In The Now | On The Ground in Ecuador, A Must Listen

February 13, 2024

The date of recording for today’s show is February 7th, 2024. That’s important because our show today is very topical and time sensitive.

As some of you may know there has been a crackdown on organized crime and drug trade in Ecuador over the past month. Sadly for me and my friends and partners in the region, this crack down and the resulting sensationalization from the media has resulted in many visitors cancelling trips to this beautiful country… at exactly the time that Ecuadorians need visitors the most.

Joining me today are Stephanie Bonam Carter, the owner of Galapagos Safari Camp, Fernando Polanco Plaza, the owner of Hacienda Zuleta who you’ll recognize from past shows, and my friend Clark Kotula who is an expert in the region and works with top properties across Latin America.

We start the episode talking about the situation and the history, but please listen through to the parts where we discuss daily life in Ecuador, how things are just as they’ve always been, and all the positive things that are happening in the country.

I’m a bit emotional after recording this episode because I want you all to know that at the end of the day, travel, like life, is imperfect. You have to go to a place to experience it, to understand the nuances, and to know the heart of a people. It upsets me when the media portrays one side of a situation, thereby hurting locals, and in this case, some of my dear friends.

So please listen to this episode with an open heart and an open mind.


Listen to hear:

  • 03:25 – What is going on around their favorite spot
  • 06:10 – About Ecuador today
  • 09:16 – How the current state developed
  • 12:16 – What efforts has the President made so far
  • 16:03 – Where this is going in the long run
  • 18:10 – About the everyday life of its people these days
  • 22:44 – How they share travel stories of guests who visited recently
  • 25:37 – What travelling between the destinations inspires
  • 33:!2 – How tourism can help you and vice versa
  • 38:06 – About their thoughts on travel
  • 41:51 – What you will learn about the world by visiting any country outside of your comfort zone

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