3 weeks in Ecuador
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Nov 30, 2012 6:52 PM Last Post By: jgcp
Nov 23, 2012 8:20 AM
3 weeks in EcuadorHi travellers!
I plan to be in Ecuador for about 3 weeks in upcoming May-June (afterwards I will travel in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil). I would be very happy if you could tell me if the following plan is realistic (or if there's something I forgot):
Quito (2 days) -> Glapagos (5 days) -> (Quito) -> Otavalo (3 days) -> Mindo or Puerto Quito (3 days) -> (Quito) -> Cotopusi (2 days) -> (Quito) -> Banos (2 days) -> Guayaquil (1 day) -> Loja (1 day) -> Peru.
Nov 23, 2012 9:38 AM
1you only need 1-2 days in Otavalo. You can take a bus from quito (2 hrs ride), spend the day in Otavalo, shop, and catch the bus back by evening.
Galapagos == if done right, you need atleast 7 days and a boat cruise set up... Otherwise u are limited in doing day trips to 1-3 islands (isabella and a couple others...also count on losing the first day entirely, even if you take the earlier flight.
IF you get a chance, go west to puerto lopez/montania. It has a bunch of hippies and a partying caribe culture.
Nov 23, 2012 11:33 AM
2I personally too agree that 5 days in the Galapagos are limited. However, you can do it if you get a cruise and fly there on day 1 and back on day 5 (the first and the last day of a cruise are only half-days or even less than that; and airport transfer is usually planned in.) I was really happy with the 8 day tour, but I have also heard of people who got bored towards the end :) If you do 5 days you will just be more dependent on luck, and getting a half-day with bad snorkeling conditions or a boring half-day on an island where there isn't much to see will affect you more.
I personally didn't see Mindo; however 3 days sound like a lot. We had people do it as a daytrip from Quito. They really recommend the place though. Puerto Quito, I've never heard of.
I assume that by Cotopusi you mean Cotopaxi. Do you want to climb it or just hike? Also, why return to Quito after Cotopaxi when you want to continue to Baños? Rather drive directly to Baños or stop in Latacunga for the night.
Baños - Guayaquil - Loja sounds like a strange itinerary to me. Also, not everybody I've met liked Loja (I haven't seen it). You might as well choose to do Baños - Cuenca - Guayaquil and do something on the coast from there e.g. Montañita and/or Puerto Lopez. Then bus to Peru directly from Guayaquil.
There's plenty more things you could do, of course. Quilotoa, Chimborazo (or really any number of volcanoes or craters you want), Cajas, Ingapirca, Esmeraldas; a trip to the Amazon (but you might as well do that in Peru)...
Nov 23, 2012 3:15 PM
3Agree with above posters...consider shaving a day off of the Mindo and Otavalo portions of your trip and add those days to Galapagos. Other than that, you've done a great job creating an itinerary for yourself which will highlight some of the best of what the Ecuadorian Andes have to offer! From the tropical cloud forest of Mindo to the windswept plains surrounding Cotopaxi and then to the wonderful mountain town of Banos...nice!
I also think arriving and remaining in Quito for a couple of days is great just in case of delayed flights or lost luggage and also in order to give yourself time to rest from traveling. It seems that you've done a lot of prep work and have a pretty good itinerary set out for yourself. Are there any specific questions you have about activities, transportation or places to stay? Also, are you stopping through Guayaquil and Loja just to break up the trip to Peru or is there another plan afoot here?
I wish you the best on your travels; three weeks is a great amount of time to explore!
Amazon Andes Sky
Nov 24, 2012 7:08 PM
4Agree with others.
Extend your time in Ecuador by one week. Hit only the market in Otovalo or skip it entirely. Spend at least 10 days in the Galapagos. It takes a day minimum to set up the trip, a decent trip is at least 7 days. Then you will want to see one or more other spots while there, for example, Leon Dormido.
Spend as much time as possible in Banos. Not sure why anyone would visit Loja except to check out the monkey rescue center.
Nov 30, 2012 12:09 PM
Nov 30, 2012 6:52 PM
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