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Ecuador Vacation

Our group is just back from a fact finding Ecuador vacation looking at property on the coast. They’ve arrived 2 hours later than scheduled and I learn from Alberto and John, our helpers down on the coast, that there was a slight problem.

Icaro, the airline we’re using to move our group from mountains to coast, haven’t paid their taxes on time. Consequently they’ve been forbidden by the Ecuadorian Internal Revenue service from making further ticket sales. There are “clausurada” (closed down) notices on all their ticket points in the airports.

Unfortunately for Icaro they are obliged by law to operate their flights, ticket sales or not. Meanwhile they try to sell tickets through brokers outside of the airport terminal building, hence the delay.

You have to laugh. This is a creative solution to an otherwise tricky situation for the airline. Now today, it’s my turn to use Icaro. You may ask why use an airline that is having operational problems. The answer is all in a cost saving opportunity. Icaro allows you to buy a book of cupons for their internal flights.

Buy a book of cupons for $810 and you get 16 cupons for one way tickets. As many tickets between Ecuadorian cities cost $65 – $70 this is quite a nice discount. This may be something that will work for you if you plan on exploring Ecuador or you’re travelling with several friends or family. Check Ecuadorian internal airlines at: http://www.icaro.com.ec/, https://www.aerogal.com , http://www.tame.com.ec

At one o’clock I turn up at Quito airport for my 40 minute flight to Cuenca. Same deal; no tickets are being sold or being allowed to be sold, but still, there will be a flight for those with tickets already bought or those with cupons.
As I stand at the check-in desk the pretty Icaro employee grabs her walkie talkie and tells someone in another part of the airport that there’s just 14 passengers. Am I the 14th I ask and she smiles “yes”.

As I’m sitting in the modern departure lounge I wonder how Icaro can make any money running jets with 14 people. No problem! A 20 seat turbo prop plane hums along the tarmac and we are all ushered on board.

As I’m waiting, I can’t help noticing and over hearing three North Americans sitting on the next row of the seats. They’re not concerned with Icaro’s travails or even aware of them. But they are conversing animatedly about Ecuador.

The couple seem to have been to Ecuador before. They have recently bought a lot on the coast. The lady they are talking too is down here too to “feel out” Ecuador. She isn’t quite sure where she is going or what she is going to do. But she says she’s looking forward to a new adventure and admits she is coming up to retirement and doesn’t have enough saved to afford a decent retirement in the U.S.

I seem to have heard this before! Why do I get the feeling I’m on the crest of a wave? Or maybe it was just co-incidence? I think back to when I first came to Ecuador in 2001. Back then I rarely saw North Americans in the streets, it was mostly European backpackers, much less overheard conversations about buying coastal lots. Things most definitely have changed in the last seven years.

Come down to Ecuador and use 20% discount cupons to fly around. Come down and see properties for sale to get an idea if Ecuador may be a place you like to settle or have a vacation home. I guarantee at the very least you’ll have a wonderful vacation.

April 10 – 14 Super Thinking + Spanish

April 16-17 Ecuador Imbabura Real Estate Tour

May 13-17 Ecuador Import Export tour

June 11-15, Super Thinking + Spanish

June 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

June 19- 21 Ecuador Shaman Tour

Nov 12-14 Coastal Real Estate Tour www.garyascott.com/catalog/ecuador-coastal-real-estate-tour