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Name: Quilotoa
Location: Cotopaxi province, Ecuador
Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The 3-kilometre wide caldera was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following a catastrophic VEI-6 eruption about 600 years ago, which produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that reached the Pacific Ocean, and spread an airborne deposit of volcanic ash throughout the northern Andes. This last eruption followed a dormancy period of 14,000 years and is known as the 1280 Plinian eruption. The fourth (of seven) eruptive phase was phreatomagmatic, indicating that a Crater lake was already present at that time. The caldera has since accumulated a 250 m (820 ft) deep crater lake, which has a greenish color as a result of dissolved minerals. Fumaroles are found on the lake floor and hot springs occur on the eastern flank of the volcano.

Quilotoa is a tourist site of growing popularity. The route to the "summit" (the small town of Quilotoa) is generally traveled by hired truck or bus from the town of Zumbahua 17 km to the South, or more commonly by bus from Latacunga.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilotoa
Name: Galápagos Islands
Location: Cotopaxi province, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km (563 mi) west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000.

The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. De Berlanga eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galápagos_Islands
Name: Chimborazo
Location: Chimborazo Province, Ecuador
Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 C.E. It is a very popular climb and can be climbed year round with the best seasons being December–January and July–August.

With a peak elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft), Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador. Chimborazo is not the highest mountain by elevation above sea level, but its location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth's surface from the Earth's center. The summit of Mount Everest is higher above sea level.

The top of Chimborazo is completely covered by glaciers, with some north-eastern glacier arms flowing down to 4,600 m. Its glacier is the source of water for the population of the Bolivar and Chimborazo provinces of Ecuador. Chimborazo glacier's ice mass has decreased over the past decades, which is thought by some to be due to the combined influences of global warming, ash covers from recent volcanic activity of Tungurahua, and the El Niño phenomenon.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimborazo_Province
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN ECUADOR / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

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COUNTRY INFORMATION GUIDE
PLEASE SEE BELOW FACTS, USEFUL US GOVERNMENT TRAVEL LINKS AND BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES, FOR TRAVEL TO ECUADOR.
FACTS:
Official Languages: Spanish
Currency: United States Dollar (USD)
Time zone: ECT (Ecuador Time) (UTC−5) / (Galapagos Time) GALT (UTC−6)
Drives on the right
Calling code: +593
Local / up-to-date weather in Quito (and other regions): BBC global weather – click here
US GOVT TRAVEL LINKS:

For more useful information on safety & security, local laws / customs, health and more, please see the below official US travel.state.gov web link for Ecuador travel advice. NB: Entry requirements herein listed are for US nationals only, unless stated otherwise.

You can also find recommended information on vaccinations, malaria and other more detailed health considerations for travel to Ecuador, at the below official US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weblink.

BUSINESS VISITOR ACTIVITIES*:
Activities you may undertake on a business visa / as a business visitor:
PERMISSIBLE
ATTENDING MEETINGS / DISCUSSIONS: TBC
ATTENDING A CONFERENCE: TBC
RECEIVING TRAINING (CLASSROOM-BASED): TBC
NON-PERMISSIBLE
AUDIT WORK: TBC
PROVIDING TRAINING: TBC
PROJECT WORK: TBC
*This information does not constitute legal advice and is not an exhaustive list. For a full legal assessment on business visitor activities, please revert to your internal company legal team / counsel.
TRAVEL INFORMATION**
It is highly recommenced that you access the above official US travel.state.gov web link and read all safety & security information prior to making your travel arrangements / planning your trip.
PLEASE CLICK / TOGGLE BELOW FOR USEFUL TRAVEL INFORMATION TO ECUADOR.

Ecuador adopted the United States dollar (“$”, ISO currency code: USD) as its currency in 1999. Other types of currency are not readily accepted.

Ecuador has its own coins. These are exactly the same size and weight as American coins, and both are accepted. U.S. dollar coins are widely used, and preferred to $1 bills. American bills are used for higher values, Ecuador does not print any itself.

