Surprise flight connection that could save you BIG getting to/from Ecuador

Recently, I helped an Ecuadorian friend buy her ticket from Ecuador to Israel.

And I learned something interesting.

To or from most places in the world, right now, it is FAR cheaper to fly there from Bogota than from anywhere in Ecuador.

Bogota is WAY more connected than Quito, and right now Quito is getting way more connected than Guayaquil.  (In the last two weeks alone two big direct routes to New York and Europe have been moved to Quito.)

And now, as I reported last month, we can get to and from Bogota cheaply from Quito with the new budget airline Wingo.  Last I checked, $150 RT Quito-Bogota.

In this particular case, prices from Quito to Tel Aviv for her was around $1600 at the cheapest. From Guayaquil even more.  But from Bogota just $1000!  And buying the Wingo ticket for $150 she ended up saving almost $500 on the round trip to Israel.

So, especially if you are coming from far away, or trying to go far, research connecting through Bogota, and buying a separate ticket with Wingo from there to Ecuador, you just may save a bunch!

For instance, from Bogota to Miami right now one way $157 with Spirit Air.  Can’t find that from Ecuador.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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Dodging a shark: The dangers of buying vacant land in Ecuador

“Oh, man, here he comes again.” I said to an Ecuadorian friend as I saw my neighbors big black pick up pull up to my property near Salinas on the coast.

The car stopped, he got out and walked up.

I had previously explained to my friend that my neighbor used to be the owner of the whole hill I was on overlooking the ocean, and that he had sold a lot to the person that sold to the person that sold to me.

But now he was hassleing me because he said on my deed is only 500m2 yet in actuality my lot is closer to 700m2 if you count the downward slope onto the main road from my main lot.

Now, he was bothering me to pay him for the extra 200m2 I was occupying or he would sell that to someone else.

Yet, most of that space is un-usable anyway because it was too close to the main road.

But consulting in the municipal of Santa Elena where the deeds are registered, they told me actually mis-measurements of lots are quite common and don’t mean much.

So, this time as my neighbor walked up once again to hassle me, he was intercepted by my Ecuadorian friend who got in his face and told him to get lost and stop trying to take advantage of a naive foreigner (me, at the time).

That’s all it took.

He never bothered me again.

I learned something from that about how things work down here. Ecuadorians respect force or threat of force, and that’s about it.

Strength, in other words, not necessarily the “oh it’s the right thing to do” ethics that may be enough in places like North America where you can rely a bit more on the legal system and the police to help you out.

So, how can you prevent situations like this?

Buy lots that have CONFIRMED time-tested boundaries marked by older looking fences, GPS coordinates specified in deed, or landmarks outlined in deed. Talk to the neighbors to confirm before buying if possible.

And it sure helps to have some local friends.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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How to save on your income tax in Ecuador

This week I filed my income tax return in Ecuador due every March (impuesto a la renta).

My accountant charged $30 and was done in 20 minutes.

It was so quick because she already handled my monthly sales tax declarations and already had the paperwork on hand.

Based on the monthly tax declarations for all of 2016 she quickly pumped out the annual return and submitted it.

When you file if you have employees insist that your accountant submits the form declaring how much you pay to employees.  That will lower your tax burden greatly.

If you show less than $11k in profits for the year you pay ZERO income tax in Ecuador.  And it’s a sliding scale on up to the highest tax bracket for folks who make more than $115k profit who must pay 35% tax.

See the 2017 scale and read more here. 

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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