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Written by Gaurav on April 23, 2019 Share on

Confessions of a digital nomad – Straddling the landscape of Ecuador

If you are following the digital nomad series, you will understand this is part two of Gaurav’s expeditions.

For the uninitiated, here is the link to the first article –

I spent three months in Quito, Ecuador and it was my first time in Latin America. I loved it and these are the bunch of things that caught my attention.

  • Quito is 2.8Km above the sea level and the high altitude hits you. I felt very sleepy for the first two days but then got accustomed to it after I went for a couple of morning runs
  • Ecuador is a great place to learn Spanish since they do not have an accent like other Latin American countries. I did an hour of class every weekday and loved the teachers at Simon Bolivar School. I continue to learn from them online
  • Most Latin American metropolitan cities have something called the Cycle Pass, [Cyclo Paseo] or Cyclovia where they cordon off major roads on Sunday for runners, skateboarders and bicyclists
  • Oh, there are no lights for pedestrians. Cross the roads at your own risk
  • After Cotopaxi erupted early 2016 and a recovering economy after switching to US dollars, the country is growing and still underrated in Latin Americ
  • Ecuador is known for the Highlands (Andes), Coast (Montanita), Amazonas far east and the Galapagos!
  • Quito is on the Equator, the sun is up at 6 am sharp, and the people rise early, sleep early
  • I found it surprising the way you greet women by bumping cheeks, but not women
  • Park Carolina in Quito is like the Central Park of New York
  • The startup ecosystem is still nascent, and young smart folks are working on interesting problems at Buen Trip Hub, where I spent my day time working
  • I got interested in high altitude mountain climbing (on another post) after climbing Pichincha, Illiniza Norte and Cayambe

On food

  • I loved the almuerzo/lunch. Looked forward to it every day; includes jugo/juice – and the kinds of fruits you see are exotic – probably never heard of them(Maracuya, Granadilla, Tamarillo, Naranjilla
  • Chocho was high protein corn that I used to have for breakfasts
  • Guayusa is a tea made of cocaine leaves (like hoja de coca), great for high altitude and replaces the high you need from coffee
  • Canelazo is a drink made from cinnamon and local liquor served hot and available at any street shop. Gives you a sugar high

On transport

  • Tuenti has great connectivity for a SIM card, though you need a local friend for you to get it activated
  • The Expressways all across Ecuador is well planned and laid out. The professional cyclists come from all across the world to bike here to improve their lung capacity
  • Uber does not work in Ecuador yet, Cabify came to my rescue

Overall, the people are really nice, gave me a comfortable environment for getting good work done and I am going back to Ecuador to climb Chimborazo and Cayambe 🙂

Article originally published on Medium.

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