Ecuador or Guatemala?

Sep 10th, 2019, 04:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 20
Ecuador or Guatemala?

I am planning a solo 8- or 9-day trip for February 2020 and have narrowed it down to two choices: Guatemala and Ecuador. I realize they are pretty different countries in a lot of ways but do people here have any preferences?

For Ecuador, I'm thinking of a trip centered around Quito and Cuena (with a few side trips to national parks, market towns, etc.) while in Guatemala I'm considering stays in Antigua, Lake Atitlán and possibly Tikal.

I'm in my 40s, fairly well-traveled, and enjoy colonial cities, ancient ruins, markets and dramatic scenery. I speak just a little Spanish (though I'm working to improve it). Also, I'm hoping for some nice weather (this being February), which seems doable in Guatemala; I wonder if Ecuador is less consistent in that department?

Any thoughts or suggestions are much appreciated.
Brian_Brooklyn is offline  
Sep 10th, 2019, 10:38 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,557
I can only comment re Ecuador where I have spent a fair amount of time but I have looked into Guatemala which is very much on my list for next year. If you haven’t already done so, I would post your question on the Central America forum to, there is a very helpful lady, hopefulist, who knows the country very well.

Regarding the weather, I would say Ecuador is not at its best in February, at least in the Sierra where it will be rather wet the weather on the coast should be good though. Sadly, we were not that impressed with the coastal areas we visited.

We have a number of posts re our travels in the country on our blog with a lot of detail and photos which you may find helpful

One of the good things about Ecuador’ is that it is quite compact and easy to get around. From Quito you have Otavalo, Mindo, Cotapaxi Etc., all worth visiting and all within two hours travel. Quito itself, although we spent a couple of months there learning Spanish, I wasn’t too keen on. You would probably fly into the city so it is worth a couple of days, no more.

Cuenca is amore pleasant and manageable city. Great colonial architecture and some great hiking in the nearby Cajas NP. There are some Inca ruins nearby too. Apart from that Chimborazo , near Riobamba, Vilcabamba and Podocarpus NP are worth seeing but take longer to get to than the places around Quito.
crellston is offline  
Sep 11th, 2019, 03:46 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 20
Hi Crellston - thank you for your thoughts and the link. Enjoying reading your posts. Yes, I'd probably devote no more than a couple days to Quito (I live in a big city, too, so I tend to like to travel to smaller, quieter places). Cuena looks very interesting. Thanks again!
Brian_Brooklyn is offline  
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