Tag Archive | "Quito airport"

Ecuador Beach Condo Surprise


Here is an Ecuador beach condo development where a number of single women expats call home.

One of the best ways to beat inflation is to live in low costs areas like the coast around Bahia Ecuador.

Here’s an update on this area beginning south of Bahia starting at San Clemente.

Ecuador Beach-Apartment

Beach at San Clemente.

The map below shows why San Clemente (marked with A), which is just a bit south of Bahia, was the first place on the coast where I bought Ecuador beach real estate.

ecuador map

San Clemente is a small village almost equidistant to the two airport access points on Ecuador’s coast, Manta and Bahia, plus it is on the coastal highway just before it veers inland behind a strip of low lying hills.

Bahia Hotel

These hills run along the coast from San Clemente to Bahia and further north separating the highway from the beach, discouraging over development and encouraging quiet hidden beach opportunities.

In addition San Clemente is almost equidistant to Quito and Guayaquil, the two largest population centers, and is accessed by major roads also shown on this map.  This creates holiday opportunity for the big city folk.

San Clemente is itself a tiny… dusty village so the attraction here is peace and quiet.  This is what Merri and I love.

However, those who want to live in a lively town will do better living just a bit further north in or closer to Bahia.

san-clemente-manabi

Our Ecuador beach penthouse is at Vistazul. This community is nicely protected by those hills.

visatzul

Vistazul is right on the beach and protected by these low lying Manabi hills behind.

Here is the view from our penthouse so you can see…

coastal view

why we love it there.

Now Vistazul is about to get even better.

The developer of this project, Kjetil Haugan, recently sent me this note.

Gary,   This email is to inform you that we will close the hotel from next week on and until late June for renovation.   We will change the location of the kitchen, increase the capacity of the restaurant, redo the swimming pool (partly infinity pool), put A/C in all rooms, put in new beds and mosquito nets, fix all the sliding doors/windows, put in concrete walls around the hotel, fix the gardens, make more family suites, paint the hotel and change and redo everything from the dining tables, to the outdoor furniture.  Most of this will be done during these 6 to 7 weeks but the rooms will be done throughout the year.

We will also start to sell club memberships to local people with a point system plus offer this to the ex pats living in Cuenca.

We are adding new administrators at the hotel; Edwin and his Canadian wife, Cris. They used to run our yacht operation in the Galapagos. She will also help out at Vistazul being the contact person for the residents and helping out with decoration, purchase of furniture and rental management.

So hopefully you will have time to come down to San Clemente later this year to discover the new Palmazul!

Vistazul is also doing well right now. The electricity work, water plant and gardening should all be ready by the end of May. Then I will help the residents start to form the HOA. I have also contracted all the doors/windows so the remaining units will be completed within 4 to 6 months depending on the workers.

I had a lot of interest in the one level units and we continue to offer finance. Regards, Kjetil

ecuador-beach-condos

See more details on these condos here

For answers to specific questions contact, Kjetil Haugan, at kjetil@haugancruises.com

This is an exciting evolution for the small community and remains a great bargain… the $79,000 price includes club membership which includes use of all the improved facilities.

Back in 2007, my friend, Kjetil Haugan, sent me a note that he was building this hotel and would have his the new year celebration there.

When I saw the construction pictures… I wondered.  A lot of work seemed undone.

This was the hotel in November 2007.

ecuador-beach-condos

and the pool at the hotel.

ecuador-beach-condos

Yet Kjetil did have the hotel open for the 2008 New Year celebration.

When we visited in early January 2008,  the hotel looked like this.

ecuador-beach-condos

Kjetil then told me that the hotel was also designed as the clubhouse for 60 + condos he would build on this land behind the hotel.

ecuador-beach-condos

I knew the land..  I knew Kjetil.  I was impressed and bought the first five condos myself.  Kjetil said that he would have the first units finished by the end of the year.

True to his word, Kjetil kept to his timing and despite the recession of 2008 has completed and sold out this development.

Ecuador beach real estate is still inexpensive but prices have been rising. Those condos began at $79,000 but prices have risen over the last year to:

I personally have a unit here  in the Vistazul complex so this is my front yard.

international-club-coast-view

Here are the first condos which originally went on sale at $79,000.

Ecuador-beach-condos

They are 1,200 square feet, two and a half bathroom, two bedroom units, on two floors and a roof terrace.

Ecuador-beach-condos

Here is a group of our delegates inspecting the roof terrace.

Ecuador-beach-condos

Here is the sunset view from the beach in front of these units.

ecaudor-sunset

They are one minute’s amble to the club house restaurant, where you can dine.

ecuador-coastal-tour-beach-dining

The seafood comes fresh from these fishermen who leave from the beach in front of the clubhouse each day.

ecuador-coastal-tour-fishermen

Kjetil Haugan, a Norwegian who moved to Ecuador after being the administrator of Atlanta’s Olympic Village, became a prominent businessman, owning the largest Spanish school in the country along with several Galapagos cruise ships.

Kjetil and his wife Jessica built Palmazul Hotel which is also the clubhouse for these condos.

The owners of the condos  enjoy Palmazul as their community center…all the hotel facilities are available to home owners.  This provides living on the beach with tennis court, pool, beach, fine dining, exercise room and all.

ecuador-coastal-tour-tennis

Here is a shot taken from one of the Vistazul condo rooftops.

ecuador-coastal-tour-terrace

Until next message, good Ecuador living!

I always recommend that you look and then rent before you buy.

Gary

Quito Shopping


Quito shopping is excellent. In fact Quito is one of my favorite cities.

Few events excite me like watching the Quito dawn.

quito-shopping

The city reveals herself in a purple haze…waking slowly…

quito-shopping

but with great energy.  Honored by the world as a Heritage City, Quito is ancient, rich…powerful city with every amenity.

quito-shopping

Home to more than a million people, Quito has abounding wealth…and great shopping.

quito-shopping

This makes our new column at this site and its author, Ray Manna, a special pleasure to introduce.  Ray Manna writes in his column “Travels with Ray, Beyond Cotacachi” about Quito shopping and as you will see…much more.

Quito Shopping – Travels with Ray, Beyond Cotacachi

As lovely as our tranquil little mountain home in Cotacachi is, it helps to know that in an hour and a half one can find oneself in the midst of a metropolitan shopping experience that rivals some of the best. Today I arranged a shopping tour for friends and clients of our country inn, Meson de las Flores.

After a wonderful breakfast we piled into our van and headed off to Quito. We drove over the beautifully cobbled and landscaped roads leading out of the canton.

