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Day Trips from Quito

Toronto, Canada
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1,546 posts
169 reviews
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Day Trips from Quito

We're going to be spending a few days in Quito in mid-February. I had booked 5 nights, since I figured that would give us 4 days in Quito, which seemed like a decent amount of time in the city, and would also give us time to acclimatize to the high altitude when we arrive. From there, I thought we would go to Mindo for a couple of nights. We're planning to go to Otavalo on a day trip from Quito, and now I'm wondering if there are other day trips that we might make instead of going to Mindo. For example, I'm thinking about Papallacta or maybe Cotopaxi. Do these sound reasonable? Would it be possible to do a trip to Papallacta for the day, without taking a tour?

Any advise is welcome. Thanks,

Susan

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Columbus, Ohio
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1. Re: Day Trips from Quito

I can't speak to Papallacta, but we just did Cotopaxi with The Biking Dutchman (one-day tour--he picks you up in the Mariscal and you ride down the mountain) and a horseback riding tour through Puluhua Crater with the Green Horse Ranch (again, picked up and dropped off in the Mariscal). I would recommend both highly.

Toronto, Canada
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1,546 posts
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2. Re: Day Trips from Quito

Thanks. I hadn't biked in 30 years, until a couple of years ago when we did a cycling tour through the lower 9th in New Orleans. I do like cycling, but I think I'd be really nervous about mountain biking. But it's something to keep in mind. Thanks for the reply.

MO
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3. Re: Day Trips from Quito

Papallacta is possible as a day trip without a tour. What we did was take a taxi to the Quitumbre bus station and took a bus to Papallacta and asked the driver to let us off at the turnoff to the termales. There are pickup trucks/taxis waiting that will take you the rest of the way. When you're ready to leave go into the hotel and ask them to call a taxi to take you back down to the highway where you just have to wait for a bus to come by heading back to Quito.

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Day Trips from Quito

The biking down the mountain at Cotopaxi is on the existing gravel/dirt road. The road is not the smoothest, but not at all like off-road mountain biking. While much of the way you are going downhill, there are some uphill stretches and that is when you really feel the altitude. But, you can get off and walk, and the tour folks will pick you up and let you ride if you poop out. You do have to watch out that you don't gain too much speed on the downhills and brake carefully on the curves.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Day Trips from Quito

It`s the gaining "too much speed" that scares me. I ended up with the biggest hematoma I've ever seen after a biking accident last year!

Quito, Ecuador
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6. Re: Day Trips from Quito

Yes you can do it on your own, buses and taxis are available in the city for you to take, however, private transportation and some informative professional licensed guide will help a lot to make your experience a real educational one.

Beware of public busses, on last weekend a bus flipped over on the Panam road in the central Andes, as a result 7 local people got killed and 6 foreign travellers got injured.

Find good Ecuadorian owned and runned companies on the Trip Advisor reviews, read the posts carefully and look for companies which their travellers have done a detailed report. Make sure your guide is a real guide and not only a driver who barely speaks English when taking a tour.

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yepez

Toronto, Canada
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1,546 posts
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7. Re: Day Trips from Quito

I appreciate the advice. While it would be great to hire private guides and private drivers, I don't think my budget can accommodate that - we'll definitely have to take some public buses.

Toronto, Canada
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1,546 posts
169 reviews
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8. Re: Day Trips from Quito

I just booked a 1 day horseback trip with Green Horse Ranch! I know we're not going until February, but I thought that I better do it before I chicken out :)

East Quogue NY
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33 posts
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9. Re: Day Trips from Quito

We need a guide who speaks English and knows something about birds who can take us on two day trips out of Quito on Sept. 17 and 18: to Yanacocha and to Jerusalem Park. We also wonder if there is a cheap

car and driver to take us to Otavalo or further to our friend's lodge. Also, what is taxi fare from new airport to Quito center? Most important: we need reasonably priced bird guide in Mindo for three or four days.

Benson, Arizona
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10. Re: Day Trips from Quito

You need to say what you consider reasonable price bird guide that speaks English....or rasonably priced car and driver...my experience is either are cheap and you get what you pay for....