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Ecuador Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 25, 2011
Long Term Stay in Ecuador  (1 Answer)

My husband and I (and our daughter) will be planning a sabbatical of sorts in the near future. We would like to visit Ecuador and would be staying for at least 2 months. We are just now trying to research. We would want a main base, i.e., we would want to rent an apartment or condo for the length of time we are there so we would want a place that is safe, centrally located (meaning we could walk to markets to get food but can also access other areas of the country to explore. We have never been to Ecuadore before and would like any information that anyone has on things to do, long term vacation rentals, safety issues, political issues, etc. Thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 17, 2011
some general questions by an Ecuador-newbie !  (4 Answers)


I`m going to Ecuador in August 2011 with a friend (two weeks - no Galapagos visit) and I`m still working on my itinerary as I have no real feel for the distances and travel times.

My rough plan would be to visit Quito including daytrips from here, Mindo, Otavalo, some hiking along the Ruta de los Volcanes, stay at a Hacienda, and possibly interesting national parks. Optional, if time allows, a trip to Oriente and the Amazon and to Cuenca.

I would very much appreciate if other VT`ers would share their itineraries with me and give me a hint what`s as must-see and what could be postponed for another visit.

Transport: I`m a bit concerned about transport. Usually I would travel with local busses but from what I heard bus drivers are beyond crazy there and I wouldn´t want to drive high-speed ziz-zagging through narrow Andean roads. Self-Drive is out of the question. Is it possible to hire a car with driver for a reasonable price, and can anyone recommend such a person from recent experience ?

Thanks a lot !

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 26, 2011
Self Sustainable living in Ecuador  (1 Answer)

Hey everyone, I was hoping to get some advice from someone who is into Sustainable living and also who lives in Ecuador. Me and my friend are thinking of going to Ecuador to build an Earthship.

The first aim is to find the most suitable place to this, so can anyone please tell me where can I find self sustaining communities? Also can anyone provide some information as what places have an easy excess to water springs and streams?

I am not use to the culture but the aim is to integrate and help the community through Permaculture and Self-sustainability. Please contact me as soon as possible as I am planning to leave in about 2 - 3 weeks. Thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 15, 2011
Luggage advice needed.  (1 Answer)

I will be visiting Quito, the Amazon basin, the Galapagos, and leaving from Guayaquil over a 15 day period. What size and type of luggage would be best to meet the size and weight requirements I will be facing? I'm looking at two different lightweight wheeled duffels--30" and 25." Help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 02, 2011
travelling from peru to ecador  (1 Answer)

could anyome help me i would like to travel to the galapagos islands in march 2011 what is the cheapest way is it possible from tumbes? do i fly ?can i catch a boat any help would be good many thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 28, 2010
safest way to go from Guayaquil airport to Guayaquil bus station?

Hi, I'd like to know what's safest way to go from Guayaquil airport to bus station.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 25, 2010
Quito? Lago Agrio? Tena? worthy places?  (1 Answer)

Hi, I have read and then heard different versions about Quito, Lago Agrio and Tena? are those worthy places to visit? are they really nice? I'm going in January, I don't know how rainy they can be in that season.

Thanks for any advise

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 09, 2010
Spanish Language schools

I'm traveling to Quito in January and plan to enroll on arrival in a language school. Has anyone had experience with either Guayasamin or Pichincha schools, location, programs, issues?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 04, 2010
Phone advice - leaving this Friday!  (1 Answer)

We are traveling from the UK to Ecuador this Friday and want to leave our iPhones behind so purchased Nokia 1800 phones but are now not certain if they will work. We have tried reading in different places and checked the Nokia web site but still not certain. The phone shop said they will work, but they also said they will work anywhere in the world which we definitely know is not correct!

Does anyone know either way for sure?

Many thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 18, 2010
Climbing Gear

In Dec/January myself and a few friends are traveling to Ecuador to do some climbing/mountaineering. We plan on doing Cotopaxi (no guide) and possibly a couple more peaks that require ice axe, harness, rope, and crampons. Can you rent an ice axe, rope, and crampons in Quito or Latacunga? Any ideas on the cost for renting these items? Name specific businesses welcome.

