Quito: do we need a tour guide?

Old Apr 14th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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Quito: do we need a tour guide?

We're going to be in Quito for Sat. afternoon and all day Sunday the first weekend in May. I've been debating whether to hire a tour guide...mostly from the safety issues. But, I'm thinking of having a nice lunch in Mariscol, then shopping at Folklore Olga Fisch, then visiting the Museo del Blanco Central Museum and Capilla del Hombre on Saturday (dinner at Zazu), and on Sunday have a taxi take us to El Panecillo and then drop us at Old Town and we can tour there on our own...with an early dinner at Cafe Mosaico. Does this reasonable or would we be missing much and subject to hassle/thieves if we don't use a tour guide.
Please advise. (We'll be staying at Mansion del Angel in La Mariscol)
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Old Apr 15th, 2009, 09:45 AM
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barefootbeach, you are doing OK on your own, taking taxis is an inexpensive ride to wherever you go, just make sure they tell you ahead of time the cost or take a meter taxi, As an any city, try not to go out with expensive jewlery, There is a tour you can take at night time of the old city, take a ride in a horse buggie, they will take you around and the whole area is well lit up and full of tourist. El panecillo has a great view of the city and small shops by the indians selling their goods, (do not forget to bargain with them) never pay the asking price. The taxi will take there and wait for you, just carry all your things with you while they wait. I personally do not think to get a tour guide is necessary.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 06:14 PM
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I wish I had taken your advice and forgotten the tour guide. We arranged one through our hotel, Mansion del Angel, and although I liked her and she spoke excellent English, I thought it was a rip-off. $100 for a half-day city tour, and you're expected to tip, and we just rushed thru the historic area and were done in 3 hours! Everywhere I mentioned I wanted to go, she said it wasn't part of the standard city tour. I had done a lot of research about what to see so I could have easily managed this by myself. I was mostly concerned about safety, but there were police all over. Learned my lesson.
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Old May 22nd, 2009, 10:04 AM
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Dear Barefootbeach,

I am interested in your experience at Mansion del Angel. We are planning to stay there for 4 days in July. Was your experience a good one?
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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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I'm sorry I didn't read this until after you went! I was disappointed with the place...we had a very small room....breakfast was just OK...staff not that friendly...and I hated the neighborhood....we walked to a restaurant one and a half blocks away..and when the waiter asked if he could call us a taxi and heard we planned to walk back, he insisted on walking us back because of the high crime rate...and this is supposedly in a tourist area.
Wish we had stayed in Old Town instead.
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