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Best 3-4 places in Ecuador

Will be in Ecuador for 12 days in November. Want a few people's opinions on what the best places are to go. Any advice for me would be great...
10 years ago, July 1st 2009 No: 1 Msg: #78063  
Hi Everyone,

I'll be in Ecuador for 12 days in November. Flying into Quito from Lima after 3 weeks in Peru. I'd just like to know what people would do if you were in my situation. If you had 12 days in Ecuador, where would you go? What would be your top 3-4 places to go? What have been your favourite 3-4 places that you've been in Ecuador basically?

If it helps, i'll be travelling with my girlfriend. We're in our mid-20's and we like hiking, the beach, jungle etc... Unfortunately, Galapagos is out of our price range, but we're not on a massively tight budget.

Thanks for your advice.

Brennan Reply to this

10 years ago, July 4th 2009 No: 2 Msg: #78358  
Hi Brennan,

I would recommend the following:

- Quito (2-3 days) - spend a morning wandering around the old town and visiting the plaza's (Grande, San Fransisco) , Basilica del voto Nacional (church with high towers) and hop in a taxi to the El Panecillo. Check out the nightlife in Mariscal in the evening. Day 2 - go to the Teleferico in the morning as early as you can as the weather is better in the morning. In the afternoon go to the Casa de la cultura.
- Cotopaxi day trip from Quito with one of the tour operators in Mariscal
- Otavalo for the day from Quito ( 2 hours on the bus)
- Beach for 4/5 days. Option (1) Fly to Manta, get a taxi the bus terminal and then a bus to Puerto Lopez. Chill on the beach, go whale watching and take a trip to Isla dela plata (mini Galapagos) (2) Canoa, bus from Quito (3) Atacames, bus from Quito
- Jungle trip 2/3 days with one of the tour operators in Mariscal. Book one that is close to Coca airport. Yarina lodge is good.

Enjoy! You'll have a great time


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10 years ago, July 15th 2009 No: 3 Msg: #79680  
I highly recommend visiting the Galapagos Islands. In full discretion, I'm quite partial because I work for a touring company there - but only because the island is so wonderful. If you do visit the island, check out this Galapagos information & checklist Feel free to contact me on if you have any more South America travel questions.
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10 years ago, July 16th 2009 No: 4 Msg: #79767  
Hi Rob,

Thanks alot for your help. I'll definitely look in to those places you suggested. Quito seems to get a bit of a bad reputation as being dangerous. How did you find it? If you use basic common sense it's fine, isn't it? Thanks again for your reply.

Hi "Galapagos Islands",

I'd love to go to Galapagos Islands, but unfortunately it's not possible due to financial constraints.


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10 years ago, July 16th 2009 No: 5 Msg: #79836  
Hi Brennan,

Yes unfortunately it has got a bad reputation and I was very nervous prior to arriving from Chile. However it was fine and had no problems at all in Quito or anywhere in Ecuador for the 2 1/2 months I was there last year. In fact I enjoyed it so much I'm going back to Ecuador next week for 2 weeks and spending 1 week in Peru.

Just use your common sense and follow the same rules as you would in any big city and you'll be fine. You'll be sticking to the main tourist areas during the day and there are so many other tourists and travellers around and also police. If you stay in a hotel in the main Mariscal area (shown in most guide books) you can wander around at night quite safely but get a taxi if you're going far.

Shame you can't make the Galapagos - it was awesome!


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10 years ago, July 16th 2009 No: 6 Msg: #79851  
Thanks Rob,

I just keep reading everywhere that it's quite dangerous. But, like you said, if the proper precautions are taken and common sense is used then i guess it will be fine... I suppose wandering around alone at 3am, blind drunk, with a gold watch on and a camera swinging off your arm screams "please, someone rob me". So i'll try my best not to do that...

I know, wish i was going to Galapagos. Maybe next time. We had to choose between Galapagos and Inca Trail and the Inca Trail won. Maybe if i win Tattslotto in the next 3 months...

