More on Ecuador Buses

Here is an update about our warning on Ecuador.

Merri and I are in Quito speaking to…


the 400 plus delegates at International Living’s Ultimate Event plus…


as we do everywhere we go… always looking at real estate. This is a beautiful area we were inspecting in a cloud forest.

See details about the additional Cuenca real estate tour February 21-22-23 right after the International Living event.

We are always also checking out where it’s safe to be and not in Ecuador… hence our recent Three Ecuador Warnings article.

There was some great feed back about Ecuador buses and that recent message warning to be careful of Ecuador buses.

One reader wrote:

Hi Gary,  About the Executive service bus to Bahia and other places. I asked my Mom, who lives near Bahia, about the executive bus situation as well.  She (an American living in Ecuador) travel all the time by Reina del Camino Executive bus. Anyway, here’s her reply:

“Yes,  you are right.   There was a big accident involving a Reina bus but it was one of the other types (not ejecutivo).   They left Quito late one night after New Year’s.   They were way overloaded with passengers,  the road was slippery because it had been raining, and the bus went down a cliff coming down from that big windy mountain called La Crespa.   39 passengers died in the crash and many more were injured.   The bus driver also died.   It turns out that he was not the regular bus driver and, in fact, didn’t have a professional license.   Anyway,  the govt closed down Reina for a few months.

At first, it was supposed to be permanent.   However, the drivers and the passengers of the Ejecutivos were complaining because ones needed work and the others were finding it very hard to take the bus.   Reina has a huge participation in the bus routes of Ecuador, especially in Manabi. Finally,  the courts decided to get all the Reina buses checked,  the drivers had to take some special tests and their licenses checked and rechecked.   Then the company got permission to start up again.   So there is the story.   The buses are running better than ever.   I think it’s a steal to get a ride on the good bus like that for only 7 dollars although your Papa and me only pay 3.50 for tercera edad.  :) “

I do agree to stay away from public buses for the most part.  But the Reina del Camino Executive service, has established a great service for many years to long distance travelers.  We’ve taken the Reina Ejecutivo buses for years and avoid the other buses, even from Reina del Camino because the others are not very comfortable, nor do they have the same safeguards.  We do this because the service really is treated differently, and even at the terminals all is treated with security.  No one, other than passengers, is allowed to even get near the buses.  All luggage is ticketed, so it is very difficult for someone to take your luggage.  There is no stop for any passengers on the way, other than designated secure terminals.  The interior of the buses are Air Conditioned, darkened with thick curtains which you can freely open to view the scenery (which we usually do with our small kids), and usually play a movie, which the driver’s assistant has always been glad to play videos that we bring for the kids enjoyment.

Hiring a private driver is definitely more convenient, most of the time.  But for those looking at frequent trips, a $7 a ride beats $140 or more any day. Just this past November, my 85 Year old Grandma preferred to travel with me on the route mentioned, a five hour drive to Guayaquil (instead of driving our own vehicle).  This line does take the stress of long distance driving; and the comfort and security are unmatched in Ecuador.

As you point out, we always need to be careful.  As my bus traveling Grandma can testify, the key is to use street smarts.  Anywhere in the world.  I’ve been all over the world and I’ve been robbed in the U.S. (when I was young and naive), but not in Ecuador or any other developed country after I learned my lesson well.

Another reader stated:

We wanted to keep you updated on the the bus situation.  We have noticed that bus safety appears to be improving.  The short haul buses are still overcrowded but the long distance ones appear to have improved substantially. We travel by bus from Quito to Atacames and Tonsupa and back on a regular basis and have noticed that the bus drivers have not been picking up additional passengers. On 2 occasions the buses sold all their seats and they would not sell us a ticket for the bus so we had to wait for the next scheduled ones  So we are seeing an improvement.

We think it is important for your readers, especially the budget travelers, to be aware of this change because of the cost of transportation.  It is far cheaper to travel by bus to Atacames and Tonsupa from Quito ($8.00 per person) than by flying ($65.00 per person) and by taxi ($50.00 per person).  We do not necessarily feel safer with a taxi transporting us for the 5 hour trip as they have a tendency to pass other vehicles dangerously and generally drive unsafely because time is money for them.  The buses seem to take more care in that aspect.

