Bribing Cops in Ecuador

“I’m in a… bad…. place…. right now.” My friend Ted said.

“Well, where you at?” I asked over the phone.

“I was tryin’ to find your Hotel, made a wrong turn, went wrong way on this road, now this cop pulled me over and is talking fast in Spanish, don’t know what he’s saying…”

“OK, pass your phone to the officer, I’ll translate…” I said.

The officer said my friend’s car was driving wrong way on a one way road, and that his car was not registered and that he was going to ticket my friend $90 and impound the car.

Then, I said the words local Ecuadorian friends taught me to say in these types of situations…

“Como podemos solucionar esto? (How can we solve this matter?)” That’s pig for “how much do I have to bribe you to let me go?”

The cop said $30.

My friend offered $20, the cop took it and let him go.

You see, there was NO PROBLEM with his registration… the cop just tried to intimidate him cause foreigners have a bad rep for opening their wallets under the smallest amount of pressure applied by cops.

Generally, the corruption among police in Ecuador has improved over the last few years, but there are still some bad apples out there… the traffic cops are the worst.

Once in a while this kind of sh*t happens in Ecuador, just like in ALL of Latin America and in most developing countries worldwide… you simply can’t trust the police as much as you’d like.

To avoid problems, I wouldn’t try to drive in the big cities of Ecuador your first time here… mainly Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca… especially when there’s so many cheap taxis and buses.

On the other hand, driving in the countryside and along the coast is easy and fun… on the coast it’s small towns, countryside, a one lane road and the driving laws are the same as in the States.

So if you would like to rent a car, I’d recommend catching a $4 bus or a $10 van from the big city of Guayaquil to Salinas, a small town on the coast, then renting a car at a place like SalinasRentaCar.com.

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$130k, San Joaquin Lots for Sale

2 lots of 1.000 m2 each, price $130.000,00 for each.

Plano san joaquin disponible

Saludos,

Juan Carrasco

Espacio3 – Asesoría Inmobiliaria
Remigio Crespo 4-44 y Ricardo Muñoz
Teléfonos: (593-7) 2885575 / 2845540 / 094324612 / 098411651
juan@e3cuenca.com
Cuenca – Ecuador

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Cuenca Villa with 277m2 of construction, $155.000

Brick villa with wood highlights for sale…
Construction: 277 mts2
ground floor: 191mts
Garage: 25 mts
* 3 bedr
* bedr principal has jacuzzi
* 3 bath
* kitchen
* 1 tv room
* 1 game room
* 2 parking spaces
* 24 hr security

However, you can see a large selection of casas rurales here on this website and see if this is the perfect choice for you and your familiy.

cuenca real estate

cuenca-villa-for-sale
Juan Carrasco

Espacio3 – Asesoría Inmobiliaria
Remigio Crespo 4-44 y Ricardo Muñoz
Teléfonos: (593-7) 2885575 / 2845540 / 094324612 / 098411651
juan@e3cuenca.com
Cuenca – Ecuador

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A Galapagos Photo Diary

isabela-beach

Isabela Beach…

isabela-galapagos

Sea lions.

tortuga-bay-galapagos

A Galapagos tortoise

sharks-galapagos

Tintorera sharks in Ecuador

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The Cheap, ‘Local’ Way to See Galapagos

It never ceases to amaze me…

…when I meet foreigners in Ecuador who come for a week or two, and don’t even visit the highlight of Ecuador… the Galapagos Islands.

sea-lions-galapagos

Where else can you walk along the edge of the ocean and see enormous manta rays and sharks swim right next to you in the transparent water below.

Or turtles the size of cars, and lava tunnels on Santa Cruz Island.

Or scuba with whale sharks and hammerheads off Floreana.

Or see thousands of types of endemic birds, including the world’s smallest penguin, on Baltra.

But many say it’s too expensive, or too far (actually it’s part of Ecuador and only an hour flight from Guayaquil).

The key is you have to know how to see it, the way local Ecuadorians do it.

Most foreigners buy 5 or 7 day cruises over the net, often costing around $2-10,000 depending on the class of the yacht.

But there’s a much cheaper way to see the Galapagos.

Don’t make ANY reservations on the net.

Fly to Santa Cruz, the main island, from Guayaquil for around $350 round trip (seniors get a discounted rate).

Then upon arrival go to the port of the town of Puerto Ayora and walk around and look for one of the several simple, budget hotels, like the one I stayed at, the New Elizabeth Hotel which charges $25 per person per night. For longer stays you can negotiate a bit cheaper or even find a local willing to rent you a room in their home for $10-15 a night (look for “alquiler” signs and ask around).

Once accommodated, go to the port once again to one of the MANY mom and pops travel agencies where you can buy day tours starting from around $60-$80 per day per person right from the source with lunch included.

In other words, use Santa Cruz as your base staying in one of the cheap hotels in the port, and take day trips to the other islands.

Isabela is a must for the wildlife and Bartolome for landscapes like you’ve never seen before.

There are also cool things to do on Santa Cruz, like rent a bike and all day it from Puerto Ayora to the secluded, gorgeous beach of El Garrapatero, be sure to try the fresh breads and sweets in the bakeries in the small towns along the way! Tortuga Bay is the most impressive beach on Santa Cruz.

You could also make Isabela your base if you’d like to get even further off the beaten path on truly picturesque, white sand, turquiose water beaches (the only ones like that in Ecuador).

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