Our driver, Julio, was his usual gracious self as he politely described the wonders unfolding before us as we wound our way through the majesty of the Andes. The volcanoes and mountains and tended slopes are breathtaking. Lago del San Pablo and its village are remarkable in their beauty. The lake is huge and blue and surrounded with a perfect balance of agriculture and buildings. It evokes a
feeling for me of the Italian Alps. The lake backs onto a gentle which ten becomes
the steep volcanic slope of Mt. Imbabura.

After this comes the village of Tabacundo. This is the heart of Ecuador’s industry in the cultivation and shipping of Roses worldwide. Ecuador is a country of many contrasts, and this is but one of the many happy surprises that await in our region of Cotacachi.

After Tabacundo, we traverse an interesting and beautiful treed area,  Guayallabamba. This area is filled with Caccia trees. It is very similar to Kenya in its feel…a bit dryer and with a more rugged feeling. They grow Cherimoya
here, and you can buy a basketful for five bucks. If you have not had
Cherimoya, let me tell you simply, that I consider it to be one of the
premium fruits on this planet!

Winding our way through the villages and eucalyptus groves that line the highway we found ourselves traversing the outermost suburbs of Quito in an area called Carapungo. Before us lay a beautiful community gracing the slopes that lead finally into Quito. This area is newer and is quite breathtaking to see.

Just a bit after this we arrived at our first destination, El Condado.

This is Quito’s newest shopping mall, and it’s truly a wonder to behold. The food courts alone will blow you away. I’ve never seen such a variety of food offerings in my life. The mall has an entire wall of glass on the fourth floor providing a full sweeping view of the stunning Pichincha beyond. The architecture is tiled and beautiful and everywhere you look it has the feel of a state of the art endeavor with art and lighting and video screens with imagery. Quito is as serious about expressing themselves in this modern format as well as they are through their traditions.

Well, what can I say? The girls couldn’t pass without stopping at the many shoe stores. My opinion was relied upon heavily and I’m pretty sure those boots and flats are going to turn some heads. Jo, a recent transplant from Dallas scored the foxiest half boots that are elegant but not over done. The leather is butter soft, with a jaunty strap around the ankle and shaft that is relaxed and feminine. Barbara, a
recent transplant from Miami, found a pair of flats in a subtle metallic and print that had a Chanel feel to them.

Next came the fabric store. Oh my god!! Talk about a collective freak out. I found a white sheer tone on tone fabric with a combination of bold shimmering bands and subtle accent banding that would look great with the gentle Andean breezes wafting through open windows on one of our typical Spring-like days. The velvets and jacquards were amazing and many for only $13 a yard. Finally, we found
an incredible midnight blue crepe with a gold metallic motif of Moorish design. We all just stood there, jaws practically open in amazement. These mountains, this weather, this beautiful architecture, and window treatments!! Get my drift?? I can’t wait!!

We continued on, Julio and I dutifully toting the growing number of prized purchases. We hit the Todo Hogar (Everything for the Home) store, a place where you can totally outfit your apartment or home. Barbara is going to be hosting the holiday for a bunch of us in her new Diana Carrasco designed home that she has rented for $600 a month. This is going to be one fun adventure. Barbara is a great cook, and I am looking forward to sampling her special version of holiday turkey.

Oh, the turkey will be fresh of course. And locally grown. That’s the way things work here.

There is so much more things I can tell you about the day, but these are some of the highlights. We finished up the day a bit tired, but with a van full of kitchen furnishings, new shoes, art supplies, fine French cosmetics, books, and a couple of cases of red and white wine from Super Maxi. Barbara opened up a couple of bottles of wine and we all had wine and cheese and crackers together in the courtyard at Meson after our long “hard” day. We found ourselves gathering in friendship and laughter here in our special home in Cotacatchi.

Come down and see what it’s about.

We’d like to share it with you!

Till next time, Ray Manna, Meson de las Flores, Land of the Sun Foundation, over and out.

Thanks Ray.

Gary

We invite you to join us in Cotacachi where the shopping is great (but entirely different) as well.  Come a day early or stay a day late and do some Quito shopping!

Here is Cotacachi’s main shopping street.

quito-shopping

Otavalo, the largest indigenous market in the Americas is just minutes away as well.

Join us in Cotacachi.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Enjoy our chef ad we help at times) for great fresh Ecuador seafood!

Cotacachi-fish

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Or join us on the coast.

Ecuador beach

See Ecuador’s incredible scenery.

Cotacachi-fish

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.


Financial Experience, Skill and


Financial common sense is important no matter how much financial skill and financial experience one has.

This is one reason I enjoy working with Jyske Bank.  They apply great doses of common sense.

When the sub prime loan scandal shook the global financial industry Jyske had very little exposure.

When  New York financier Bernard Madoff  generated a fraud of $50bn, I was surprised to see how many major banks and investment managers were duped for billions!   How can  experienced, supposedly skilled investors and money majors, do something so dumb.

I knew that Jyske Bank would be better than this…but I  had to ask Jyske if they had invested with Madoff.

Here is their reply.

“We did not have any exposure however some of the other big banks did (Danske bank and Nordea) also a big Danish pension company.

When someone can make 10-15 percent every year without a losing year it
should raise some questions! I always say if it is to good to be true ..it is!

This is why my confidence in Jyske as the main bank that protects my wealth has grown over the past two decades.

Those who were ripped off were not yokels. Look at this list of institutions that internet news says  lost a billion dollars or more.  I am excluding a host of banks and huge investors who lost hundreds of millions.  These firms should have known better.

Spain’s Banco Santander, which owns Abbey and Alliance and Leicester, said its hedge fund unit invested nearly 4 Billion of client funds with Bernard Madoff.

Fairfield Greenwich Group  invested $7.5 Billion.

GMAC chairman Jacob Ezra Merkin’s Ascot Partners  invested most of its $1.8 Billion.

HSBC is reported by the Financial Times to have a potential exposure of about One Billion dollas.

Kingate Management Ltd  invested $3.5 Billion dollars.

Again and again I have observed Jyske sidestepping financial debacles while their competitors lose through the smple lack of  finacial common sense.

My hat is off to the management of Jyske Bank for avoiding Madoff.   Often the pressures of competition lure investment maagers and banks toward great deals that seem too good to be true.  Jyske was not sucked in…beause of their good common sense.

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jyske Gobal Asset Management will join us Feb. 13-15 for our course International Business & Investing Made EZ

Join us and then stay on for a real estate tour Here is our latest group inspecting the hotel,which is one block from the Ecuador’s Pacific.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

We’ll view this hotel if it has not sold. It has a huge front porch.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Large second floor veranda with ocean views.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

Beautiful flowered front yard.

ecuador-real-estate-risk

The building is really rough and needs work…but over 8,000 square feet of building. The asking price is $60,000.

We have sent our Ecuador Living paid subscribers more details on this building on this Ecuador hotel for sale. If you subscribe, you can have this report. See how to subscribe to Ecuador Living here.

