What's the best way to get info...

Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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pnb
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What's the best way to get info...

Hello All,

We are planning a trip to Ecuador for later this year. I'm wondering where people have gone to get the info they need, particularly about places that may be less popular.

We are interested in spending some time seeing the sights in Otavalo, Cotopaxi, etc and would like to stay in an hacienda but are unsure of where to get info on haciendas, best location, etc.

I've noticed that the forums for Ecuador are less active and am curious about how others have been able to finalize their plans.

We spent time in the Sacred Valley in Peru and are looking for a similar type of experience. A good place to base our stay for 2-3 days and explore the area and then go to Quito for about 5 days sightseeing and visiting with family.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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I, too, am planning a trip to Ecuador (you might have seen my unanswered or lightly answered posts here) and would love to find out if you have uncovered other resources. I'm also using tripadvisor for lodgin (and am on their slightly more active Ecuador forum); Lonely Planet thorn tree also has a fair amount of Ecuador dialogue.

I've found rough guides online info good when planning trips to Honduras and southern Mexico, but I don't think they have a forum.

When are you going to Ecuador? I should be there in late November/early December and will post a trip report when I return.

Good luck planning!
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 08:15 AM
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pnb:

Our public library has a very good selection of travel books.

When we plan a trip, I do the research and use the library to check out the different publications. They vary in information quality accodring, I suppose, to the experience of the writer and in relation to our personal favorite activities.

Once I have found the best suitable to our taste, I buy the latest issue and read the whole text on the country I am interested it.

As I read, I mark the book with a yellow highliner and post it notes.

After this, I copy a good map of the country to 8.5 x 11 inch page and mark notes on the margins and draw a line to the location on the map.

I get further information from web sites like this one, and from sites put out by the cities or country tourist agencies. I also check our health sources, web and otherwise, consulate web sites and weather sites as well. If it is appropriate, I will also ask my doctor about medication for upset stomach or other concerns.

I then plan a route taking in the various locations of interest to us.

As the same time, I document my various notes on my computer to a "word" file for a personal travel plan.

After this, I contact the most appropriate travel agent in the country where I want to visit and tell them what I am interested in, where I would like to go and what I do not want to spend my time doing. I provide the best description of my lodging, restaurant and tour desires

Even though I feel quite confident in my choices, I ask for the agent's recommendations. Sometimes I am surprised by the answers which may be contrary to my imagination.

I like to check out the hotel and tour web sites but I leave the reservations to the travel agent.

After I have added all the important details, including hotels, attractions, recommended restaurants, contacts, travel times and such, I print my personal travel plan.

I do not take the travel book, rather I take [enough] printed pages so I have less to carry and can discard as I wish.

For the most part, our travels are satisfactory and we have had few disappointments.

My research may sound like a lot of work, but it is not work to me, it is part of my trip and I do enjoy it.

I do NOT try to act as my own agent. I expect quality service from a knowledgeable agent and I expect them to know more about my desitination than I do. I feel that I get the best deal using this expert and am happy that they make a decent living at their job. If they do not earn enough at it, why would they want to continue and then where would I be?

I hope this is of help to you.

Woodie
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 05:32 PM
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We spent the first two weeks of this July in Ecuador. You can find my trip report by doing a search
for "Glover's back"

I'll see if I can find it myself and top it for you.

We visited both Otavalo and Cotopaxi. Check out Hacienda Cienaga. While we didn't stay there, we made a connection there and thought it was lovely.

Happy to answer any qs you might have. Also highly recommend Hostal Santa Barbara as a Quito base if you're looking for something colonial/traditional, charming with good service that's reasonably priced . . .
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 10:42 AM
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Woodie's post made me feel better about my own exhaustive "research" process for trips. I travel mainly with my husband and my cousin, and they both tend to say, "where are we going and what are we doing?" and just turn me loose. I love it! I'm a big fan of the library for initial research/trial run of guidebooks, too.
Happy planning, everyone!
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Old Aug 20th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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A good guidebook would give you some ideas and information. I agree that few people post about Ecuador here, and those that do post about the Galapagos. There is so much to see and do on the mainland, though, that it's a shame more visitors don't devote more time to it.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 06:01 PM
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Hey! yeah I agree a guide book could help you! but, I just asked questions by mail to the lady of the hotel I was staying in Quito, prior to my arrival, and she helped me a lot, she also helped me to find a nice trip to the jungle... maybe you will want to try??? She was super nice and the hotel too... [email protected] (HOTEL CAYMAN)
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