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Ecuador Travel Answers

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 22, 2010
Need help with planning 8 days trip  (3 Answers)

We are going to Ecuador for 8 days in early April. Can someone suggest the most exciting things to see/do? What will be the best route?

We: myself, wife, 2 children 15 and 11 y.o. All fit, all experienced travellers. We plan to rent a car and drive around. Want to see as much as possible. Usually we don't take tours, but if there is something where a guide will be really useful, we can do it.

Galapagoses are out, we will stay on mainland.
Any suggestions?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 18, 2010
Whistle stop tour  (3 Answers)


I will have 2 1/2 weeks in the later part of this year and was thinking about doing a whistle stop tour spending time in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. I've done a fair bit of travelleing before but i've never been to South America. I've done a fair bit of Research but there is so much information to absorb! I was initially thinking of a few days in Quito and a few days somewhere in Bolivia with the about a week in Peru but this was only an idea......

I'm going to be travelling on my own - are buses/train relatively safe? any information that may be of help, or recommendations on places to stay would be great too.

Does anyone have any suggestions to places I must see, places I must go or things I definitely have to do? any help would be appreciated!


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 14, 2010
Latin America Reservation Center - LARC  (1 Answer)

I was directed to LARC by the reservation desk at La Mirage in Otovalo. They also offered to book any other reservations I needed. They have put together an itinerary including hotels, Galapagos package and flights. I have provided them with names, passport numbers and now they want dates of birth. Is this a usual requirement? Has anyone used them before? I am reluctant to give them access to my credit card without knowing anything about them. I cannot find anything online other than their own website. They are based in Dundee, FL.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jan 05, 2010
What's the best time to travel to Ecuador?  (6 Answers)

does anyone know that?

Thanks! :)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Dec 17, 2009
Surfing in Montanita options - pls help  (2 Answers)

My husband and I are going to be in Ecuador for 11 full days and I'm thinking of spending part of it in Montanita learning how to surf (the other part will be spent between Quito and Cuenca with a couple of volcano detours).
There are a few camps in Montanita where one can sign up in advance for accomodations+4hrs per day of surfing lessons. But, at the same time, I'd like to retain as much freedom as possible during the trip. My questions are:
a) should I sign up with one of those camps in advance (paying a deposit) to avoid running the risk of arriving to Montanita and having no lodging/people who'd teach me to surf
b) is there a better place than Montanita to learn surfing in Ecuador
c) is it a waste of time altogether to spend 7 out of 11 days in Ecuador in Montanita?
d) Time is running short (we arrive to Ecuador on Dec 27) and I'm so confused by all the options that maybe someone could suggest an itinerary for 11 days which would start in Quito and include some moderate hiking / volcanos / Cuenca / maybe seaside? No Otovalo, no oriente, no Galapagos (at least that much I've decided). Moderate budget.
Would really appreciate any tips on any of these questions.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Nov 27, 2009
Surfing y Espanol!  (2 Answers)

I am returning to Ecuador, having spent some time there this year, in January. My main aim is to go to a Spanish school to brush up on my Spanish, but I'd also like to do some surfing lessons (to counteract the effect of too many empanadas and bowls of locro con queso!!!) - I've had a quick look on the internet but everywhere is so expensive... has anyone been anywhere particularly good that they can recommend? Thanks! :o)

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 22, 2009
Recommendation lodging Quito?  (2 Answers)

Hi, Can anyone recommend a safe and convenient accommodation in Quito? We thought it would be nicer to stay in the Old town (Lonely Planet writes it's relatively safe now, safer than Mariscal district), as this is closer to the bus terminal. We are looking for a safe and comfortable place that costs about 45 maximum or less (including tax and breakfast). We're considering the following options:

Hotel Internacional Plaza de Teatro - Anyone ever stayed here?
Hotel Cathedral Internacional
Hotel Hotel Viena Internacional
Hotel San Francisco de Quito
Hotel Real Audiencia
Hotel Auca Continental

Many thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 17, 2009
Cruise tours of the Galapagos  (10 Answers)

Am I correct in thinking that to get a good view of the islands one has to take some sort of cruise?

It looks like there are 4D/3N, 5D/4N and 8D/7N trips, but I can not figure out which length of visit would be enough? Perhaps VT members can help me decide.