Thanks for your response mate. It's been very helpful. Hope you have a good trip over there next week.

Brennan Reply to this

10 years ago, July 18th 2009 No: 7 Msg: #80015  
Hello! Ecuador, a great country and there is so much to do. Quito has so much to offer, a fun thing to do for only a couple bucks is to take the tour of the Basilica del Vota National and climb to the very top and see all of Quito. The Mariscal is lots of fun but you have to be really careful, I take a cab wherever I go after 6 - 7pm, it is only 2 -3 dollars and you will be safe - stay off the side streets and keep your eyes open! Tena is only about 5 hours away from Quito and it is quick and easy way to explore a little of the rain forest! You have to stop at Papallacta which is right on the way to enjoy the hot thermal springs. A must is a visit to Otavalo for shopping only 2 hours from Quito. And spend 3 - 4 days at one of the ocean beaches as well, overnight buses are available from Quito! Another great place to visit is the Quilotoa Loop with great hiking from the Black Sheep Inn (vegitarian and they are into the enviroment!)
Have fun!!!
Andeanwanderer Reply to this

10 years ago, July 22nd 2009 No: 8 Msg: #80630  
N Posts: 1
Hi Brennan!! im new here, and i just found this post, im from ecuador so i would like to add a new option for you: Baños. Its a small beautiful city in Tungurahua province. Its a great place for adventure and hiking cause it has waterfalls, hot springs, beautiful landscapes, and the posibility to do activities such canyonig, rafting, canopy, etc... Its 3 hours form quito by car, if you take a bus it will take a little bit more. Check this link

Im going tonigth and will stay during 3 days. I will post some pics.

I hope i help you guys 😊

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10 years ago, August 11th 2009 No: 9 Msg: #82843  
Hi Brennan

do as much as you can in Ecuador! We got back from that beautiful country two weeks ago and would like to recommend three awesome guides who will turn your trip into a truly unforgettable experience:

1.) In the Oriente, in Cuyabeno, we were accompanied but a brilliant and very knowledgable fun guy named Diego. His English is excellent and he grew up in the area. He can tell and show you everything about plants, healers, animals in the rainforest, etc. Absolutely great: AMAZON RAINFOREST EXPLORATIONS: Diego Monteros, naturalist guide

2.) For hiking, trekking, and going up a n d getting safely down again from Cotopaxi (that was a marvellous climb and simply a dream), Chimboarzo, Cayambe but also all the less demanding mountains we strongly recommend: Freddy Ramírez, Sierra Nevada alpes: speaks good English and excellent German; 30 years of experience; his friend and colleague is awesome, too: Estalin Suárez:

Should you contact one of these guides make sure to say hello from us. All three of them were absolutely fabulous.

We wish you a wonderful journey (we’d love to join you but need to save some bucks again first). May your experience be as unique as ours.

Good luck,

Tom Walliser und Lena Harris

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10 years ago, August 11th 2009 No: 10 Msg: #82852  
Have you heard about Lonesome George, the 100 year old tortoise. You should check him out at the Darwin Research Station. He's the last species of his kind and is considered the rarest animal in the world. Reply to this

10 years ago, August 21st 2009 No: 11 Msg: #83806  
Ecuador has a bad reputation for a reason - we have met so many people that have been mugged and robbed in the few weeks we have been here.

However, we are still having a fantastic time and the majority of the people are really friendly and helpful. Please don't put your daypack in the overhead storage on buses as this is how 99% of the people we have met lost their stuff. Keep it on your lap, even if it's annoying!!

Quito was great fun and I highly recommend the Secret Garden hostel in the old town as it{s super friendly and has a great location.

We are now in Banos, which is touristy but there are loads of cool things to do. Be careful hiking around Banos, though, as three people have been mugged in the last few days. We did the hike but in a large-ish group and had no problems.

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9 years ago, April 17th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #108954  
The tribe's existence was Denied by the OIL Corporations that want to parcel out rainforest And as those who are more advanced than many ourselves are kept other from the much many population.

Jonatan Brid
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