When it comes to dating, every country and culture has its own set of rules and Ecuador is no exception, but once you get past the initial games, the language of love is universal. And the good news is, just as you might like the idea of having an exotic Ecuadorian on your arm, the Ecuadorians also like the idea of a gringo boyfriend or girlfriend, which will definitely work in your favor, not to mention it’s a great way to practice and improve your Spanish. Here’s our guide to dating a local in Quito.
Where to meet a local
Photo credits: Mike, Flickr
Like any city in the world, nightclubs and bars are the most obvious places to meet a member of the opposite sex, depending on whether you’re looking for your soul mate or a casual hook up.
Your best bet for finding some young, free and single Quiteños for a bit of fun would be to head to Plaza Foch in the Mariscal neighborhood at nighttime, where there’s the biggest concentration of nightclubs and bars. However, this is also where a lot of other foreigners will go out too so you’ve got yourself some competition. You might also want to check out the talent at the nearby Bungalow 6, La Juliana, No Bar and Café Democratico that are all popular nightlife spots.
Dancing salsa is also another great way to get your flirt on with a local, as the Ecuadorians love to dance. Read our post on how to become a good salsa dancer and you should have no problem in the salsa clubs.
If you’d prefer to meet someone without your beer goggles on, Plaza Foch is also a popular place for locals to hang out during the day. Alternatively, go find a grassy spot in Parque La Carolina for the afternoon and wait for a tall, dark handsome stranger to pass by.
This goes without saying but be careful about going home with a complete stranger you’ve just met. While Quito isn’t the most dangerous city in the world, you do need to have your wits about you. It doesn’t hurt to play a bit hard to get at first and exchange numbers and then arrange a first date at a time and place when a friend knows your whereabouts.
The online dating scene
Online dating definitely helps you weed out the good from the bad and find common ground before you meet anyone in person. Aside from the obvious apps such as Tinder and Bumble, Latin American Cupid is a really popular dating site in Ecuador with thousands of eligible suitors on there. You might also want to check out the talent on Badoo.
What you need to know about the Ecuadorian men
As is true with the majority of men from South America, the Ecuadorian men take pride in their masculinity and passionate Latino spirit. They’re a hot-blooded breed so you shouldn’t have any problem meeting men. You may be subjected to the "Pssst princesa,” “Que hermosa” or “Hola guapa” advances from male passersby on the street but not all the guys are like this. Expect a lot of flirting and cheesy chat up lines in bars and clubs, particularly if they talk to you in English as they will likely only have a few lines up their sleeves (the kind that go something like, “You have beautiful eyes. Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?”). But once you get beyond all the bravado talk, the Ecuadorian guy can be very romantic, sentimental and devoted and will wear his heart on his sleeve.
What you need to know about the Ecuadorian girls
A mix of Spanish, Indigenous and African roots give the Ecuadorian women a very exotic look and they take pride in their appearance, always looking very feminine and well dressed. Only too familiar with the game playing and wiles of the Latino man, they might come across as a little aloof at first and it might take a bit of persuading to win them over but, once you’ve broken down the barrier, you’ll find they’re very loyal and affectionate women.
That fiery temper and passion that Latinos are typically notorious for isn’t so pronounced in Ecuador as it is in other Latin American countries but be aware that some men and women do try to get away with a bit of sex on the side and infidelity does occur.
Dating a local in Quito is also a great way of extending your friendship base, as they’re a hospitable bunch. You’ll be immediately introduced into their social circles and large friendship groups so, even if it doesn’t work out with him or her, you’ll hopefully have made some new friends out of your dating experiences.
Got any other tips on dating locals in Quito? Share your experiences with our readers in the comments section below.