I am not interested in packages with mainland hotels, etc. So what tour group, cruise or ship would you recommend?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 17, 2009
la mama negra, november

I'm hoping to catch the mama negra festival in Latacunga this November {2009}. Some sites say that it is November 7th, others say Nov 11th. Is it several days of festival, or just one? If there is more than one day, which is the best day to go? Does anyone know the exact date of the festival for this NOvember 09? Any insight for a good place to stay? Any info would be a great help! Thanks!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 16, 2009
Visiting the amazon  (3 Answers)

Hi VTers!
I´m planning to visit "el oriente" in Ecuador and we would like to see the real wild rainforest (no fancy resorts or stuff like that) for 3-4 days.
What would be a good place to start and find a trustable local guide at a reasonable price?
Thanx a lot,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 14, 2009
Flights to Galapagos  (3 Answers)

Hi all!
I would like to fly from Quito to Galapagos islands as cheap as possible. Any recommendation?
Thanks a lot in advance

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 08, 2009
Flight Cuenca to Quito: on which side to sit on the plane?  (1 Answer)

Hi, mid-December I will travel by plane from Cuenca to Quito. I read this should be a beautiful flight over the avenue of volcanos. Can anyone tell me which side of the plane gives the best views; should I try to sit on the left or on the right side?


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Oct 01, 2009
Moving to Ecuador from US  (3 Answers)

Hey everyone. I'm planning on moving to Ecuador in November and have a couple questions about visas. How tough is it to obtain the extended tourist visa once you are in Ecuador? Is there any way to stay longer than 6 months? Do I really have to come back to the states to apply for a work visa if I find a job while I'm in Ecuador?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I have a masters in marine science and would very much appreciate any contacts that could potentially help in finding long-term employment.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Sep 11, 2009
How big a house can i rent for $200.00 a month close to the beach?  (4 Answers)

Hello everyone moving to ecuador in 3/01/10 and looking to rent a house for200 a month close to the ocean since i'm half dolphin lol. I would appreciate any information given. Thank you in advance:-}

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 30, 2009
How can I get get tickets to a soccer match?

Does anyone know how non-ecuadorians can get tickets to a game at Estadio Monumental to see the Barcelona Sporting Club?

We have looked but it seems very hard to get tickets. We love soccer and would like to go to a game when we are down there.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 17, 2009
What is the best trek in Ecuador?  (5 Answers)

I am looking into the treks in Ecuador and will probably have only time to do only one or two.
Which one would you recommend, and why?

El Camino del Inca
Chimborazo Circuit
Papallacta to Cotopaxi
Pinan Lakes

thank you.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 17, 2009
3 weeks for Ecuador- what to do there?  (6 Answers)

we have 3 weeks of vacation which we have to take by the end of the year so I am looking for ideas what to do in Ecuador?
And when to go?
We are active couple and like to be in the nature, hike, mountaineer, swim, kayak, snorkel, bike. Do not like shopping or overly touristy destinations.
Is this a good time to visit Galapagos and trek in the Andes?
What are Not to miss places/ activities?

What would be the itinerary for Ecuador?
thank you for any ideas,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Aug 05, 2009
Family travelling

We are a family of 3 with a 7 yr old. We are looking to learn spanish and then go onto tour South America. We were looking at Manta area and Quito - any suggestions - we are finding it to be quite expensive - thoughts.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Jun 19, 2009
Ecuador Dollars  (2 Answers)

Hey, this might seem like a stupid question but I was wondering if Ecuadorian US dollars are as acceptable all over the coninent as actual US dollars?
So if, for example, I take a supply with me when I leave Ecuador I wont have problems using them in Peru, Bolivia or Argentina?
Thanks, Carly

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 26, 2009
Protecting yourself in Ecuador  (3 Answers)

I'm going to be spending some time in Ecuador this summer and I'll be travelling with three other girls. I'll be the only guy in my group, so naturally I'm curious about protection. Specifically, if we are either held up or attacked - What is in my legal boundary? I know it's illadvised to fight back, but will I be in legal trouble if I do fight back? In terms of self defense, will I be protected under the law if I need to defend myself? If I show a weapon (pocketknife) while being held up, will I be asking to get arrested?

If anyone has any insight in these matter, it would be greatly appreciated! Obviously, I'm hoping that I won't ever have to be in a situation where I would need to defend myself - But you never know and I'd rather know what my legal limits are before I go so that I don't have to find out the hard way once I get there...

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · May 13, 2009
Ecuador to Bolivia, need some help please!!  (4 Answers)

Hi guys I need to find a quick way of getting from Ecuador to Bolivia. I've been looking at flights but its difficult to find airlines that fly between the two countries. Someone told me I could book my flight once I'm in south america but I'm a bit nervous about doing that because it would be really last minute and they might turn out to be really expensive.
If anyone could suggest a reasonable airline to fly with that would be fantastic, or an alternative to flying.
I did think about getting a bus from Guayaquil to Lima and then another one from Lima to Santa cruz but wasnt sure about how much time this would take and how reliable the buses were.
Anybody with any information about this would be my saviour,

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Apr 27, 2009
Quito and Tena from May 9th!!!!!  (2 Answers)

Hi everyone I will be going to ecuador next weekend and was wondering if I could get some feedback.