Now that we have learned that the bus with the accident was overcrowded, had too much freight and that the weather conditions were rainy we have been selecting safer bus lines; the ones that are not picking up passengers after they leave the terminal.  We also have a look at the luggage area to see how much freight is being carried.   We learned that the extra weight contributed to the accident because the driver was trying to gear down to slow down and he couldn’t get it into the lower gear.

On our last trip the bus was delayed because the mechanic wheeled himself under the bus to inspect the brakes.  That,indicated to us that there is an improvement in mechanical safety on the buses.

If there was a plane crash recently would we tell travelers not to travel by plane. There are plane crashes, bus accidents, taxi accidents and vehicle accidents all over the world due to various inefficiencies. For every accident that occurs there is usually some sort of safely measure that increases.  Therefore we think it is premature to discount public bus travel out totally.  We don’t want visitors to assume that only people with a large traveling budgets are safe in this country. So let’s not make it difficult for the budget travelers to get from one side of the country to another by advising them to find other modes of transportation other than buses.

We think it is only fair to mention that some of the taxi drivers can be hazardous especially when they are weaving in and out of lanes.  By no means do we feel safer in taxis than buses…in fact some of the taxi rides we have had made the hair on the back of our necks stand up and our knuckles white especially since very few are equipped with safety belts.

These readers have some good points. I’ll stick with the warning to avoid buses in Ecuador. My experience over 15 years in Ecuador is that most readers who talked with me about long distance bus trips stated they wished they had not.  However… if you are a bus rider or your budget is critical or if you have been living in Ecuador for some time… you will have learned the ropes. You’ll know what’s right for you and the risks and rewards.

For most readers who are coming for the first time the three warnings are pretty important. I do not recommend coming to Ecuador on your first journey with a plan to back pack or ride around the country by bus.

Having said that I would not recommend to an Ecuadorian or any non American… or even an American to jump on a long distance public bus and travel around the USA.  Merri and I have a nephew who decided to visit us by Greyhound from New York to Florida.

Not only was the journey arduous and time consuming… but he was robbed of everything.

Regarding taxis driving too fast.  Again this is not just an Ecuadorian phenomenon. Riding with someone driving too fast anywhere can be scary!

First timers can use a hotel taxi. These may cost a bit more. Discuss with the staff before departure as you do not want the taxi driver to drive too fast… if this is a concern.

Here is one more email received about the three Ecuador warnings article from a long time reader.

Dear Gary…happy belated Valentine’s day to you and Merri. I wanted to thank you again for your newsletters, especially today’s message.  I have heard from a source that doesn’t personally know you (hear say) that you have been known to sugar coat life in Ecuador and not share negative stories.  I explained to the person who said this, that I know you personally, and enjoy your newsletters….and that perhaps (like he & I both) we have grown accustomed to life in Ecuador and share an appreciation, and tend to recognize the positive things, and perhaps overlook the negative or even forgotten about our transitional period.  He agreed that may be the case.  I couldn’t bring myself to tell you that “you were too positive about Ecuador” LOL, but this is an excellent reality check on facts and not necessarily opinions.  Thanks for sharing the naked truth, as I find it equally as important.

There you have it…  I sugar coat.  Actually I do because I have a really positive view of life.

I say some pretty nice things about the USA as well as Ecuador.

When I began building my sales team in Hong Kong in the 1960s one of my sales managers once expressed to me “If you step in a pile of manure you’ll find something good to say about it!” I have remembered that talk for over 40 years and try to continually refine the art of seeing the glass half full rather than half empty. I try to refine the art of seeing problems yes, but then seeing the opportunity the problem creates.

This effort has helped me though divorce… being broke… having my business ruined… tax audits… losing loved ones… the stress of too much work… the fear of war… lies… cheating… deceit and all the other dramas that almost of us experience and was so aptly and beautifully described by William Shakespeare.

There is robbery… fraud… accidents… deceit…lies… corruption… fires… floods…famines… violence and negativity everywhere. Yet life really is good.

Those who dine with Merri and me know that our grace always contains our thanks for all the positive energy given to us and the privilege we have in being able to share this. .

So here is the deal you can depend on.  I love the people… the beauty… the adventure and the bargains in Ecuador and in the USA (I happen to love Britain -my other home – a lot as well).  If I hear or see or read about readers doing something that I believe can bring them harm… you’ll read about it.  Otherwise mostly you’ll get good news… solutions to troubles…. opportunities from problems… positive things.  Hopefully our sites are a tiny counter balance to all the doom and gloom that get thrown at us from every angle every day.

