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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:

 

 

Great Ecuadorian support for its soccer team.

Even though Ecuador is out of the FIFA World Cup 2014, you can watch in this Coca Cola promotional video the love of its people for their local team players. Soccer it is a big sport here in Ecuador, many poor children in Ecuador dream of becoming a soccer player as a ticket out into prosperity, for its family, and even its own community.

Way to go Ecuador Soccer Team of 2014! you played well and with honor, see you in the next Worl Cup.

 

Watch “All you need is Ecuador #AllYouNeedIsEcuador” on YouTube

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.

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

An archeological discovery in Ecuador

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It sounds like a plot from an Indiana Jones film, but explorers claim to have found ruins hidden deep in a dense and dangerous Amazonian jungle that could solve many of South America’s mysteries – and lead to one of the world’s most sought-after treasures.

The multinational team, including Britons, has located the site in a remote region in central Ecuador which it believes could represent one of the great archaeological discoveries.

They have already unearthed a 260 ft tall by 260 ft wide structure, made up of hundreds of two-ton stone blocks, and believe there could be more, similar constructions over an area of about a square mile.

Investigations of the site, in the Ecuadorian Andes mountain range, are at an early stage and theories as to what it contains vary.

Some of those involved believe it could be the mausoleum of Atahualpa, the last Incan emperor who was captured by the conquering Spaniards, or hold the Treasure of the Llanganates, a vast haul of gold and other riches amassed by his followers to pay for his release.

In exchange for his freedom, Atahualpa is said to have offered to fill a room with gold. But the offer was rebuffed and he was executed in 1533.

His body is said to have been exhumed, mummified and later hidden by his followers in the region in which the new site has been found. According to legend, great treasures – which had been amassed for the ransom – were either buried with him, or separately.

 
Drawings of Atahualpa, the last Incan emperor (ALAMY)
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The search for the tomb and the riches has been one of the world’s greatest historical treasure hunts, inspiring many, thus far unsuccessful, expeditions.

Others believe the newly discovered site dates back far earlier, to unknown, pre-Inca cultures from before 500 BC, citing what appear to be rudimentary tools found there.

Local legend has it that the area was once populated by a civilization of exceptionally tall people and the apparently outsized nature of some of the approximately 30 artifacts found have led some to describe the area as the Lost City of The Giants.

The site, in the Llanganates National Park, Ecuador, is being investigated by a team of British, French, America and Ecuadorean explorers.

Among them is Bruce Fenton, an Ecuador-based Briton and researcher into the region’s indigenous cultures, who has been involved in the project for about three months, after he heard of recent discoveries made by local trekkers. He is planning two visits to the site before the end of the month. Also involved is Benoit Duverneuil, a French-American archaeologist, who undertook an expedition there earlier this year.

The Ecuadorean government has been told of the discovery and an official expedition by archaeologists and paleontologists is expected to take place. The site is already attracting groups interested in recovering artifacts.

It is only about 20 miles from the town of Baños de Agua Santa, but it takes about eight hours to trek to it through swampy and mountainous jungle. The site is about 8,500ft above sea level and in cloud forest, where it rains most of the time. One route to it is known for the risks posed by attacks of Africanized – “killer” – bees.

The precise extent of the structure and the possible wider development has not yet been gauged. The vast structure is a wall, sloping at a 60 degree angle, with a flat area at the top where many of the artifacts have been found.

The team believes the summit was used for some form of human activities, possibly sacrifices. Some have suggested that it could have been the venue for human sacrifices, with the incline deliberately engineered to allow a head to roll down the side.

The area is affected by regular landslides and much of the structure is covered by mud and vegetation, making investigations difficult.

There are several other large mounds – also covered in mud and vegetation – within a square mile, which the explorers think could be more man-made structures, as well as what appears to be a road.

The team believes the structure already discovered could contain rooms and Mr Duverneuil, who undertook an expedition to the site in April and May, believes it could be Atahualpa’s mausoleum.

“This could be one of the biggest archaeological discoveries ever,” he said. “It would be huge. We just don’t have structures of this type and size in this part of the world. But we are some way from declaring that yet.

“It looks like a paved wall, an ancient street or plaza with a 60 degrees angle, perhaps the roof of a larger structure. Many of the stones were perfectly aligned, have sharp edges and seemed to have been sculpted by human hands. But there is still a chance that this could be a very unusual natural rock formation.”

He has also not ruled out a connection to either the Panzaleo culture, which was established around 600 BC and saw the construction of large temples dedicated to its gods, or the Canari people, who were rivals of the Incas and joined forces with the Spanish during the conquest.

