A month in Ecuador for 60 year olds
Replies: 37 - Last Post: Jan 6, 2012 4:03 PM Last Post By: Stormbird
Dec 30, 2011 12:58 AM
30Yeah yeah well my numerous Ecuadorian friends and relations haven't seen it painted on buses so grow up and stop being such an alarmist. Of the numerous people I know personally who have been to Ecuador only one has been robbed and that was by having some things taken out of her backpack while on a bus when she wasn't looking. I do know a few of people who were mugged in Lima and Cuzco in Peru though but that hasn't put me off Peru in the least.
Dec 30, 2011 5:58 AM
that slogan is nearly as good as Colombias "Colombia - the only risk is wanting to stay" ... which I think is a very good slogan because it plays with "risk" that everybody associates with Colombia for the bad news it got in the past and it still gets on forums like this one (actually most parts of Colombia are much safer now than any other part in South America)...but the actual truth is, just like the slogan says: once you there, you really want to stay!
Now your slogan (or mine) isn't bad either....because let's be honest: What's there to lose?? The 20bucks you are carrying around? You 3 year-old digicam that needed to be replaced anyway….Come on, get real: nobody’s gonna slit your throat or gangrape you in Quito Old Town. Are we talking about crime and safety here, or about annoyances? If you get mugged in Quito Old Town (which is possible, but quite unlikely after all) somebody wants some money or some valuables from you…not because he/she is a bad person and likes to mug people, but rather because he/she needs to feed the kids or just have a more decent life for him/herself. In our rich western countries, the taxman does that job and we call the system welfare, and we are actually quite happy with it (well, Americans aren’t). Now, countries like Ecuador don’t have such a system, or a very poor one. At the same time they get a steady influx of rich people (rich in their eyes not in ours, but after all they can afford the flight and travelling for weeks, staying in hotels and buying souvenirs and what not), sometimes carrying a multiple of the monthly minimum wage (about 250$) around in cash, jewelry and electronic gadgets. So, in a way I can understand why some people in Ecuador go down the criminal path. I don’t say it is the right way and that is just and that the tourists deserve to be mugged. I just say I understand why it happens…And I can live with the fat that it happens, maybe also because it never happened to me.
If you visit a country like Ecuador or a city like Quito you have to accept the reality, that people get mugged there on a daily basis and one day it may be you. But even if it happens to you, you will only lose a tiny fraction of the money that you spend on that holiday, and you will realize that sometimes on this trip you “lost” money in other ways, because somebody charged you too much, because that day tour you took was absolute crap, or the souvenir you bought is actually dead ugly. And again, so what? Is that enough to ruin a trip to a beautiful country? Get some perspective, and have fun!
Safety should not be measured in how much money you lost. Safety should be measured on how alive and healthy (physically and mentally) you are after a trip. And the best way to stay alive and healthy in a country like Ecuador or a city like Quito is to stay away from dodgy areas; be a bit careful with your means of transport and when crossing the street (most tourists die in traffic accidents, not by murders, not by tropical diseases); be also careful what you eat and drink (but once again, there is no reason for paranoia!); stay away from drugs and heavy drinking; if you do adventure sports, make sure the operator has appropriate guides and equipment. And that’s pretty much it.
If you can’t afford to lose 50 bucks in a mugging or if that would spoil your whole holiday, better go to Denmark or Singapore. Unfortunately, there you will need your 50 bucks just to pay for the two drinks you had in that hip bar that everyone in those traveler circles was raving about.
Jan 3, 2012 8:01 AM
32Yeah yeah well my numerous Ecuadorian friends and relations haven't seen it painted on buses so grow up and stop being such an alarmist.
JCPG, are you saying with a straight face that you didn't realize that was a joke? Awkward.
Jan 5, 2012 7:53 PM
33Re the beaches I think your parents would prefer Canoa to Monatanita myself as quieter but with still a little nightlife.
However we stayed a couple of nights at Sua at the Bouganvillia Hotel and had a room at the front where we were lulled to sleep ach night by the sound of the waves. It is secure and cheap and early in the morning we got up and went down to watch the fishing boats come in with their catches and eat freshly cooked fish. However we went there by private car so that might make it difficult for your parents to get there.
They also might like to cimb up into the towers at the Basilica for a view of Quito.
I generally think they would prefer hanging around in colonial Quito section and there are some good places to stay there and it is safe to walk around in the evening around the streets near Plaza Grande and eat at some of the restaurants there too.