You’ll have to look elsewhere for the bad stuff.  You probably won’t have to look too far.


Learn how to be smarter… more positive…. see a bigger picture and learn Spanish in four days. See below.

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Speaking Spanish is a huge benefit on its own.  You can become one of the rare North Americans who can get along in Spanish speaking countries.  You can be one of the special people who can communicate with 10 million non-English speakers in the USA.  Spanish is the second most used language in the USA.  There are more Spanish speakers than speakers of Chinese, French, German, Italian, Hawaiian, and the Native American languages combined.  According to the Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language of nearly 50 million people in the US.  This is the largest Spanish-speaking community outside of Mexico. Only half of these speakers also speak English “very well,” and 19% do not speak Spanish at all.

You can tap into all this potential when you speak Spanish.  Yet there are more benefits.

An article in England’s leading newspaper, the Telegraph, entitled “Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism” (1) sum up the biggest benefit of learning a second language and increased intelligence.  The article says: “Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for traveling.  It will make you smarter, more decisive and even better at English.  Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process.  The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”

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#7:  You improve your English

Does it sound impossible to learn Spanish in three days?  Yes, it is impossible when you try to learn Spanish in the old, traditional way.

Though you may choose to take more time using this course to learn Spanish, thousands of our readers have learned at our Spanish courses.

There is a scientific method of learning… proven and described in numerous best selling books that create educational jumps by making education natural, easy and fun.   This course works because it is education without stress!

This method was created and refined by the Bulgarian educational master, Georgi Lozanov, who transformed the entire Soviet educational system to such a degree that this third world country beat the USA into space.

Merri was lucky to be one of a handful of students outside of Bulgaria who were allowed to be taught this system in the early 70s.  She practiced this unique and remarkable form of education for  four decades. It was a delight!

Merri and I began integrating these techniques with other shamanic and educational tactics we had gained in our global travels and then applied them to teach Spanish in three days.

The course has been proven again and again by the thousands who have used this system.  You can read a few of the many raves we have received from delegates who have learned from the Super Thinking Spanish course we created.

Here are a few quotes from delegates of the course.

One delegate from St. Louis wrote:  Hi Gary,  Just ended forty-five years in dentistry last week, and I’m on to a new career.  What is my new career?  Still formulating, but the eye -opening,mind expanding Super-Spanish course last weekend in St. Louis surely shows me the opportunity exists to expand my horizons.

Besides having a lot of nice people to learn our new language; the methods Merri and you developed proved to be just what you said they would be.  We all and I in particular relaxed our way to new learning.  I feel so very comfortable with the basis of my new language skills that I know I will be spitting out great Spanish sentences by the time I reach Ecuador in October.  Last year I spent six weeks in Ecuador and now I plan on conversing with the people.

Today’s excerpt of your newsletter really hit home. You do what you say you will. There are no surprises or hidden sales tricks. The only tricks are beneficial to our learning.  Thank you for a wonderful experience that I was quite unable to grasp how you would pull it off.  You did, however, and I look forward to other courses that you offer, and I have absolutely no doubt they also will work beneficially.  Best regards, Denis Molloy.

Another wrote about the Super Spanish course:   Buenos Dias, here is a testimonial for Super Thinking-Super Spanish.  Please feel free to use all or part in promotions for the course.  In addition, you may give my email address to any prospect “on the fence” about enrolling.  Yesterday, in Cotacachi, Ecuador, I finished Super Spanish.  I had high expectations for the course and they were exceeded.

After three days, I can speak Spanish in complete sentences. In simple conversations, such as buying groceries or ordering a meal, I can make myself understood. I think that’s incredible!

Although I am far from the competence level of a native speaker, I feel I’ve taken a giant step forward in learning Spanish so that I can experience the people and culture of Ecuador.  The foregoing benefits would have more than justified the time and money I invested in Super Spanish.  And learning some Spanish was not the most important benefit I got from the course.

Prior to leaving the USA, I had felt for some time that the pace of life there was unhealthy for me (and for most people) and I did nothing about it.

