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Friday, 22 January 2016

English speaking Beach tour of Manabi

English speaking Beach tour of Manabi
From the last post about an English speaking guide in Manabi, i have had numerous emails  ranging from where i would suggest to live in Manabi, a request for some kind of english speaking beach tour of Manabi, that could be completed over a few days or even turn it into a weeks worth of travelling stopping over night at each beach.
This is exactly what myself and Marlon are trying to achieve, by showing you all of the lovely coastal areas that Manabi has to offer, you can decide for yourself we don´t need to sell it to you,

On this beach tour, which we are currently devising, you will have the opportunity to spend the day and night if desired, itinerary will consist of visiting potential property, walk along the beaches, finding some areas of outstanding beauty for you to take pictures while soaking up that sea air. stopping for a bite to eat whether it is a light lunch and a beer or to taste what the coast has to offer.we will also organise for you to ask questions to a few locals who will be happy to tell you a little history about the area, what it has become and what they feel it will be like for the future, an honest opinion,

While doing all of this if you wish to participate in any activities, such as boat trips to various islands, or even having a go at fishing then this can be added to the list.

Every beach has it´s own uniqueness  by the time you have finished your tour, you will have found your desired hot spot.

So the answer to  the first question (where i would suggest to live in Manabi?) really this all comes down to you, there are plenty of areas to choose from, either join an existing expat community or search for your own private retreat. myself i opted for living in Portoviejo, why? the main reason beach life seemed too hot for me, great going for a few days, but full time i may of struggled.

Although most people go for the beach as a first choice, some tend to change their mind through factors such as climate and basic amenities, for example you can check out my post on why live in Portoviejo over the beach, i shall look forward to your emails and please comment below, as there will be more coming soon once we have completed our packages for English speaking Beach tour of Manabi

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

English speaking guide in Manabi

English speaking guide in Manabi
Well this is something i get asked a lot, and my answer is i personally don´t know anyone who specialises in this field,
So i got talking with my friend tonight, who is Ecuadorian and has lived in Manabi all of his life, who also speaks English, I have sat on the fence for nearly 6 years, just minding my own business and enjoying family life, until now, where i feel the knowledge and contacts i have obtained can finally be put to good use.helping others.

We plan to look after tourists,who wish to vacation in Manabi ,and ensure they have the best holiday that money can buy,whether that be a relaxing beach holiday, an action packed holiday,tour of Manabi or simply to party and enjoy themselves.

 What can we do for you?English speaking guide in Manabi
You name it we will do it,
For starters we will pick you up from the airport and sort out reasonably priced accommodation to suit your needs, depending on your arrival and journey times, the first night you will want to off load and get some shut eye fresh for the next day,

What would you like to do?
There are many options depending on the purpose of your visit, holiday or looking to live here.
some like to view all of the coastal areas, take photos do a bit of shopping,and learn more about the history and culture,more of a tourism holiday
Others are here to let down their hair forget their problems and enjoy themselves, quiet peaceful holiday or party few drinks and dance the night away.
And potential future expats like to see what options are available to them, can they fit into the community and live out their days here?

We will cater for any person age or interests are not important, our main goal is to ensure you feel safe with us and you get the most out of your holiday, if you need legal advice regarding a potential move here visas etc, then we will take you to our first choice lawyer who speaks English, and will attend to your needs.
Finding properties to buy or rent, can be stressful if you don´t know where to look, so we shall give you an insight of what you would expect to pay for a house, and what to avoid by showing you around new build projects,land or houses that may need finishing, this may also help you with gaining your residency visa.if the purpose for holiday is to relocate here.

If you search on google for pricing of a tour guide, there is normally a set fee per day normally up to $250 per day,but we will charge $50-100, with additional expenses paid for, such as petrol food and accommodation for the guide if you wish to move around. we will be competitive and hopefully a lot reasonable than others, we want you to get value for your money, and if you enjoy your stay then maybe you can recommend our services to others.

If this is something that is of interest to you, then leave a comment below or message me,simondo1981@live we would like to hear your input, and also answer all of your questions English speaking guide in Manabi
Before you visit check out this post on life in Manabi Ecuador Expats living in Manabi the truth!

Update start of our    beach tour of manabi post and new housing complex in Portoviejo  by the people who built the solca hospital

Friday, 8 January 2016

no idea where ecuador is?

No idea where Ecuador is? Location of Ecuador, Ecuador is in South America between Colombia and Peru being there neighbours north and south, with Brazil being further east,sitting on the equator line, which is what led to the country being named Ecuador yes i am stating the obvious, but not many people know where the location of Ecuador is?
Here is detailed image
map of south america  pin pointing where ecuador is

Ecuador got it´s name in 1463 when the inca empire began, but prior to this the land consisted of many indigenous indian tribes who were at war with each other most of the time.

