Travel to Ecuador to backpack, study, intern, volunteer, work or live as a digital nomad, expat or emigrant?

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Intro: life and experiences in Ecuador

Backpacking in Ecuador

  • In Ecuador there are so many different adventures to experience and people to meet, that you will not be out of backpacking anytime soon. A beautiful, challenging and at the same time accessible destination with jungles, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, culture clashes, nature reserves and nightlife hotspots. All at relatively short distances from each other and in a mixed society.
  • Characteristics: an awful lot to do, diversity of peoples and landscapes and everything at a relatively short distance from each other.

Travel in Ecuador

  • A country also called the land of four worlds - four worlds of diversity. You will find a beautiful coast, gigantic mountains, the Amazon and, of course, the Galapagos Islands!
  • Activities spotting: snorkeling and diving, hiking, spotting animals, attending festivals, visiting markets, cooking workshops, visiting coffee and cocoa plantations.
  • Cities spotting: Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Baños de Agua Santa, Otavalo, Manta, Loja.
  • Nature Spotting: the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Rainforest, the Andes Mountains including Cotopaxi, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, Cloud Forest and many coastal areas.
  • Animal spotting: giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed booby, pink river dolphin, sloth, condor, anaconda.

Study in Ecuador

  • Education in Ecuador: education in Ecuador, depending on the university, is of average quality. You have the opportunity to choose a variety of fields of study, including specific, country-related studies.
  • Language: teaching is mainly in Spanish, and there are some universities that also offer programs and courses in English.
  • Studies: there is a wide range of studies available. Uniquely, while being close to the fire, you can also choose studies such as indigenous studies, poverty alleviation and social development, studies specialized in the Galapagos Islands, Andes and Amazon.
  • Study cities: Quito, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Ambato, Loja.
  • Language learning: Spanish classes are offered all over the cities, through universities, private and often hostels that partner with schools/teachers.

Internships in Ecuador

  • Internships: if you want to learn about biodiversity, wildlife, indigenous cultures and traditional medicine, Ecuador is a good place. Of course, internships can be found in other diverse sectors as well!
  • Internship cities: Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca, Loja, Manta.
  • Characteristics: adventure, extensive cultural experience, unique opportunities, learn Spanish quickly.

Volunteer in Ecuador

  • Ecuador is developing and at the same time has beautiful nature. So you can do well here for internships in the fields of social care and humanitarian aid, community development and nature conservation, ecotourism and environmental education.
  • Animal/nature projects: biodiversity research, reforestation projects, animal shelters, marine life research.
  • Features: the opportunity to contribute to meaningful projects while discovering Ecuador's rich culture and beautiful landscapes.

Working in Ecuador

  • Jobs: both the availability of temporary and permanent work varies greatly by sector and it can be difficult to find work as a foreigner. Quito and Cuenca in particular have a fairly extensive expat community. Most jobs can be found in education, the tourism industry, NGOs and the non-profit sector. Usually you do need a network to find something.
  • Work culture: what you may have to get used to the most is the concept of Ecuadorian time - so patience and flexibility are important! Also, remember the great importance of hierarchical structures, Indirect communication, hard work and dedication.
  • Characteristics: get used to the concept of Ecuadorian time, get a good basic Spanish and use your network to find work.

Working as a digital nomad in Ecuador

  • Favorite locations: Quito, Cuenca and Baños.
  • Characteristics: there is a nice climate for everyone, there is a lot of nature and culture to discover, Internet connections in the big cities are relatively good and the cost of living is a lot lower than in Europe.

Living in Ecuador

  • Whether you are running a lodge in the Andes, a project in the Amazon or a tour company in Quito, with a good knowledge of Spanish, a good dose of love for South American culture, and occasionally nerves of steel, you can live beautifully in Ecuador.
  • Language: mainly Spanish is spoken in Ecuador, in addition there are many indigenous languages such as Kichwa and Shuar. 
  • Quality of life: quality of life is good, but can vary by location and personal preferences. The cost of living is low, it is relatively safe (though keep in mind minor crime and political developments), there is spectacular nature and infrastructure is well developed in urban areas.
  • Characteristics: Ecuador offers an attractive mix of affordability, natural beauty and cultural diversity for people seeking a good quality of life in Latin America.
  • Health care: the quality of health care in Ecuador ranges from moderate to good. In urban areas you will find modern clinics and hospitals; in rural areas this is more challenging.
Spotlight stories and suggestions related to Ecuador
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As a vegan who loves travelling, you've probably heard that it's impossible to do it if you want to stay healthy. Well, I'm here to change that view and give you some tips for travelling as a vegan in Ecuador. When I went to Ecuador, I was doubtful about whether I would manage to stay vegan. I had b...