I’ve thought about the pace issue during the course.  One of the key elements Merri Scott designed into Super Spanish is placing the student in the optimal state for learning.  In class, the past three days, I’ve been re-introduced to guided journeys and introduced to the calming effects of Baroque music (  What a blessing! I’m inclined to make one or both a daily part of my life.   Rob Christi.  Cotacachi, Ecuador

Another attendee from a course wrote:   “I took this incredible class a few weeks ago, and I would like to tell anyone that is interested, that it is an amazing three days of learning with lots of laughs included. You leave everyday wanting to learn more and are so excited to do so.

“Other Spanish classes and tutoring made us feel like it would take forever to get to the point where we could put it into practice, but this method gave us a more fluent use for everyday life almost immediately AND the confidence to use it.  It is a fantastic way to show people how much they know and give confidence to learn and use Spanish creating a momentum.

“They made learning Spanish easy and fun in a very relaxed, comfortable atmosphere.  I would definitely recommend this course.  Even if you know some Spanish, this helps make it easier because of the less stress that no verb conjugations gives you.  This gives you more confidence in yourself to try and speak it more.

 “The stress free atmosphere and tons of interaction and participation were very conducive to learning.  The relaxation techniques alone are worth the price.  The fact that I can now feel more comfortable conversing in Spanish with my new friends and neighbors is priceless.  Muchas, muchas gracias.”

“I loved the relaxed environment.  I picked up quite a lot of new vocabulary.  I found this course very informative about how the language works, how I can make sentences and understand others better!  Muchas Gracias!  I had a call from Telcel (the local phone company) after our second class and I was able to speak and understand them for the first time. Despacio (meaning slowly) … a great word!  Everyone should take this course before they pick up bad habits.”

“I liked how simply the course was organized and the positive attitude about learning.  Thank you so much for helping me to learn Spanish!”

“I liked the laid back yet professional approach.  I highly recommend this new, relaxing method of learning Spanish,  I feel a lot more confident in the delivery of my words and sentences. It was taught in an excellent and very professional way.

“It was a very enjoyable class.”

How The Course Works

The first tactic is to use Baroque music in the learning process.  At least three best selling books, “Superlearning”, the “Mozart Effect” and “Superlearning 2000” have revealed insights about how to learn and think more powerfully based on systems drawn from the Bulgarian educational master, Dr. Georgi Lozanov.  Merri Scott was among just a few who learned directly from Lozanov.

The second tactic uses 17 unique lessons to provide Spanish fluency in a short time.   Let me prove to you how this tactic works by teaching you hundreds of Spanish words in less than 30 seconds.

Here is the proof.

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

There you have it.  How long did it take you to read the sentence?  You now know hundreds of Spanish words that you will never forget.

See examples of the words you already know below.

How long would have taken you to memorize all those words?  How soon would you have forgotten them?

This is just one of seventeen Spanish lessons in the course.

The next lesson teaches how to pronounce each of the nouns.

Then, the third lesson teaches almost as many verbs, almost as quickly.

The fourth lesson shows how to avoid conjugating verbs by sticking with the infinitive (far easier than it sounds).  This simple lesson leaves a person sounding like a Spanish professor without ever conjugating a verb.

Lesson five shows how to sound infinitely polite and yet get almost anything desired in Spanish.

Lesson six gives valuable connectors and the seventh lesson triples the Spanish capacity with three words for “yesterday,” “now” and “tomorrow”.

By the end of three days you feel comfortable speaking Spanish.

Plus the system is Impro-Dynamic.  This means your Spanish keeps getting better even though you do not seem to be studying… practicing… or speaking Spanish.

I was amazed by this as I traveled back and forth from the USA to Ecuador.  The longer I was away from Ecuador… the better my Spanish became.  My second language was automatically improving The self improving feature comes because you learn to create Spanish sentences rather than remember them.  The portion of the brain that creates is more powerful than the portion that recalls.  When your mind creates something… it owns it!  You do not have to remember .

During the course you learn 4005 Spanish words that you already know .  

You then learn how to create Spanish sentences from these words.

Throughout the course you learn how to pronounce the sentences you create.

When the course ends… the mind keeps working… and creating… so next time you begin to speak Spanish you’ll be surprised .  You improve even though you have not actively worked on your lingual skill.

Due to the difficulty of getting groups together to learn this valuable technique, we created an online program for subscribers to use the Super Spanish course at home.  Normally $149, this is available at the highly reduced price of $79. Simply use coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout.