The Spanish conquered Ecuador in the 16th century and brought spanish colonial rule to the land over the next couple of centuries.

Much of the indigenous tribes were literally wiped out due to illness, as the spanish brought over with them a mixture of small pox and measles.

The 18th century took it´s toll and Ecuadors hope for independance was looking slim as most of it´s cities were in total ruins, but after much blood shed over a long period of time independance  was achieved in 1830, the land was ruled for over the next 140 years by military and various political groups.

Through it´s neighbours in Peru, Ecuador lost many territories conflicting with it´s neighbours in the early 1900´s, then also a border war in 1995 that wasn´t resolved until 1999.

There has been 7 presidents since 96, which shows sign of instability
Ecuador is split up into different areas, on the North west just under 1400km from Quito Ecuador´s capital city are the Galapagos islands, which attract a lot of tourism due to it´s wildlife and beautiful coast lines.
Quito is a very large city surrounded by mountains(Andes) and also volcanoes one being very active at present (Cotopaxi) the climate is cooler  and high up can be difficult to adjust to the climate with the altitude. sierra region

Down the east you have the oriente,which backs on to the Amazon rain forest, eco lodges and cabins are a popular attraction for tourists who wish for some adventure or just to get out of the cities. Amaon region

The west consists of  a lovely coastal area starting from Esmeraldas at the most northern point  down past Santa Elena  going through small fishing villages,some busy with tourism and others completely untouched  Coastal region
For more information on the North side and equater here

Here is a brief layout of these 3 regions,
map of ecuador regions, amazon,sierra and coastal regions locations





















To break it up some more here is a map of all the provinces, I live in the Manabi province the coastal area of Ecuador, but slightly inland  residing in a city called Portoviejo
map of ecuador provinces names and regions


















Ecuador is quite a big country to explore ,so when visiting it is always good to have an idea on where it is you would like to be,  If life on the coast appeals to you then you can do some research on the villages and cities below that Manabi has to offer
map of ecuador´s manabi province names,cities and villages on the coast

The sucre highlighted in yellow seems to be an increasingly popular place for foreign expats to retire or begin their quest for beach life paradise little fishing villages such as crucita and san clemente you will find many foreigners living there.

For further information on areas in Manabi leave a comment and i shall get back to you, in the meantime you can browse through expat guides of ecuador  that will give you a further insight

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ecuador why living in Portoviejo has it´s benefits

This post is will cover why living in Portoviejo has it´s benefits,
So i have been living ere for over 5 years and it is safe to say i know my way around the city, who to see if you have a problem of any sort and where the nice areas are.

I joined an expat page on facebook as it interested me to see how many people are living close to me, from browsing i found that there are only a few expats living in Portoviejo, who i have never met, where as most live on the beach nearby.

When i was asked where in Manabi i lived Portoviejo seemed like a big shock to everyone all with the same question of why?
Well there are many reasons why i ended up living here rather than the beach and here they are.

Health this is a huge factor for anyone intending to live in Ecuador, Crucita san clemente really have nothing there, maybe the odd doctor, but chances are if you have a problem you will need to go to Portoviejo or even Manta for treatment, Portoviejo has many hospitals and clinics, the Solca specialises in cancer along with other major illnesses,many people come from all over the province for treatment here, Even the public hospitals i feel are at a decent standard English speaking doctors and just a general relief that you are in safe hands.there are trained specialists around the city,
My doctor is a perfect example Ecuadorian speaks English, is very well educated and looks after you as if you were some sort of celebrity great guy, but everyone will have a different experience with hospitals, i have saw a few gringos complain about public hospitals and opt for the private or clinics, which again are scattered around the city.If you have children there are some brilliant paediatric doctors around so really you have it all here and everything is generally close.

Shops in Portoviejo there really is a shop for everything, in the centre of town there are many outlets for electronics,clothes,car parts, specialist services etc, which you won´t find at the beach, so you will have to come here at some point.there are many department stores and 2 shopping centres one being the paseo shopping and the other a smaller complex on avenue Manabi.the list goes on, if you need something you will be able to get it in Portoviejo.

Food and Drink coastal food is generally delicious fresh fish shrimp etc,and boasts a nice nightlife with beach front bars open all day and night, and in fairness over the years there is a nice variety of food, But again Portoviejo being a small city has it all restaurants fast food you name it we have got it, Italian, Chinese,and typical Ecuadorian food, Ceviche and Encebollado have to be my favourite food here, many outlets, but a normally stick to my local a few minutes from home.There are many bars around the city avenue universitaria where it is mainly students having a beer with friends, but the main area is avenue Manabi leading to the airport where you can find some lovely bars that also do food and a mixture of night clubs or shall we say discoteque if you fancy a boogie or a karaoke night.

