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Tyler from Edmonton asked

What to do in Ecuador

Hey all,

I'm heading to Ecuador in February right before a guided tour that starts in Lima. I have about 16 days in Ecuador and nothing to do. I'm landing in Quito. Does anyone have suggestions?

Would you recommend the coast? Or the highlands mostly?

I'm on a budget, but not a shoestring budget (budgeted about $3000 for my time in Ecuador)

Some notes:
- I've looked into tours of the Galapagos and their very expensive. Is there an affordable way to check them out?
- My tour that I booked in Lima goes through the Amazon, so unless the Amazon in Ecuador and the Amazon differs greatly from Peru, I'd rather see other parts of Ecuador
- I like beaches and partying in moderation, but cities that all they have is one of both of those things is less interesting to me

Ecuador   Quito (Ecuador)   Galapagos   Lima (Peru)

2 Answers
answered by
Claudia from New York City
Hi Tyler,
I spent over 2 months in Ecuador. If this was my first trip and I only had 16 days and $3,000 (not enough to include a trip to Galapagos), I would visit the following places:
  • Spend 2 nights in Quito
  • 2 nights in a hotel in Laguna de San Pablo. Visit the neighboring towns like Otavalo , Peguche, and Cotacachi 
  • Travel to Cotopaxi , stay for 2 nights at Secret Garden Cotopaxi and join all the activities offered by the hostel
  • Continue to Riobamba for 2 nights. Join a day tour to Alausi to take the Devil's Nose round trip train
  • Travel to Cuenca (Ecuador) and stay for 6 nights. Explore Cuenca and neighboring towns - Cuenca de Bano (for the hot springs), Gualaceo (visit the market, visit factories making handmade shawls, and eat cuy) and Chordelag (artisans making filigree jewelry)
  • End the trip with a 2-night stay in Guayaquil , possibly a trip to Las Playas, the closest beach to Guayaquil

Comments (0)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Quito (city)
  2. Laguna de San Pablo (natural feature)
  3. Otavalo (attraction)
  4. Cotacachi (city)
  5. Cotopaxi (attraction)
  6. Riobamba (city)
  7. Cuenca (Ecuador) (city)
  8. Guayaquil (city)
answered first by
Michelle from Oregon
Hi Tyler. We spent 6 weeks in the Ecuadorian Andes and loved it. Here's 6 places where we went. Great for traveling on a budget. I might put Banos at the top of your list. We loved Cuenca but mostly as a laid-back place to live (we work online), though there are a number of great things to do there as well. Our friends in the Galapagos tell us that the cheaper way to do it is via land rather than overnight cruises. 

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