Help me plan an Ecuador trip…

Old Jan 29th, 2023, 03:14 PM
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Help me plan an Ecuador trip…

Planning a trip to Ecuador, 8 nights, flying in/out of Quito. Any tips/insight/advice/things to know appreciated. I have been once before but very briefly.

Two of the top things I want to do are the Galapagos and a good jungle tour. From my research it seems like 8 nights is not enough to do both, at least not to reach the true Amazon. Can anyone weigh in on which you would chose between the two?

I am leaving towards 2 or 3 nights in the Galapagos and then hoping to be able to find some sort of jungle experience that won’t require as much travel as Cuyabeno or Yasuni. Maybe a couple nights in Baños, do the Ruta de los Cascadas and get a jungle tour from Puyo? Looking into trying to work the Quilotoa Crater in there too, we don’t want to hike the entire loop but more thinking of it as a day trip.

There is so much to see but I also don’t want to feel like I’m spending the majority of the trip in a car/plane/bus. Any insight from people who have been there is appreciated!
meghanholland3774 is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2023, 11:12 AM
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Whilst I haven't been to the Galapagos I had spent a lot of time in South America including probably 3 or 4 months in Ecuador. Most people we met wanted a minimum of 5 nights in the Galapagos, preferably a week. Bear in mind that flying into Quito and back out again you will route through Guayaquil. You will likely need a night in Quito each way, two if you want spend a day exploring the city (which you should). Also bear in mind that Quito is at an altitude of 2800m which takes some getting used to.

It is easier to get to the Amazon though would still allow nights in Quito in either direction. I wasn't overly fond of Baños, a bit too touristy, though the Ruta de los Cascadas was fun a jungle tour from Puyo may be a good option given the time you have.

On elf the main advantages of Ecuador is that it is compact though there is no getting away from the fact than travel does take time and it may not fit with your not spending the majority of the trip in a car/plane/bus.

With 8 day, I think I would probably look at staying in the highlands a bit of Quito, a couple of days in Otavalo (2-3 hours away) , Cotapaxi & Quilatoa(again 2-3 hours away) . That should be more than enough to fill your time. Alternatively, you could fly south to the colonial city of Cuenca, spend a few days there, explore Cajas NP, maybe even do Banos on the way back. A few photos of Cuenca, Otavalo and Cotapaxi on our blog @
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 01:22 PM
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There are a few daily nonstops from Quito to Baltra, in the Galapagos. However I think you are correct that you can't do both in 8 days. If you can find a Galapagos cruise that fits your schedule I would do that. I liked Banos well enough but it isn't really jungle. For Galapagos, I went with Cometa Travel, owner of the Yacht Angelito. As one of the oldest Galapagos cruise companies, they have two good itineraries (I went on A) which can also be split into shorter legs. I believe they are also full service travel company and could tell you about Amazon options. But again, I think your time is too short for both.

Last edited by mlgb; Jan 30th, 2023 at 01:28 PM.
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