Here's a few things to keep in mind when visiting or moving to Ecuador that will make your trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
1. Tell Your Bank About Your Visit to Ecuador - Be sure to let your bank manager know you will be visiting Ecuador. They will make a note in the computer so that when you use your debit/credit card here it will not cause a red flag, which happens sometimes. We know of some visitors who were unable to get money using their visa at Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) in Cuenca for days because it was a weekend and they couldn’t get a hold of their bank to tell them it was them using the bank card in Ecuador.
2. Bring ALL Info to Your Web Based Email Programs - Whether you use Yahoo, Gmail or any other WEB BASED Email when you get to Ecuador they will lock you out of your own email because they will see attempts at signing in from a foreign country. To them it is suspicious activity because they do not know it is you trying to sign in. Yahoo is really hard-nosed about this. Bring all of the pertinent information with you as they will have you go through a three step verification process.
We can understand the security this day and age of the Internet but it can be frustrating, especially if you have a crucial need to access your email. Make sure you have all of your passwords, telephone numbers and or secret questions with you when you get here, just in case they lock you out of your email.
3. Talk to your doctor and let them know you are considering visiting an altitude of 2,560 m (8,400 ft). Most people adjust absolutely fine, but some folks with certain health conditions should seriously talk with a qualified health practitioner before flying/traveling to Cuenca.
4. Necessities for your trip. Two weeks before your trip, start jotting down the things that you essentially need while in Ecuador. Here’s just a few items to get you started that we feel are (generally) essential for a visit to Cuenca.
- Good walking shoes, preferably sneakers
- Vitamins and medications, if any
- Hat for shielding the sun
- Sun block (VERY expensive here) I do not like to use sun block and I never did use it before coming to Ecuador. But in 15 minutes the bridge of my nose will burn and the next day it starts to peel. That’s the reality of the sun in Ecuador.
- Sweater or light jacket for chilly evenings.
- DIY Cuenca landing Guide PDF on your Kindle or the print book
5. Applying for resident visa during your visit? Make sure all of your documents are APOSTILLED before coming to Ecuador, otherwise you will have to send them back to the states and that can be frustrating to say the least.
6. Get Healthy/Healthier! The stress of traveling and being away from our usual conditions and environments can put limitations on our overseas travel. It is always a good idea to bring our bodies up to premium health so the stresses of being in a different climate and altitude, and eating different foods and water will not have a chance to make our resistance low and we become ill.
We suggest around one month before traveling to boost your immune system with good healthy foods and living! Being healthy and having lots of energy for sightseeing, socializing, and enjoying what the day may bring in a foreign country will make a big difference in how much you will enjoy your trip to Cuenca Ecuador.
7. Read up about the culture of Ecuador so you may greet people in the customary manner. Greeting the locals properly is respectful and can actually save you money when negotiating...and knowing even just a little basic Spanish will make your visit that much better. Here's an article you might find helpful for your visit. 43 Things We Have Observed about Cuenca's People.
So, we'll see you when you get here! We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!