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dailln4n4 Aug 27th, 2008 05:50 PM

Quito to Guayaquil - rent a car?
We are taking a 2 week trip to Ecuador very soon. During the 2nd week of our trip we will be in the Galapagos, flying out of Guayaquil. So we decided to fly into Quito and are still finalizing our itinerary.

Based on what we've researched it sounds like we should go to Otavalo, Mitad del Mundo, Cotopaxi - during our first week.

We are a couple in our early 30s and have travelled fairly extensively and enjoy having the freedom of renting a car - but MANY people have suggested NOT renting a car. So my question is - what are people's thoughts on this? We speak spanish fluently and will have access to GPS maps, not sure if that factors into the equation at all.

Thanks in advance for all your input!

Percy Aug 27th, 2008 06:19 PM

Well it is only 165 miles from Quito to Guayaquil.

Was there something specific you wanted to see in Quayaquil.!

You know going to Cotopaxi is a long bumpy ride and it is coooold up there so make sure you dress very warm.

On the way to Cotopaxi ( if you go on a Thursday), you should stop off at the town of Saquisili.

Their market is much bigger and better than the one at Otavalo.

The locals here are in their dress pattern like something out of the National Geopgraphic.!!!

Go to Old Town Quito and spend the day walking around here.

Of course when in Quito you will want togo to see the Virgin mary Statue that stand on the hill over looking Quito.

The views from here are terrific.


Jeff_Costa_Rica Aug 27th, 2008 07:02 PM

A one-way flight between Quito and Guayaquil is only about $50-60 and 35 minutes. I'd fly. The drive is a LONG one.

Have you nailed down your international flights already? All flights to and from the Galapagos begin and end in Quito, with a stop both ways in Guayaquil. I really do like Guayaquil, but it is not as interesting as Quito and the places in the northern and central parts of the country. For the things you mention you are interested in, there may be no reason to spend time in Guayaquil at all.

Otavalo, Mitad del Mundo and Cotopaxi can all be done as day trips from Quito with tour operators able to take you. There are many fine places to stay near Otavalo and Cotopaxi too if you want to base yourselves there.

You do know, don't you, that Mitad del Mundo doesn't sit exactly on the equator? It's about 900 feet south of the line. Intiñan is the nearby site at the true equator, just north, and has some neat things to see and do.

The views from the Panecillo, the hill that Percy mentions, are spectacular, but take a taxi up and back, and have the driver wait for you. There have been reports of muggings on the path up. You are safe at the top though.

You know, I've been to Ecuador on some moderately lengthy business trips and traveled around the country. I've never one rented a car. I've found it pretty realistic to get around without one.

fotogeek Aug 28th, 2008 10:39 AM

I would not want to drive there myself, even though the bus rides can be scary if you stand at the front of the bus and see what happens...

And this comes from a guy who learned to drive in Eastern Europe, and that account for something, shouldn't it?

Remember, those are mountain, winding roads, with hundreds of meters drops at the side of the road in some parts of them.

You will need to be able to drive a manual, and be a good driver. Some of the roads in Quito are like in San Francisco, you could feel like you are in a roller coaster when going down...

Just my two cents.

dailln4n4 Aug 29th, 2008 08:05 AM

Thanks for everyone's feedback. Some more details: My brother's girlfriend is from Guayaquil and we are all meeting up there to head out to the galapagos for the 2nd half of our trip. She's organizing the 2nd half and we had planned to not bother her for our first half by initially planning to do a road trip and sightsee on my own. Hence the road trip as we fly into Quito, and have to end up in Guayaquil.

But when I mentioned we were going to drive through the country my brother's girlfriend was in SERIOUS fear about us driving. I'm not really sure we are the types that would like to roll through the country by bus - maybe by private car if that's an option? But we were hoping to be able to make our own itinerary...

Sounds like we may need to reconsider....

pault14 Oct 26th, 2008 07:24 PM

While on the subject, my girl friend and I will be in Guayaquil for 2 full days before we catch a ship out. We will not rent a car, I would love to know of a few things we must do while in town and which is the best beach nearby or easy to get to. A charming restaurant or two?? What is the elevation in guay?? thanks, paul

travfirst Oct 31st, 2008 04:40 PM

In Guayaquil I believe not to be missed is Parque de los Iguanas. It’s located in the center of the city and it has A LOT of large and colorful land iguanas that walk around, hang off tree branches, etc. The park is pretty small. The iguanas are very tame, and you can even pet them.
There’s also a cathedral with a nice looking façade next to the park.

If the weather is nice I recommend walking through Malecon 2000 – newly-built riverwalk park. We also climbed the stairs to the top of the re-gentrified old city neighborhood Cerro Santa Ana at the top of the hill. In the evening it’s nicely lit and offers bars, galleries, etc.

We can also recommend “pan de yuca”, bread rolls made from yuca (a potato-like root, also known as tapioca), eaten with local drinkable yogurt – a very tasty combination.

cferrb Dec 1st, 2008 11:17 AM

Isn't there a train that goes from Quito to Guayaquil?

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