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?
Where we are located we have no fear of violence, assault or robbery. It is an area of fishermen and farmers. You will find petty theft as you do everywhere so keeping your valuables hidden is prudent. You also want to be careful not to leave your valuables 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.
The larger cities experience the same security issues of any large city. Again, prudence and common sense are your best recourse.
Oasis is a secure location. Our casitas have security measures on them and eventually we will have cameras. Because of our location, only those people who should be at our property are there.
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 and take an early morning flight (Avianca) to Manta. If you fly into Guayaquil, depending on the time, you can take a car the same day to Quinta Oasis. We can make arrangements for you if you wish.
How much is the taxi from Manta and Guayaquil?
The taxi will cost you between $30-$40 but it should not cost you any more than that. It is customary to negotiate the price of taxis. Be sure you ask the price before you get into the taxi. Also have smaller bills with you. Most will not accept anything over a $20 bill.
We are able to pick you up in Manta with advance notice. The round trip cost is $100.00 for us to come with a driver.
If you are traveling from Guayaquil, (3 hour drive) we can arrange to have you picked up for a cost of $70 each way.
Speaking of money, what is the currency?
Ecuador uses the USA dollar. Many places do not take credit cards so it is best to have cash. Before arriving it is best to travel with cash in denominations of $1.00, $5.00 and $10.00 as the vendors often do not have change.
Can I rent a car?
Yes you can but I understand that it is very expensive and service is sub-par. You would need to rent a car at one of the airports. We do not recommend driving at night because you are not familiar with the winding roads and for safety reasons. You do not want to have a break down at night on these roads.
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 always recommend you order the daily "almuerzo" which is the lunch of the day only served between noon and 200pm. You can be sure it is fresh. We do not recommend drinking tap water, only bottled water and beverages. The Ecuadorian drip coffee and hot chocolate are very good.
I still 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 about the weather?
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 the USA or your home. Wear it religiously and wear sunglasses and a hat and you will be fine. It's a good excuse for taking a trip to nearby MonteCristi where they make the Panama hats.
We also recommend you always have bottled water with you. It's easy to become dehydrated.
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. On our property we always have 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) but I have yet to experience deluges. Mostly, it rains at night, sometimes during the day. When it does rain hard, our area gets very, very muddy. 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.
Between April and October we experience what they call here "garua", which is drizzle. The days tend to be cloudy and often drizzle all day with occasional showers. Temperatures during the day remain in the 60's and on sunny days rise to 70's. It's perfect sleeping and activity weather. The whales migrate to this area to mate during this time because the ocean waters are cooler.
The best time to visit if you're looking for beach weather is between October and January. The temperatures are in the 80's and evenings remain warm until late. The skies are clear making for some amazing sunsets. The ocean water is warm too. This is a time when you will want to use sunscreen religiously and stay out of the mid-day sun between 1pm-4pm as the rays are very strong.
The sunsets are not to be missed! From your balcony at Oasis you will watch the day drift into evening. Or watch the sunset from nearby Puerto Lopez with a "batido" as the fishermen bring in their boats.
What else should I bring?
I carry everything in my backpack so I encourage guests to bring a back or day pack where you can hold a change of clothes if you choose an impromptu swim in the ocean, water bottle, camera and binoculars. You will want to take photos; it's beautiful here! Certainly bring any prescriptions you may have but be assured that most medicines are available in Ecuador for far less than we pay in the USA.
Is it ok to bring children?
Oasis is designed for quiet relaxation and reflection. We are not set up to take care of children on the property. On a rare occasion we may take older children. Please inquire.
I like a bit of adventure as well as quiet. What is there to do?
At Oasis you will be able to relax in your casita, swim in the pool, attend an event, walk to the beach or visit Puerto Lopez and Montañita. For more adventure you will want to visit 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 closer should you wish to spend time at the beach, snorkeling or kayaking.
Our area offers so much to do! Check out the Local Activities page for more things to do in our area. We also plan to offer cooking classes, seminars on ancestral wisdom and the local culture, and guest speakers - artists, musicians, writers - that will provide learning and entertainment. We can help find speakers, chefs and local cultural activities for your retreats too.
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. There is also a very vibrant ex-pat community on the coast with frequent gatherings in nearby Puerto Cayo and Manta.
Peak season on the coast arrives with the humpback whales. They arrive in June and stay until late September, dancing their joy out in the ocean. With a pair of binoculars you won't need to go far, just out on your balcony to watch them dance and play. Or take a tour on one of the whale watching yachts from Puerto Lopez and get a close look!
One More Thing
If you're traveling because you get excited about new cultures and experiencing something totally different than your world, you will feel at home in Ecuador. If you are looking for an authentic travel experience not just a retreat, but really living the Ecuadorian way, what we call Convivencia, you will enjoy everything Ecuador and the coast has to offer.
If however you are expecting the same level of service, accommodations, food types and customs as your native country, you will be disappointed. Here you don't have a "travel brochure" vacation; that's not who we are. We invite you to come live and play the Ecuadorian way and embrace the wonders that can be found simply by sitting on your balcony in the evening or taking the short walk to the beach. Life here can be unpredictable and that's how we learn who we really are. Welcome to your journey!
If you have more questions, please contact us and we will be happy to respond.