I think they would enjoy the Folkloric Dancing in the Plaza just behind the Archbishops Palace which is on Plaza Grande opposite the Cathedral and this takes place on Friday nights at about 7.30 and again on Sunday afternoons. They have some adorable children who do some dances with the older experienced dancers and the costumes and music and dancing is very entertaining. Arrive beforehand to get a good position and if your backside isn't well padded and you have to sit on the concrete seats might be a good idea to take a cushion. I have seen this show several times and never tire of watching it and it is free but they appreciate a small donation after the show $1 will do or any coin - helps with costume upkeep but is not compulsory if you don't want to donate anything.
Legit taxis are usually yellow with a four digit number in black in a red box and the name of the taxi coop on the taxi too. They also usually have special number plates too. Most places will call one of these cabs for you. Silver service cabs are also safe and as we have those in Australia your parents will be aware of this service.
Edited by: jgcp
Jan 6, 2012 7:28 AM
Well, I´d say safety is a topic worth having a debate about, particularly because there is so much flawed information out there. And everyone wants to be safe on his/her holiday.
But it is good, that you repeat once again to take registered taxis and to leave your jewelry at home. That is sensible advice.
The places you recommend are listed in every single guide book as the tourist highlights of Ecuador. So no surprise there. They are also the hotspots for tourist crime.
Not sure what the "Galapagos Trek" is. As OP wrote, his/her parents already booked a Galapagos Cruise and they propably have it written down somewhere, if they still have to pay the National Park Entrance fee (Usually it´s not included in the tour price, and has to be paid in cash upon arrival in Galapagos).
Not sure if Montanita makes Vegas look like a Church. But that´s because I have never been to Vegas. I´d say the party in Montanita is rather boring. It´s all the same sort of thing, no matter which restaurant/crazy party place you go to...But yes: it´s not the place that you should send your parents to, as has been stated on this very thread a couple of times...
So in a way, you just added a lot more nonsense to "the longest debate of nonsense in history"
Jan 6, 2012 9:31 AM
35I am the same age as the "parents" in question here. We, ancient beings who are now in our 60s came of age in the 1960s ...you know, Vietnam, psychadelic drugs, free love. We pretty much invented it ...there isn't a party we haven't already been party too, nothing we have not seen and probably, done.
Just though it worth mentioning because this talk of protecting parents from certain party scenes, while sweet is not necesarry. We get a kick out of seeing the youngsters carry on the tradition.
Jan 6, 2012 10:16 AM
36I am pretty sure there have been parties, love and drugs before the 60s. I think of the Roaring 20s e.g....or we can go even further back in time to the orgies in ancient Rome and Greece, when love was even freer than in your days...So basically your generation hasn´t invented anything. Apart from space flight.
It´s always funny to see the Woodstock generation beeing so bloody proud of their achievements...and so sad at the same time, because they ended up in the establishment they were fighting against just like any young generation before and after them. So again, nothing special there.
Good, if you still get a kick out of seeing youngsters carrying on "your tradition"...but most 60-years probably would say "seen it, done it" and rather go to a place where they can have some quality time.
This is not about overprotecting someone´s "ancient" parents. It´s about suggesting places they might like and - as asked by OP - giving some advice about safety. And as your own experiences in Quito show, sometimes it can help, to take advice from us "kids".
But that´s the big advantage of those travel forums: Everyone can throw in his/her two cents. And now OP and the parents can decide, if they also would get a kick out of seeing drunk youngsters, and therefore go to Montanita. Or rather look for a quieter, more relaxed place.
Jan 6, 2012 4:03 PM
37We stayed at La Casa Sol in Quito which was very nice. They do have a sister hotel, La Casa Sol in Otavalo which was absolutely beautiful, if they are heading in that direction. We stayed there also for a couple of nights. It sits outside Otavalo, very tranquil and restful.
Quilotoa Crater Lake is quite stunning! Should not be missed. I would highly recommend the beautiful 400 year old Hosteria La Cienega which is outside Latacunga for a night or two. They could arrange a guided day trip to Quilotoa from La Cienega. I did it over breakfast, (through the head waiter) and it was an incredible day! The hosteria is amazing, very old, authentic and has lots of character.
Banos is very nice also!
I loved the food, the people and the "Big country" scenery of Ecuador!
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