Join us for our next Spanish course ad real estate tours.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course
Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ
Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition
March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 27 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009 and how to attend as many of them as you like FREE.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Ecuador Beach Hotel Savings


Ecuador beach hotel savings just improved at Palmazul Coastal Hotel Spa, one of the newest Ecuador beach hotels.

Palmazul sits directly on Ecuador’s beach and is offering an Ecuador coastal Hometel program so you can have a home away from home on Ecuador’s beach…live in luxury on the Ecuador sea at very low cost for a week, month…or longer at a time.

Palmazul becomes your home for an Ecuadorian coastal adventure on the Pacific.

multi-currency-condo-clubhouse

This is your Ecuador coastal swimming pool and tennis court…really on the beach…overlooking the Ecuadorian sea.

ecuador-beach-condo-tennnis court view

This empty Ecuador beach, is your front yard at this Ecuadorian coastal hotel.

Here are some snapshots of the Palmazul Coastal Hotel and Spa.  We are working with owners Kjetil and Jessica Haugan so you can stay in this new modern spa hotel at an extra low rate of monthly rate of $1,499 (less than half the normal daily rate). ($1,599 for a couple)

Why is this Ecuador beach hotel savings now better?

Merri and I, plus friends, each purchased a large, two room suite with kitchenette on the third floor of the hotel. These units have huge balconies and are so new that the pictures below were taken before the units were furnished.  You can stay in these units (when available) so you have more space then in a normal hotel room.

The sunset is wonderful from these units.

ecuador-beach-hotel

The kitchenette allows you to prepare your own meals.

ecuador-beach-hotel

These are large, two room units with extra balconies off both the living room and king size bedrooms.

ecuador-beach-hotel

The very low, monthly or weekly rent includes a wonderful served breakfast from this dining room overlooking Ecuador’s wonderful Pacific coast.

Dinner here is special too. You visit this Ecuadorian fisherman when he brings in his fresh Pacific catch each day back to the hotel….where you can choose your meal. Few Ecuadorian coastal hotels offer this service.

Wonderful Pacific fish, crabs and shrimp that are huge…like this….cooked at the hotel minutes after they are brought off the boat.

Or stroll into nearby Ecuadorian coastal town of San Clemente where the hotel is located for dinner or lunch as we often do. The many Ecuadorian coastal seafood cafes on or near the beach. like this one…

serve seafood… a full meal, Ceviche, fried, or grilled for $3.50 to $5.50.

A short walk back to Palmazul Coastal Hotel & Spa gives you miles of empty beach.

San Clemente is a charming rustic, coastal village, 45 minutes north of the port city of Manta, almost exactly in the middle of Ecuador ’s coast.  Bahia, Ecuador’s nicest coastal town is 30 minutes north.  Palmazul is perfectly located on a dead end road..enjoying proximity to town yet it is quiet as there is no through traffic. Transportation is also easy and fun…small motorcycles with a seat!

San Clemente is a perfect starting point for exploring Ecuador ’s coast…in the middle so you can reach the north or south of the coast in a day.

Yet in San Clemente, the days are full.  Fish from the jetties, stroll the beach, travel the coast, hike, horse ride, play tennis or just relax around the pool or on the beach.

Of course you can also work. Palmazul offers free wireless broadband for your laptop. Enjoy the peace and quiet of Ecuador ’s coast, but always stay in touch electronically with the rest of the world.

The spa also has a treatment room where you can enjoy a massage.

Your room will have a view and private balcony so your comfort does not end when the sun sets.

As dusk arrives so does the seas breeze…fresh into your room.

Cozy in your bed…

The surf serenades you in a soft night’s sleep…so you’ll be ready for the gentle surf and Pacific waters warmed by Ecuador ’s never ending sun.

To make your reservation, simply choose the order form below.

Gary

Ecuador Coastal Hotels Savings

Reserve here monthly $1,499, Single $1,599 Double

Reserve here weekly  $599 Single $649 Double

See El Meson’s Hometel Cotacachi program at https://www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-hotel-savings

See how to stay at low rates in the mountains and on the sea

Enjoy Ecuador Christmas Roses until December 18.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual
transportation.

Cotacachi Condo & House Rentals


Cotacachi condo and house rentals can vary…a lot in price.

During downturns, it is important to conserve cash and we always recommend that our readers visit Ecuador and rent so they can get to know the area before they buy.

Here is an excerpt from our latest Ecuadorliving.com update on how to find good Cotacachi condo and house rentals.

Excerpt from Cotacachi Rental

A recent Ecuador Living message looked how Lee & Peggy Harper rented this Cotacachi country house for $150 a month.

Casa for Steve003
House with a view

Lee found this on his own by asking around in town. There is no such thing as a listing service in Cotacachi, … or not until I start one anyway! Lee entered a pharmacy and got talking to the owner. He let it be known in his very basic Spanish that he was looking for a place to live.

By the way, Lee gained his Spanish basics on one of our Super Thinking – Super Spanish course and the rest he continues to pick up by not being afraid to try and communicate.

The lady in the pharmacy had a cousin with this house. There were a couple of others Lee was looking at but he thought it would be rude to not accept such a great offer at such a cheap price.

Casa for Steve002

This Cotacachi property is some 4 miles outside.  Lee and Peg used the local bus to get to town for 20 cents a day. The bus runs every 45 minutes but the catch to this cheap rental is that the bus is invariably full.

Then Lee and Peg decided to rent in Cotacachi and hit pay direct again.

There are some condos which were being renovated right next to our hotel. (The boarded up building on the left._

Cotacachi condos

Now…they look like this (the yellow building). Lee and Peg were able to rent a condo there for just $150 a month.  Some downsides about this. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Cotacachi-condos

This is a brand-new 1,200-square-foot apartment and their low rent helps them keep their total monthly expenses around $600. This includes food, utilities, medications and doctor’s visits, haircuts and manicures, laundry bills, cigarettes, a couple of cases of beer, and food for their two dogs.

Rent $150
Food $150
Water $6
Electricty $13
Propane $7
Medications $50
Laundry $24
House cleaning $40
Dog Food $40
Misc. $120.

They love Cotacachi, finding the people friendly and enjoy a real sense of belonging to the community.

Cotacachi sits between two stunning volcanoes…Mt. Imabura

Cotacachi-Imbabura

and Mt. Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-Cotacachi

The area is largely dependent on agriculture which means the food is good, abundant and absolutely fresh.

There is no great night life, but after a day mountain sunshine and fresh air the nighttime is for sleeping.

This lifestyle leaves people feeling good!   Lee says:  I haven’t felt this good in so long I can’t remember.  I used to take pain medication, but here I rarely take an aspirin. I don’t pick up a phone or get on the computer. I used to be glued to all that at home.