Many merchants examine large bills ($10 and above) carefully to make sure they aren’t counterfeit. Frequently, businesses will not accept $50 bills or $100 bills at all. One must usually go to a bank in order to break $100 bills. Outside of tourist areas and Quito, many merchants do not keep large amounts of money on hand, so getting change for bills large and small may be difficult. This is especially true on cheaper buses. Take lots of one and five dollar bills with you; you will also want to bring the newest possible bills. Worn bills are often regarded with suspicion, and it is not uncommon for a merchant to ask you to pay with another bill if the one you handed them appears old or worn.

Banking:

Credit and debit cards are accepted at many places that cater to tourists as well as at some upscale shops. However, many places charge a commission for their use as reimbursement for what the banks charge them. You may be asked to show your passport when using a credit or debit card.

Automated teller machines are widely available in major cities and tourist areas. Most claim to be tied in with major international networks, in theory making it possible to withdraw money from foreign accounts. Depending on the transaction fees charged by your bank at home, ATMs offer very good exchange rates. You may have to try quite a few different machines before receiving money. Banco Austro is the only national bank chain that doesn’t charge a withdrawal fee. Banco Bolivariano doesn’t charge with Revolut card whereas Banco de Guayaquil, Banco del Pacífico and Banco Pichincha charge $1.50-4.50 (December 2018). The others typically charge $1 or more per transaction. Avoid using ATMs on the street as their users are frequently targeted by street thieves. Hotels or other places with a guard nearby are your best choices. Many banks limit withdrawals to $300 per day. Banco Guayaquil allows $500 per day.

Traveler’s checks can be exchanged at some (but not all) banks for a reasonable fee (usually not more than 3 percent). They are also accepted at some hotels that cater to tourists, although it is difficult to use them elsewhere. There is often a surcharge added to use traveler’s checks.

BY BUS:

Intercity buses travel to almost everywhere in Ecuador. Many cities have a central bus terminal, known as a terminal terrestre, where it is possible to buy tickets from the various bus lines that serve the city. Long-distance buses typically cost US$1-2 per hour, depending on the distance and the type of service; groups may be able to negotiate discounts. Buses are frequent along major routes, and are also used for transporting cargo/packages.

Reservations or advance purchases usually aren’t needed except during peak periods such as holidays. The bathroom on the bus, if any, is usually reserved for women. However, it is permissible for men to request that the bus make a stop so that they might relieve themselves. The bus rides themselves are often quite beautiful, through mountain views in the clouds. These altitude changes cause many of the same ear pressure problems which are associated with an airplane ride.

The bus driver will stop along the way to board additional passengers, and load/unload cargo. Buses will also board vendors selling affordable drinks and snacks at stops, which is helpful on long hauls. Many buses arrive at their destination with passengers standing in the aisle. There are a few first class buses, called “Ejecutivo”, which cost a little more than the regular buses. They are generally more comfortable and safer.

BY CAR:

It is possible to rent a car in the major cities such as Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca, where car rentals are generally located outside the airports. Ecuadorian roads are well maintained throughout in cities but poorly maintained in the countryside.

However, Ecuador’s driving laws are few and rarely (if ever) enforced. However the law in Ecuador is very strict on speeding (30 km/h over the limit) or driving without a license. Both offenses will have the police take you directly to jail where you will spend 3 nights in jail as the standard sentence. Be sure to carry your original license with you (your license from your home country is sufficient as long as you are a visitor. No international license is required unless your home language is not readable (in say a language like Chinese or Japanese only).

If you rent a car, it is highly recommended that you get a car with high ground clearance.The speed bumps in each town and village are very tall. In fact, they are not called “topes” (bumps). Ecuadorians call speed bumps “muros” (walls). Therefore, a car with high ground clearance is recommended, or you may be paying for very expensive undercarriage repairs.. A 4×4 vehicle is better and necessary to explore the beautiful back areas of the country and to bring you to areas that you won’t get to on a bus or in a normal rental car.

You can rent well-equipped, off road capable vehicles complete with hardened suspensions, snorkels, winches and other accessories.

