1. Quito in 2 days
Relaxing in the colonial city
2. Cotopaxi National Park in 2 days
Volcano and Quilotoa lagoon
3. Baños and surroundings in 4 days
Pavillon del Diablo, Zipline and chill
4. Alausi in 2 days
Devil Nose train and chill
5. Guayaquil in 2 days
Chill well deserved
General Tips 👏
- The official currency is American Dollards.
- Quito and Guayaquil are the only airport serving Galapagos islands.
- Official taxi from the airport to Quito’s center cost 27$, way more expensive than normal prices (what a steal 💸).
We spent 1300£ in 11 days, which means 120£/day, and that was comfortable. It was cheaper than Peru but more expensive than Bolivia. The banks to withdraw without extra-fees are (full list):
We moved around the country with tourist bus, mostly with Ecuador Hop and had no problems at all. The buses are pretty good and always on time. Internal flights are also a good options, but we didn’t used any because of our short itinerary.
The yellow taxis in the street are relatively cheap, around 5$ for a 20 minute ride. Uber is also present in the big cities. Regarding long transfers, it’s quite easy to book taxis in advances with hotels. Usually, it’s about 30$/hour.
- Netflix: Perfect for rainy days.
- XCurrency: Offline and up-to-date currency rates.
- TravelSpend: Log and budget your expenses day by day.
- Maps.me: Free offline map of the world, including trail paths.
- FourSquare: Perfect to find the best restaurants in a very easy way.
- AirBnB and Booking.com: The best to find cheap accommodations.
- Facebook: There’s some active groups related to traveller in South America where you can ask tips and advices.
Mostly we found classic dishes from south america, but with some real good specialities:
- Locro: Delicous potato soup coming with cheese and avocado.
- Humita: Mashed corned served in its own leave mixed with some cheese.
- Almuerzo del Dia: Available in all the country, meaning lunch of the day, usually very cheap and consists in a soup, a main, a dessert and a juice.
There’s two main telecom operators in Ecuador: Claro and Movistar. We read that the former have a wider coverage, including Galapagos while the second is good but works well only in the cities, so we went with Claro.
We tried to buy a SIM card with Claro at Quito’s airport (pharmacy at the level -1) without success. They advised us to buy it in the city center to activate it. We went to the shop close to the Plaza Grande and managed to buy one. The staff was very nice and spoke basic english, and they did everything for us. In total, we paid 5$ for the SIM card and 10$ for 3GB to use on a month (including illimited Whatsapp and Messenger), quite a good value.
- Bring your passport with you for the activation.
- Be patient since it’s quite a slow process to do.
- To check your balance anytime or to top-up, call *123# .
There’s no need for a visa when entering in Ecuador if you’re from EU/UK. The border is seemless, only a paper to fill on arrival.
We booked all our stays via Booking.com and had no bad surprises. All the accommodations were pretty basic but for a good price, around 25£/night, most of the time with breakfast included.
Generally, all the hosts have been very nice with us, and helped us to book activities in the surroundings areas and gave us good recommendations.
We found the country very safe, with actually plenty of tourist. We crossed the path of many Americans, Europeans, but also quite a lot of South Americans. We were surprised to see a lot of brand-new and well done infrastructures dedicated for tourism, specially in national parks.
While it’s not the main activity of the country, it’s clear that a lot of money is being invested in it at the moment. It was very easy to move around, find hotels or get to the different sites. People also used to speak more english than in the neighbor countries.
Packing List 📦
- Bath gear (towel, swimwear, flip-flops…)
- Rain jacket
- Foldable towel
- Re-usable water bottle
- Warm clothes for the evening
- Hikking shoes and trouser
Overall Experience 🤓
Unexpectedly, Ecuador ended-up to be our favourite country in our South American trip. The diversity of landscape we saw, from volcanoes to the beach, was just fantastic. The people we met were incredibly nice and helpful, the food was basic but great and the prices were very honest. From the Amazon to the super curated Quito, we found a culturally rich country, way less crowded than Peru making it much more enjoyable.
Hope this was helpful, you can leave comments if you need extra informations or if you have any questions or suggestions! You can checkout our summary video below built with 1 second a day.
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Our 2 days stay in Quito.