I was thinking of doing my jungle tour with amarongachi or RICANCIE, i've heard good things for the first but not much about RICANCIE, anyone heard anything or had experience?

I am interested in learning about the indigenous people and also herbal medicine (inc ayahuasca) and having an excellent jungle adventure (hiking swimming etc) I'm leaning toward amarongachi.. my spanish is beginner at best. regarding puyo vs tena for a jungle tour, which would you suggest? I found for puyo..

I've heard there is an overnight bus to Tena from Quito as well, if true does anyone know the schedule? Is it worth it to stop in Banos if I go to papallatca? I'm not that into bike riding and that plus hiking seems to be the only appeal to go to banos other than the hot springs which I can get at papallatca. I am thinking of doing one less day either in the jungle or quito to stop in banos.

lastly, has anyone taken dance or cooking lessons in quito? if so can i get some recommendations :)

5/9/09 arrive 2P Saturday
Quito - stay at amazon inn aka travellers inn
5/10 -Sunday
Tena jungle - maybe stop at papallatca on the way
start jungle tour with or
5/11 - Monday
Tena jungle
5/12 - Tuesday
Tena jungle
5/13 - Wednesday
Tena jungle
5/14 - Thursday
Quito-amazon inn - maybe stop at papallatca on the way back
5/15 - Friday
Quito - amazon inn
5/16 -Saturday
Fly home

Thank you in advance!!!!

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 25, 2009
Mainland Ecuador and Galapagos in 11 days...reasonable?  (4 Answers)

My girlfriend and I will have 11 fulls days in Ecuador (plus two days for travel to and from the US) April 10 through April 20. We want to explore the mainland (at least the highlands) in a somewhat leisurely fashion and also see some of the Galapagos. Is that possible to do both without feeling rushed all the time? What would be the best way to do it? Or would we end up being stressed tourists always in and out of airports, etc?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 16, 2009
VillaCamba....Rentals & stuff  (2 Answers)

would like to travel to VillaCamba Ecuador..soon (within 1 month)and like to know if anyone has any info on like available rentals and a typical cost of small apt....
and also if it is politically in economy and crime etc....
Does spirit air fly to Ecuador....?
thanks David G

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 12, 2009
Queen collector looking for items from Ecuador

Hi everyone, my name is Chris Wood, or just Woody for short. I am a big Queen collector from the UK.

I am very keen to get hold of 2 Queen items from Ecuador.

Queen - Greatest Hits LP on Red/Pink vinyl EMI 303-0083

Queen - The Miracle LP EMI 303-0178

Let me know if you can help me locate these items.

Many Thanks,


Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 09, 2009
Learning Spanish  (15 Answers)

Hi there
I am intending to learn some Spanish through listening to CDs and I've found there are many out there from which to choose, including one stating that it's Latin American Spanish - but my question is...

How different is the language here, particularly from the point of view of audio tapes/cds? Can anyone advise if they think the Latin American version of Spanish is preferable?

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 04, 2009
Anyone know the current status on Ecuador?  (2 Answers)

Is anyone currently living in, or has anyone recently been to Ecuador?

I'm planning a trip for this Spring/Early Summer, and I was hoping someone could give me some info on the happenings there...

As with most countries that one would visit, I understand that most countries are pretty safe if you use common sense, good judgment, and not look as though you're aching to be robbed or harassed...However, I'm looking to get a more detailed update on Ecuador, seeing as how most countries are rioting and protesting, etc. due to the Global Economic Situation that seems to have a ripple affect.

Thank You in advance.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 04, 2009
bus companies in ecuador  (1 Answer)


1 - Is there a site where I can know schedules and times between cities in ecuador?

2 - How much time is from cuenca to baños?

3 - Is it possible to travel quito/cuenca overnight?

Just asking to consider traveling by bus x hiring a car...what do you think? I'm short of time and planning to do : Quito - Cuenca - Baños - Quito.

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Mar 03, 2009
Is Ecuador safe despite the Global Economic Crisis?  (2 Answers)

I'd very much like to visit to Ecuador this Spring/Early Summer. Could anyone tell me about Ecuador's current situation, considering that the entire Global economy in turmoil? Is it safe for tourists? Should I bother buying a plane ticket?

Thank You

Q   a VirtualTourist member asked a question · Feb 26, 2009
Distance between cities  (1 Answer)

How much time will it take driving between Quito, Cuenca, Baños and Guayaquil? Is it so hard to drive in Ecuador? ( I'm from Brazil, used to a lot of bad roads)

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