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Sunny from Seattle asked

Where to visit close to Quito

I have a 12 day trip planned to Quito Ecuador. I like to get a local feel for a place and find ways to meet locals and work on my spanish. Because I only have 12 days I don't want to spend too much time traveling in between places. I am happy to stay in Quito the entire time but wonder if there are some good nearby towns worth splitting up my trip for. As well as big cities I also like small quaint towns as long as there is enough for me to see and do and people to interact with. Thank you.

Ecuador   Quito

2 Answers
answered by
Freddy from Jaipur

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answered first by
Claudia from New York City
I was more of a tourist when visiting Quito, Otavalo and the villages of Imbabura Province (villages near Quito).
For a more local feel, my family and I chose Cuenca. We spent a few months mainly in Cuenca (Ecuador) and Banos de Cuenca (a small town about a 15-minute taxi ride from Cuenca, see photo below).

Cuenca is not as busy as Quito. It's the third largest city in Ecuador. This walkable city has many restaurants and cafes. I'm sure you can work on your Spanish when in Cuenca when you visit the local shops and cafes.
As for Banos de Cuenca, there's not much to see or do, but you'll definitely have lots of opportunities to mingle with the locals - in the market, shops, and restaurants. The town is also known for its hot springs and spas.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Quito (city)
  2. Otavalo (attraction)
  3. Imbabura Province (attraction)
  4. Cuenca (Ecuador) (city)
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