a VirtualTourist member from Montreal asked on Aug 22, 2015
Hello, I am visiting Ecuador for 3 weeks in mid October. I will be arriving in Quito on Oct 18th in the afternoon and then flying out from Quito on November 7th in the morning to and from Quito (UIO) airport. Is this airport the newer one that is an hour and a half from Quito? If so I will see if I can stay close to the airport on my final evening there since I leave early in the morning. Any suggestions?
Here is what I would ideally like to see. I would like to spend a couple of days in Quito. I would also like to visit Otavalo and maybe Mindo (if I can fit it in) and also the avenue of the volcanoes. I would then like to make my way down to Cuenca and see Lake Quilatoa and Banos along the way.
I would then have to make my way back from Cuenca up to Quito which I will do a few days before I leave. It was suggested that I fly back from Cuenca to Quito since it they are quite a distance apart. I was wondering if alternately I could stop on the way there at Quilatoa and then on the way back at Banos in order to cut down on bus times. I would then spend my last day or two in Quito before heading home.
Would my itinerary be doable in 3 weeks or would I have to cut out some places. I would rather keep it so that I stay at least 3 or 4 nights in some places and maybe a couple of nights in the places along the way so that I am not running myself ragged. Can Otavalo be done as a day trip to and from Quito?
Sorry for all the questions but your help would be appreciated. I am also doing as much reading and asking as I can to do my homework.
Firstly, yes. The airport is the one out of town. The one downtown has been operational for years.
In order to prioritize, you should probably mention what you're interested in. For example, i detested Mindo but loved Quilitoa. I would suggest skipping one in favour of the other, but it depends on what you're looking for.
Banos and Quilitoa are on opposite side of the Panamerican. Many people do the lake from Banos. It is more difficult to do one on the way south, and the other heading back north.
This plan is doable in 3 weeks. Although the general rule of thumb is to cut 1 place off any original itinerary.
I have done Otavalo as a day trip from Quito. If you plan a longish day, you can probably even do a few other things along the way.