Not all Cotacachi rentals are so low. The typical condo is renting for $400 to $500 a month.

For example we rent the house below in Cotacachi at $500 a month with access to internet, free phone calls to the US, Europe and Canada, plus a full served breakfast  (all at our hotel a few blocks away).

This is a rustic, but new, casita.

Here is the cozy living view.

Cotacachi-House-Rental-Floorplan

Peaceful, quiet views from the garden deck. Lots of birds singing the the morning.

Cotacachi-adobe- Property-Rental-garden

Deck chairs in the outdoor lounging place…facing the sunrise.

Cotacachi-Adobe-house-Rental-lounge

Outdoor Bar-B-Q just below.

Cotacachi-House-Rental-Bar B Q

Nice kitchen with all hardwood cabinets.

Cotacachi-House-For-rent-with-kitchen

Light and bright.

Cotacachi-Rental-real-estate-kitchen

Dining for six.

Cotacachi-Rental-real estate-dining-room

Open plan with unique handmade furniture from coffee wood.

Ecuadorian botanical art.

Cotacachi-Property-Rental-two-Bedroom

Really comfortable brand new king size bed and lots of hardwood closets.

Cotacachi-Property-Rental-Bedrooms

Plus a second bathroom.

Cotacachi-real estate-Rental-bathrooms

This unit is about seven minutes walk to our hotel El Meson de las Flores. Rent of the house includes free full served breakfast plus free broadband and free phone calls to US, Canada and Europe…all available at the hotel…not in the casita.

I just sent a full report on why the difference between high and low rentals plus four steps to find the low cost rentals to our Ecuador Living subscribers. You can access this report when you subscribe to Ecuador Living.

Until next message may your living anywere always be good!

Gary

Enjoy fresh Ecuador Christmas roses at your home or send as gifts.

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the
course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito.
Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual
transportation.

Cotacachi Travel Fares


We are very lucky that a current global airfare war has pushed Ecuador airfares down to ridiculous levels.  This makes it very inexpensive getting to our winter 2009 conferences and tours….plus gets all of us out of the winter doldrums!

Cotacachi travel fares can be reduced if you understand how to get to Quito and then how to travel to Cotacachi from Quito.

First airfares to Quito.  We often get requests about how to find the lowest air fares to Ecuador and Cotacachi from Africa, Canada,Europe, and the US.  See some incredible rates from all these destinations

We use www.Kayak.com to check fares and regularly find really low Ecuador air fares as you’ll see below.

For example, the round trip Ecuador airfare, Los Angeles to Quito Ecuador, is $480 including taxes. Lacsa is a Costa Rican airline and that Ecuador air fare is available today.  There are 40 flight Ecuador air fare combinations at that price right now.

Here are other US and Canadian fares form kayak.com.  All are round trip and include all taxes and coordinate with our January classes!

Toronto – Quito Ecuador – $660.  American Airlines

Vancouver BC – Quito Ecuador – $799.  Alaskan Air/Continental

Chicago – Quito Ecuador – $662.  United/Copa

New York – Quito Ecuador – $481. Lacsa

Houston – Quito Ecuador – $774. Lacsa

Dallas – Quito Ecuador – $670. Delta

Miami – Quito Ecuador – $496. LAN

Atlanta – Quito Ecuador – $653. American Airlines

One trick is to look for low fares to gateway airports such as Houston, New York, Atlanta and Miami…then look for a low fare from the gateway.  If you are looking for fares from Europe, Africa or UK, look for the cheap fares in the Sunday newspapers and then double check Kayak.

This does not always work though.  As we saw above, it is less expensive to fly to Quito via Dallas than Houston right now.

Sometimes the Ecuador air fare savings, especially from Africa and Europe can be enormous.

Take Johannesburg, South Africa to Quito as an example.  American Airlines offers the lowest direct fare of about $1800…however, if you take Egypt Air to London then you can save an extra $450 each.

If you know a cheap fare from Johan Airport to Amsterdam, Madrid, or London then go for that…and then continue on direct to Quito.  Fiddling around like this can save thousands!

Or get this one…go non stop on Egypt Air to Madrid…then Madrid AA to Quito. This approach brings the fare down to $925 per person round trip from Africa to Ecuador!  If you can find a cheap flight to Madrid from anywhere in Africa or Europe, then you may be able to save big time!

Keep in mind, there are always more than one way to skin a cat.  Think Creatively!!!

Check local European newpapers for air fare bargains to Madrid, Amsterdam and London from wherever you are.  Then check the fares from these three gateways to Quito.  Compile the fares and as above you can sometimes save in the above cases over  $1,500.

We are not travel agents of course, but we help Ecuador Living subscribers and our course and tour delegates find low cost air fares to Ecuador. We provide subscribers and delegates with an email code so we can sort their request amidst the hundreds of emails that arrive here each day.

As an Ecuador Living subscriber, you can also learn how to travel to Cotacachi from Quito at Cotacachi by Train, Plane and Automobile

And don’t forget we can arrange to meet your flight in Quito!

You can subscribe to Ecuador Living Service here.

Until next message, may every fare in your life be fair!

Gary

Join us at a course in Cotacachi or on Ecuador’s coast this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

See condos like this in Cotacachi for $46,500.

Ecuador-real-estate-advertising

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

See Manta condos like this one. Delegates are inspecting the 1,000+ square foot patio.

Manta-Condo

The patio has this view.

manta-condo tags

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Here is a long shot of Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-condos

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Here is our Ecuador tour schedule for the balance of 2009.

Date                    Course                      Couples Fee

May 21-26  Ecuador Spanish Course         ($999)
May 27-28  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)

June 12-15  Shamanic Mingo Tour             ($999)
June 16-17  Imbabura Real Estate Tour      ($749)
June 18-21  Coastal Real Estate Tour         ($749)

July 2-7       Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)
July 8-9       Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
July 10-13   Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Sept. 17-22  Ecuador Spanish Course        ($999)
Sept. 23-24  Imbabura Real Estate Tour     ($749)
Sept. 25-28  Coastal Real Estate Tour        ($749)

Oct. 21-26   Ecuador Import Export Expedition ($1,499)

Nov. 6-8       International Investing and Business Made EZ Ecuador ($999)
Nov. 9-10     Imbabura Real Estate Tour          ($749)
Nov. 11-14   Coastal Real Estate Tour            ($749)

All Cotacachi Tours and Courses are condcuted at our colonial inn, meson de las Flores were we enjoy Breakfast “al fresco”.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

All Coastal tours are conducted on the beach from our coastal home at Hotel Palmazul.

manta real estate in Ecuador tags

You should normally plan to arrive in Quito two days before the course.  We will pick you up at the airport, help you to your hotel in Quito and bring the group to Cotacachi by coach.

