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Any & all advice welcomed!

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Mar 18th, 2013, 07:22 AM
  #1
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Any & all advice welcomed!

My husband & I have decided it's time to visit South America. I am the planner but really have no ideas ahead this time. I am looking for some advice on what is too cool not to miss and what is possible on a 10 day trip to Ecuador.

About us: we are 48, love to travel, in decent shape. We have been many places over the past 20 years and are not afraid to go it on our own. We aren't really worried about missing somethings but don't like sitting around too much either. We love local cultures and prefer small out of the way places to eat and stay. We don't care too much for traditional museums. We enjoy the outdoors and taking public transportation. I speak enough Spanish to get by in an emergency and am able to read a bit more.

Please give me some suggestions! Thanks in advance!
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Mar 19th, 2013, 06:44 AM
  #2
 
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That's a great trip LillyLace! And I'd love to help you with this, though I need to know when are you planning this trip? There's a lot to do in Ecuador and sometime really depends on the period you're visiting this amazing country, so please let me know more about this!

Laurent
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Mar 19th, 2013, 12:40 PM
  #3
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That would be so nice of you! We are thinking about September or October as we have too much scheduled already this summer. Really though the only months that don't work for us are Nov & Dec.

If you think our timing is not good please advise...as I said in my original post I really don't know much about Ecuador.

Only me, Lily
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Mar 20th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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Perfect! Then, you might certainly enjoy the Galapagos Islands. Those islands have been populated by animals really very recently – they have then adapted themselves to the subtly different conditions on each of the islands. It is considered the best preserved tropical archipelago in the world. While you can find a small cruise trip for a few days, I would also suggest you have a look at land-based trip which provides you a better meaning of this place! Walking, bird watching and snorkeling are the best activities to do over there. I can still talk hours about the Galapagos, but I am perhaps going the wrong way as you're maybe looking to stay in mainland Ecuador?

In that way I would suggest you, arriving to Quito to explore the beautiful renovated colonial centre of the city. This place is surrounded by high Andean peaks so the landscapes are beautiful, go to Mirador del Panecillo to have a wonderful view above the city. Still looking for more spectacular? Then, try the TelefériQo, one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, rising from about 3,000m to 4,000m! There, don't stay at the tourist complex, but try the hiking trails that are available around! Take note that as being higher than Quito it is cooler too.
I know that you're not a museum lover but there are also some particularly good museums in the town center. Casa del Alabado Museo de Arte Precolombino is a real gem, you must visit it! Take also time to relax in the hot springs of Papallacta.

After few days discovering this amazing city, you have quiet a lot of possibilities. Go North and discover Otovalvo - its market it's famous all over the world! If you go in early September you may also have the possibility to celebrate the Fiesta del Yamor. Most people coming to Ecuador simply visit the market and then return to the capital. In fact, the surrounding Imbabura region is beautiful and culturally fascinating so well worth getting to know. You can find a nice lodge for the night then continue next day walking around Cuicocha lake; an impressive crater lake of the Cotacachi volcano about half an hour’s drive from Otavalo. On a clear day you can see the snow-capped peaks of Cayambe and Cotopaxi volcanoes.

The rich birdlife of Ecuador is also world-famous. So the best recommendation after doing Otavalo is going to the Cotopaxi National Park, walking amidst the forests and towering volcanoes. Horse-riding is also a very nice way to enjoy the scenery!

To finish with an amazing experience of Ecuador I suggest you to immerse yourself in the Amazon, you can find great eco-lodges in which you will only be in touch with Amazonian communities. The Huoarani is a great one!

Hope this can give you some ideas for your 10 day trip in Sept-Oct!

Laurent
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Mar 25th, 2013, 11:19 AM
  #5
 
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I recently returned from 2 weeks in Ecuador. We visited the Galapagos (tour was land based & on our own), Cuenca, Banos and Quito and I would recommend all of these places. There are lots of options in Ecuador for the interests you describe. However, I think you need to first decide if you want to incorporate the Galapagos into your trip, and if so, how much of it, and then work the itinerary from that decision.

There are a variety of places to visit but can be spread out. Buses and/or flights may get you to where you want to go, but you don't want to spend all your time in transit either.
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Apr 1st, 2013, 04:56 PM
  #6
 
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I would encourage you to visit the Pacific Coast area of Ecuador. The beaches are beautiful and quiet. There are good surfing areas and lots of long beaches for playing in the surf and walking. I especially like the areas around Montanita and Puerto Cayo.
Martha
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