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Toeristenvisum Er is geen toeristenvisum nodig voor een verblijf tot 90 dagen in Ecuador. Als je langer wilt blijven zul je vanuit Nederland een toeristenvisum moeten aanvragen voor een periode van 180 dagen, dit is de langste periode dat je officieel in Ecuador mag verblijven in een jaar. Er zi...

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Stories, tips and experiences from Ecuador

Favorite stories, blogs and texts related to Ecuador
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Hola Amigos! Fruits are one of the main parts of a healthy diet, but also just simply DELICIOUS. Well, if you want a good choice of fruits, head out to South-America. It's FRUIT HEAVEN! The fruits here are sweet, fresh, without travel pollution and cheap, what else do you want? Well, today for&...

ecuador flag stamp

Toeristenvisum Er is geen toeristenvisum nodig voor een verblijf tot 90 dagen in Ecuador. Als je langer wilt blijven zul je vanuit Nederland een toeristenvisum moeten aanvragen voor een periode van 180 dagen, dit is de langste periode dat je officieel in Ecuador mag verblijven in een jaar. Er zi...

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  • … elke vrouw die ouder is dan veertig je aanspreekt met 'mi hija' (mijn dochter / mijn kind)
  • … elke man die ouder is dan veertig je aanspreekt met 'tiene novio?' (heb je een vriend?)
  • … ook elke man die jonger is dan veertig je aanspreekt met 'tien...
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Quilotoa meer in Ecuadoriaanse Andes

Favorite tips and suggestions related to Ecuador
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Plantains, or cooking bananas/green bananas, are everywhere in Ecuador! They can be recognised by their big size and if unripe, their green colour. The bananas are different from the 'normal' bananas you usually find in the supermarket. They have a higher amount of starch and less sugar and if I am...

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Wil je voor een langere periode dan 90 dagen in Ecuador verblijven? Houd er dan rekening mee dat de kosten voor je visum hoog op kunnen lopen. Voor de eerste 90 dagen in Ecuador heb je geen toeristenvisum nodig; je krijgt een (gratis) visumstempel in je paspoort bij aankomst op de luchthaven. W...

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Lijkt het jou super gaaf om door Ecuador en over Galapagos te reizen? Weet je alleen nog niet hoe je deze reis het liefst invult? Kom dan langs om al je vragen te laten beantwoorden door de medewerkers van Rebecca Adventure Travel! Zij helpen je verder om de beste reis voor jou samen te stellen...

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Steun Merazonia: adopteer een dier, doneer, of stuur materialen op

Het uitzetten en vrijlaten van wilde dieren gaat door, maar opvang- en rehabilitatiecentra zoals Merazonia hebben het zwaar door de wereldwijde coronacrisis. Dierencentra staan voor de uitdaging hoe zij de komende tijd kunnen overleven. Merazonia is een opvang- en rehabilitatiecentrum voor Amazoned...

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Gegeneerd over hoe mijn Hollandse stunteligheid afsteekt tegen de behendigheid en elegantie waarmee het boselfje voor me op blote voeten van steen tot steen danst, wankel ik over de losliggende stenen van de rivierbedding naar het water. Ze wacht geduldig tot ik er ben en zegt: “Jij eerst.&rdq...

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Het voordeel van airco in de bus bij tropische temperaturen mag dan duidelijk zijn, het nadeel is dat je op een zeker moment toch ook weer uit moet stappen en dat je na de klap in je gezicht dan weer een half uur nodig hebt om opnieuw te acclimatiseren. Na twee uur vanaf Daule met mijn trui aan in d...

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