For coastal tours we travel as a group from Quito to Manta by air, then tour the coast for two and a half days returning to Quito on the evening of the third day.

Here I am with Merri and Ma at Palmazul’s beach.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Here I am hiking with Ma above Cotacachi.

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Cotacachi Cathedral at night.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

Shamanic ceremony on mingo tour.

2008-04-13 Ecuador shamans

Enjoying the surf at Palmazul.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Cotacachi plaza.

Cotacachi hotel El Meson de las Flores

Palmazul beach.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Merri, me and Ma above Cotacachi

Gary Scott

Sunset at Palmazul.

Ecuador real estate for sale

Attend any two Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one$1,349 for two

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one$1,799 for two

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Cotacachi Crime Concerns


Numerous readers have sent Cotacachi crime concerns which we share here.

You are a salesman.  A salesman will tell you anything.  You know it is dangerous to live down there. Gayle

I often get notes like this …usually from people who have never been to Ecuador.  Galyle has one point correct for sure.  I have been a salesmen going on 41 years and always considered it a privilege to sell things I truly love and live myself…like Cotacachi Ecuador.

Really the village does not need selling. Cotacachi sells itself. All I have to do is tell the truth…so I sometimes get comments like this.

I visited Cotacachi and your hotel Meson de las Flores. It was exactly as you described it. I felt safe the entire time I was there. Thank you!  Monica

We’ll review more comments on Cotacachi crime in a moment…but one thing that is not a crime in Cotacachi or Ecuador is the great quality and cost of food. I just returned from Oregon and spent some time on the coast. Dungeness crab was $28 a pound…smoked salmon $19 a pound.  That seems like a crime to me!

The wonderful lakes around Cotacachi means we have great fish.  This is Lake San Pablo.

Cotacachi-fish

Here is a high Andean lake above Cotacachi.

Cotacachi-fish

and the trout they catch there.

Cotacachi-fish

Back to crime…let’s read what some people who live in Ecuador say about crime.

Hello Gary, Here’s a New York Times article you may have seen about an Ecuadorian man who was beaten and stabbed to death in New York. He was basically killed for sport…a hate crime.

Personally, I’ve been a crime victim a few times in Ecuador. During my six years there, I lived and traveled among the general population in a large city. I used the public transit system, the local markets, the bus stations… In this situation, you’re bound to be unlucky sooner or later.

But even in the worst of areas, I never worried for my safety. All I lost was money–or replaceable items–and I never carried any more than was necessary. I didn’t (and still don’t) worry that I’ll be killed or beaten for fun, or because I’m the wrong color or nationality.

My personal experience has been that Ecuadorians are basically non-violent people. They steal out of need. What little I lost likely went to feed a family… Best regards,  Lee

I agree with Lee. When you talk to people who have lived in Cotacachi or most parts of Ecuador…they’ll agree…petty theft is a problem from which you must protect…but hate crimes basically do not exist and violent crimes are rare.  Another reader who was a visitor to Ecuador wrote this note.

Hey Gary, first time in Ecuador, flew down from Quito to Guayaquil, heard how dangerous it was everywhere, been walking the streets day and night.  I wear a $15,000 gold watch. Today, I rented car, drove to Montanita.  Tomorrow, I am driving north, along the beach coast, then back to Guayaquil for a few days then over to Peru.   I´m from Mobile.   We have several shootings, stabbings, hit and runs a week, along with other crime. The bottom line is that most crime comes from just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. One of my next trips is Caracas, murder capital of the world…and yes, I am alone and over 60.  I will be in the Dominican Republic for Christmas and New Years, surfing with my kids. Bobby.   The only thing I suggest is it is better to burn out, than rust out.

I urge more caution than Bobby takes but could not agree more with his philosophy of enjoying life and embracing the incredible riches we have in today’s society instead of wasting away worrying about what bad could happen. Life is too short!

Back to fish. Merri and I love to accompany our chef, Santiago, to the Thursday fish market in Ibarra. I can buy about 20 pounds of crab for the same price as one pound in Oregon and it is really fresh!  One of our favorite jobs is helping the chef!

Cotacachi-fish

We also love watching the fishermen at work when we are on Ecuador’s sea.  Here is our last Coastal real estate tour watching the fishing on the Chone Estuary at Bahia.

Bahia-fishermen

There is a big modern town behind these Ecuador fishermen…

Bahia-fishermen

but they are pretty low tech!

Bahia-fishermen

Just canoes and poles…no gas surcharge here.

Bahia-fishermen

The fishermen who fish outside our hotel in San Clemente are even more low tech…no boat!

San Clemente-fishermen

We took our last group for a sea food meal in Manta.

Manta-fish-meal

Where this most expensive dish on the menu…a full lobster meal was $12.

Manta-fish-meal

My grilled fish was $6. That was no crime!

Which brings us back to Cotacachi crime. 

This reader who lives regularly in Cotacachi wrote:

Gary,  As you now I have traveled to Ecuador and the Cotacachi area many times over the last several years; nine times I think. I have always felt safe even during the evening walking about Cotacachi and have never felt threatened there or in Quito or the coastal areas. I always try to be aware of my surroundings and the level of cautions I may consider appropriate as I would anywhere in the world I am traveling, for example, in Quito I usually put my wallet in my front pocket. However, reading the accounts of crime in the area lately, and I appreciate your alert, I felt a little concerned as a North American. In the interest of thoroughness on this topic my alarm is that the message is we are being targeted. This may be obvious. As anywhere the perceived affluent are vulnerable. In this culture we stand out and In this sense we present opportunity and perhaps in the perpetrators mind fair game. I would only say that a common sense realistic awareness of taking precautions in unfamiliar areas in an unfamiliar culture is important. I think that you and Merri provide a real service with up to date information for safe travel and areas to live and lodge in Ecuador. Your tours also provide an excellent environment for safe guided travel.

Since I have had so little trouble with any sort of crime in Ecuador what I tend to recall are the simple unexpected kindnesses which I have encountered.  One time while  shopping at the Otavalo indigenous market unknowingly I dropped a small package only to turn around to see a little indigenous child running up to me tugging at my sleeve with a smile and handing it to me. Another time at the bank in Cotacachi I was  trying to cash a $100 bill – can be difficult as many know due to the fear of counterfeiting from Columbia. There at the bank after waiting in line for an hour only to be refused change due to that I did not have an account or permanent address they said; I left in exasperation. Unknown to me a young woman was observing  and having empathy for my plight had withdrawn an extra 5 twenty dollar bills from her account and rushing down the street to find me offered them to me in exchange for the 100 dollar bill. “De Nada” she said.

