Ecuador has seen a big boom in tourist numbers in recent years. In 2017, the country welcomed over 1.5 million travelers; in 2018, this figure jumped to more than two million. There is a good reason behind this jump in visitor numbers; Ecuador is a fascinating country to explore with plenty to discover, lots of things to see and friendly people to meet. It is also well-known for being one of the most bio-diverse countries in the entire world, with a whole host of flora and fauna to admire.
Many people talk about how a trip helped them relax after a stressful period at work or with family and friends, so we all know that taking vacations is an important part of keeping ourselves healthy and happy. So it should come as no surprise that local Ecuador tours can do exactly the same; they can make travelers more relaxed, meaning they will come home refreshed and thrilled to have had such a wonderful travel experience. But how exactly can local Ecuador tours make someone more relaxed?
The stress is taken out of planning a trip
Possibly the most important way Ecuador tours can make travelers more relaxed is that the stress of preparing a trip is completely taken out of their hands. Anyone who has planned a long-distance trip will know that searching for flights to get the perfect price and looking for great accommodation can take up a great deal of time, especially for the inexperienced traveler. And that is not considering everything else that needs organizing, such as in-country transportation, activities and day tours, travel insurance… the list goes on.
Using local Ecuador tours as part of planning that dream trip can really help to lower the stress levels of travelers. This is because many local Ecuador tours include in-country transportation and activities in the price. Depending on the kind of Ecuador tours travelers choose, they may also include accommodation and meals. This means that tourists have less to organize themselves, giving them more time to concentrate on other parts of planning their trip, such as booking their flights and buying their travel insurance. It also causes them less stress once they are in Ecuador; there is no need for travelers to be working out bus and train schedules, figuring out the best route to get to the attractions and sights they want to see, or making sure they have the right amount of money to pay the hotel – it has already all been done for them. And what better way is there to be relaxed on holiday when everything has already been sorted out for you?
Local Ecuador tours can help save travelers money
It goes without saying that taking a long-distance trip can be expensive once flights, accommodation, in-country transport, food, and activities have all been factored in. No matter how much travelers save for their big trip, it always seems to work out way more expensive than they originally planned. But this does not have to be the case. When using local Ecuador tours, huge savings can be made. This is because local tour operators only use local guides and drivers who they will know well and have formed a working relationship with, meaning they can negotiate better prices. Also, when compared with tours offered by mass tour operators, there is no middle man to pay, so this helps to keep costs of local Ecuador tours down, making them a great economical option for travelers. And when travelers save money, this can be a great way of bringing the stress levels down and feeling more relaxed about their trip.
Local guides give important information
It is every traveler’s nightmare: making some social faux pas in a country they have only just arrived in and not understanding what it is they have done wrong. This has happened to all travelers at some point and it can be mortifying. If it is a traveler’s first time to Ecuador, they may possibly be worried about something similar happening to them. This is where local Ecuador tours come in handy. One of the best things about using local Ecuador tours is that they are run by local people. This means that they were born in the country and know first-hand important information such as how to behave in social situations, what to wear when visiting religious buildings, the right gifts to take if you are visiting someone’s home, or even just something as simple as how much in tips you should be giving local workers. Information like this is a godsend for travelers; it can get them out of sticky situations and reduce the risk of red faces, meaning a more relaxing vacation.
Booking local Ecuador tours means travelers are giving back to the local community
As was mentioned previously, local Ecuador tours use local workers to provide their services. This means that the money travelers spend on their trip immediately gets pumped back into the local community, be that as wages or as money for the business to spend on its outgoings. This is a fantastic thing in terms of the Ecuadorian economy. Ecuador is one of the poorest nations in the world, sitting at 108 on the list of world countries when comparing gross domestic product (GDP) and purchasing power parity (PPP). Despite lots of progress being made for improving the economic situation – in 2016, 22.9% of Ecuadorians were living below the poverty line, in comparison with 64.4% in 2000 – there is still much to be done, especially in the more rural areas of the country. This is why local Ecuador tours are so important; they ensure that travelers’ money is being directed to the right places.
At a time when more and more people are concerned about where their money is going and are more aware of the impact of spending money in local communities, it can be a weight off their mind that the money they are spending on their Ecuador tours is helping the local community rather than filling the bank accounts of corporate CEOs.
Local Ecuador tours get travelers out of their comfort zone
This might seem like an odd section to have in an article about how Ecuador tours can make you more relaxed; surely being made to leave your comfort zone is not such a good thing and potentially stressful? Actually, being forced to leave behind preconceptions and do something which you would normally never think about doing back home is all part of the fun of traveling and can have amazing effects on the mind.
There is a saying that people should do one thing every day that scares them, and traveling is the perfect time to actually do this. Whether it is participating in an adventure sport such as zip-lining, canyoning or white water rafting, trying a food which is completely alien, or getting up-close and personal with a creature which one would run a mile from back in one’s home country, doing something which is scary or at least unknown is not just about the physical body but also the psychological. When we manage to perform a task which we thought was not possible for us to do, it makes us feel more confident in our abilities, which in turn leads to a big sense of well-being.
So how can local Ecuador tours help us do this? Well, local Ecuador tours give travelers the opportunity to do something different and new every day. Travelers can find themselves heading out to the Galapagos Islands to come face-to-face with unique wildlife, trekking by horse to volcanoes, climbing imposing peaks, and even making their way into the Amazon rainforest. Once travelers have achieved these amazing feats, it will give them a feeling of pride – and if not, they will at least be relieved and relaxed that the whole event is over!
