November 11, 2014

15 Caveats You May Still Be Living as a Tourist in Ecuador

When you’re a tourist you expect to pay more, for everything! When you are a traveler that means you are just visiting. Visitors are on VACATION and having fun eating out in expensive restaurants, staying in nice hotels, and doing all the sight-seeing tours and museums of the city!

Tourists don’t understand gouging, they just pay the first price quoted, which in a Latin culture you can almost bet it will be two to three times more than what the actual price should be. However, who cares, you’re on vacation, right? 

Example: Tourist rental: 1 bedroom furnished all inclusive, $400 to $900  
Local-priced rental: 1 bedroom unfurnished all inclusive $200 to $400

When you are only visiting for one to three months who cares if you pay $800 for a furnished apartment, right? But when you are a resident, is that what you want to pay year round? 

Residents are not on vacation anymore and do not expect to pay tourist prices for rentals, food, eating out, etc.  In fact, residents should be quite familiar with the city, and know where to eat for the value and where not to eat.  Dining out in fancy, expensive restaurants is fine once in a while, just like eating ice cream is fine, once in a while, but you wouldn’t want to do it every day.  

Moderation is the key to balance. Is paying $800 a month in Ecuador moderate? When you look at average earnings in Ecuador where most families do not even make $500 a month, then living in a $800 dollar a month home seems excessive, for Ecuador.


15 Caveats that You Are Still Living
as a Tourist in Ecuador


1. You are over-spending on your retirement pension.

2. When you are in your apartment you forget that you are in a developing country, and then you go outside and become overwhelmed.

3. You read the hype, believed it was cheap; you came here and found out, not everything is cheap...so now what?

4. You’ve been here six months and you still only know how to say buenas dias and gracias.

5. You’re still in the honeymoon stage and everything is good; nothing seems to bother you.

6. You have not experienced any dishonest or unethical business practices because you just pay up and don’t ask questions.

7. You never negotiate for anything.

8.  You never ride the bus.

9.  You got sick from eating out in tourist traps.

10. You do not know what a calefon or bombola is.

11. You didn’t know you could drink the water from the tap.

12. You walk around with Jewels, purses, and wallets on your person.

13. You still have a wad of cash in your money clip and you pull clip out in plain view when paying for a $3 souvenir.

14 You got robbed of your purse, cell phone, wallet, camera, or back pack, etc, etc.

15. You tip the taxi driver, the tour guide, the translator, even though these service providers are already getting paid plenty.



Are You a Permanent Resident or a Tourist?

If you are living in Ecuador now and any one of the caveats above applies to you, then possibly you are still on vacation rather than enjoying the benefits of being a permanent resident. 

Locals catering to tourists are laughing all the way to the bank.  But locals and foreigners on a budget competing with tourist prices are not.  Don’t you think it’s about time you settled in to your life in Cuenca Ecuador and start caring more about your expat footprint?  Expat lite, go local!

For more information on how to do that, see the DIY Cuenca Landing Guide or any of the other guides to other parts of Ecuador.  Quito Landing Guide --- Coastal Travel Guide.

We're an Expat Family of Five Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the blog!

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