consumption has done to the region; Latin America middle class is not the stereo typical one, they will be closer to poverty class in standard societies, and they also have limit access to aggregate demands that will condition micro economic growth, therefore domestic demands have allow this economies resilient to global crisis.

Future challenges will be: to secure domestic financial development against political pressures for short-term gains, to pressure the local financial sector as a market player while maintaining sound lending practices, and to adopt real government policies to sustained macroeconomic stability.

As for our self, if we are looking for new horizons to develop careers or retire while still contribute to society; this country will be a great opportunity to put in action collaborative strategies for development.  A good starting point to contribute to real wealth and welfare should include strong education systems and investments in order to organize economics and promote better incomes distribution. Let´s make a better world for our next generations.

I will like to invite you to watch the following video

 

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