Wellness travel is on the increase in Ecuador
In the last decade or so, there has been a huge increase in the number of wellness trips being taken by travelers. Yoga and meditation retreats form the majority of these trips, with more and more people interested in slowing both their minds and bodies down in order to feel more relaxed, more fulfilled and healthier inside and out. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that Ecuador has picked up on this incredibly popular travel trend. There are now a variety of yoga retreats and tours available, with some tours even giving yogis the opportunity to travel through the country to practice this ancient art form in the Andes, the Amazon, Pacific Beach and the Valley of Vilcabamba.
As well as yoga retreats, a number of spas and wellness centers have popped up all over the country as well, giving visitors the choice of a range of amazing treatments, such as massages, pedicures, and manicures. There is nothing like being pampered to help someone feel relaxed, which is why Ecuador has become a great location to unwind.
Ecuador has some of the most stunning landscapes in the world
Lots of people feel more at peace with themselves when out in the great outdoors, and Ecuador definitely is one of the best places in the world to experience it. Ecuador is known for being a diverse country in terms of geography; you can find everything here, from mountain peaks and dense jungle to sandy beaches and mangrove forests. Discovering and exploring these wonderful landscapes on local Ecuador tours can be just as relaxing as they can be exciting.
But being relaxed in nature is not just something for the mind. Science has proven that being in natural surroundings reduces stress, helps to clear the mind and rejuvenates both mind and body. There are a number of ways which it can do this. Firstly, being outside means that the body absorbs more vitamin D, a compound usually associated with bone health; however, vitamin D also helps to raise mood and improve blood flow leading to lower blood pressure, both things which help people to relax. Other ways that being in nature can help you to relax include: breathing in cleaner air, which helps to regulate serotonin and improve blood pressure, leading to a bigger sense of well-being; giving the brain some downtime by entering a daydream-like state; and having a calming effect on the mind by leaving the stresses of the city behind.
Local Ecuador tours get you off the internet
One of the most brilliant things about being in the kind of natural surroundings travelers can find in Ecuador is that it forces them to disconnect from the internet. It seems nowadays that everyone is constantly glued to their phone, checking their emails and social media messages, and not taking the time to appreciate what is going on around them. When travelers make the effort to really get off the beaten track, it gives them the opportunity to switch off their electronic devices. There are physical advantages to this; studies show that people constantly connected to their email and messenger services generally have higher heart rates than those who do not. As Ecuador is a country where internet – although developing fast – still does not have the same level of connection and coverage as more developed countries, local Ecuador tours are a great way of taking a break from the screen, with the added benefit of lowering your heart rate in the process.
You can be more active on local Ecuador tours
Ecuador is an exciting destination with lots of activities to take part in, such as kayaking, trekking, zip-lining, horse riding, mountain biking, wildlife spotting… the list is endless. Obviously, we all know that physical activity is great for the body and brain. As well as keeping us in peak physical condition, exercise produces endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormone, which helps make us feel more relaxed and happy. With all the activities you can do on local Ecuador tours, you can be sure to be feeling more relaxed in no time.
Connecting with other people on local Ecuador tours is all part of the relaxation
It is a well-known fact that as human beings, we need to interact with each other to feel good about ourselves. Combined with the fact that a major part of traveling is meeting new people, and it is easy to see why local Ecuador tours can be a relaxing way of getting to make new friends. When traveling on local Ecuador tours, the group sizes are smaller than that one might take through mass operators, meaning travelers have better chances of forming closer connections with the people they are traveling with. With small group Ecuador tours, there is always someone to talk to, so travelers never feel lonely.
Meeting new people has more benefits than just making new friends and having someone to talk to. Traveling together on such tours makes people bond quicker, especially if they are doing an activity which is normally not something they would do, such as climbing a volcano or jungle trekking. In these situations, it is not only the good times these groups of people will share together; if the going gets tough, they have to rely on near-strangers to help them and keep them motivated. Knowing that someone is close to hand in case anything goes wrong, or that someone is around for a friendly chat, helps both the body and brain to relax and be less fearful of the new surrounding travelers find themselves in.
The artisan beer industry is really taking off
Some may say that having a massage at one of Ecuador’s many spas and wellness centers would be the peak of relaxation, but for those who would prefer to spend a little less money, a glass of ice-cold beer is just as effective. While it may not have got much of a world reputation for craft beer yet, Ecuador is certainly making strides in this on-trend industry. In fact, Quito is recognized as the first city in South America to make the best craft beer. And what better way to unwind after a hard day’s sightseeing or adventuring is there than to relax over a few excellent beers?
To sample some of the best craft beer Quito has to offer, there are local Ecuador tours which will take you around the best pubs in the historic old town. These tours involve a beer tasting session guided by a local specialized brewer who can give you more information about the drinks you are tasting. One such tour – the Quito Craft Beer Tour – is available through TripsPoint; check the listing for more details.
With local Ecuador tours, you can enjoy this amazing country without all the hassle
Planning a long-distance trip does not have to be stressful. In fact, if you book local Ecuador tours, it can be a really relaxing experience. From helping travelers save money and organize the perfect itinerary to enjoying the country’s amazing landscapes and vibrant nightlife, Ecuador is the best destination for making travelers feel more relaxed.