GringosAbroad Ecuador

Our Top 10 Ecuador Travel & Expat Posts of 2013

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador

top-ecuador-travel-expat-posts-2013Our year end review has become somewhat of a tradition.

This is now our fourth year publishing our annual top ten posts. Check out previous years top Ecuador travel and expat posts : 2012, 2011, and 2010.

Instead of just listing our top posts published this year, we are including our top ten posts as determined by a combination of comments, traffic and social sharing. And one of the posts is almost two years old.

It is interesting that four of the ten posts include at least one video. This year we published 23 new videos and our YouTube channel subscriptions have jumped to over 550.

So here they are:

Our Top 10 Ecuador Travel & Expat Posts of 2013

10) Hacienda Uzhupud: A Cultural Ecuador Experience (Video)

We were very excited when we were invited to visit Hacienda Uzhupud. While it’s near Cuenca it really is worlds away. There is a constant quietness that we loved.

Although we tried a lot of different traditional foods, my favorite was the higos con queso (preserved figs with cheese). If  you haven’t tried this yet – make a point of it on your next trip to Ecuador. It is amazing!

Hacienda Uzhupud

9) Review: Language Hacking Guide / Speak From Day 1 (Video)

Language learning doesn’t have to be hard. In this post, Dena reviews the Speak From Day 1 language course. Please note: this is not a Spanish language course. This is a course to teach you how to learn a language. For specific help learning Spanish, check out this post.

Watch the video about language hacking.

Ready to get started? Learn a language now!

Ready to get started? Learn a language now!

8) 15 Expats Living in Ecuador: Read Their Stories

Everyone loves a first hand account. For the past few years we’ve been busy interviewing expats from around the country. In this post we put them altogether into one huge hub post, divided into sections (Southern Ecuador, Northern Ecuador and Ecuador’s Coast). This is one of our most highly shared posts of the whole year.

Learn more about life in Ecuador from expats in a variety of situations and backgrounds.


7) 6 Types of Ecuador Permanent Resident Visas (Video)

ecuador-visaLegal issues certainly are one of the top questions that future expats have.

We were getting asked about the types of visas and their requirements on a daily basis.

So instead of trying to respond to every person, we interviewed an expert: Grace Velastegui our lawyer in Cuenca.

This is the main video post. The others address real estate legal issues and benefits to Ecuador residency.

Learn about all six types of permanent resident visas in Ecuador.

6) Moving to Ecuador? What’s Your Biggest Concern?

concerns-moving-ecuadorIt all began with a simple Facebook post. And it became one of our most shared and commented one ever.

So we turned it into a blog post and the same thing happened.

If you want to see what concerns other expat have (had) you should read this post. You’ll see that your concerns are not unusual. And you will see some of the other issues you should consider.

Do you have a specific concern about moving to Ecuador? Share it here.


5) Being a Bad Host: Treating Parasites & Amoebas

If you want to turn someone off of visiting you, just start talking about parasites.

While they aren’t nearly as bad as the images that might come to mind – it can still be a pretty tough experience. Learn how we stay safe and healthy from amoebas and parasites.


4) Driving in Ecuador: Get Your License Fast 

When I got my drivers license three years ago, it was a process.

Earlier this year, Dena got her drivers license and it was easy. Here’s how she got her Ecuador drivers license fast.


3) How To Avoid Problems With Club Correos (8 Lessons Learned)

There is no denying it. We love Club Correos! 🙂 We use it to order books, computer parts and footwear. We are probably one of’s largest customers…

But we’ve also had some problems with it. In this huge post, we covered all the specifics about what we did wrong and how to avoid these issues on future shipments. If you order online and ship to Ecuador, you should check out this post.


2) The Cuenca Orchidarium: Orchids in Ecuador (Video)

Who doesn’t love orchids? Well, before we moved to Ecuador, I didn’t really know what an orchid was.

Now we see them everywhere: in fields and ditches. And along hiking trails. The Cuenca Orchidarium is a popular place for orchid lovers. And the favorite orchid of all? The monkey faced orchids.

ecuador orchids

1) 11 Books & Courses We Used to Learn Spanish

books-to-learn-spanishThis was a surprising post. Readers frequently asked about what books and courses we recommended to learn Spanish. So we published the list of training material that we used to learn.

And although this post is almost 2 years old – it remains the most read post on our whole site.

What is the most popular book to learn Spanish?

Without a doubt it is Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish: A Creative and Proven Approach. Because of tracking with Amazons affiliate links, I can see that our readers purchased 169 print copies and 36 Kindle versions of the book. That makes a total of 205 copies of just one single book. The rest of the Spanish books combined total over 1000 copies.

  • Spanish Verb Workbook (29 copies)
  • 501 Spanish Verbs with CD-ROM and Audio CD (501 Verb Series) (26 copies)
  • Also 14 dvd sets of the Standard Deviants: Habla Espanol? Learning Spanish The Basics and Beyond the Basics


Now, It’s Your Turn

What do you think of this set of posts? Which one is your favorite? Which post is missing?

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. He is a travel blogger and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

4 comments… add one
  • William Herbert Dec 25, 2013, 4:18 pm

    As I sit shivering in Portland, Oregon, I think that knowing about Club Correos would be essential.

  • Stewart Dec 25, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Brian, Dena and all!

    I would add your Quito airport post that’s now located in Tababella for a couple reasons:

    1. Development of connecting highways. I can keep you all up to date with the “Ruta Viva” phases. Someone living north of the airport hopefully can update on that connection.

    2. Development around the airport. There’s a new commercial center connecting with bridges to the terminal. This and other future developments like hotels should make this post popular.

    • Bryan Haines Dec 25, 2013, 1:08 pm

      Thanks Stewart! This is something we’ll have to cover in more detail in 2014. I am actually going to be in the new airport tomorrow (first time since it opened). If you have updates – or would like to write a guest post – about the Quito airport please let me know.


      • Stewart Dec 25, 2013, 1:18 pm

        If you have some time and are hungry check out the 5 story building outside the terminal. It’s a commercial center (office/retail) with a food court. It should eliminate the $20 burgers.
        About hotels, there’s nothing happening there yet. Maybe in 2015.

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