Flying standby to Ecuador without getting bumped

Working near the airport I have a chance to converse daily with travelers who get bumped trying to fly standby to or from Ecuador.

Thing is, most international airlines like Delta, United or Copa only have one flight to and from Ecuador daily.

So especially in peak season chances of getting on your first try are slim.

Here’s what I’d do to greatly improve your chances…

1. Don’t fly during peak season in Ecuador which is July-August and late December to early April.

2. Bogota!  If you have trouble getting out of Quito try buying a cheap one way flight on the budget carrier Wingo for around $150 to nearby Bogota.  Your chances of then getting out of Bogota (a city of 10 million people with hoards of flights to match) are much greater.

3. Fly on Sundays.  From the flow of my airport hotel in Quito, I can tell you the lowest travelled days are often Sundays.

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How not to start a business in Ecuador

Recently, a friend started a pizza shop in Ecuador.

3 months later he was done and out of business.

Another friend just started an Italian restaurant.

He looks to be done within the month.

For me, what´s the key to starting a business that lasts no matter where you are in Ecuador?

Accommodations.

For instance, what if your passion and what you REALLY want to do is start a surf school, or a restaurant, or a yoga retreat center?

Then offer accommodations in the form of a vacation rentals-hotel-B&B and on the side offer the retreat center/restaurant/school.

People got to sleep somewhere, then they gotta eat. Then, they got to be entertained. Might as well all be with you. If you can give them a reason to stick around longer all the better.

This will keep you in business.

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3 surprising ways to make more money out of your farm in Ecuador

Even Warren Buffett says farm land is one of the best longer-term investments you can make.

And in Ecuador, desirable farm land can still be found dirt cheap.  For instance, $1000 per hectare or less.

Yesterday in fact, I was chatting to one guy who exports plantain weekly from his farm in Santo Domingo to New York.

But a lot of people don´t realize there are actually various innovative income streams you can generate from the same farm.

1. Sell plants.  All you need is a small greenhouse on your property and preferably a major road frontage and you can actually do quite well selling plants.  I have made money selling red raspberry plants around $5 a pop and they don´t really cost me anything to produce as they are just the off-shoots from my existing bushes.  It helps if the plants you sell are not widely found in Ecuador.

2. Offer bird-watching tours.  Birders come to Ecuador in hoards and they often have BIG money.  Offer guided tours on your farm or better yet host them at a lodge on your farm.  All you need is that one rare bird that interests them and they´ll come.  And spend, often $100-200+ a night!

3. Distribute.  Don´t just grow, buy up the neighboring product and export, this can be done before your crops even start producing (and is a good idea to do so as you gain market for your coming crops).

There you have it, three ways to generate more from your farm in Ecuador.

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