Over the past 10 years, Ecuador has invested heavily in its road infrastructure with roads in fantastic condition and where safety is becoming more of a focus and priority. That said, like anywhere else in the world, there are different driving styles, customs, courtesies and unwritten rules of the road. A good motorcycle or rental agency will cover these in a detailed briefing before you head out on the road so that you understand what to expect.

BY MOTORCYCLE OR SCOOTER:

It is possible to rent daily or weekly motorcycles or scooters. Rates range from $29-$225/day for 150cc-1050cc machines respectively. Note that some travel insurance will not cover injuries or evacuation from 2-wheel vehicle accidents. The same warnings apply as with navigating my car.

Make sure the agency provides insurance, and you know who pays if the bike is damaged or stolen. It is advisable to take a bike in with you at a hostel or hotel rather than leaving it outside.

  • Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental, Calle Finlandia N35-06 Y Suecia, +593 2-600-4459, info@FreedomBikeRental.com. Motorcycle rental agency that caters to tourists Daily from $29.

BY TAXI:

Taxis are widely available. Taxis are generally yellow and have the taxi license number prominently displayed. Taxis in Quito have meters (fares under $1 are rounded up to the minimum fare of $1). Agree upon a price before getting in or ask the driver to use the meter (often cheaper than a negotiated rate); short trips generally don’t cost more than $1 or $2, and you generally shouldn’t end up paying more than $10 per hour, if that, for longer trips. Evening rates are often double. As with any country in Latin America, (or the world for that matter), don’t ride an unlicensed taxi. It’s a great way to get kidnapped.

BY PLANE:

Domestic flights between major cities on the mainland cost $50-100 one-way, and there are sometimes roundtrip promotions for about the same price. Flights between the biggest cities are in jets, and some of the smaller cities are served by prop aircraft. The domestic airlines in Ecuador are:

  • Latam Ecuador
  • Tame
  • Avianca Ecuador(formerly Aerogal & VIP)
  • Saereo

Most of the airlines in Ecuador offer excellent service and relatively new planes. You can buy domestic air tickets from agents or directly from the airlines – some sell tickets online and you can buy them at the airport or ticket offices for those who don’t.

BY TRAIN:

After much neglect over decades, the government has decided to rebuild and restore the railway infrastructure and the snazzy website of Tren Ecuador is clearly aimed at the international tourist above and beyond all else. There are relatively affordable short trips (often including food and a guide or other extras), and the lavishly expensive “tren crucero” (roughly: cruise train) that does most of the four-day, four-night Quito – Guayaquil trip in a restored steam train, though some stretches still have to be done by bus. At US$1650 per person (based on double occupancy) this is certainly not a cheap option, but it can be a worthwhile way of seeing the country.

EAT:

Throughout the country there is a lot of variety as to what is typically eaten, depending on the location. In the Sierra, potatoes almost always accompany lunch and dinner, and in the coast rice is popular. Soup is also a big part of lunch and dinner. Breakfasts often consist of toast, eggs, and juice or fruit. Batidos, or fruit shakes, are popular breakfast items or snacks. Especially in the Coastline, Ecuadorians make a variety of breakfast meals based on green or sweet plantain and yuca, such as bolonoes, empanadas, patacones, corviches, muchines, pan de yuca, humitas and others. They are cooked with either cheese, pork or fish. They are very filling and inexpensive meals.

Restaurants run the gamut in terms of menu, quality, hygiene, hours and price. Basic meals can be had for less than $2, or it is possible to pay close to U.S. prices in the tourist areas, especially for food from the American chains.

If you’re on a budget, your best bet for a good and local meal is to order an almuerzo (lunch) or a merienda (dinner). These normally consist of a soup, a meat main course and a dessert for $1-2.

More expensive restaurants (say, ones that charge $4 per meal or more) often add a 12% sales tax and a 10% service fee.

Coffee or tea (including many herbal varieties) is typically served after the meal unless you ask for it sooner.

Except at places that cater to foreigners, it is the custom not to present the diner with the bill until it is requested. While many servers are used to rude tourists, rubbing your fingers together isn’t as accepted as in Europe although it’s not considered downright rude as in the United States. The best way to get the check is to tell your server “La cuenta, por favor”.

