Traveling in Ecuador, another culture with a different set of standards is an experience that rewards those who dare to go beyond their boundaries. Keep reading for a few tips that make breaking out of your comfort zone into the vibrant culture of Ecuador less intimidating.
Things can get confusing when facing another way of life that, at first, seems to have no rhyme or reason to it. After a few days, things come into clearer focus, as the nuances of Ecuador start to appear.
Taking on the day when you first arrive and start traveling in Ecuador can often result in a comedy of errors. Taxi and bus rides can go array, verb tenses seem to have a mind of their own, and asking for help gets a multitude of responses-each with a different answer.
Take small steps and work out things piece by piece. Find a nearby shop for supplies, make friends with the people at your hotel, and ask for recommendations for transportation, restaurants, and safety. Once the basics are sorted, other aspects of the country fall into place.
Traveling in Ecuador with a guide gives you an advantage. An expert guide understands both the culture of Ecuador and the challenges that visitors face when exploring. They can take you off-the-beaten-path to places where everyday life plays out one amazing scene after another.
Breaking out of your routine and comfort zone by trying the different traditional and typical foods of Ecuador is a snap. Most towns like Otavalo, Banos, Quito, Cuenca, and Guayaquil, (and the Galapagos Islands,) have food markets.
Locals flock to these institutions for supplies and lunch. Sections of the markets are set up with a variety of vendors serving typical dishes. Soup, rice with chicken, fish, or beef, and juice.
One tip-look at the stall like you would your own kitchen or that of a restaurant. Is it clean and organized? Are the people serving wearing gloves? A good judge of the food is the cleanliness of the place, as well as the crowd that it draws.
During layovers or free days in cities including the capital, Cuenca, and Guayaquil-ask around for music or theater nearby.
Many popular musicals make their way to Ecuador. Seeing them in Spanish is a great way to both push the boundaries of your comfort zone while relaxing with something familiar. Other events include dance shows and lessons, art house movies, and language exchanges at local restaurants.
Dancing, like eating, is a universal language that is a common bond no matter where you are from. Take a night off and head out to a local club or salsa spot to boogie. Letting go and letting it all hang out is a great way to get ready for exploring the culture of Ecuador without reservation.