Services there are many services you will require over time legal or seeking specialist people, i will start with mechanics body repair and parts, like most things cars need parts things go wrong and you need someone who you can trust to get the job done. again there are many mechanics here some are good some are bad, some are cheap some are also expensive,luckily my father in law introduced me to the good ones, so any issue i take the car there or he will come and get it. If you were at the beach what would you do?
Parts for the car as i said previously Portoviejo has a shop for anything so you should be able to source the car parts you want/need, if you require a hand mad part or modification there are many highly skilled people here who can perform some amazing tasks, at affordable prices, cough cough i couldn´t say the same thing about the UK without having a bill over a grand.

Lawyers keep it brief again there are many about ,mine speaks english did all my visa and even helped me get a visa for my wife when i went back to uk for a holiday, no hiccups everything has always ran smooth, i will name drop Flori Zambrano if you want to mention my name  simon the english man it´s up to you, but she is in my eyes the best very professional

Climate we all like the sun or we wouldn´t be living here, but for me the beach gets too much for me, it is an english man´s dream to live on the beach, well for most it is drinking cocktails watching the world go by,but i am fair skinned so instant red lobster, plenty of suncream and plenty of after sun later on.
I love a good day at the beach with my family, but could i do it every single day? no definitely not, even my wife ( Ecuadorian) and son only like the odd day out there, so if moving to the each with children really think about it before you commit to anything. Many a time i have seen people on these facebook pages move after 2 weeks of being on the beach, because it is too hot, the rainy season can´t be fun on the beach, form previous visits the roads become destroyed and not to mention the houses, so be careful when buying a beach house.

Power and water Ecuador has improved a lot since i first came here, but you have more chance of the power going out living on the beach than you do in the city, then it is a case of how long will it take until you are back on? red hot no air con can´t be fun, most  properties on the coast don´t have running water, so you will need to but a (tanquero) man with a water truck to empty into your cisterna, how much water will you use on the beach? i don´t know but in the city you are looking about $15 per month which is regular running water, a tanquero can be anything from $15 to $30 not fun when you run out or the man has a shortage or busy the day you need it.But in time the beach villages should have running water when though i have no idea?

Safe secure living Although it is nice to live on the beach people take the security for granted there, like literally no security other than a bamboo kind of front gate,big mistake although locals are lovely people the tourism side can attract the odd bad apple, that stays over night and decides that they will take a chance of  opening up you house,by all means that is the worst case scenario,but looking at some of the houses if it were to happen you are not very safe, I can´t brand coastal living as unsafe, but for my piece of mind we live in a gated community guards at the gates with cameras, and like everyone we have bars on the downstairs windows with the metal door, something i am not used to as it is unheard of in England,but i can go to bed at night or leave the house knowing everything is safe and secure, let´s face it foreign country out of your comfort zone, safety should be high on your list.

Schools for your kids  only applicable if you have kids, but Portoviejo has many schools you can choose from public to private  ranging in different prices there is more of a selection here.

Things to do  living on the beach i feel you are very limited to what you can do, so if you want a change you will need to take a bus or drive, Portoviejo has many activities/places to go, like the local parks,swimming pools,cinema or shopping, you won´t get bored, but the sun plays a big factor in what you can do.

Housing and accessibility  For housing there are more and more projects, gated communities being built here in Portoviejo  at reasonable prices along with land up for sale,which in turn will gain you profit in the long run,beach houses in san clemente san jacinto are way over priced, and an ecuadorian will never pay those prices,
 Portoviejo is an up and coming city plans to develop the airport into a mini Dubai are on the agenda funded by a Spaniard, this will be interesting once it gets the go ahead, which should lead to an increase of tourism over here, if only  Manta airport was allowed to be an international airport then top destination i feel would be Manabi, but it will never happen as Guayaquil  will lose out.
Accessibility really living here in Portoviejo,you can get to any destination you want,there is a bus station that fires out buses to every area in Ecuador Quito Esmeraldas, Guayaquil Cuenca, and all the small surrounding villages and cities.
You have a choice of what beach to go to Manta Crucita or San Clemente leading to Canoa or you can head the other direction down the route del sol puerto cayo etc
Don´t get stuck in a rut generally living here everywhere is easy to get to, which is why without being bias Portoviejo is everything i need in my life.

So i hope this clears up a few things on why i don´t follow the sheep and live in those coastal villages, paradise is where you feel happy not just because there is a large community of expats at the beach telling you to move there would you like more information on manabi and if you came here would you be happy to use an English speaking guide? if so check out my  guide post

For more information on life in Manabi here is a new post Ecuador Expats living in Manabi the truth!
UPDATE NEW HOUSING COMPLEX IN PORTOVIEJO  BY THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THE SOLCA HOSPITAL 


Ecuador expat newbies

Hi all i have had a few questions sent in lately most are similar,people taking the plunge of coming here and not sure on what it is they are looking for,Ecuador expat newbies  i will briefly speak about certain subjects, but i will create further posts on each point so you are fully aware.

