I am so thankful for this forum as I've yet to find a travel book that's anywhere near as helpful as these posts! Now that I've done some basic research and have ideas about what I'd like to see, I could use help with the logistics.
My boyfriend and I will be going to Ecuador in late December for friends' wedding in Quito on Dec. 27th. Neither of us have been to South America before so we are incredibly excited for this trip. We love being outdoors and exploring new places. Both are very fit (marathon runners & moderate hikers), however we do not live in areas of high altitude. I'm not particularly fond of extreme adventure sports - e.g. ziplining kind of intimidates me but I could be convinced to give it a go.
Okay, with all that said, we have not booked flights yet but are thinking about flying to Quito on Dec. 20. We'll probably stay through the 29th, but could maybe (very slight chance) extend it to January 2nd. Knowing we have to be back in Quito on the 26th & 27th for the wedding, and with Christmas, I'm trying to figure out the best itinerary.
Here is what I'd like to fit in, if possible:
Old Town Quito
Mitad del Mundo
Mindo (Love the idea of cloud forests since we've never seen anything like this. Is this a day trip or overnight excursion?)
Baños (Would someone do both Baños and Mindo? Or just one?)
Quitoloa (Can't figure out how we'd get there... thinking about doing the Happy Gringo day tour)
Also interested in, but doubt any of these will work: Galapagos or Isla de Plata, Cuenca, Pululahua
Not interested in Otavalo.
Any advice on putting together an itinerary would be greatly appreciated!