Francisco Ramon Roca 668 y Amazonas, Quito, Ecuador
More about Quito
A view from the TeleferiQo parking lot
The Plaza in front of Teatro Nacional Sucre
Horses in the corral
Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana
Trying to decide the order of my stay in Ecuador - going in about a month. My flight gets in at 130pm -10 days later my flight leaves Quito at 2pm. I wondering if staying in Quito last would be best due to proximity to airport. The airport is between Quito and Otavalo - so I could go directly from Otavalo to the airport. Read that Banos is about 3 1/2 hours from Quito. I was thinking 2 or 3 nights n Quito - 3 or 4 nights in either Otavalo and/or Banos. Read about the train ride from Riobamba which sound like fun. Mainly want to relax - soak in some thermal springs - hike - ride a horse - visit the churches n Quito - stand on the equator. Any thought about hwo to order my trip? Thanks for your suggestions.
hi- your idea about staying in quito last is a good one. otavalo is a couple of hours away and if you run into problems on the road, you could miss your flight, and you really don't need that kind of stress at the end of your vacation. also, if you want to do the thermal springs, papallacta has has great ones and they are much closer to quito-otavalo than banos.
if your main interest in quito is the colonial city and you are there from dec. 5th-16th, i have a house near santo domingo plaza that i rent out at very reasonable rates. if you decided to do, say, otavalo first, then papallacta, you could come back to the house between trips to store any extra purchases or luggage. the middle of the world is only about 40 min from quito, so i would do that as the last of your out of town trips, since it is the easiest to arrange. if you want more info about the house, my email is email@example.com. happy planning!
I'll second Papallacta for the thermal springs. Baños is a good time if you want nightlife and lots of activities to choose from, but Papallacta is the place to relax.
Otavalo is a daytrip at best. You should spend your last night in Quito. I prefer staying in Old Town. The places to stay with the best websites are in the Mariscal neighborhood, but the area is overrun with backpackers and petty thieves.
Also, the train ride isn't what it used to be--no more riding on the roof.
It's all rather tricky. The country is small, but transportation is slow. Colorful, entertaining, but slow. Quito to Baños in 3 1/2 hours... in your dreams!
The Riobamba train is not worth it: a crowded schoolbus on tracks. You may want to read my experience (my Alausi page).
Quito is great. So is Baños, especially the bike ride by the waterfalls. The Paramo in between, with the volcanoes, is magnificent.
If I had to do it all again, I would spend time in Quito (historical district, of course), go to Mindo (I didn't last time), and forget everything South of Baños. It's ironic, since my Cuenca page is my biggest VT page!
No matter what, watch your valuables, zip up your pockets... and enjoy Ecuador. Be sure to try the special ice cream, Helado de paila.
I have more photos on my external page:
Travel Tips for Quito
Your enjoyment of Quito, Ecuador and anywhere else in Latin America is heightened enormously if you have somekind of a grasp of Spanish. quito is a good and popular place to learn Spanish, and the best environment is in a one to one lesson. If you have never spoken another language before you will be shocked at how much you pick up in these classes. 2 weeks of 4 hours a day will give you some kind of conversational grounding, you will be surprised at the depth of the conversations you will be having in bars with people about all sorts of things.
Also it is SAFER travelling in Latin America if you understand the language, it helps your general alertness level.
Expect to pay around $80 for a weeks tuition, this is an absolute bargain, and to really accelerate your learning try to avoid the temptation to socialise in your own language!
calle Gonzalez Suarez
At the top of the hill of Guápulo is a street called Gonzales Suarez. It is an upmarket string of flats beginning at the Quito Hotel. The average rent is round about $1000 a month, but the average New Yorker and Washingtonian can tell you that's a steal for the kind of view you get. Down here, $1000 is as steep as the hills leading up to the flats. If you enlarge the photo, you might note the distinct contrast in income from the flats on top of the hill to the hovels on the side of the hill.
Güitig is a true local favourite. About an hour from here in the town of Machachi are springs of naturally carbonated water. Most carbonated waters are artificially carbonated. For years, they sold it just plain, but many folks are like me and think plain carbonated water tastes like the way your foot feels when it goes to sleep. So they added natural flavourings to make it more palatable.
On Tumbaco valley, like 20 minutes east from Quito, there is this special place where recovery therapy for disabled children and adults is being carried on, using horses as the main healing tool.
It's run by Fundacion AM-EN, a not for profit organization managed by a very kind german lady and though it's been focused on helping local people, now they are starting, with good results, hippotherapy-tourism, my best wishes for them!
They also have a place where foreign volunteers can stay free of charge, while help on therapies with children and learn how to ride if wished.
A very good spot to visit if you are involved with high-purpose challenges!
I certainly recommend this interesting shop located under the San Francisco church.
Once you enter, you feel like you are in some sort of dungeonsor catacombs. The things on display are artworks including ceramics, metallic pieces, masks, etc... inspired by pre-Columbian style, but many done with a modern twist. Indeed, the artworks are fantastic.
I understand this is run by a nonprofit organization that supports indigenous and mestizo artisan groups. While the prices are not souvenir-cheap, the pieces are certainly of higher quality and more unique. Do make some purchases support the local people.
Even if you do not or are unable to buy anything, you should still drop by for a meander around the ancient catacombs.
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View all Quito hotels
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