As an expat or future expat newbie, it is always advised to visit the country first, understand what it is you are after, a hot or cold climate, city life,beach life or up in the mountains, once you have decided then  it is time for some research, there are expats dotted all over the place up in Quito, down in Cuenca and a few on the coast,
I live in the Manabi province in a city called Portoviejo, it has everything i want,  and is also a short trip to nearby beaches, such as Manta,Crucita, and San Clemente.

Where ever you go the price of property varies, but primarily  most people rent a place until they commit to buying, if you research this by using the website www.olx.com.ec you can see for yourself the average house price and rentables in any chosen area in Ecuador.

Now it is also a good idea to join an expat page, you can find many on facebook, but what i will say is keep your cards close to you, try and keep your financial and life story to yourself, the reason why i am saying this is, you will find the biggest scavengers craving your money are your own people,
Many come here buy up land build some houses and realise they can´t get the rent they are looking for, as an Ecuadorian will not pay more than $300 unless it has something pretty special,so they see a new expat feed them the paradise pitch and boom you are now paying $600 for a 1 bedroom cottage/appartment,yes that is their business it lines their pockets,but if you have money to waste then this maybe the simplest route to take, but bare in mind an Ecuadorian´s basic wage is $370 per month. so introduce yourself gather as much information as you can and begin making some decisions.even though there are some scavengers, there are actually to nice genuine people.

Ok the next question is what kind of expat are you?
Are you retired and financially sound or are you looking to make a living over here?
This never seems to get mentioned as people assume everyone is retired who come out here,
Well i am not retired so my life is very different to an expat coming here to just sit back and enjoy life.

There are many factors you need to consider if you are not in the retirement category, do you have a profession or are you looking to create a business or a simple job to just get by?
With a profession chances are you should find a job, but don´t expect the same wage you were on back home it will be less,

Creating a business, this really is tough, you must understand the culture and do plenty of market research, what works back home doesn´t work over here, trust me i have tried to bring many ideas from England over here and most have failed. here is more information on this

Although people use the internet for websites like olx or mercado libre, you will find that people don´t like to shop online, a major trust issue from previous and present scams that circulate through out the country.for example if you use facebook as a business page, people will like your products but hardly ever buy unless you have a physical shop that they can visit,

Pricing if you  are selling an item for $80 9 times out of 10 you will get and offer for 40 or 50 dollars, don´t get too upset about this as everyone does this you will rarely get your asking price unless you stick to your guns.

When living over here you must have an open mind an patience,  manana manana is some expat pet hates, knowone is in a rush so don´t expect all your problems to be resolved on that same day, i still mutter a few words under my breath at times.
Poverty is here so don´t be shocked, it will be out of your comfort zone,so try to deal with it best you can,
What is cheap to you is expensive to others, so maybe the great deal you got on your $200k house best be kept quiet,

Blend in try to dress similar or simpler, avoid wearing expensive jewelry  crime is here, but crime is every where in the world, just don´t be the ideal target.

Animals not all dogs are pets, many are street dogs unwanted and left to fend for themselves,some you may see dead on the road, it does pull on the heart strings in a big way, you may feel the need to help or do something about it, but  you are fighting a lost cause even if it is the right thing to do

Money 50 and 100 dollar notes is a no no, try to use $5 or $10 notes even change when walking around, things are relatively cheap most can´t change your money, but if you are in dire straights go to a petrol station they will change it.

Cars some expats prefer to use public transport rather than drive, but for me i prefer to use my own car,This is a big part of your life you must tackle, well for me it is, prices are very high, and it is hard to justify handing over your money to buy a car that you could quite easily get back home for next to nothing, so have a long think about it before going out and buying.my guide to buying cars
New cars, big,new expensive cars stay clear of it, why you may ask? because you are showing everyone that you have money, if you are driving a new BMW in Manabi you will be watched envy sets in, which could result in your car being scratched damaged or even stolen, among other things, so i suggest blending in again, you don´t need to go out and buy a banger that will constantly give you heart ache going to the mechanic, but change your buying attitude,a downgrade it will always be in my eyes, gone are the days where i used to drive turbo cars.

I will leave it there for now as there is a lot to soak in, but i will add to this, i am by know means trying to put anyone off, i just want you to have your eyes opened and be prepared, i have found my paradise in Portoviejo you will all find yours, i guarantee you will love this country once you know what you want here, feel free to leave a comment/question and i shall respond as soon as i can.