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Options for senior tourists in Ecuador is growing rapidly, according to the experts

By Robert Bradley

It may come as no surprise but being pampered while surrounded in natural beauty and enjoying fine dinners in a safe environment are the top requirements of people over 65 when planning their Ecuador vacation.

Access to good restaurants is a top priority for senior tourists.

Norma Cristina Bock, professor at the School of Hospitality and Tourism at University of the Americas (Udla), puts it this way: “The bar has been raised for everyone. At one time, destinations that offered basic spa services, had impressive geological features, or limited opportunities for fine dining was enough, but no more. Senior customers are arriving with higher expectations and meeting these is essential to Ecuador’s continued success as a tourist destination.”

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Bock adds that a recent trend in senior tourist expectations is access to a variety of outdoor activities ranging from riding zip lines, river boating, tours of surrounding villages and even strenuous bike riding trails.

Fine dining has always been important but, the necessity of using organic, locally grown foods is becoming the standard many senior travelers rely on — and expect. The dependence of resorts with culinary talent and well-trained service staff has never been greater. All-inclusive spas offering a wide variety of pampering options have become the norm rather than the exception.

Several new jungle lodges in Ecuador’s Amazonia are offering modern conveniences such as swimming pools.

Every region of the country now have resorts ranging from the exclusive to the budget-priced specifically designed to be easily navigated by seniors requiring handrails, ramps in addition to stairs, and other basic accommodations.

Hot springs are also popular with older tourists and Ecuador has 106 developed spring sites. Papallacta, Urcuquí,  Baños de Agua Santa in Tungurahua, and Baños de Cuenca are among the best known, and all are fully equipped with safety railings, anti-skid surfaces, and ramps rather than stairs.

Speaking of changing tourist expectations, José Luis Rodríguez, an experienced tour guide, says Urcuquí and San Francisco are emerging as destinations in the quickly developing market of wellness tourism. Daily yoga and meditation sessions are common in many if not most of the better resorts due to vacationing seniors preferences.

Hot springs, like those near Cuenca, are popular with tourists of all ages.

For those who like an exciting gastronomic adventure,  Rodríguez suggests the roasted sheep route that runs through Cayambe, Olmedo and Ibarra. “The road passes close to the Cayambe snow and ends in the back of the ‘Taita’ Imbabura. On the way you can taste biscuits, cheeses, alfajores, jams, paila ice cream, as well as roasted mutton.”

There are several resorts and guide services that cater to seniors boating in the Amazon. The train ride from Alausí to Cotipaxi National Park is comfortable and offers incredibly beautiful photographic scenery requiring you only to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. A recently added excursion that is becoming popular for seniors visiting southern Ecuador is the self-guided tour of coffee plantations in Vilcabamba — many growers are anxious to show off how their plants are cared for and their beans roasted, and have maps available in many of the local resorts.

These are among the scores of fun places that are safe, easily navigatable, and will give seniors a feeling of closeness with the natural world around you. There is no shortage of places to see and things in do in Ecuador no matter what your age.

5 thoughts on “Options for senior tourists in Ecuador is growing rapidly, according to the experts

  1. American’s visiting Ecuador should be more interested in learning and respecting the culture of the people and learning the spoken language.

    1. Just don’t forget the Ben Franklins! He speaks many languages and respect should be earned on both sides! What a concept.

    2. You want tourists on two-week vacations to Ecuador taking Spanish classes? Lee Dubbs salutes you (wherever he may be or buried).

    3. You really want foreigners to respect all aspects of the Ecuadorian culture?

      Ecuadorians won’t respect all aspects of the culture of my home country and that is perfectly fine (and understandable).

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