Places near Quito worth visiting
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Aug 10, 2012 6:07 AM Last Post By: matthews10
Aug 8, 2012 8:16 AM
Places near Quito worth visitingHi everyone,
I am due to arrive in Quito this Friday...I have done quite a bit of researching for things to do there using this site, Lonely Planet guidebook and general asking round and therefore I'm sorted until Monday, when I plan to move on.
However, where to is my dilemma. I want to see Otavalos by the next weekend for the Saturday market. Is it any different or better on a Saturday to any other day during the week? If the answer is no then I guess I will head there on the Monday.
However, if it is worth a Saturday visit then can anyone recommend me places within a few hours of Quito worth visiting for a few days, perhaps Monday to Thursday of next week. I have the footwear and clothes to do hiking or walking or whatever. I have heard a bit about Cotopaxi, Yusani, Banos etc - but are these within comfortable traveling distance from Quito to spend say 3 days there?
Any help is greatly appreciated
Aug 8, 2012 8:39 AM
1Otavalo market on Saturday is a great experience. The streets all around the original market square overflow with vendors of all sorts. I recommend going up on Friday afternoon and spending the night so you can observe the vendors setting up. You will also be able to visit the traditional animal market (which is in a separate plaza) early. There is some good hiking in the area at Cuicocha and the lakes, and a waterfall near the village of Peguche.
Yasuní is not close to Quito. Any worthwhile experience in the Amazon takes a combination of short flight/long canoe ride to get to (or an all night bus).
Baños is a four hour bus ride. Avoid it on the weekends or holidays. It's an absolute zoo then and incredibly noisy with people careening around on motorbikes and quads. There are a lot of adventure-type activities available. Cotopaxi is a volcano in a national park--it's possible to hike up to the climber's hut, and there's a small lake near the base.
Aug 8, 2012 9:04 AM
2Mindo. Mindo cloud forest.
Salasaca. On the road Ambato - Banos. For top tapestries. The ones showing stylized gods are awesome and rock. They just are fascinating. They actually are some of the very best souvenirs you can find worldwide.
I have 5 of them hanging on my apartment walls. And they also make great gifts.
Aug 8, 2012 9:10 AM
3Personally I would do the Quilitioa Loop during the week and include the Thursday Saquisili market which IMHO is more interesting than Otavalo market (I have done both) and their animal market is even better than the Otavalo one. The indigenous come in from the outlying areas to Saquisili but a lot of Otavalenos come to Saquisili to trade as it is mid week and I found you could buy most things at Saquisili that can be bought at Otavalo for the same price but the market is less touristy than Otavalo.
Aug 8, 2012 9:18 AM
Aug 8, 2012 6:18 PM
5Both lakes are beautiful but completely different. I have been to both but I was recommending the Quilitoa Loop and Saquisili markets as a less touristy option to Otavalo. I have been to both markets but found Saquisili more interesting especially the early morning animal market just outside Saquisili.
Aug 10, 2012 6:07 AM
6I am working just outside quito in Imbabura and i am heading to the market this tuesday. I have heard its almost better to go during the week, things are open and its less crazy busy.
Also visit imbabura, its really pretty round here!
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