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Ecuador Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 28, 2013
rental cars  (1 Answer)

whats the best place to rent car in quito?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 27, 2013
How to get from Quito to Cuyabeno Reserve?  (2 Answers)

Hi, me and my friend want to visit the Dschungel in Ecuador. We have decided to stay at Cuyabeno Lodge which is east north of Quito, closer to Columbian border. On the website I can only find that the transport will start at Lago Agrio - where you have to fly to from Quito. Since we are (low) budget traveler we do not want to spend too much money on an additional flight ticket, but prefer to take the bus... if possible... Can anyone provide some tipps or ideas? any expirience to share? Thx

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 26, 2013
Papallacta Hot springs?  (6 Answers)

I am on a tour which is spending a day in Papallacta. The tour offers a spa & hot springs package for an extra $150. That seems awful high. I don't need the spa treatment, but would like to spend a short time in the springs. Is there a cheap way to enjoy the hot springs? And about what would it cost? What else is there to do there for a couple of hours?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 20, 2013
traveling from Loja to Guayaquil  (1 Answer)

I need to be in Guayaquil at the airport at 10:30 on a Monday morning....anyone seasoned in how to get from Loja to Guayaquil the most painless, timely way? thanks for your assistance....

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 02, 2013
exchange lanhuage

I need exchange language espanish for English free ,in montañita maybey,,,I need to practice English with a native speaker in exchange for Spanish

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 13, 2013
Is it worth fitting in the coast?  (2 Answers)

I leave for Ecuador tomorrow and after one day in Quito I head to the Galapagos for a week. I have about 16 days after the Galapagos. I wanted to spend some time on the coast either Canoa or Bahia de Caraquez area. But from the Galapagos I fly into Guyaquil and I plan on also visiting Cuenca, Banos, Quilotoa and Cotopaxi areas. Is there a flight to or from Guya to the Bahia area. I understand it rains on the coast this time of year but is it also too cold this time of year to play in the water? ( I have spent time on the Nicaraguan coast this time of year and the water was excellent)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 28, 2013
Ecuador Top Five  (4 Answers)

Heading for Ecuador in November. Spending a week afloat in the Galapagos and then will have several weeks on the mainland. Interested in history, culture, music, food/drink, and outdoors activities (hiking, wildlife viewing, rafting, boating, bicycling, etc.). What would folks recommend as their "top five" things to do on the mainland in Ecuador? Gracias!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 27, 2013
Campsite or hostel in Machachi area  (2 Answers)

Since I'd like to go hiking in the Machachi Area in July and didn't find any information on the internet, could anyone tell me whether there are campsites or backpacker hostels in and around the Machachi area?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 03, 2013
9 day trip  (8 Answers)

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Ecuador in July and were planning a trip from Quito - Cotopaxi/Banos/Alausi - Cuenca - Montanita. Is this too much to do in 9 days? We'd like to see the beach and do some beginner to intermediate hiking outdoors. Does anyone have suggestions for an itinerary?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 04, 2013
A few weeks in Ecuador  (5 Answers)

Hi fellow VTers!

I am going to Ecuador end of this month and I have about 3 weeks there. I will spend a week at the coast with friends and the remaining 2 weeks...well, I am trying to see what you good people have as suggestions. I do NOT plan to go to the Galapagos.

I will be landing in Quito and I'm wondering how much time I should spend there. I am a big history buff so I am looking forward to visit some of the surrounding colonial cities (or the markets as I've been told).

I do plan to spend at least a day or two where I just hang out in the city ...I will take some work with me so I am looking for safe places to go (in Quito) to get some work done- steady internet connection would be a big bonus.

Any advice would be most wonderful. I am open to visiting other cities in the country!

Thanks much!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 22, 2013
My July Trip  (5 Answers)

I will be going to Ecuador this summer. I am looking for a company that offer tours. Can anyone recommend such a company?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 10, 2013
road mindo to chontal  (4 Answers)

Is it possible to take a public bus from Mindo to Chontal ? We would like to visit the Los cedros bioreserve.
How long does it take to get there ?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 24, 2013
safety  (4 Answers)

I'd like to visit Ecuador but I'm asking how safe is it traveling alone and by bus if I'm going to do an itinerary like this? Quito, Latacunga, Riobamba, Cuenca, Guayaquil, Puerto Lopez , Otavalo, Quito.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 07, 2013
Cheap hostels and Overall Crime Situation?  (1 Answer)

Are there still hostels and small alojamientos that charge under10/night in smaller cities and towns? I want to visit Ibarra, Vilcabamba, and perhaps Loja. I looked at a couple of hotels on this site in Cuenca and they were around25/night. Are there less expensive ones, or has the cost of living gone up dramatically since my admittedly dated Lonely Planet was published? I used to read about4/night hostels, and I'm sure those are gone, but are there8-10/night places?

