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Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

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Boston
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35 posts
81 reviews
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Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

We will be traveling from Otavalo to Mindo and from Mindo we will return to Quito/airport. It seems the majority of people go the opposite direction. While I have found lots of information on traveling from Mindo to Otavalo and then to the airport, I do not find the reverse.

Also, is it feasible to go from Mindo to the airport? Our schedule is such that this is the only way we could attend the Saturday market in Otavalo is this schedule. Could someone please advise on the best way to go this contrary route? Thank you!

Seaside, California
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1. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

Did you ever get a response to this question? I am in Otavalo now and leaving for Mindo and since the earthquake the driving times have changed.

Boston
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2. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

Thank you 1Janetta0. What earthquake? I would love to know how you travelled from Otavalo to Mindo and the amount of time that it took as well as your experience in doing it.

Seaside, California
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3. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

Hi BriaBoston

On Aug 12 there was a 5.1 in Cayambe, Pichincha. While in Otavalo I found out that a certain stretch of road won't be fixed for about 5 months. That stretch apparently is north of Quito. I am not familiar with that area. When I went from the airport to Otavalo it was midday and there was no problem with traffic. But while waiting for a bus in Pifo (close to airport), the bus was 30 minutes late.

Anyway, if I took the bus to Mindo, I would have to go first to Quito and then Mindo, a total of 6 hours. The other option is a road that cuts off to the right after a short bit out of Otavalo and you can get to Mindo in 4 hours. The road is fine for awhile then it turns into a dirt road for about 40 minutes. It takes you through a really dry area with great views. You go through a small town called San Jose de Minas and then you pass the turn off to Pululahua, some other small towns and then Mindo. Make sure you have enough cash for Mindo or a MasterCard, because their ONE atm does not take VISA cards.

I doubt the bus goes this route. I bit the bullet and paid a driver. Well worth when you can stop and grab a bite to eat or take photos. It was a pricey ride though. But I was paying 20$ with breakfast for a great place in Mindo. Great birds in Mindo!

I did take the bus from Mindo to Quito. Last bus leaves at 5pm. Very easy. 2 hours. Then I got a cab for 30$ (from what the cab driver told me .... it's 25 during the day and 30 at night. I had been told by others that this is what it would cost) that took me to the airport in about 50 minutes.

Good luck

Boston
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4. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

Thank you so much for this information Janetta. We decided to go direct to Mindo (and skip Otavalo) after learning how long the trip was and how expensive! However, you provided the information I had been looking for about the shortcut. Also thanks for the info on Mindo. Going for the birds and will also take cash.

Otavalo, Ecuador
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5. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

you can go from otavalo to cayambe and there start busses direct to mindo and this is not a 6 hour ride.

6. Re: Otavalo TO Mindo and Return to Quito

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