There is a 12% VAT (Value Added Tax) included on most goods and services purchased in Ecuador. You can get this refunded if you are a foreign tourist. The following is how to do it. The first section lists the requirements outlined from the government site. This is hard to find sometimes so I reprinted here. The second section has more detailed instructions on the actual process at the airport.
A quick travel guide to Angkor Wat and Siem Reap, Cambodia covering the best restaurants, cafes, accomodations and things to do.
Cambodia uses a mix of US dollars and Cambodian riel. Any change under $1 is given in riel. US coins are not used.
Cliff & Bridge Jumping - How To Jump Safely
This article was originally published on Fearless Men.
I have a bit of an unusual hobby while traveling. I like to find bridges and high places to go cliff jumping into the water below. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of leaping off a cliff, free falling through the air, the shock of hitting the cold water and plunging deep down into it, and finally coming up for air realizing you’re still in one piece. Sounds a little crazy and intense?
Well, you’ve probably seen it done in movies and wondered what it felt like. If you’ve got some daredevil inside you and are itching to try it out but weren’t sure how to go about doing it safely, here are 8 tips to keep you out of harm’s way when seeking the thrill of jumping off cliffs.
If you spend any time in Latin America you are bound to hear some Reggaeton music. It will be playing at the clubs, at house parties, in restaurants, in taxis and even in the streets. It originates from Puerto Rico and Panama and is a hybrid of many different musical genres including Latin merengue, bomba, Spanish reggae, Latin hip hop, Latin rap, salsa and electronic dance music. It has a heavily percussive beat called "Dem Bow" which comes from Trinidad's "Soca" music. I love listening to it and it's fun to dance to. Here's the list of my top 10 favorite reggaeton jams.
I spent close to 3 months traveling the length of Vietnam starting in the Mekong Delta in the south and heading north. The following are my notes and photos from that trip. Stops included Ho Chi Minh City, the Mekong Delta, Dalat, Nha Trang, Danang, Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi and Sapa.
Guide to Living and Traveling in St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg is a beautiful city! Amazing classical architecture, bridges, canals, museums, palaces and cathedrals. It's the perfect place for a photographer and perfect for walking. It's a big city but most things happen in the center (which is quite big). Everything is walking distance or a few bus/metro stops away.
How To Get A Student Visa in Medellin, Colombia
Medellín is not only a great place to live but it's also an excellent city to study Spanish in. The Spanish spoken in Colombia is widely considered to be some of the purest and easiest to understand. This past June my six month tourist visa was expiring and I needed to obtain a different visa type in order to stay. I was already interested in improving my Spanish as well so a student visa seemed to be the best option. For some reason, I have a curious fascination with the visa process and have ended up writing a lot about visa extensions on my blog. Previously, I wrote about the current requirements for tourist visa extensions in Medellín, why I had to leave the country once, and my 12 hour border hopping run to Venezuela in order to extend a visa.
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This article will cover:
-How to get the best exchange rate in Argentina. I will show you how to exchange your money for up to 30% more than the official rate.
-The best restaurants, cafes and clubs.
Buenos Aires is a great city to live in and my second favorite city in South America (Medellin is my first). I lived in BsAs for close to a year and the following are my notes on the city in a rough unedited format. I will be updating and editing this list on an ongoing basis so keep checking back.
My top tip would be to bring in hard currency in the form of $100 Euro or US bills. There are plenty of articles online explaining why the "Dolar Blue" exchange exists so I won't go too much into that. I'll just give you the quick 2 minute practical guide.
There is a parallel currency exchange market running in Argentina where you can trade in hard currency for up to 31% (varies depending on the exchange) more than you would get from the official rate.
For an example, here's the official rate today: 9.06 to 1
Here's the unofficial blue rate: 12.84 to 1
Never use your credit/debit card and don't pull money from an ATM because these methods only give you the official rate. $100 dollar bills will give you the best exchange rate as they're easier to transport in greater quantity than smaller denominations.
In Buenos Aires you can find money changers on the corner of Florida and Corrientes downtown. Just compare rates between the different people and try to haggle a bit. Most are within .1 - .3 of each other. It's pretty obvious what you're doing so for safety reasons, after exchanging your bills, I suggest hopping in a taxi and going directly back to your lodging to store your cash before doing anything else.
7 Countries Around the World Where You’ll Want to Stay Put
Most of us have an underlying fear of breaking away from the norm and branching out to pastures new. Change is sometimes a little scary, so it’s only natural as a society to lean somewhat on what we’re more familiar with.
Today, we’re going to challenge that notion by taking a look at seven countries around the world where you’d probably want to stay put if you did travel there in the long-term.
The Germans currently possess one of the most powerful economies in the world, with locals citing job security and confidence in the economy as higher here than in most other global spots.
Any speed freaks will also love this central European nation, with rules which mean there are legally no speed restrictions when it comes to travelling on their motorways (the autobahn).
A bevy of gorgeous food also makes Deutschland a more than sustainable permanent place of residence, as well as the incredible beers the nation has become famous for.
Despite holding a reputation for being one of the most oddball countries in the world, Japan’s uniqueness is actually what makes it one where you’ll probably want to stay put for the long-term.
Incredibly efficient public transport – where refunds are offered if trains are so much as a minute late – are just the tip of the iceberg, with world class convenience stores and delicious food all also on offer.
The layout of the island nation means beaches and other points of interest are readily available to check out, as well as a number of other touristy areas which locals and travellers alike are often found to visit.
After coming home from work each day, you probably clear out your mailbox, first throwing away all the annoying advertisements and junk mail, then flipping through the bills, and finally leaving a big pile on a table somewhere with the intentions of opening them as soon as you get some free time...which never comes.
What if I told you for the last 2 years, I have not needed to throw away one piece of junk mail, have hardly handled any mail myself, and have not even had to go to a bank to deposit checks for that matter.
How did I go about doing that you ask? Keep reading and I will show you how to lead a virtually paperless existence using the services of Virtual Post Mail (VPM).
Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is an amazing natural wonder that's off the beaten track. Today I'll discuss which hotel to stay at and what you should do if you only have a few days to visit.
Authentic Turkish cuisine can be found in Arequipa, Peru at the cozy family-run Kebab Inn. I spent a pleasant afternoon there, enjoying some great food and chatting with the friendly owners.
If you are looking for a hotel in Split, Croatia I recommend the accommodations at Base Rooms.
The location is great as Base rooms is right inside the palace walls. You can't get any more central than this!