But Mr. Fenton suspects it may date back earlier than any of these groups. He believes the site once held a city, built there to capitalize on the gold found in the region’s rivers, and could be the size of Machu Picchu, the Inca city in southern Peru.

“This is a very inhospitable area and is still considered very dangerous because of the landscape,” he said. “The only thing around there of any value would have been gold. It seems artifacts are spread over a wide area of inhospitable jungle and this only makes sense if a long-lost settlement is present.”

Unlike in Peru, where much attention goes to Inca sites such as Machu Picchu, Ecuador’s archaeological ruins attract a limited number of tourists and government spending is limited.

Reference: Jasper Copping (2013, Dec. 15). Explorers hot on the trail of Atahualpa and the Treasure of the Llanganates in Ecuador.  www.telegraph.co.uk  Retrieved December, 26, 2013 from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/ecuador/10517904/Explorers-hot-on-the-trail-of-Atahualpa-and-the-Treasure-of-the-Llanganates.html?goback=.gde_1120277_member_5819967942300819460#!

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 Real Estate – facts about buying property in Ecuador and finding out local regulations

Thanks to one of my readers, I came to the attention that in Ecuador there is no such a thing as “Short Sales” on properties. I will try to provide some inside view about Real Estate Sales in Ecuador.

Latin American countries have particular structural features that complicate the regulatory environment of capital markets and affect the effective execution of short sales on real estate properties. For local Ecuadorians to purchase a real estate investment through a lender (Bank or Government Agency) it is easy since the introduction of the US dollar as the official monetary unit for all banking and government transactions.

In theory financing is available in Ecuador, but in practice it is difficult to arrange for foreigners.

The Ecuador constitution guarantees free access to the banking and credit market to locals and foreigners alike. The same as it guarantees the free right to own and hold property.

You can buy real estate once you land in the country using only your passport as identification. This is not just a policy of the current administration that can easily be changed – the Ecuador constitution guarantees the right to buy and hold property for everyone, citizens and foreigners alike. In fact, once you are in the country with a valid visa, the Ecuador Constitution guarantees that you have the same legal rights as Ecuadorian citizens, with the exception that you can not vote.

Additionally, there are no restrictions on owning beachfront property as there is in some other countries. Real Estate problems have mostly been the result of buying property that the seller did not have the right to sell – a proper title search, or buying title insurance, mitigates this risk.

The difficulty that foreigners face on financing is the inexistence of a “credit rating” system in Ecuador. Adding to this, there is a high default rate in their financial system, so it’s hard to qualify for a loan without a local employment history or a co-signer.

A good credit rating in the US does not mean anything here. Interest rates are typically 12% or more, and 30% to 50% down payment is standard.

The great opportunity to take advantage is on Pre-Construction Featured Projects in Ecuador. You could finance your down payment free of charge and cero interest until the project is ready. Also you could sometimes get the sellers to provide future direct financing, but they will typically require at least 50% down payment.

Getting back to the term of “Short Sales”, the definition applied to this term in Latin America it is completely different, “short selling” relates to market shares or stocks.  Latin American capital markets are characterized by the following factors affecting country risk perception from the international investor perspective:

  • Reduced liquidity
  • Limited price formation
  • Unavailability of information
  • Small economic size

All this facts makes it difficult to assess the appropriateness of short sales norms. Let’s say in Ecuador there is no currency market since their official monetary unit is US Dollar, so there is no possibility of short sell that would depend on the existence of a fixed or a floating exchange rate regime.

Therefore, Ecuador does not approved or makes it feasible to short sell in equity markets; there are no regulations on the topic.

This is the best place to invest in cheap property, not to go on market trading…

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If you need help with information related to buying property in Ecuador at real cheap price let me know… Hereyou have a sample of a real cheap property only $ 65.000 US dollars on sale directly by owner, ocean side gated community in Playas Villamil, the best ocean weather in the world.

 

New social networking venue on the block… from Ecuador!

Socializing when overseas

"making friends in Latinoamerica"

Mission… Developing relationships is a core part of who we are, and we’re inspired to deliver a great online socializing solution. Help great people of all kinds find each other.
Why not join the party? Are you interested in finding new overseas contacts? Post yourself here and connect your friends to this network so they can make real comments about you. From here you will be able to connect through to their real online social networks.
I am starting here from Ecuador, South America, there is a large group of Latin women who would love to make friends overseas. Hurry and invite your friends …

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