July 2010

Are Panama Hats Made in Ecuador?

Cuenca Ecuador, Ecuador Travel

While it might be hard to believe at first, Panama hats really are made in Ecuador. Specifically in 2 areas - Monticristi (Coastal Region) and Cuenca (Sierra Region). After catching on in Europe in the 1800's, huge shipments of the lightweight woven hat were destined for Paris, and were shipped through Panama - the last [...]

With at least a dozen major museums in Cuenca, there is lots to keep inquiring minds busy. The best, however, is also the largest museum in the city: Museo Banco Central (Central Bank Museum). Includes exhibits featuring colonial artwork, walk-through displays of typical homes throughout Ecuador's history, an Incan archaeological site, an aviary featuring common [...]

How To Shop at an Open Market in Ecuador

Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador

The attraction for many gringos, of traveling and living in a foreign country, is the thrill of traditional open markets. When we first arrived here, we heard everything from: “everything is so cheap” and “its such nice / fresh / beautiful / unique products here” to “don’t go there – you’ll get robbed or mugged” [...]

Aside from dollar value information, which depends on your country of residence, the same rules apply to everyone. You can not bring cultural artifacts, animal products, including coral, bones, live or stuffed animals, etc. For current information, be sure to check with the Ecuadorian customs office. It is a serious offense to attempt to export [...]

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