Atacames: The ‘whitest’ beach in Ecuador

Atacames Ecuador

Atacames is rumored to have the ‘whitest’ sand in all of Ecuador, but I’d say it also has one of the widest, biggest beaches in Ecuador as well.

A party town with an Afro-caribbean flavor in Ecuador, this is where the folks from Quito come to party from June through September.

Things to do?

– Party along the boardwalk with the rowdy young locals.
– Work on your tan in the daytime.

Where to stay?

My value pick is the Le Castel right on the beach with a swimming pool on site. You’ll think you need to pay more for the room you’re put in with rates starting around $20 pr person varying on season.

Gualaquiza, a neat, hidden outpost no one knows about

gualaquilza ecuador

Gualaquiza is a small town of around 15,000 people in the Southern Amazon region of Ecuador. The people are friendly and the backdrop is beautiful as the area is surrounded by lush rainforest.

What to do?

Visit the bike shop Ciclos on Orellana 4-35 and rent a bike and enjoy the excellent 3 hour bike ride to La FLorida.

Bath in one of the numerous rivers at one of the several sandy beaches.

Where to stay?

My pick is the Hotel Internacional on Cuenca Ave. with simple, clean rooms starting around $10 per person.

To keep reading this article fill in the blanks below to register now, thanks:

First Name
* Email
* = Required Field

Pedernales: Ecuador’s version of Florianapolis, Brazil


Every time I come to this city I’m awed by the character and bravado of this small coastal city. The hilly streets leading down to the ocean are always full of something interesting to see, the locals are friendly, and the foreigners are scarce. The beach isn’t so nice but the food along the boardwalk is to die for. I’m sorry but this place reminds me of Florianapolis, Brazil.

Where to stay?

My value pick is Hotel Arenas, a few blocks from the beach with cable TV and well kept rooms starting around $10 per person.

Ecuador government refunds foreigners the VAT tax

ecuador vat refund

It’s nice to be treated special just for being a foreigner in Ecuador.

In fact, for those that know about the program, foreigners don’t even have to pay the sales tax on items made in Ecuador.

It’s true, the Ecuador government is now refunding foreign “tourists” the sales tax they paid on items made-in-Ecuador and on hotel stays when the invoice amounts over $50.

The sales or VAT tax in Ecuador is 12% and that is the amount that is refunded.

All you have to do to receive your refund is save your receipts (facturas) and fill out the brief form you can pick up on a little stand just outside of the check in lines for international flights in Guayaquil and Quito.

Also, you’ll want to bring an envelope and a copy of your passport.

Then present your goods at the SRI-CAE counter in the check in luggage lounge in Quito or Guayaquil or if no one is attending deposit the envelope with your invoices, copy of passport and form in the mailbox located in the pre-boarding (departure) lounges in the international airports in Quito and Guayaquil.

The refund accreditation is carried out only through a credit card that must be under the name of the applicant.

There are no limits to the refunded amount, so if you’re not sure if an item you bought qualifies for the refund, just deposit the invoice anyway and see what happens.

Afterward, you can check the status of your refund using your passport number through the official Ecuador SRI website

To learn more about this program fill in the blanks below, thanks:

First Name
* Email
* = Required Field