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maximizing two days in quito

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boca raton
posts: 14
reviews: 10
maximizing two days in quito

Hi. My husband and I will be in Quito for 3 nights to days and wonder if the following schedule would work and if I should rent a car, hire a guide or go with a guided tour. We would like to:

A. Day one -- visit the sites in Quito and the equator museum.

B. Day two - drive to Otavalo to visit the market, stopping in Cotachi, and if possible at the Crater of Puluhuhua, and the thermal baths of Papallacta.

Beirut, Lebanon
posts: 453
reviews: 67
1. Re: maximizing two days in quito

I would only consider renting a car if you speak Spanish well enough to ask for directions and understand the responses. Roads are poorly marked here.

You cannot possibly do everything on day two that you have suggested. Car time alone for the things you have mentioned is around 8 hours.

The crater of Puluhuahua is next to the Mitad del Mundo (the equator site, which is what I imagine you are referring to with the equator museum). Those can be combined to see at the same time. However, the crater has a microclimate and is clear and visible every morning, and clouded with fog from around 1pm onward, so you need to allow for that.

Although the thermal baths are wonderful, I think you have to cut them from your itinerary - the Otavalo region is much more cultural/unique, and I would say is the "don't miss" of the two.

You may also feel tired from the altitude and not be able to pack as much in as you would like, but my suggestion would be the following:

1) as soon as you get up head to the crater, then Mitad del Mundo. Be sure to go through the ethnographic museum at the monument, as it is very interesting. If it's lunchtime and you are still at the Mitad del Mundo, I like the Restaurant Yaravi at the corner of the main plaza in the Mitad del Mundo.

Afternoon - historic center of Quito. If it is lunchtime when you are here instead, try Hasta la Vuelta Senor in the Palacio Arzobispal, or if you want upscale and it is a weekday, try Mea Culpa, in the same building, window tables overlook the main plaza.

2) Otavalo - market, Cotacachi - leather shops, and depending how much time you have spent at those two places, you can also check out the crater lake near Cotacachi of Cuicocha, and/or the waterfall of Peguche (near Otavalo). Maybe lunch at Hacienda Pinsaqui, to see a 17th century hacienda (a little past the turn-off for Cotacachi)

You have so much that you want to pack in, I think your best way to accomplish this would be with a private guide.

Penticton, Canada
posts: 7
2. Re: maximizing two days in quito

You should not consider driving in Quito...it can very hectic. We were there last year, stayed at Hotel Quito, excellent hotel, amazing breakfast buffet. There are many taxi drivers that will take you anywhere you wish to go. We took a tour with one gentleman, he took us to the volcano site, showed us all of the highlights of Quito, enjoy the markets (!) (his English was pretty good). He dropped us off at the equator and waited for us for hours. We had lunch, did some shopping, saw all of the sites and he was there to take us back to the hotel...all for $25 U.S.

When you are in Quito inquire at your hotel about taking a bus to Otavalo, I am sure they will give you some good information.

Buenes Suerte! (Good Luck) and keep us posted!

posts: 96
reviews: 6
3. Re: maximizing two days in quito

the first day of your trip is easily done by public transport... the bus services inquito are excellent and the drivers very helpfull in teling you when to get off. its also cheap! about 40 cents from the centre of town right to the equator.

the other areas i have not visited.