You know you’re in a budget hotel in Ecuador when…

“Stay at this hotel in the center of Ibarra (Ecuador),” my friend said.  We were both planning on going to an event together. 

So I booked there. 

And sure enough he cancelled.  But I was still going so I went and stayed at this place my friend chose.

And it was during this recent stay I realized most budget hotels in Ecuador that usually charge around $10-15 per person have many things in common.  

Must be a cultural thing!  

…you know you’re in a budget hotel in Ecuador when you open your window to get some air and a big a$$ fly comes in because you have no screens.

…or when you look out your window and you’re looking right in the window of another room.

…or when your sink is outside the bathroom.  

…or when your bathroom sink has no mirror, and no hot water, or the hot water is reversed making it a damn mind puzzle just to get some hot water.  

…or when you try to shave in the poor light and come out looking like a crack head who tried to shave while looking at their reflection in a street puddle.  

…or when you get one of the interior rooms with no window at all.  No this is not prison I’m talking about. 

…or when you can tell your neighbor with exactitude how many times they entered the bathroom the night before due to the SCREECHING sound the doors in the hotel make when you open or close them.

…or when you try to sleep on the rock hard mattress making you fantasize over sleeping on the floor.

…or when you realize your little ventilation window in the bathroom empties out into the hotel kitchen.  

…or when you hang your clothes over the TV because there is not one little clothes hanger or place to hang anything in the entire room. 

…or when you notice your room has a mini-fridge (for some reason) in the corner that doesn’t work.

…or the suicide electric shower that doesn’t heat up the water all that much, and when asking for help they tell you how to do it by fiddling with the wet wires (making you the ground). 

But hey, its all in good fun, an experience that should not be missed!

Ecuador heads back to the polls, will it cause real estate to jump?

This coming Sunday February 4 Ecuadorians (and legal residents who have registered to vote) will head back to the polls for a referendum ordered by the current sitting president Lenin Moreno.

Ecuadorians will answer 7 questions aimed basically at overturning much of what the previous President Correa did in office.

The main question that will effect real estate in Ecuador is the one asking if Ecuadorians would like to overturn the new (exaggerated) capital gains (plusvalia) tax that was instituted last year.

Another highlight is the question that will re-establish term limits basically making it illegal for Correa or anyone else to sit indefinitely as a president-dictator.

Other questions seem to be no-brainers like having to do with strengthening child abuse laws and limiting mining and oil exploration in the Amazon. I mean, who is going to vote against going tougher on child abusers? Id like to see that class when the teacher asks… “ok, raise of hands please, who disagrees with going harsher on child abusers?”

I love it.

And if the capital gains tax gets abolished or bumped down to what it was before the property prices in Ecuador could jump both in the short and long term.

Market re-activated.

Democracy is once again restored in Ecuador, for a while there it was questionable if we would be the next Venezuela.

Stay tuned!

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The surprising 10 cheapest one way flights to Ecuador from North America in 2018

Many of us expats often prefer one way tickets.

Ecuador doesn’t care if you come on a one way so if worried about it I´d just check with the airline before buying to see if they will let you board with a one way.

But I noticed something interesting when I was looking for myself on a trip recently.

From Cincinnati, OH no matter what date you pick you are looking at no less than $460 one way to Quito, Ecuador.

Yet from nearby Cleveland, OH, my hometown, a city about the same size (if not smaller) for just about any date you can find a one way to Quito for around $180.

Big difference.

So I decided to research ALL the major metropolis in the USA and Canada and here are the cities with the CHEAPEST steady flights to Ecuador.  The below prices are an average available price if booked at least a month in advance. Some of them might surprise you.

Here are my top 10:

Fort Lauderdale FLL $104
Los Angeles LAX $162

Atlanta ATL $160
Richmond VA $137
Cleveland CLE $179
Boston BOS $163
New York NYC $174
New Orleans MSY $137
Buffalo BUF $138
Jacksonville JAX $138
I suggest booking on google.com/flights as you can compare whole months of prices at a time (great for expats with flexible schedules!