These are a few of the experiences of innocent kindness in Ecuador and of the Ecuadorian people that I choose to remember over my fears of crime. Thanks for keeping us aware and informed in our travels and adjustment to new and unfamiliar areas and culture.  Jim

Here is another note from a gringo who is resident in Ecuador.

Gary, I would like to add the following on crime in general in Ecuador. I have spent the past 9 years living in the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito, 6 months each year.  Many consider this a likely neighborhood to encounter crime in Ecuador since there is much tourism, thus many opportunities to rob people who actually have money or valuables on them.  I walk the streets until about 10 PM.

Ecuadorians are gentle peoples: They are not Cali, Caracas or Miami.  The indigenous peoples who inhabit the provinces north of Quito are among the most stable, economically affluent, and culturally integral of any class of people in Ecuador.  Crime is minimal as it is in most small towns in the USA.

Crime in Ecuador tends to be petty thievery, taking a backpack or purse from a cafe, stealing “things” which are left in the open unguarded.  Ecuadorians are not  a “gun culture” as exists in the United States.  It is beyond their imagination that a person would rob and kill another for a pair of tennis shoes.  It is further beyond their imagination that a young person would mass kill his classmates at school, and that the state would continue to allow unlimited access to hand guns and semi automatic weapons.The crime of Ecuador is based more on poverty, although there exists a cultural flaw in many people committing petty theft even when they do not need an item. These events are rarely associated with violence to people.

I’m a street smart kid (63) who grew up in Chicago’s south side and I know that Miami, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans, and just about every major and “medium size ” US city is far more dangerous that most any city or neighborhood of the largest cities of Ecuador.  Only 2 cities of Ecuador have any significant crime, Guayaquil and Quito, and then only selective neighborhoods.   Almost all the people I know who have been robbed (6 or 7) in Quito have been men walking home drunk late at night oblivious to using their normal street senses.

Gary, if you do a follow up, feel free to include my comments.

I agree that the Mariscal neighborhood of Quito is one of the riskier areas due to tourism…and that it is not the nature of Ecuadorians to be violent.  We love the people here…the great scenery…the wonderful food…the low prices…the colors like these ice cream vendors in Bahia serving our last coastal real estate tour.

Bahia-Ecuador-workers

Plus we love the warm weather.

This is the final point. I was in a West Jefferson barber shop today and read the local paper.  This is as small town USA as you can get. Nine people were on the front page…all arrested for dealing drugs…cocaine…heroine…meths.  Then Merri saw a real live mountain lion run across our field. Then we visited our neighbor who showed us photos of five bears roaming the neighborhood.  I feel totally safe here and would not hesitate for a moment to invite people to come up (just watch the ice on the road).

So I can live in complete safety here…even though there is crime…in this.

snow

Or go to Cotacachi and San Clemente where the crime may be about the same…more or less…but in this.

Ecuador beach

and this

cotacachi-sun

at about a fourth or fifth the price.

So here is the salesman speaking. “Visit us in Ecuador. You will be glad you did!”

Here is a comment from a delegate at our last course:

Hi Merri:  I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much myself and all of our “extended family” enjoyed the course that you, Gary, and all of your competent staff put on earlier this month.  I am really just getting my feet back on the ground and I think that we are finally there.

Gary was awesome as we expected and gave me as really a beginning investor many insights and new ideas to think about.  I am speaking for myself, Charles, Jose as well as Rebecca and Betty who joined us after the Galapagos Islands.  You showed me that you are an expert planner and really went  out of your way to accommodate  us especially when we had people coming in at different times.

Francisco stood out as well.  Of course, “our man” Steve the excellent tour guide and all around helpful person.  Last and not least was Ray who also handled so much on the fly and did it well.
Ray really helped with the leaving process.  Also I will keep in touch with him about the possible medical conference I may put on at La Mirage 2010 in August if it comes together…..lots of work and much to work on to make it happen.  We really enjoyed your hotel and the hospitality.  It was  memorable. Thanks so much and we hope to keep in touch and continue with Gary’s newsletters!  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Sincerely, Jim

Merri and I hope to serve you in Ecuador this sunny winter.

Gary

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Ecuador Travel Tips


Here are three Ecuador travel tips.

Lan airlines just announced special low cost round trip, Miami-Quito winter 2009 fares, as low as $496…including tax.

American Airlines immediately dropped their fare to match this.

Ecuador travel tip #1 is watch for this fare war to continue. On December 7th 2008, Aerogal starts a new Miami-Guayaquil service.  Previously when a new flight was added by Aerogal, American Airlines really slashed fares.  Keep your eyes peeled for some super Ecuador air fare deals.

Ecuador travel tip #2 is to drink Canella (cinnamon) panella (unrefined cane sugar) tea when in Quito and at other high Andean altitudes. This is a shamanic tip we share with all our visitors who visit us.  This tea helps combat altitude problems.

Ecuador travel tip #3 on another way to fight high altitudes comes from Candace Newman. Merri and I have traveled in Ecuador with Candace and shamans. She always traveled with Frankincense and even taught the shamans a few lessons about ways to use essential oils during Ecuador travel.

Normally Candace shares a story about Ecuador and essential oils in the later part of the month.  I asked her to contribute early this month.  We always give our children essential oils at Christmas so I wanted readers you who feel the same way to have a chance to order essential oils as Christmas gifts.

Here we are with Candace at our North Carolina farm where we brought an Ecuador shaman, Indian pundit and Native North American healer together for a purification ceremony.

Ecuador-shaman

One other reason for this message is that many of you are traveling to Ecuador for or after the holidays.  Some will find the toilets in Ecuador below standards they are used to.  Part of Candace’s note below is worth reading when she writes:

When traveling from town to town in Ecuador and Peru, using the “bathrooms” along the way are always part of the adventure. One of my favorite things to do was to put a drop of Frankincense in my palm and rub my hands together as a wash. Then cup my nose and breathe deeply.

Essential oils are anti fungal…anti bacterial…and anti viral so this makes great sanitary sense.

Here I am with our son Jake practicing an Andean purification rite…yes the white stuff is snow…though there are easier ways.

Ecuador-shaman

Here Merri and I hike in the winter sun into a sacred valley near Cotacachi.

Ecuador-shamans

For a purification ceremony here.

Ecuador-shamans

We’ll have ceremonies in this valley on our Beyond Logic Course February 9-10-11, 2009

and our Ecuador Shamanic Mingo June 13-14-15 2009

Merri and I finish a purification ceremony with this yatchak in Latacunga.

Ecuador-shaman

Here is one of our groups at a shamanic ceremony at Inkapirka outside of Cuenca.

Ecuador-shaman

Read how Frankincense can also help with the high altitudes you’ll encounter in the Andes in Candace’s entire message below.

