Ecuador’s changes in latitude spans beyond the sharp contrasts of the land. Navigating the culture is another set of directions to master which sometimes leave the newly arrived traveller and the long-term expat a bit sideways. Facts of life that people run out of change, taxis need to be vetted and negotiated with and that there are few places to get a Guinness are commonly covered on TripAdvisor and other travel forums.
Apart from the every day nuisances needed to successfully navigate the hills and valleys of the country, there are other points on the compass to be considered while traversing the land. This is an introduction to a new series about travel hacks for living and travelling in Ecuador and why you need them. Subscribe to the Bucketlist here, like us on Facebook or check back weekly for new posts about Ecuador and its hotspots.
The Secret Garden was started by Katherine and Tarquin Hill, an Ecuadorian/ Aussie couple who met and lived abroad. The building that it is housed in is actually Katherine mothers, who lives in an apartment there.
Their aim was to provide a place where travellers could feel comfortable, meet others in a casual social setting, and get reliable information about travelling in Ecuador.
They started small and worked together with other family members to get the word out. Often this meant going to the bus station and finding travellers looking for accomidation and offering them a room. When it started a dorm room was .50 cents.
Since then they have put beds in every possible corner of the five-story building as their hard work has been successful and they turn people away daily. They also have a travel agent on premises, a spanish school, and breakfast and dinner served on the fifth story terrace.