Also, for travelers who have visited multiple countries in Latin America, would you say there is more or less theft and street crime in Ecuador than in Colombia or Bolivia? I will be traveling mostly by bus and speak some Spanish.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 24, 2012
Ongoing travel from Ecuador  (2 Answers)

I am travelling to Quito by plane, (from NYC), in January but don't know exactly how long I will stay or where my next destination will be in South America. It will probably be overland to Peru, but this is not certain. Do I need a ticket out of Ecuador to satisfy immigration when I arrive in Quito? Any advice would be very welcome.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 17, 2012
Looking for a partner to climb Carihuairazo or Iliniza Norte in November

To prepare for my Cotopaxi climb, I would like to climb Carihuairazo (or Iliniza Norte, alternatively) around November 6. I am looking for a partner to share a guide (I am planning to book with Julio Verne Travel - ). The price per person is lower, if a guide is shared by 2 persons (USD 185 instead of 280 for Carihuairazo).

I am 30, male, from Germany, but I know Ecuador quite well, as I lived there for several years.
I am not an experienced mountain climber, but physically fit and I have climbed Iliniza Norte before.

Anyone interested, don't hesitate to contact me.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 16, 2012
Travel over the holidays  (1 Answer)

I like to get away at Christmas every year and I'm looking at a flight to Ecuador that lands on Dec 23rd and departs on Jan 3rd. Can anyone comment on whether I should expect shops and tours to be closed during the holidays. How about tours out to Galapagos? Do you think they will be operating? I know when I was going to Costa Rica a few Christmas ago people told me I would never find places to stay and things would be closed. It couldn't have been further from the truth.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 19, 2012
Sunshine on the beaches?  (3 Answers)

Hi There,

I'm going to Ecuador in October and was thinking of going to some of the beach towns however every photo I see of the beaches in Ecuador has an overcast sky and I just read that June to November is mainly overcast and cooler all along the coast!

I had been thinking of Mompiche, Montanita or Canoa. Can anyone tell me if these or any other places are likely to be sunny in Ooctober?

Thanks very much

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 16, 2012
Studying spanish + surfing coast of ecuador?  (2 Answers)

Hello everyone,

I'm heading to Ecuador sometime in december to learn spanish for 3 months. I would really like the town/city to be on the coast so I can learn spanish and surf on a daily basis. I'm thinking of heading to Montanita and studying at Mar Azul Has anyone ever been here or have any feed back?

I couldnt really find any other cities on the Ecuador coast that I could surf and learn spanish at the same time. The thought of being land locked in Quito for 3 months is very unappealing to me.

Any comments, feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 13, 2012
Jungle trip  (2 Answers)

Hi There,

Can anyone reccomend a company or lodge with whom to do a trip to the Ecuadorian Amazon? I am aware that there are a lot of big lodges but I am looking for a more authentic, 'rustic' experience where they take you out into the Amazon via canoe with a guide in small groups or perhaps even just two of you?

When I went to the Peruvian jungle I stayed in a small lodge for 4 days went out on the canoe and we even camped out one night.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 09, 2012
Cities to travel in Ecuador  (4 Answers)

Newbie here and really liking this site as there is so much good information and tips from you all.

My question--

We are traveling to Ecuador at the end of this month and keep hearing that it is unsafe. We are into people and culture (more than the wildlife, hiking etc) and would love your tips on which cities would be great to visit in Ecuador where we can experience the local culture and just be with the people to get a better sense of life in Ecuador.

Any areas we should avoid would be great to know. Thank you so much!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 15, 2012
Southward route through Ecuador (plus a coastal trip)  (9 Answers)

Hi guys,

Hoping for some advice on a route through Ecuador. Currently travelling down through South America and don't really have a time limit but trying to be as efficient as possible so I amn't wasting my time and money in lacklustre places. I've been trying to plan so that I can take in a little of the coast as well as a few places through the centre, and would appreciate guidance on the best order to see them. I've been trying to map it out with journey times but it's proving to be a serious headache so hopefully others have faced this dilemma in the past. Any comments on the places I plan to visit (or any you feel I haven't mentioned that are worthy of a visit) would also be much appreciated.

I'm currently in Otavalo, and heading to Quito tomorrow. The central towns and cities I plan to visit after Quito are, in order of travel; Banos, Guaranda (for Salinas), Riobamba (for the train to Sabambe/Alausi) and Cuenca.. with Loja and then maybe a couple smaller towns in the South before heading onto Peru.

However.. I want to visit the coast for a week or so.. principally Puerto Lopez, Montanita, and maybe Ayampe.

Can anyone suggest the best way to fit in a trip to these places with regard to my route through the centre?

The best option (I think) I have at the moment is a long day on a bus from Quito to Puerto Lopez, then on to Montanita, then another day of travelling from Montanita to Guaranda (via Guayaquil). From there I could head to Salinas, Banos, and then resume heading South.

But I am also considering the possibility of going from Quito to Banos, Salinas, and Guaranda before heading to the coast via Guayaquil. I'd then make the journey back through Guayaquil again before heading on to Riobamba and then south on the train, or just skipping the train and going straight from Guayaquil to Cuenca.