I’ll be in touch personally via email with each person who signs up for this course to see how it works or what is required to make it better.  Once this test is complete, we plan to offer the program on a larger scale and at a much higher price.

The ONLINE course has our, full satisfaction or money back, guarantee.  Try Super Spanish for 60 days.  If not fully satisfied, simply let us know for a full refund.

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Here are more testimonials from previous Super Spanish Courses.

Maggie wrote: It didn’t really seem possible that we would be speaking and understanding Spanish in only 3 days but the course made it happen in a very supportive learning environment.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone wishing to learn “practical Spanish”.  The teaching methods, use of relaxation, the use of native Spanish speakers for pronunciation and the teachers themselves who were approachable and helpful and always positive made this a very valuable class.

This course improved my self confidence in my ability to learn and retain a language.  It was presented with genuine enthusiasm, great energy and the style of learning is very effective. Gracias!  It was a great experience.

Nadine wrote: “Just spent the last 3 days in the most wonderful learning environment learning Spanish.  What an amazing learning experience!!  First day out of class and I could not stop thinking in Spanish WOW!!  I am amazed by how much I learned, retained and how much more is showing up now that I am out of class.  And the best part is THERE WAS NO STUDYING!! Indeed this is Super Thinking!!!  I would highly recommend this to anyone that has ever had a desire to learn another language or learn anything in record time.

And a few days after that ….  As I went through my day, just hanging out with my son, I could see myself starting to think in Spanish.  At first I thought it was amusing but as it continued and increased I thought “My goodness this is really remarkable amazing” It was really an effortless unfolding.  I wasn’t at any point “trying” to think in Spanish, just words I knew would fly across the screen in my mind.  And then this afternoon, my son cuddled up on the couch to watch some cartoons on his ipad and was watching Peppa Pig in Spanish…hmm coincidence?  I think not, I’m radiating Spanish so much that my son is being influenced!  Thanks a million again.  This weekend the best learning experience of my life!!

If you have ever had a desire to learn Spanish this is the way to do it!  By the end of the first day I had more confidence and more practical ability than I had from any previous courses I had taken.  It was fun and relaxed and full of laughter.  You will leave this class excited to use what you have learned.  Rather than leaving overwhelmed with how much you have yet to learn and master, you are equipped with the knowledge and know how to go out and communicate as well as the excitement to do it!”

Gary noted:  “The whole approach is positive and conducive to learning at a level that benefits ALL participants.  It is not intimidating and does not set up a pass/fail atmosphere.  The presenters are terrific and the results unbelievable.  It was relaxed, informal, friendly and effective.”

Twila said:  “This class provided a very refreshing and relaxed way of learning.  The atmosphere felt very safe to say the words you were practicing.  I learned a lot in a way that will make it easy to apply.  Starting with conversation is way more fun.  How quickly you can learn!  It was a great group, great instructors and great stories.

The atmosphere in the classroom was so relaxed that learning Spanish felt like a breeze and not like a painful task.  The relaxation exercises are really conducive to language learning.  We learned A LOT in a short time and it was fun and the environment was non-threatening.”

Brigitte sent this:  “Buenos Dias, Suzanne. su clase de espanol es excelente! Muchas Gracias!  
I have already done what you suggested and went into the program listening to the music and going over the lessons.  I know: Repetition……reinforcement…..thinking in the new language….it’s all part of it.  I loved your course and will certainly recommend it to friends.  Who knows….I might feel the urge and have the opportunity to repeat it at your beautiful place in Puerto Aventuras…..Quien sabe? Hasta otro dia y saludos a su familia.”

Marie wrote:  “I would highly recommend this course.  The amount covered in 3 days is amazing!  All with no stress.  The correlation lessons and pronunciation practice has greatly reduced my anxiety to go out and use my Spanish.  I really enjoyed the whole process and thank you for the take away tools.”

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149


Here is the English translation of a few of the many Spanish words you now know and will never forget.  How long would it have taken you to memorize them?  How soon would you forget?

“Most words in English that end in ION are almost identical, just pronounced differently.  For example, action is accion, education-educacion, manipulation- manipulacion, etc.”

Some more of these words:  Combination, Attrition, Education, Vacation, Petition, Lotion, Motion, Construction, Abduction, Pronunciation, Concentration and a ton of others!

Learn Spanish online $79 – using coupon code SPANISH110 at checkout to immediately save $110 off the regular price of $149

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