Smoking is allowed in most restaurants, but the law explicitly prohibits smoking in closed areas, so it’s a good idea to ask for a non-smoking section, or ask if the restaurant allows smoking.

Locro de papa is a famous Ecuadorian soup with avocados, potatoes and cheese.

Ceviche is a common dish found on the coast. It is a cold seafood cocktail that is usually served with “chifles,” thin fried plantains, and popcorn.

Encebollado is a hearty fish soup with yuca, also found on the coast: A tomato-fish soup filled with chunks of yucca, marinated vegetables with “chifles” thrown in for added crunch.

In the Highlands, Ecuadorians eat cuy, or guinea pig. The entire animal is roasted or fried and often served skewered on a stick.

Empanadas are also a common local food that are usually consumed as snacks in the afternoon. The most common varieties of this filled pastry are cheese and/or chicken.

Bollo Made of milled sweet plantain with peanuts and albacore. This is a very typical dish in the Ecuadorian Coast.

Bolón Made of minced plantain with cheese or pork. It is eaten at breakfast with coffee. It is consumed mostly in the coast in the Manabí province.

DRINK:

Bottled water is very common and is safe to drink; it comes con gas (carbonated) and sin gas (non-carbonated). Water from the tap is unsafe to drink. Even Ecuadorians generally only drink bottled (or boiled) water.

Coffee is widely available in cafes and restaurants, and also sold in bean form. Tea is also common, usually with a good selection including herbal.

Fruit juice is plentiful and good, and you will often have many options: piña (pineapple), mora (blackberry), maracuyá (passion fruit), naranja (orange), sandía (watermelon), naranjilla (a jungle fruit), melon, taxo, guanabana, guava, etc. If you’d like it made with milk, sort of like a less-frozen milkshake, ask for a batida. Note that often juices are served lukewarm.

Aguardiente, often made from fermented sugar cane, is the local firewater. If possible, have some ground freshly into your cup from the sugarcane.

There are many low-cost hostels that can be found throughout Ecuador. Often, the hostels in smaller towns are actually privately owned homes that welcome travellers. As with most things, natives can help you find an excellent hotel at a very low price ($6-14). Large groups will be able to bargain for lower prices. Air conditioning is an amenity which often comes at an extra cost of a dollar or two a night.

Ecuador is also home to an increasing number of Eco Lodges, including many renovated, traditional haciendas.

Prices vary widely in Ecuador. Costs at upscale hotels and restaurants seem to be close, maybe 10 percent less, to what they would be in the United States. Outside of tourist areas, costs are much less. It is possible to get a meal at a clean restaurant for under $2 or to pay less than $10 for a clean but basic hotel room.

Even though Ecuador is a very beautiful country, it does not know how to sell itself very well. In Quito, a very famous touristic site is El Mercado Artesenal where many souvenirs can be found but after a thorough look around you will realize that there is a bit of redundancy in the items – everyone is basically selling the same thing. Therefore, after buying a few main items it becomes difficult to find much more variety. Almost everything that can be bought has a price that can be bargained. If you are not a native, they will try and get higher prices out of you, which is why it is recommended to go with someone who is either fluent in Spanish or native to bargain more effectively.

**All travel information has been sourced from wikivoyage. However like wikipedia, wikivoyage is an open platform editable by any member of the public. Therefore, although very useful, all above information IS INDICATIVE ONLY and must be verified prior to personal use. Moreover, if you wish to see more information please visit: https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Ecuador
TOP ATTRACTIONS
PLEASE CLICK / HOVER ON THE IMAGES BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Name: Quilotoa
Location: Cotopaxi province, Ecuador
Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. The 3-kilometre wide caldera was formed by the collapse of this dacite volcano following a catastrophic VEI-6 eruption about 600 years ago, which produced pyroclastic flows and lahars that reached the Pacific Ocean, and spread an airborne deposit of volcanic ash throughout the northern Andes. This last eruption followed a dormancy period of 14,000 years and is known as the 1280 Plinian eruption. The fourth (of seven) eruptive phase was phreatomagmatic, indicating that a Crater lake was already present at that time. The caldera has since accumulated a 250 m (820 ft) deep crater lake, which has a greenish color as a result of dissolved minerals. Fumaroles are found on the lake floor and hot springs occur on the eastern flank of the volcano.

