La Ronda is just around the corner

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Renter's review of 2br/1bth La Ronda rental in Quito. September 2017.

I stayed at Liliya’s rental apartment for 3 months (June-Sept). The apartment was exactly as described on her site but while there the internet was upgraded to broadband- a huge plus! Liliya fully respects the renter’s privacy and was very easy to deal with. She also has a lot of good tips for people thinking about moving to Ecuador. I also want to mention the complex caretakers- they were very helpful when I ran out of cooking gas! 
I don't hesitate in recommending a stay at her rental in the charming old town.
Koos from Canada

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Personal safety tips and "how to" in Ecuador. August 2017.

Here are some tips and tricks how to explore Ecuador more or less safely.
People in Ecuador are friendly, most of them, but they have different concept of ...everything concerning your belonging and your private space. When they see an opportunity to get your stuff - they'll go for it.
For your Ecuador travel buy a cheap tablet or netbook, and or cheap unlocked smartphone.

Leave your iPad, expensive laptop and iPhone ether at your home-country or in your base apartment in Ecuador while doing small trips. 

On expats forums gringos living in Ecuador often complain that their laptops got infected with viruses. This is why one needs a tablet or iPad. Less chances to get these viruses. I always open emails, Facebook, anything suspicious with mini iPad first.
Buy clothing with built in packets, or you can buy packets and attach them to your travel clothing yourself. I use such pockets for many years now. Your passport, credit card should be as close to your body in Ecuador as possible. 
Cross-body purses are very handy for travel, hard for thieves to get to. My favorite brands are LeSportSac and Kipling. Lots of colors to choose from and they are lightweight.   

Book a place as a base to explore regions of Ecuador. For example book a place in Quito and do side trips on inter-provincial buses:  to Otavalo market, Cotacachi leather street and lake Cuicocha, Mindo, Thermas Papallacta , Banos, to Misahualli, a sleepy jungle town, great for quick trips into the jungle. 
When riding inter-provincial buses in Ecuador equip yourself with ear plugs, buy extra seat for your possession, or make sure your luggage is in the up bin, up and in front of you.   
People might try to tell you where to seat and where to put a luggage on a bus - ignore them, they are most likely thieve's accomplices. 

In Quito after 6:30 p.m. you can walk safely at a handful of places only, for example if you stay in La Ronda condo you can walk anytime at La Ronda and Plaza Cumanda and to the Plaza Grande. Police usually patrolling La Ronda at all times.
When in Ecuador, buy a local SIM card with mobile internet and install UBER, Cabify or local taxi's cooperatives apps. The best place to buy SIM card - in a brand store, for example in "Centro de Atencion Movistar" or "Centro de Atencion Claro".
When it's dark outside take an UBER or yellow taxi with four digit number on a shield, to get to your destination. In Quito using UBER, you have a choice of paying with cash or credit card.

Make a color copy of your main passport page, laminate it and carry with you instead of original. Keep in mind that in Ecuador you always will be asked for the ID when using credit cards. Laminated copy of passport sometimes accepted as ID sometimes not. In Ecuador cash is still a king and gladly accepted, except for $50s and $100s bills. 

Email to yourself your credit cards info or store it in the cloud. Just in case. 

Renew your passport if it has only one year left before expiration date.

to be continued..

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info

Monday, August 28, 2017

Pros and Cons of both visiting or living in Quito. Ecuador. August 2017.

I have a dilemma now. To tell or not to tell. My "to be" renters, who booked an apartment, presumably arriving in a few months,  asked me about public transportation in Quito and mentioned that after checking out from La Ronda condo, at the end of their stay, they plan to take a public bus to some Ecuador destination. 
I responded that it's bad idea to ride a inter-provincial public bus with all of your possessions, it might turned out to be VERY expensive. In Quito I told them we have UBER and Cabify now and it's nice alternative to buses , trolleys and conventional taxis.   
What do you know - they cancelled the trip "due to personal safety concerns" few hours after my response!!!

Ecuador is a beautiful country and I love living in Quito. As I writing this post the sun shines, the temperature is perfect. 
I bought both of my apartments in Quito for less than $100K, but most important I don't have to pay huge association fee and property tax. The items above tenths time cheaper than in US. No cooling or heating bills for me or for any other QuiteñoUtilities bills are champ change in comparison with Minneapolis MN, for example.

About food - farmer market and little tiendas around my place provide me with cheap locally grown fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, cheese, meats and so on.  Supermarket, actually two of them, are walking distance from my apartment building. Locally grown and produced food is cheaper, fresher, taste better in Ecuador VS USA.

Transportation - although buses and trolleys are abundant in Quito and they run often - avoid them at all cost. Too crowded any day, any time of the day. The drivers mostly hate their long working hours and pitiful pay, they don't have lunch breaks, they hate their passengers, they have accidents often.
On the buses there are sexual abuse, thieves, sellers and beggars, did I mention they are packed like sardines in a can, almost always. 
If you need proof of my statements here it is:

We have UBER and Cabify now - hurrah! Relatively cheap, safe and reliable. 

If you need to see a doctor, it's much cheaper and simpler in Quito than in Minneapolis MN.

People are friendly, although they have different concept of time, privacy and rights to have your belonging. They lie, a lot too, however Ecuadorians are not aggressive at all, they are family oriented.

Relatively easy to receive legal status in comparison with other countries.

Lots to see and to do in Ecuador, in general, and in Quito, in particular. 

Comfortable to live and to visit, provided that YOU ARE NOT naive, easy to be scared, stupid or ignorant.

2 bedroom, 1 bath, totally remodeled
Centro Historico furnished apartment for rent.
Anti-noise windows in both bedrooms
For booking, pictures and more info