Here are some things you will want to know about traveling to ecuador.
Where is Ecuador?
Ecuador is in South America with Colombia and Peru at its borders. The capital is Quito, a UNESCO Heritage site. The next largest city, Guayaquil, is located within driving distance of Oasis. Manta, 1.5 hours from our property, is a seaport that is full of restaurants, bars, movies, shopping and activities. There is a thriving ex-pat community in Manta as well.
Is Ecuador safe?
The area where you are staying is an area of fishermen and farmers. You will find petty theft as you do everywhere so keeping your valuables hidden is prudent. There are safe deposit boxes in all the casitas. You also want to be careful not to leave your valuables, including backpacks, unattended on buses. On the other hand, I left something in a taxi and the driver returned it to me within the hour. As you do anywhere you will find that common sense and being prudent are the best recourse for your safety. Walking to the beach or at night is not a problem in our area.
Oasis is a secure location. The casitas have security measures on them and the area is enclosed for privacy.
Where do I fly into?
You would fly into either Manta (1.5 hours north of us) or Guayaquil (3 hours south of us) depending on flights. There are no direct flights into Manta so you would overnight in Quito or Guayaquil and take a morning flight (Avianca) from Quito to Manta. We are able to pick you up in Manta with advance notice. We can arrange to have you picked up in Guayaquil but there may be an additional cost.
What is the currency?
Ecuador uses the USA dollar. Most places do not take credit cards so it is best to have cash. It's best to carry cash in denominations of $1.00, $5.00 and $10.00 as the vendors often do not have change. You can also withdraw money using your debit card from bank ATM's.
What about the food?
Manabí is world renown for its seafood dishes. The fish is very fresh and their cooking is flavorful. There are some traditional dishes you will want to try. We do not recommend drinking tap water or ice, only bottled water and beverages. If you want a fruit smoothie ask to watch them make it with bottled water (not milk). The Ecuadorian drip coffee and hot chocolate are very good.
I recommend that you take a pro-biotic two weeks in advance of traveling. Your system will be better able to manage the change in food that way.
What is the weather like?
We are at the equator. Even when it is not sunny you can get a nasty burn, especially if you are fair-skinned. Bring sunscreen from home. Wear it religiously and wear sunglasses and a hat and you will be fine. Needing a hat is a good excuse for taking a trip to nearby MonteCristi where they make the Panama hats.
The province of Manabí has one of the most perfect climates that I could imagine. The average range of temperatures here year-round are nighttime lows in the high 60s to daytime highs in the mid 80s. The seasons are characterized not by temperature but by rainfall. Oasis enjoys a mild ocean breeze because we are high on a hill. Lounging in a hammock under your casita will be one of your pleasures!
The rainy season is between January and March (that varies depending on where you are exactly). Mostly, it rains at night, sometimes during the day. The rains are a delight, adding to the deep greens of the vegetation and to the growth of our fruit trees and gardens. It is also welcome in our community because many of our neighbors are farmers and live from their harvests.
There is no difference in time during March. It will be the same hour as on the east coast of the United States.
The sunsets are not to be missed! You'll find yourself enjoying the sunset as you do your evening yoga practice or from your balcony in your casita. We will also be able to watch the sunset from nearby Puerto Lopez as the fishermen bring in their boats.
Phones and Internet
All the casitas have wireless internet but we encourage you to take this time to unplug. You may want to ask your phone service provider about an international plan if you will be calling internationally. WhatsApp and Skype and Facetime are recommended for no cost calls via wireless.
Can I bring children and spouses?
Because of the nature of our retreat we do not recommend you bring children or spouses during the retreat week. This week is devoted to YOU. If you would like to have your spouse and older children join you after the retreat you can extend your stay based on availability.
Oasis is designed for quiet relaxation. We do not encourage children under the age of fifteen. We are not set up to take care of small children on the property. Older children, teenagers, will enjoy the property and the local activities.
What else is there to do during free time?
Besides the planned retreat activities you will be able to relax in your casita, swim in the pool, walk to the beach or visit Puerto Lopez and Montañita. For more adventure we have incorporated a visit to La Isla de La Plata, an island with similar animals, birds and flora as the Galapagos. it is only a 45 minute boat ride to the island and naturalists will take you on a hike and snorkeling. Salango Island is close should you wish to spend time at the beach, snorkeling or kayaking. We are happy to make recommendations for your free time.
We encourage our guests to also take part in community service projects volunteering with our English classes, teaching art to children and other programs that support our local community if that is something that interests you.
Things to Bring
Here are some items we recommend you bring with you.
Backpack – to carry towels, sandals, sunscreen, water, etc with you on day trips
A small wallet for easy access to money and change (in your pack)
Sunscreen. It is very expensive here and not as effective.
A broad rimmed hat and sunglasses
Any medicines you normally take
A COLOR copy of your passport to carry with you at all times
Water bottle (always travel with water)
Comfortable shoes or sneakers for walking and minor hiking
Bathing suits and cover up
Camera and an underwater camera if you have one
Scan Disk for your camera with plenty of gigs
Electrical charging and adapters for your phones or tablets
Binoculars – for bird watching, etc.
Do Not Bring
Expensive jewelry – you won’t need it here
Expensive clothes – you won’t need it here
Insect repellant – it doesn’t work here; buy local Detan
Travelers Checks or large bills – no one takes them
Yoga mat – we provide yoga mats
If you have more questions, please contact us.