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2 weeks Ecuador, no car, flying to Guayaquil, most accessible places to go?

2 weeks Ecuador, no car, flying to Guayaquil, most accessible places to go?

Old Sep 16th, 2014, 10:16 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 5
2 weeks Ecuador, no car, flying to Guayaquil, most accessible places to go?

My boyfriend and I have 2 free weeks in Ecuador in November. We are flying in to Guayaquil, and we have to be back in Guayaquil after 2 weeks to catch a plane to the Galapagos. We have never traveled to South America before and know virtually nothing about Ecuador. Is it worth the trip to make it up to Quito? Or should we stay in the south? Have heard wonderful things about Banos, and we are also interested in seeing the coastline/camping on the beach. Open to any and all suggestions about your experiences in Ecuador! Our biggest limitation is that we won't have a car, so we will need to travel by public transportation. Any info on the bus system would be greatly appreciated. We are also not trying to spend a ton of money. We're not on a super budget, but nothing too fancy please! Thanks in advance!
ukerox99 is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2014, 12:14 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,920
Firstly, have you got a guide book? Rough Guides is pretty good and is especially so around transport issues,

TRANSPORT
Ecuador's is a small country which has an efficient bus transport system which is also very inexpensive. As a rule of thumb, expect to pay $1 per hour. Most of our journeys took 2-4 hours with one ore two longer ones thrown in ( the longest being around 8 hours). Not having a car is no problem as once you have seen Ecuadorians driving you probably wont want to join them!!

Buses vary in comfort levels from "not bad at all" on the longer trips to travelling with the odd chicken or pig (usually well wrapped in a sack but still squeaking!) on the shorter journeys, all great experiences but do watch your belongs ALL the time? Theft is not uncommon on buses and around bus stations. That said, we only had one problem in 2 months. RG has great info on bust times and costs at the end of each chapter - check to see if is online.

Flying is also cheap for South America. We didn't bother but with just two month you may have to ( Guayacil to Quitio would be one route where a flight may be cost effective and certainly quicker.

WHERE TO GO

Other than the Galapagos, the main regions usually visited are the Andes, the Jungle and the coast.

We weren't that impressed with the coast when we visited Puerto Lopez and Salinas but, to be fair we were there at the "wrong " time of year - jun. Very dull and misty at that time of year. I am sure it will be better Nov but I am not really a beach person so probably best to ignore me!

Where you go really depends on YOUR interests but for me the Andes were teh best part of Ecuador. Some of the best scenery in the world, colourful indigenous cultures, huge amounts of outdoor activities, hiking, biking, zip lining. Here is a link to my blog of our time there last year

http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blo...ai/6/tpod.html

The first part covers Ecuador. Here is a link to my thread on this forum ( much the same words but no photos)

Any specific questions just ask and have a great trip
crellston is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2014, 07:27 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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In two weeks you should be able to see a lot of Ecuador. I mostly prefer the Andean scenery. Quito is worthwhile in the colonial sector (I did not care for Mariscal where many tourists stay, but you can find hotels around its edges or in the old city). Otavalo is worth visiting. There are many birding or nature lodges around Mindo or in the jungle if you enjoy that.
mlgb is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2014, 06:39 AM
  #4  
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Thanks for your replies! We've just returned from a four month trip around Europe, so I'm just now starting to plan this one. I want to see Quito and Otavalo but wasn't sure if it was worth the trip from Guayaquil. I've just looked up flights, and they seem really reasonable so we might get to go up north after all. Also, thank you for the bus info! I have a Lonely Planet guidebook, but it's not really helping me figure out which places we want to visit. When we do decide I think that guide book will be more helpful. I will definitely look into Mindo!

If anyone else has any other info on beaches, waterfalls, or camping, that would definitely be most helpful!
ukerox99 is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2014, 03:38 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 3,908
Flying around mainland Ecuador is pretty reasonably priced and it shaves a lot of hours off overland travel. Guayaquil to Quito is about a one-hour flight.

Flying between the mainland and the Galapagos is a lot more expensive.
Jeff_Costa_Rica is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2014, 12:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Hello , I live in Ecuador , and Ive traveled to certain places. All the food is very cheap, the public transport is good only if you travel from city to city, there is a tour called the path of the sun, road is beautiful, pure mountains with the beach on one side and the other side is green all the way .
I recommend you go to the Galapagos beaches, Los Frailes, Mompiche (it is a very quiet beach and here you can get vacation packages at good price), Reserva Cotacachi-Cayapas, Montañita and closes, the food is very good, the stay is cheap as $ 20 for person if you go to a hostel.
If you plan to go to the cold part of Ecuador, I recommend: Cuenca, Loga, Quito, Banos, and they are very nice places with good prices.
marionleeporras is offline  
Old Oct 11th, 2014, 06:24 PM
  #7  
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Thank you for all of your help! We have decided to go for the flight to Quito and plan on going to Otavalo and Mindo. Which areas of Quito are best and safest to stay in? We also plan on going to Montanito, but I think it will be better to get there from Quayaquil? We would love to do the entire route along the coast, but since we won't have a car, we're a bit limited. We will look into the other beaches as well. Thank you again!
ukerox99 is offline  
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