Traveling with Frankincense

by Candace Newman

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) is known as one of the most important religious and spiritual oils and aromatic incenses in history. It also has historical medicinal value. Franc is from the medieval French meaning pure and fine. Incensium is Latin for to smoke.  Some of the medicinal uses include skin care and repair, respiratory, rheumatism, digestive and nervous issues. In Aromatherapy it is noted for skin care, relaxation, exhaustion and nervous tension. It is a small tree native to the Middle East, North Africa, and South Arabia. The oleo gum resin is collected by making incisions in the bark. The liquid solidifies into orange-brown resin. The resin is collected and steam distilled to produce the essential oil. In many countries, it is an inherited right to farm the trees. Few plants have such a rich history with deep meaning through centuries and civilizations.

The main reason I travel with Frankincense is because its role of protection and strength really resonate with my soul … to the point of feeling like every trip is a pilgrimage. We come home a little different than when we left…. since there is always at least one gem of wisdom to acquire and apply to our life. Historically, it was known and used to protect from disease, and guard the spirit. When I’m tired and feeling weak….I feel the strength is has for me.

Madame Micheline Arcier of London, my most prized teacher of essential oils (who passed away in 2006 on the day we closed our shop in Naples, Florida to move to Colorado) told me she always traveled with Frankincense.

When traveling from town to town in Ecuador and Peru, using the “bathrooms” along the way are always part of the adventure. One of my favorite things to do was to put a drop of Frankincense in my palm and rub my hands together as a wash. Then cup my nose and breathe deeply.

In the hotel after the train ride from Cusco to the high mountain town below Machu Picchu in Peru, I put a drop of Frankincense on the four corners of my bed. This felt like good protection and strength for the high altitude and the climb. It was also an act of gratitude for the whole process.

In several places on these trips, I put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball for my night stand as a personal diffuser.

My husband, John, and I spent a year in Saudi Arabia, and the ancient sense and scents of Frankincense was very evident there. The knowledge that is was precious cargo carried along the secret trade routes, and its connection to the sacred gifts of “Frankincense, Myrrh, and Gold” was quite mystical. It feels good to travel with Frankincense as one of your companions.

Four Simple Ways to Honor and Enhance your Traveling Adventures with Frankincense:

# 1.  To create a sanctuary-environment in your room, put several drops of pure essential oil in a room diffuser, or put 1-2 drops on a cotton ball for the corner of your bed.

#2.    During a quiet time of reflection, put 1-2 drops of oil in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together, cup your nose, close your eyes and breathe deeply. This is excellent to do before a session of Yoga, Tai Chi, or prayer. If you are outside, add a drop to the sacred ground you are standing on and give thanks.

#3.    If you want to rub some on your temples or heart…make a Palm Blend by putting a little base oil (like olive oil, jojoba, or the local indigenous oil) in the palm of your hand and add 1-2 drops of this soulful essential oil.

#4.    You can make a mist with this if you add 2 drops to an ounce of purified water and shake well. Mist your space, pillow, bed, or head and face when needed.

If you don’t have Lavender with you, you can use pure Frankincense to dab on a cut. If you don’t have Eucalyptus with you for respiratory issues, use Frankincense. It is also a good choice to use in a room diffuser.

In the spiritual arena, Frankincense is known to deepen the breath, promote a peaceful balanced state, and help us slow down, as well as assisting the body in prayer and meditation. It’s known to heal the physical body from disease and wounds. One of the reasons to use Frankincense is for strength and protection and setting the spirit free.

You may purchase a bottle of Frankincense pure essential oil (Boswellia carteri from Somalia) at this link to Candace’s website.

Ecuador-frankincense

Order Frankincense 10ml here $43.45

Here I am at a shamanic ceremony in the Amazon.

Ecuador-shaman

Here we are with Dr. Jay Glaser and Dr. Joe Spano at a shamanic ceremony at the Rumicucho Inca pyramids outside Quito.

Ecuador-shaman

Until next message, may all your travels be good!

Gary

Join us in Ecuador this winter.

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Cotacachi Safety Facts


Here is some important information about Cotacachi Ecuador safety facts.

A recent message outlined a Cotacachi robbery and this note expands on this as I would not want anyone to miss the beauty of Cotacachi because they were concerned about crime. Here is the entrance to one of the safe Cotacachi hotels (Rancho Santa Fe) you will see listed below.

rancho-santa-fe-scene

I mentioned the Cotacachi robbery in a message entitled Cotacachi Crime.   One Cotacachi resort owner read and wrote about that message:

Gary, I read with interest the report which your man in Cotacachi STEVE MERCHANT wrote you with concern to crimes in Cotacachi. Two points, which I believe ought to be considered for correction.

One is the fact that he is referring to a robbery AT A RESORT of about $ 40,000. That statement could be  damaging to any hotel owner, you mentioned that a “resort” was mentioned but not by its name, Lueva.  The owner of Lueva however, was in Mexico at the time of the robbery.

The other statement is that when Steve  went to the police in Ibarra  to report the robbery of the chicken farm, and had the opportunity to view the police book referring to about 180 or so crimes. But when writing it to you it sounds that 180 crimes were committed in or around COTACACHI since no reference is being made to the capital of the province. At least that is the way I was interpreting his writing.

The murder he is referring to within an indigenous community (caused by the fact that after a party where everybody got drunk, they started to attack each other with machetes and while one died several others were taken to the hospital for treatments) But the way Steve describes it to you sounds like the person was murdered for another reason and that might scare people away from Cotacachi.

You might not agree with my observations, but I thought I would give it a try anyway.  Best wishes from Cotacachi to the two of you. Take care.

I could not agree more with this resort owner and wish to add three important points about Cotacachi safety.

Here is another shot of Rancho Santa Fe.

cotacachi-rancho-santa-fe-hall

The first point about Cotacachi safety is about the geography of Cotacachi.  Cotacachi village which I normally refer to in our messages is just one of many communities in Cotacachi Canton (county). The village is just a small area of about 7,300 people. The county is a much larger geographic area and covers about 1,000 square miles in Imbabura Province (state) .

The village of Cotacachi in my opinion is very safe…as are the hotels and resorts there. These resorts and hotels include our hotel Meson de las Flores, the La Mirage Spa and Garden Hotel, El Arbolito and Rancho Santa Fe. These are the accommodations where we usually book our readers and seminar delegates.

cotacachi-rancho-santa-fe-rooms

We feel safe walking to and from any of these hotels and resorts and any others that are in the village, day or night in Cotacachi Village. Meson de las Flores is right in the center of town (across from the police staion by the way).  This courtyard is enclosed.

cotacachi-meson-de-las-flores-courtyard

La Mirage is in a wonderful area and has 10 acres of fully walled exquisite gardens.

