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Discovering the Heart of Ecuador: A Journey of Hospitality, Adventure, and Unforgettable People

Ecuador is a country known for its jaw-dropping scenery, amazing motorcycling routes, and one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. But it’s the hospitality that makes all the difference: the Ecuadorian people are some of the friendliest and most welcoming in the world, and they are always happy to share their beautiful country with visitors.

farmer lady greeting us

From Lemonade to Lunch: Discovering Hospitality and Heart in Ecuador's Countryside

During one of our off-the-beaten-path guided offroad motorcycle tours that traverses remote areas of Ecuador's farmlands, we took a break from riding at a beautiful overlook next to a small farmhouse to soak in its picturesque views, With the area being far from the usual bustling city life, there are hardly any restaurants or stores along this route to grab drinks and snacks.  Instead, we bring in our own refreshments as we ride through this area. However, this time around, to our surprise, the owner of the farmhouse, a kind lady named Maria, had noticed our group from her abode and approached us with a warm smile and a cold pitcher of freshly made lemonade. This lemonade, made from lemons from her farm, served as a gesture of genuine Ecuadorian hospitality, in keeping perfectly with the richness of local traditions and warmth.

eating tongas at marias farm

Gratitude filled the air as we shared with Maria how challenging it was to find food options along this secluded route. With a generous heart and open arms, she then extended an invitation that anytime in the future we run this tour route, we were welcome to contact her by phone in advance so that she could prepare traditional Ecuadorian farmhand lunches at her farmhouse. True to her word she has amazed our riders with a hearty and tasty lunch on every tour that passes in front of her farm since. This has now materialized into one of the most anticipated stops along this tour route. Our subsequent visits have introduced our customers to the traditional food of this region - the 'tonga' – a special dish symbolizing the hearty, traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, consisting of rice, peanuts, and slow-roasted chicken enveloped in a banana leaf. This meal offers long-lasting sustenance and an authentic taste of the local culture, making our pit stops at Maria's farm a memorable and cherished experience for riders on these tours.

eating a tonga

This unexpected yet typical-in-Ecuador encounter with Maria and the subsequent initiation of the featured lunch stop at her farmhouse embodies the genuine spirit and authentic hospitality of the Ecuadorian people. It has further enhanced our tours with cultural immersion and has created a bridge between visitors and the local community, enriching the experience with the warmth of human connection. Maria's open-heartedness and the tradition of sharing her homemade delicacies have provided our groups with an authentic insight into the local lifestyle, showcasing the importance of community and hospitality.  We have many stories like this - a heartwarming reminder of the genuine kindness that still exists in Ecuador. today.

ecuador people school near salinas de guaranda

The Undeniable Sweetness of the Ecuadorian People

One of the things that makes the Ecuadorian people so special is their sweetness. They are always willing to go out of their way to help others, and they have a genuine warmth that makes you feel welcome from the moment you arrive.

Whether you’re traversing a remote off-road trail, browsing at the Indigenous Otavalo market, or exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon, you’ll be greeted with a smile. Ecuadorians are respectful and polite, yet they are also friendly and outgoing: don’t be surprised to find yourself discussing chocolate making with local cocoa farmers, striking up a conversation with guitar makers, or learning about the art of Panama hat making from the artisans on the Pacific Coast.

friendly people approach you on a motorcycle

Travelers on Motorcycles

Travelers on motorcycles are particularly well-received in Ecuador. Ecuadorians have a great respect for motorcycles, and they see motorcycle riders as adventurous and independent spirits. They are always happy to help motorcycle riders with anything they need – and, every once in a while, ask for a selfie with you and your bike!

cotacachi leather tanner

About the Recent Negative Images in the Media

Recently, Ecuador has been portrayed in the media in a negative light; unfortunately, few publications have provided the full picture. While we do recommend avoiding some areas around Guayaquil and Esmeraldas, the rest of the country is safe for motorcycle adventures. Let’s face it: sketchy neighborhoods exist everywhere in the world, but not traveling to Ecuador because Guayaquil is a little unstable would be the same as avoiding the amazing scenery of Colorado because of what’s happening in Denver's "Civic Center Neighborhood," - which has actually has a higher murder rate than Guayaquil.

happy ecuadorians in el campo

In our fifteen years of working, traveling, and leading tours in Ecuador, we and our customers have always felt safe and have been treated with respect and friendliness. But don’t just take our word for it: here’s what the world’s statistics have to offer:

World Happiness Report: Ecuador consistently ranks high in the World Happiness Report, often placing above many wealthier nations. This suggests a strong sense of community and well-being, contributing to a positive and welcoming atmosphere for visitors.

Tourism Growth: Ecuador has seen significant growth in tourism in recent years. While many factors contribute to this, the welcoming nature of the people is frequently cited in traveler reviews and testimonials as a major draw.

Hospitality Industry Recognition: The hospitality industry in Ecuador has received numerous awards and accolades. For example, several Ecuadorian hotels have been recognized for their exceptional service and guest satisfaction.  Ecuador Freedom has won the Tripadvisor Traveler's Choice award more than any other motorcycle tour company in the world!

Expat Community: Ecuador is a popular destination for expats, many of whom cite the friendly locals and welcoming atmosphere as key reasons for choosing to live there.

Cultural Emphasis on Community: Ecuadorian culture places a strong emphasis on community and family. This often translates into a welcoming and inclusive attitude towards outsiders, making visitors feel like part of the community.

If you are looking for a country with epic motorcycle routes, breathtaking views, diverse cultures, and incredible hospitality, Ecuador is the perfect place to visit – and we bet it’ll remain in your heart forever.


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