Quilotoa is a tourist site of growing popularity. The route to the "summit" (the small town of Quilotoa) is generally traveled by hired truck or bus from the town of Zumbahua 17 km to the South, or more commonly by bus from Latacunga.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quilotoa
Name: Galápagos Islands
Location: Cotopaxi province, Ecuador
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed on either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean surrounding the centre of the Western Hemisphere, 906 km (563 mi) west of continental Ecuador. The islands are known for their large number of endemic species and were studied by Charles Darwin during the second voyage of HMS Beagle. His observations and collections contributed to the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

The Galápagos Islands and their surrounding waters form the Galápagos Province of Ecuador, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve. The islands have a population of slightly over 25,000.

The first recorded visit to the islands happened by chance in 1535, when Fray Tomás de Berlanga, the Bishop of Panamá, was surprised with this undiscovered land during a voyage to Peru to arbitrate in a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. De Berlanga eventually returned to the Spanish Empire and described the conditions of the islands and the animals that inhabited them.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galápagos_Islands
Name: Chimborazo
Location: Chimborazo Province, Ecuador
Chimborazo is a currently inactive stratovolcano in the Cordillera Occidental range of the Andes. Its last known eruption is believed to have occurred around 550 C.E. It is a very popular climb and can be climbed year round with the best seasons being December–January and July–August.

With a peak elevation of 6,263 m (20,548 ft), Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador. Chimborazo is not the highest mountain by elevation above sea level, but its location along the equatorial bulge makes its summit the farthest point on the Earth's surface from the Earth's center. The summit of Mount Everest is higher above sea level.

The top of Chimborazo is completely covered by glaciers, with some north-eastern glacier arms flowing down to 4,600 m. Its glacier is the source of water for the population of the Bolivar and Chimborazo provinces of Ecuador. Chimborazo glacier's ice mass has decreased over the past decades, which is thought by some to be due to the combined influences of global warming, ash covers from recent volcanic activity of Tungurahua, and the El Niño phenomenon.

SOURCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimborazo_Province
FLIGHT TIMES / MAJOR CITIES
PLEASE SEE BELOW MAJOR CITIES IN ECUADOR / CLICK OR TOGGLE BELOW FOR FASTEST AVERAGE FLIGHT TIMES FROM USA.

New York: TBC
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...WHO ARE WE?

...WHO ARE WE?

…WHO ARE WE?
…WHO ARE WE?

My name is Manny and I would like to personally welcome you to Global Visas.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluable.

Our team is dedicated to providing a consular service which focuses on attention to detail, delivering a personal approach and with a high focus on compliance. Feedback is very important to us, therefore any comments you provide about our service are invaluableI have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects...

I have provided some of my own personal testimonials over my years in immigration below; working and leading on very large projects.

Please do also view our introductory video at the following web link:

https://usglobalvisas.com/personal/more/about-us

We look forward to working with you and meeting all your expectations.

Global Immigration Leader, Big 4

“Manny. You have really gone the extra mile in supporting the US Business Visitor Service. You have demonstrated real commitment and energy, working a late shift night while we try and find others to fill the position. I know that the other night you stayed until 4am. You are always so positive and your cheerful disposition and attention to detail has resulted in excellent client feedback. On Monday the key client came to London and she was effusive about the service. This is largely due the cover you provide.”

Internal stakeholder, Big 4

“Manny is a big reason why the move from (external provider) to the UK firm’s passport and visa provision has been so smooth. He’s an extremely likeable honest hard working guy who takes his role very seriously. We’re very fortunate to have him leading our dedicated team”

External client, Private practice

“Most of my contact was with Manpreet Singh Johal. He did the best job someone could imagine. Extraordinary service from his side.”

Team member, Big 4

“Working on two priority accounts is naturally pressurised especially where he has also been responsible for billing on both accounts; yet Manny delivers every time and this I believe is an exceptional quality.”

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