This probably isn’t a fair assessment.
Especially because how I felt about Quito.
And the fact that I only spent a total of 4 days on mainland Ecuador.
But the fact of the matter is that there isn’t anything overly special in Ecuador (besides Galapagos) that can’t find anywhere else in Latin America. Many will disagree with this and say that there are tons of things to do in Ecuador that are amazing.
To a certain extent that is true.
But there isn’t anything outside of Galapagos that can’t be done in Colombia, Peru, or even Bolivia. I found the people of the country to be very kind and gracious (as most Latin’s are), but after living in Medellin and visiting countries like Brazil the place where I would rather be is clear; It isn’t Ecuador.
The country has improved so much in the last decade but it is nothing compared to where Peru and Colombia are heading. Both in economic terms and also things to see and experience.
I had a very bad first impression of Quito. I had a very uneasy feeling about the city and ended up understanding that it is indeed not safe after everyone tried to tell me it was. Quito feels like it just finished a very bad relationship with the United States.
It’s currently experiencing the hangover.
Again, this is probably a very unfair assessment as I have only been to Quito. I say many things that a lot of people get offended by here on WanderingTrader but the fact of the matter is, they are true. Stereotypes exist for a reason.
Because the country has had such hard economic times (they don’t even use their own currency instead they use US Dollars) corporate America has come in and ransacked the country. The United States has had a significant impact and influence on the world after being the dominant world power for decades. It is magnified in Ecuador.
We can see McDonald’s in almost every country in the world. Coca Cola anyone? American cars, which ironically in China, Buick’s are a sign of luxury, are all over the place.
My grandmother thinks Buicks are great. Everyone else? Not so much.
US corporations have completely taken over and I have never seen so many English signs and companies in any other Latin American countries. One of the most beautiful places to see the Amazon is in Ecuador and Peru. Just so happens that Ecuador’s Parliament has approved an oil drilling project. That won’t be destroyed anytime soon. Nope, not at all.
I can’t describe the numerous and dire warnings I received about the coastal city of Guayaquil. If you are planning on visiting the Galapagos make sure to stop over in Quito and not Guayaquil.
Guayaquil is easily one of the most dangerous cities in South America.
In conclusion, it isn’t that Ecuador is a bad place to visit, there are just other places that are better. Both to retire in and invest. The only place that is unique is the Galapagos Islands, but outside of that there other places I’d rather be.