Cotacachi-la-mirage-gardens

There is bird life of every type at La Mirage, from peacocks to hummingbirds…safe and serene.

Cotacachi-la-mirage-path

The spa is one of the best in the world…and at excellent prices.  See some of the treatments here.

Cotacachi-la-mirage-pool

Here is the pool at La Mirage.  Merri and I have been friends with the owners for over a decade and take weekly spa treatments there, which are in our opinion the finest in the world.  We always walk to and from these treatments, enjoying the town and the walk.  We hold La Mirage to be the most beautiful, most delightful and healing place that we have ever known worldwide.

This leads to the second point… the place that was robbed is some distance outside Cotacachi village.  I normally do not make negative comments about any particular place so left out the name of this spa on my last message about Cotacachi crime.  I have not visited the spa for some years and did not even know it was still open.

This third point I hope puts Cotacachi safety in perspective.

The area of Imbabura is almost the same geographical size as Multnomah County, Oregon where I grew up in middle class suburbs between Glisan and Stark Street. My 86 year old mom still lives in the same house (for 48 years).   Merri and I were just there visiting mom.  During our short visit…three murders occurred near by.  I copied a December 1,  2008 article from the  Oregonian…Portland’s leading newspaper.

When Portland detectives began to canvass the neighborhood after the Nov. 23 fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man in a Southeast Stark Street apartment, they interviewed Roland Jackson Dir, who was walking to his home about a block away.

Six days later, on Saturday, homicide investigators were called to investigate the violent death of Dir, 54, whose body was found in his apartment at Southeast 155th Avenue and Stark Street.

The proximity of the two homicides, following the unsolved stabbing death of 37-year-old Amatha Mendive-Boyle, discovered Nov. 14 behind a nearby church, has area residents on edge.

Three murders in two weeks in just an area near the safe suburbs where my mom lives…all unsolved.  Police say that the murders are probably not connected which to me is even worse!

Compare this to one robbery outside Cotacachi village in an area that we do not consider safe…one murder from a group of drunks fighting in an area and situation where few westerners would ever be and 183 crimes in the entire county.

Merri and I feel safer walking in Cotacachi village than in our hometown suburbs. Yet I feel safe there in Multnomah County as well.  I would have no hesitation recommending that you take a stroll along any of the Portland sidewalks and bicycle paths.

There are growing number of bicycle paths by the way thanks in part to a fellow high school student…Earl Blumenauer.  Earl was two years behind me at Centennial High so as a lowly sophomore when I was a senior we did not speak much.

Earl went on to great stuff…becoming an Oregon Congressman who has pushed cycling as transportation.

When he moved to Washington, D.C., 12 years ago he decided to ride his bike to Congress every day.  He states that he has burned over 300,000 calories and saved $94,000 in car costs, 206 gallons of fuel, and 4800 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Through his efforts Portland has expanded its bike lanes and routes throughout the city so people in Portland use their cars much less than the American average.  Blumenauer says this translates into savings of more than $2500 per year per family and that there should be a bicycle master plan for cities large and small.

There is speculation that Earl Blumenauer will be the secretary of transportation in an Obama administration. If so, expect even more biking.

One word of warning about this and walking around Multnomah county…nude cycling.  Here is a report, also from a recent issue of the Oregonian.

A Multnomah County judge has cleared a Northeast Portland nude bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges, saying cycling naked has become a “well-established tradition” in Portland and understood as a form of “symbolic protest.”

Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city’s annual World Naked Bike Ride — in which as many as 1,200 people cycled through Northwest and downtown Portland on June 14 — has helped cement riding in the buff as a form of protest against cars and possibly even the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

This is not an activity that is kind to the human form…so when you can find a sunny day to walk in Oregon, a greater worry than crime may become the shock from seeing a nude cyclist!

As an added note, one of the facts Merri and I are most proud to see is that not one of our many readers who have moved to Ecuador has purchased a car…we all walk or ride a bike…but not nude!

The point I hope you will see is that reports about crime get so blown out of proportion that you can let them ruin your life if you want.   There are so many things we cannot predict.  I could never have expected that crime would grow as it has where I grew up…or that one of the fellow students at my school would become a bike riding Congressman and maybe even a cabinet member…or that people would ride bikes nude in Oregon.  So live life to the fullest.  Keep in mind until last week, the 137-year-old Leopold’s Cafe, on one of Mumbai’s main shopping thoroughfares, was long a favorite place for tourists.  There are no guarantees and no way to predict how safety will change.

Crime is everywhere…know it and avoid it.  If you know where to go…most parts of the world have plenty of safe havens.  So whether you travel to Portland Oregon, Cotacachi Ecuador…or wherever..enjoy the journey, but also take care.

Until next message, may all your journeys be safe.

Gary

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.

Bahia Ecuador Condo For Sale


Here is a nice Bahia Ecuador condo for sale.

bahia-condo-for-sale

This building is in our favorite coastal city,  Bahia Ecuador and is about 12 years old.

The Bahia Ecuador condo is a two story penthouse.

bahia-condo-for-sale

The owners are Danish. They sailed here years ago, started the first ice company in Bahia, bought the condo and have renovated it to a high standard.

bahia-condo-for-sale

The wood is aged, so it will not crack and dry…very wonderful workmanship
throughout.

The kitchen has every appliance.

bahia-condo-for-sale

and views everywhere…from the kitchen…

bahia-condo-for-sale

the dining room…

bahia-condo-for-sale

the lounge…

bahia-condo-for-sale

The office…

bahia-condo-for-sale

has a view.

bahia-condo-for-sale

Upstairs the bedroom..

bahia-condo-for-sale

has a balcony…

bahia-condo-for-sale

and this view.

bahia-condo-for-sale

Even the bathroom has a view.

bahia-condo-for-sale

The building has a swimming pool.

bahia-condo-for-sale

and the unit has a lage garage.

bahia-condo-for-sale

The owner is asking $225,000, which I felt was high. When I voiced this opinion the owners response is, “there is nothing else like it available and it is ready and perfect to move in”.   The sellers have purchased land across the  river and want to build anew s are ready to move on.

For the right person who wants a high standard now…and wants views everywhere…this is a unit worth checking out.

Gary

Jan. 16-21 Ecuador Spanish Course

Jan. 22-23 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Jan. 24-27 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Feb. 9-11 Beyond Logic-Shamanic Mingo

Feb. 13-15 International Business & Investing Made EZ

Feb. 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

March 10-15 Ecuador Export Expedition

March 16-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour

Better still join us all year in Ecuador! See our entire schedule of 26 courses, tours, mingos and expeditions we’ll conduct in 2009.

The course fee includes meeting at Quito airport (day before the course)…transportation (by group bus) to Cotacachi and back to Quito. Course fee does not include air are. accommodations, food or individual transportation.