a VirtualTourist member from Long Island
1. Best flight schedule from NY Area?
2. How many days are suggested?
2. Depends on what you want to do there and if you want to do any day trips out of the city.
Shortest flights from NYC airports
American departing 1140 arriving 1915 via Miami 8hr35m
Delta departing 1400 arriving 2158 via ATL 8hr58m
Lacsa departing 0615 arriving 1330 via SJO CR 8hr15m
yvr: Oh, I guess it will have to be the later flights as the 06:15 flight with Lasca is too early.
hawkhead: Well, I will do a day trip to Cotopaxi and and another to Otavalo before heading to my primary destination. But what about the city itself?
You'll probably also want to go to Mitad del Mundo also....... I really, really like Quito and find lots of interest in it. However, for a splash and dash, three days - despite a splash and dash you do need time to breathe and cannot really do things at break neck speed at altitude. Far better to chill out and savour the flavour......
My plan is then to spend 3 days there, 1 in the city plus the 2 day trips before heading for my primary destination, Bellavista, Mindo and the cloud forests where I will go birding for a few days.
The cloud forests have some spectacular birds. Target species include Andean Cock of the Rock and Mountain Toucan.
I was originally looking at the various Amazon Lodges. But being a single, they are expensive.
When it comes to Quito I think one day there is too little. I spent 10 days there during my vacation in 2011 and another 14 days in 2012 and I like the city very much. The nicest part to stay in is Centro Histórico in my opinion.
When it comes to the Amazon a good option for single travelers is the camping at Sani Lodge. I stayed there and it was great. But I’m sure Bellavista will be good too. I saw the Cock of the Rock when I visited Santa Lucia Eco Lodge, well we heard the lek more than we saw the birds but it was amazing.
Yea. 1 day may be inadequate the more I think about it. The historic center, the museums.
I was to Ecuador way back in the 1980s. Went to the Galapagos and ended in Guayaquil.
I guess there were not so many tourists in the Galapagos in 1980 as it is now. And, yes, more than one day in Quito would be good. Centro Histórico is very nice to stroll around in and there are many interesting museums and churches there.
Malena, I had the worst luck in the Galapagos. My best photos were on a roll of film that I had loaded improperly and it slipped. So after taking 36 shots, it was a waste. :(
On that film were a Great Blue Heron on the ship mast, the Darwin Research Center with the tortoises and, my only shot of the endemic Galapagos Hawk.
So sorry for that. It is a nightmare to loose ones photos from such a destination.
Flying from the U.S. to Quito the big shock after getting off the plane is adjusting to the altitude (9,300 feet). Sometimes you might find yourself thinking you see more in a day than you actually can. Aside from all there is to visit in Quito, you might want to consider a day trip to Cotopaxi National Park or the Mindo/Bella Vista Rain Forest.
Taca offers the most flights from NYC (Kennedy) but several other airlines including LACSA also fly there and tend to be the cheapest. The U.S. Airlines like American tend to be a little more expensive and since Quito is a tricky approach I prefer flying with the pilots who fly there most often.
Steven, I did not ask about the altitude as I know its high. But now that you mentioned it and AS, its already caused some anxiety even though I am not looking at a trip for 2014. Thank you very much *@#!
Roamer- Sorry to create the anxiety but it was one of the first things that hit me in Quito. Just take it easy for a day or two and you will adjust fine.
Steven, Well, if I do this trip, I will arrive late and then spend at least 1 full day in the city and another doing a day trip before continuing to my primary objective.
And btw, its due to my anxieties that I have steered away from going to Cuzco in Peru. Of course, its much higher. But I have also read too many reports of people getting altitude sickness there.
Cusco is 3,400m and Quito is 2,800m. There is no need to "steer away" from a place. Just take time to adjust to the altitude if you think it is going to affect you. That means taking things slowly, eating lightly, don't rush around, etc....... For that reason I would advise at least four days for Quito. You can rest the first day and then have three days, one of which could be a day trip.
Hawkhead, my trip to Ecuador would most likely include just 3 days in Quito. That includes the day after I arrive, a day tour and most likely, a day before returning back to the US.
With Cuzco, as I have mentioned, I have read too many stories about people getting
altitude sickness there with some getting quite ill and some having to get emergency care. That's why I shifted away from there.
This was not the topic of this Forum.
Apologies, I was just trying to give you information that I thought would be pertinent to your trip. I had no idea from your post that you were bound by parameters. You only have three days in Quito, so you tell us now, so the three days I originally suggested is what you are locked into. I thought you were going on to somewhere else, rather than returning "back" to the US. You are far more likely to be affected by altitude if you arrive by air and then start rushing around, which is what you are going to be doing with only three days. Regarding altitude sickness, you shouldn't believe all you read above it. It affects different people in different ways to different degrees but it will surely affect you if you allow no time to take it easy. However, you appear to know all about it. As I said, just trying to help but next time I won't bother.
Likely itinerary would be something like this:
Fly to Quito, Ecuador. Arrive late
On to Cloud Forest Eco-lodge for several days of birding
3 days birding and nature observation
Return to Quito
A total of 9 days
Hawkhead, its ok. But its not something mentioned in the initial query.