So, yeah, any advice whatsoever would be great. Even if it's just to tell me that it doesn't make a great deal of difference either way, ha. I feel I may be overthinking it but it's bugging me now so I have to ask..

Any comments on the Riobamba/Sibambe train journey would be welcome also, as I don't know if I'm maybe making a mistake by considering skipping it.

And apologies for the long-winded post!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 03, 2012
Looking for a Roadtrip Mate Departing Quito June 5

I have about four days and a rental car and plan to see the area surrounding Quito (Banos, Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, etc.) this coming week. Looking for another solo traveler to ride shotgun. I'm pretty open as far as where to go, but in general am looking to do some nice nature/landscape photography during the day and if locations allow, have party during the evenings.

Drop me a line and tell me a little about yourself if you're interested, and we'll go from there. I arrive to Quito tomorrow night and will be hitting the road in the morning.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 30, 2012
best way to visit Galapagos and Peru Amazon?  (6 Answers)


I have a tight time and budget but I hope to use 17 days from late May - early June this year to visit the Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu (no inca trail hiking) and Amazon in Peru.

1. What would you recommend on the route in order to minimize the time in transportation and cost?

2. Galapagos islands - is it better to do "land based" from Santa Cruz and visit 5 nearby islands individually by direct speed ferries each day? (I heard this costs much less than week long cruise) I haven't checked on the ferry schedules therefore not sure if it is doable one island a day. or should I be based in some other islands?

3. or the "land based" is not good at all, instead, I should go with the "one week cruise" by living on the boat to visit different islands each day?

4. is it very likely, or 50/50 chance, or not likely, to find last minute deals on either land based or cruise based after flying into Galapagos?

Thank you very much.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 07, 2012
Working hours of air ticket booking office at Quito airport


Is there anyone who knows the working hours of air ticket booking office at Quito airport?



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 27, 2012
Travel in Ecuador  (4 Answers)

I am going to travel in Ecuador for about a month from Apr to May. Going to Quito, Catacachi, Loha, Vilcabamba, Cuenca or somewhere else. Is there any one travel there too? I have questions as below, please give me advice, thank you.

1. Is it safe to go to hotel from Quito airport by taxi in the midnight?
2. Is it possible to visit the middle of the world monumnet, Cayambe town, San Pablo Lake, /otavalo market on my own? How to get to these places?
3. Is pipe water drinkable or not?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 01, 2012
Quito: snorkelling equipment and luggage storage  (2 Answers)


I’ll be visiting Ecuador next month and will be visiting the Galapagos Islands, and Amazon Lodge and a Hacienda.

I was wondering if it is possible to buy snorkelling equipment in Quito?
Also, I was wondering if there is a convenient place to leave luggage while I’m in the Galapagos or on the Amazon?



Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 19, 2012
looking for a spanish school - Pacific Coast  (2 Answers)


I leave in Ecuador next month and i'm looking a spanish school, located in the Pacific Coast. I know there is a school in Montanita, but that's not what I'm looking for. Endeed, this place is full of "gringos", everybody speaks english over there. I'm looking for an authentic and quiet place. If you have any suggestion, please let me know.

best regards


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 29, 2011
Ecuador Recommendations: Galapagos Tours / Amazon Lodges / Haciendas  (2 Answers)

I'm going to Ecuador in April/May 2012 for about three weeks.

I've been doing some research and have decided the three main things I want to do are:
* Visit the Galapagos (8 days)
* Stay in an Amazon Lodges (3-4 days)
* Stay in a Haciendas (3-4 days)

Ideally I'd like to have these booked before I leave Ireland.

Have any of you readers/posters stayed in an Amazon Lodges or a Haciendas?
Can you recommend one for a couple that intend to intend to spend the days outdoors enjoying the scenery and the nights taking it easy?
Are there any other considerations or do you have any tips?

As for the Galapagos, I'm aiming for a boat tour with Class-III guide, beds rather than bunks. More towards the luxury/quality end of the market.
Again, I'm looking for tour recommendations.

I won't say that "money is no object", but I'm willing to spend a bit more to get a lot more; to see the value rather than just the price.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 23, 2011
My Dad has retired and wants to get a place in South America  (5 Answers)

My father recently retired and has asked me to help him research some possible retirement destinations. I've been trying to search the net for information but I'm not really finding what I'm looking for. I think Ecuador could be a good country to check out but can't pinpoint where on the coast would be best to go visit. My dad is not your average retiree and has special requirements. He is not a very intimidating man and because he loves to meet new people and tends to drink too much, I worry for his safety moving to a new place. Here are some details regarding the city/town I'm searching for:
-reasonably safe day and night.
-reasonably in-expensive compared to Canada.
-on a beautiful beach for swimmimg, snokeling, etc.
-good party atmosphere
-warm weather and sunshine
-developed area with most comforts of home.
-friendly locals

I've read mixed reviews about Salinas and Manta. If anybody has any advice on where they feel might be a good spot on the coast of Ecuador for my dad I would very much appreciate hearing it. Or if anybody might recommend another Caribbea or South American city/country that might suite my dad better.

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