By the way I have spent about 7 weeks in and climbed in Ecuador. Spent about 10 days in Quito so I am familiar with the area, especially the Mariscal area.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 17, 2010
Travel to Galapagos Islands  (1 Answer)

I am currently planning a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for my 5 year anniversary with my wife. We are considering the following ships:

- Legend Junior Suite
- Archipel II
- Journey I

Does anyone has experience with these ships? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

We are booking at , any advice on other good sites?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 02, 2010
Duty question  (1 Answer)

I am thinking about buying some stuff to bring back to U.S
How much can i buy before i have to pay some kind of duty?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 28, 2010
rookie traveler to Ecuadorian highlands  (6 Answers)

Well, after a lifetime of day dreaming about it, I'm about six weeks from taking off for South America long term. My plan is to travel central Ecuador (Quito, Otavalo, Banos, Cuenca, Loja, etc.) for a few months studying Spanish, doing some writing, and taking stock. From there, I plan to move on to Peru or Colombia and teach English.

The problem is I have very little travel experience and virtually none internationally (save a few brief trips to Canada). Right now, I find myself kind of hung up on two basic questions:

What do I pack?
What do I pack it in?

My desire is to pack light and, since my plans after Ecuador are uncertain, to focus what I bring clothes-wise on what's suitable for the Ecuadorian highlands. I was thinking of bringing just a few pairs of jeans, a decent number of light, long sleeve shirts for layering, and several changes of underwear and socks (does wool make sense?). I figure I can pick up a sweater and rain poncho, etc. when I'm there.

Also, it would be great to not have to check a bag, but since I want/need to bring several books with me, perhaps I wouldn't be able to carry on anyway due to weight. So what size and type luggage makes sense? I was looking at maybe a rolling duffel.

Thanks in advance for any feedback and advice.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 15, 2010
Single woman is it safe?

I am hoping to visit Ecuador in Feb/March 2011, and am looking at Olon. Is it safe for a woman travelling alone? Are there many places to stay there?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 06, 2010
Train service  (2 Answers)

Is the train service operating from Quito to Guayaquil? We read it had been disabled in 2009. Are any of the trains operating?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 21, 2010
Flights to Ecuador through NO transit visa countries  (3 Answers)

I need to fly to Ecuador in early Aug 2010. Flights to Ecuador through USA/European airports require Transit Visa and it may not come by quickly. What are the air routes to fly to ecuador from India through countries that do not require the transit visas.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jul 20, 2010
Boarder crossing - From Coca to Iquitos via rio napo  (2 Answers)


we´d like to do the boarder crossing from Ecuador to Peru via the river Napo. Me (Harm) and Jenny are searching for responsible guys to join us to do it the independent way. That means without the big cargo ship on the peruvian site. This will be more authentic and probably more comfortable.
But it´s not the cheapest way to do it. The Idea was to find two (or x) more people to share costs of this trip.


harm and jenny

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 10, 2010
Volunteer Work in Ecuador with ECO Volunteer UP  (3 Answers)

Hi, heading to Ecuador to do some volunteer work at an Animal Rescue Centre in Ecuador with the above company. Anybody done this? How was your experience? Was there enough off time to see other things?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 06, 2010
Hired driver from Cuenca to Baños

Anyone know approximately how much is would cost to hire a taxi or private driver to take us from Cuenca to Baños? About how long is the ride by car? I'm sure we'd make a few stops along the way, but I'd just to have a rough idea.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 04, 2010
Ecuador intinerary thoughts?  (11 Answers)

My husband and I will be spending a total of 9 days in Ecuador in mid-July. So little time and so much to see!

As you can see, our tentative schedule is tight:

Sat: Fly into Guayaquil and head to Salinas
Sun: Spend day in Salinas and then return to Guayaquil
Mon: Early morning bus to Cuenca, spend day roaming the city.
Tue: Early morning bus to Puyo (via Baños or Riobamba?). Do tour and spend night in Puyo in jungle lodge.
Wed: Day 2 of Puyo jungle lodge tour, then take bus to Latacunga (via which cities, no idea) whenever tour is over. Spend night in Latacunga.
Thurs: Day in Latacunga area - hopefully visit Saquili, Cotopaxi and Quilotoa (too much to do in 1 day, perhaps?)
Fri: Day 2 in Latacunga area, late morning bus to Riobamba. Roam Riobamba and spend night.
Sat: Roam Riobamba a bit more and then depart for Guayaquil
Sun: Fly out of Guayaquil

In your honest opinion, do you think we should make any changes to the itinerary? Are we being way too ambitious? We have friends who live in Guayaquil who want to take us to Salinas and then meet up with us the following week in Riobamba, so we don't have a whole lot of flexibility.

