We understand the feeling of starting a new life abroad without knowing anyone. Making friends in Ecuador and finding fun things to do with locals and expats is very easy, and will help you to immerse yourself in the new culture. Making friends and participating in social activities will also speed up the process feeling more at home in your new expat destination.
In most of the popular expat destinations in Ecuador, you’ll find lots of options for group activities like hiking, biking, surfing, volleyball, poker, yoga, fitness, meditation, book clubs, cribbage, sports watching, birdwatching, language exchanges, Spanish classes, volunteering, etc.
There are plenty of expat social activities in Ecuador to keep you busy day and night! However, if you want to be really social and you’re not fluent in Spanish yet, we recommend living in Cuenca, Manta, the Olón area, or another city with a larger expat community. I often compare Cuenca to a cruise ship: there are tons of activities and the food is amazing!
Do a search on Facebook for a group in your area, and if you can’t find one that does what you want to do, then you can easily start one and people will show up to your events.
You’ll hear about most events through word-of-mouth as you become more involved in the local communities. However, some organizers also post in various Facebook groups, as well as on GringoPost.com (for Cuenca), Olón Life, Expats and Amigos in Manta and Manabi, and in our private Discord community for our patrons.
We’ve also met several expats who met Ecuadorians on dating sites like Tinder and are now in happy relationships. Watch out for scams, though. Meet in a public place and be cautious. If they’re serious about you, they will insist you meet their friends and family very early in the dating process. If they don’t want you to meet them, be very suspicious.
If you’re a social, active person, the only limit to how busy you want to be is how often you feel like leaving the house. Things have slowed down since the pandemic began, but we’re hopeful that this will be behind us in the next year and life will return to normal!
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I grew up in the Chicagoland area and spent most of my career working as a sales rep in the commercial lighting industry. I still work online for a company in Denver doing sales CRM administration. YouTube is my part-time gig, but I'm so happy we can share our Unconventional Life and hopefully inspire you live yours!