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Super Packed Quito Itinerary - Feedback appreciated!

Super Packed Quito Itinerary - Feedback appreciated!

Old Feb 8th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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Super Packed Quito Itinerary - Feedback appreciated!


I'm always so appreciated of travel forums and always seem to get the best advice here. I have a Quito trip quickly approaching which was booked at the very last minute and need your help.

Below is my tentative itinerary which needs to be fleshed out. Please help with organizing the order of the places we are visiting and have it start from easy to hardest (acclimatizing wise).

Day #1: Tuesday, 2/17
-Arrival in UIO Airport @ 8pm
-Transfer needed

Day #2: Wednesday, 2/18
-Taking it easy and getting acquainted with old/new town
-Climb the clocktowers of Basilica Voto del Nacional
-Any other suggestions on easy stuff to do?

Day #3: Thursday, 2/19
-Cotopaxi Volcano National Park
-Any trail recommendations? Any cool waterfalls, caves, interesting natural wonders to explore here?

Day #4 & #5: Thursday/Friday, 2/20 & 2/21
La Mitad del Mundo, Volcano Pululahua, Rumicucho Ruins, Guagua/Rucu Pichincha Volcano
-Need suggestions on how to allocate and make all this work in two days. How do we exactly split up this list to make it happen in 2 days?
-Which will we need your services/tours for?

Day #6: Saturday, 2/22
-Otavalo Market
-We are not very big shoppers... so perhaps maybe we can just briefly visit the market and then we can do something around around here. Perhaps a trip to Peguche Waterfall?
-Any other suggestions

Day #7: Sunday, 2/23
-Mindo Rainforest

Day #8: Monday, 2/24
-Early transfer to UIO Airport for only passenger

We enjoy activities like hiking, rock climbing, rappelling through the waterfalls. Not too found of walking around looking at old churches, buildings, art museums. I guess we're not really cultured.

Is there anything else we can do to this?

Really looking forward to hearing from someone. Thanks so much!!!
leang is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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Hi Leang

I'm new to this forum thing but hope I can be of help! Just to lay my cards on the table, I am the owner of a tour operator here in Quito. Originally from the UK living in Ecuador for 12 years. I have lots of personal experience of travelling around Ecuador too.

Day 2 - After visiting the Basilica you can walk down Venezuela Street which will bring you into the heart of the historical centre of Quito - I'd recommend that you visit Independence Square, La Compania de Jesus church, San Francisco Square and church and La Ronda Street. A visit to the old town should take half a day so plenty of time to relax and get used to the altitude too.

Day 3 - Lots of hikes in Cotopaxi which you could enjoy, we were there recently and did a short hike (since I was with my 8 year old daughter) around the Limpiopungo Lake - very clearly marked trail - takes about an hour - there are many more options to hike but personally I would recommend that you go with a guide who knows, if this is what you are interested in.

Day 4 - You can visit Mitad del Mundo, Pululahua Volcano and Rumicucho ruins in one day.

Day 5 - You can take the Teleferiqo (cable car) up onto the foothills of the Pichincha Volcano - there is a hike from the top of the Teleferiqo to the summit of Rucu Pichincha - I did this last year with my husband - it was amazing & pretty challenging but if your fit and up for it, I would definitely recommend but please go prepared.

Day 6 - Otavalo - in this region you have, like you say, Peguche Waterfall which is a lovely, easy walk, but for a more challenging and spectacular hike I would recommend Cuicocha Crater lake - there is a 4 hour hike which takes you around the whole rim of the lake or you can choose to just walk a section if you prefer.

Day 7 - Mindo rainforest is one of my favourite spots so definitely would recommend a visit here.

The highest places you would visit with this itinerary would be Cotopaxi National Park & Pichincha Volcano so maybe worth leaving these towards the end of the trip.

You may also want to consider staying out of Quito some nights, for example, if you visit Mitad del Mundo & Pululahua, rather than returning to Quito keep going to Mindo and spend the night there, have the next day in Mindo itself and then return to Quito the next day.

Through my work I do have contacts for guides etc. if you are interested please send me an email through my website which is on my profile.

I hope this is of help to you and hope you have a brilliant time in Ecuador!
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Old Feb 9th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Hola Original Ecuador,

Really appreciate you taking the time to respond!!

After a bit of consideration, I think we're going to try to pack it in even more:

Day #1 - Late arrival / relax
Day #2 - Old Town, Mitad del Mundo, Pululahua Volcano and Rumicucho ruins
Day #3 - Mindo Rainforest
Day #4 & #5 - Cotopaxi and Banos. Overnight somewhere, lol. 1 full day for Cotopaxi and another for Banos?
Day #6 - Mindo Rainforest
Day #7 - Teleferiqo - Pichincha Volcano

That should be doable? Based on altitude, is the order ok?


leang is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2014, 04:27 PM
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Hi Leang

Yes definitely doable as you have it.

I'd recommend after you visit Cotopaxi on Day 4 you then continue onto Banos to sleep there that night, then you are not sleeping at high altitude and have a full day to enjoy Banos from the next morning before I imagine you return to Quito.

You have put Mindo Rainforest in the itinerary twice, I guess one of the days should say Otavalo?

Which ever way you do it, it should be fine! You'll get to see all the best bits around Quito - it is amazing here - you don't have to go far and you are in different worlds (colonial city, volcanoes, cloudforest, etc.)
OriginalEcuador is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2014, 03:21 PM
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Doesn't make much sense to split up Mindo like that.

BTW if you have not heard of the Hop On Hop Off bus in Ecuador that is a great thing to do the first day, it includes a stop at the top of Panecillo and the Basilica is on the route.

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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 07:54 PM
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Totally agree with mlgb - the Quito Tour Bus is a great way to see Quito - you can get off at a stop, explore a bit on foot, and then jump on the next bus to another part of town. We've done a few times now and have really enjoyed it as a day out.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 11:17 PM
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Just a thought, but as you are planning on Quito and Cotopaxi it may be worth a look at http://secretgardenquito.com which has hostals in both Quito and Cotapaxi and arranges free transport between the two.

Mindo twice? I would swap one of those days for Otavalo. If you can make it for the Saturday market that would be great. http://www.lalunaecuador.com/ is a great Hostal. It is a bit out of town but on the way to Lagos Mojanda which is nice hike around the crater.
crellston is offline  
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