Any cheap hostel and/or tour recommendations would also be great appreciated for Cuenca and Latacunga.

Thanks for your help!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 01, 2010
Bus from Quito to Manta

Hi, is this bus scenic?

I've been to Quito before and I've taken trips east (andes) that were really nice.

I'd like to take a bus one way to Manta (and fly back) if this is a nice bus trip.

If its not, I'll fly both ways. (I also can't reserve the bus tickets in advance which I don't like)


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 30, 2010
Puyo or Tena?  (4 Answers)

My husband and I will spend 10 days backpacking through Ecuador in July. Our itinerary will probably look something like this:
Guayaquil - Salinas - Guayaquil - Cuenca - Puyo or Tena - Quito old city - Latacunga - Riobamba - Guayaquil

From Cuenca, we'd like to go to the jungle for two days. Since we'll be short on time, we won't be able to go very deep into the Amazon. Which place would be second-best, Puyo or Tena? Can anyone recommend any good, cheap (we're on a VERY tight budget) jungle lodges near these areas?

Thank you!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 28, 2010
Due to this volcano what should I do with 5 days (flying in to Quito)?  (3 Answers)

So, due to this volcanic explosion my trip to Banos to hike a volcano has clearly been erupted off the table - what should I do with 5 days, a full Wednesday thru Saturday, if I am flying in to Quito? This will be June 2-5. We fly from Quito to the Galapagos on Sunday June 6. I would like to avoid lame substitutions such as little day things like the highly touristy Equator or just a local market (I've been to many others in S America).

Any idea of a great, unique, true adventure we could squeeze in during that time? Maybe with an unusual landscape? Are there Mtn Biking trails, river rafting, or jungles easy to get to from Quito? I am trying to scramble for info in all my guide books here...

Thank You for any advice!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 23, 2010
Traveling to Ecudor  (2 Answers)

My wife and i are going to be traveling to ecudor, is it safe and is there anything to see

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 19, 2010
Name of reputable driver, please  (1 Answer)

We will be in Ecuador for about 1 week, need a driver to take us from Quito to Bahia de Caraquez and around the coast (not going to Galapagos on this trip). Can anyone recommend a driver or a travel agency that can set this up? About how much should we expect to pay per day?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 03, 2010
Make most of 2 weeks in ecuador  (4 Answers)

Guys i arrive in Quito on May 14 (late night) And leave on May 29th. My agenda is as follows : Do lots of hiking (acclimitize myself) and biking. And attempt the Cotopaxi summit.

Is it feasible in 2 weeks ?

The last time i was in SA, i ended up climbing Misti (Peru), 5800 mts. But i am in a much worse shape now.

Other than that, please mention the not to miss places. I have no interest in museums :) I have already spent 10 days in Amazon jungles so i dont need to see any more rainforests. Also, i have no inclination to see Galapagos...have already seen enough animals in wild.


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 30, 2010
Galapagos  (2 Answers)

Anyone done the Galapagos on thier own? I am interested in biking, hiking, kayaking, etc.. Also short or last minute cruises.. I met someone who was flying there with no agenda and wanted to know from people what their experiences were.. Was it easy to get from island to island? What were the best places you visited? Who was the most helpful when you were trying to make arrangements?

Anyone out there planning on going in the next few months? I´m trying to get organized so any help would be appreciated!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 30, 2010
Dancing in Guayaquil and Quito  (2 Answers)

I go to Guayaquil and Quito next month.
I look for dancing places (not night clubs or night discos with young ladys)
but where the local people from 30/40 years old go dance in the late afternoon or evening, particularly for local dances as Salsa, etc...
Who now such places ??? Who can help me ???

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 23, 2010
andes of ecuador  (1 Answer)

what are the andes like in ecuador? i hear that quito is a good place to explore from. anyone have any ideas or expierences about this place? thanks

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 05, 2010
Dangers of living in Ecuador  (8 Answers)

My husband wants he and myself to move to Ecuador when I retire at the end of this year. I am really leery about leaving our home here in Texas to live in a place we do not know. Can you help me?

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