Wednesday, August 04, 2021

PGE Zoom Call Guest: Pandemic Travel Tips in Peru and Ecuador

Date: April 24, 2021 Saturday; Present location - Ecuador (UTC -0500H)

TOPIC: Latin America (Peru / Ecuador) - Pinoy Solo Backpacker Tips during Pandemic (Mar-May 2021) #pandemictraveling #newnormal 

I will discuss: 
- based on my actual experience and as Pinoy Solo Backpacker w/ Phil. passport only
- with very limited Spanish language knowledge and as Budgetarian (budget-conscious) traveler
- on DIY Solo difficult dayhike (average hiker) and on purely leisure travel, all expenses from savings 

PROGRAM:
My Strong Advise... Peru and Ecuador must be on the TOP of your BUCKET LIST and hiking is a must here. 

I. My America Continent Itinerary (6 months) - Nov. 2020 to May 2021 Pandemic Adventures
II. Pandemic Travel Tips (Entry Requirements) - Covid19 related protocols
III. Peru Highlights (Budget DIY Solo Hiking) - strictest local travel advisory
IV. Ecuador Highlights (Budget DIY Solo Hiking) - my most hard-to-get E-Visa here
V. Reasons why Peru and Ecuador is a must 

PGE Zoom Call Guest: Pandemic Travel Tips in Peru and Ecuador

PGE Zoom Call Guest: Pandemic Travel Tips in Peru and Ecuador

I. MY AMERICA CONTINENT ITINERARY
- 2020-2021 Final Wave Pandemic Adventures / November 2020 to May 2021 (6 months)
1st Part: Mexico (Nov-Dec 2020) 31 Days
2nd Part: Central America (Jan-Feb 2021) 40 days
3rd Part: South America (Feb-May 2021) Day 79
Last Part: TBA (Element of Surprise) 

PRESENTLY... 
- My 150th Day (5th month) in America
- My 79th day in South America 
- My 31st Day in Ecuador (weekend lockdown) 
- My 13th country on this Pandemic journey
- weekend total lockdown (my 3rd time) 

HAVING A HARD TIME ON ECUADOR VISA APPLICATION IS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE. My initial plan was only 11 days, now I'm expecting 40 days. 

COVID19 PREPARATION:
- Covid19 Vaccinated by Sinopharm (Aug. 2020)
- 2 shots and free of charge (Volunteer patient), no side effects experience 
- 21 Covid19 Test (PCR Nasal/Oral Swab), traveled to 18 countries across 4 continents within 8 months, ALL NEGATIVE RESULT.

II. PANDEMIC TRAVEL TIPS (2021)

A. Check General Country Update 
- https://covidcontrols.co/
- https://travelbans.org/

B. Check Airline Update (LATAM) 
https://www.latam.com/en_un/experience/coronavirus/government-restrictions/

C. Country's Tourism Advisory Update
- Google country name then "Tourism Advisory" 

D. WHAT USUAL REQUIREMENTS TO EXPECT

1. 72-hours validity Covid19 PCR Test 
- $65 to $120 price, less than 24 hours result
- Google map "laboratorio" within hotel radius
- print-out not necessary 
2. Pre-immigration registration online
- within 24 hours before flight arrival
- link per item A, B, C
- sometimes PCR Test result copy to be uploaded 
3. Covid19 Travel Insurance https://www.insubuy.com/covid19-travel-medical-insurance/
- check the country coverage, sometimes US resident applicable only
4. Hotel bookings and outgoing flight - mock book
5. Download mobile app MAPS.ME - huge help

PGE Zoom Call Guest: Pandemic Travel Tips in Peru and Ecuador

PGE Zoom Call Guest: Pandemic Travel Tips in Peru and Ecuador


Entry Requirements:
- 72-hours validity Covid19 PCR Test,- pre-registration on https://e-notificacion.migraciones.gob.pe/dj-salud
- mandatory use of face shield / N95 mask

Visa: Philippine passport holders are visa-on-arrival with visa fee gratis. Hotel booking is required.
Country of Origin: Paraguay / Arrival Airport: Arequipa, Peru
Departure Airport: Lima, Peru / Country of Next Destination: Ecuador
Destination Flow: Arequipa - Cabanaconde - Cusco - Huaraz - Lima

PERU TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
1. Nationwide Transportation Strike - idle for 4 days in Huaraz just staying inside hostel.
2. Sunday lockdown - idle for 2 Sundays in Huaraz and Lima
3. 6 sets of Major Day-Hikes - all self-guided solo budget DIY except Rainbow Mountain (5,120masl)
4. Peru has affordable cost of tourist living 

IV. ECUADOR HIGHLIGHTS / Travel Date: March 24 to May 03, 2021 (40 days)

Entry Requirements: 72-hours validity Covid19 PCR Test only

Visa: As of March 2020, Philippine Passport holders are required to apply for Tourist visa before arrival (90 days multiple entry for 450 USD). https://www.consuladovirtual.gob.ec/en/web/guest/inicio
- filled out application form online, passport size photo, financial statement and police clearance 

Country of Origin: Peru / Arrival Airport: Guayaquil, Ecuador 
Departure Airport: Guayaquil, Ecuador / Country of Next Destination: Guyana

Destination Flow: Guayaquil - Cuenca - Riobamba - Baños - Quilotoa - Quito - Coastal Beaches - Guayaquil 

ECUADOR TRIP HIGHLIGHTS:
1. 8 sets of Major Day-Hikes - self-guided solo including two of the most difficult day-hikes I ever had in my entire life, Tungurahua Volcano Refuge (3,830masl) and Rucu Pichincha (4,696masl)
2. Ecuador has affordable cost of tourist living
3. Visited more than 6 beaches



V. CONCLUSION

In my honest opinion, PERU and ECUADOR must be on the TOP of your BUCKET LIST because...

1. Low Cost of Tourist Living
- Pinoys are very budget conscious (budgetarian) 
- lowest Hostel I booked is 5 USD, room w/ baño
- conservative meal average costs 3 USD
- decent hair cut costs 2 USD

2. Transportation system is somehow systematic
- of course compared to our homeland despite that they don't have metro trains (Quito has ongoing metro construction) 
- public transportation fare is very cheap 
- almost all terminals can be find in MAPS.ME

3. Hiking haven, trails are very safe
- almost all day hikes are awesome
- zero national fees, zero environmental fee
- take altitude sickness seriously 
- summit views are breathtaking 

4. Locals are very friendly and helpful
- despite the language barrier (numero / fecha) 
- try to act like one of them (pocito conversacion) 

5. Airport Immigration is relax
- prepare mock bookings of hotels (with email, contact number) and outgoing flights
- make them feel a positive vibe


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much of thanks for visiting the viewing deck ^_^

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