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Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

Brownsburg, IN
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Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

I know some of you are going to be critical of the way I travel, but for those who aren't, I'd appreciate some help.

I've booked a flight to Quito for middle of September, and departing the first week of October. Total of 2 weeks in country. I really have almost no plans.

I'm thinking about booking a hostel in Quito for a couple nights, just to relax. Then maybe go to Banos to enjoy the jungle area. OR, maybe catch a flight to Galapagos and either try to catch a last minute cruise or just do a land cruise. I'm a VERY laid-back traveler....and can be very satisfied just relaxing and watching the ocean, or jungle for a week.

So, if I go to Quito with almost no plan and just try to figure it out while I'm there....will I be able to find plenty of things to do and see....as long as I'm open minded about my destination?? Ideas? Thoughts?

Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

Hey Dave,

Yes, yes, and yes. You can absolutely arrive in Quito with two weeks to explore and few plans...especially in September, one of the slower months for tourism here. You can explore last minute Galapagos cruise options right here in Quito and most areas of the mainland are easily accessible by buses that run on regular schedules. I do recommend having a very basic idea of what you'd like to see while you're here since Ecuador has SO much to offer and wildly different worlds exist just a few hours apart...mountains? jungle? coast? hiking? whitewater rafting? bird watching? etc..like I said, basic.

If you do travel to Galapagos, you'll have about a week left to explore the mainland. In September, my recommendation would be to stick to the Andes and maybe skim the edge of the rainforest unless you're super excited about surfing or getting deep into the Amazon. On your way to Banos, you can stop by Cotopaxi National Park (you'll need a guide for this...tons of day tours out of Quito) and Quilotoa Crater Lake. From Banos, you might travel to Tena on the edge of the Amazon then loop back up to Quito for departure. Also near Quito, you'll find the market town of Otavalo and the tropical cloud forest paradise of Mindo. (I Know...you're not in planning mode...I just couldn't help myself :)

Since you are a laid-back traveler and don't seemed stressed about trying to "fit it all in," I think you'll be just fine. You shouldn't have issues with hotel or tour availability that time of year and transport is so darn easy. Perhaps have your Quito hostel hand you a country map so you can mark a logical route and then off you go! Explore and Enjoy :)

If you have any specific questions along the way, please don't hesitate to ask!

Best,

Nicole

Edited: 17 August 2014, 22:47
Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

My only criticism is that your trip is pretty short--on my first trip, planned out on the fly except for a Galapagos dive trip that I pre-booked, I spend six weeks and felt I'd barely scratched the surface. I always knew I'd be back to "finish the rest, " and ended up living in Quito for several years. And there are _still_ things I missed seeing and doing!

Adding to Nicole's advice, I'd say that the coast isn't at it's best in September, unless you're going to Puerto Lopez to see humpback whales on the way to Isla de la Plata. In September the coast is still mainly in garua season, when it's chilly and overcast.

Brownsburg, IN
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3. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

Thank you very very much! I wish I had more time but alas I have to come back and take care of my real estate business..

Brownsburg, IN
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4. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

I really hate to carry luggage when I travel, and prefer to just carry a backpack. That means I need to do laundry, or sometimes purchase personal items along the way. Is it safe to assume I can get by on the bare minimums in Ecuador? Couple pairs of shorts, pair of long pants, hiking shoes.... Does this sound reasonable??

Tucson, Arizona
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5. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

I would take two pairs of long pants and skip the shorts altogether. Long pants are the norm in the cities and towns and you'll want the sun and insect protection they provide in the rainforest and the islands. Buying clothing in Ecuador can be tricky if you're tall or big, so plan accordingly.

6. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

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Quito, Ecuador
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7. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

Hey Dave,

In regards to your packing list, I can tell you that LAYERS are the key to comfort. My favorite quote from a returning guest was "I could really tell I was returning to Ecuador when I realized I packed my wool socks right next to my bikini." In the highlands, it can get cold enough at night that you want a winter hat, scarf, long johns layer, wool sweater and gloves. As Azbuceadora said above, long pants are perfect. The quick dry variety are even better. In the city, I usually wear long pants, t-shirt and bring a sweater. You'll definitely want a rain jacket. I find that I can pack all of this in a carry on bag/backpack for a 2-3 week stay and will generally do laundry once.

Hope that helps.

Happy packing :) You're almost here!

Best,

Nicole

Falls Church...
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8. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

I am in Quito right now. You need warm clothes. Galapagos is cold due to the Humbolt current but you need to go there. Galapagos are beautiful. I am like you, didn't plan much. Fly to Quito, stay couple of days to see Quito and Otavalo. Fly to Galapagos for a week and do couple of day trips to near by islands and spend a day at Tortuga bay. Back in Quito now to relax and will fly back to the states soon.

Enjoy your trip.

Brownsburg, IN
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9. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

Thank you VERY much to those that have taken the time to write such helpful replies!! I'll be printing these off and taking them with me during my stay in Ecuador! You guys and gals are wonderful to help me out!

I have another question....I read on-line that I should be vaccinated for yellow fever. My doctor said it isn't necessary. What do you think?

10. Re: Travelling to Quito with little or no plan

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Removed on: 28 August 2015, 07:17