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Lots of Questions about Quito!

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Orlando, Florida
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Lots of Questions about Quito!

I am so excited about coming to Quito for 5 days...

I decided to research what to bring.....

Clothing .....

It looks like it will be upper 80's. I'm from Florida, we wear shorts/sundresses. I am reading that we do not want to look like a tourist and wear shorts......It's either Jeans or Khakis...Are sundresses alright?? Am I also understanding no Sandals either??

Safety...

I will be alone for a couple days, doing the touristy things. Will I be safe seeing the sites by myself??

Altitude Sickness....This is new to me

How common is this? Is there something I can buy (non prescription) just in case??

Any help would be appreciated!!

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Hi Tobi and welcome to TripAdvisor (TA).

These are pretty common questions and you can find lots of information that has already been posted. Clothing has recently been discussed and some of the other Quito questions include recommendations for safety.

As you are new to TA, let me introduce you to the search option and the FAQs. This is the same for all forum sights.

On the right of the screen are "top questions". these can change between say, Quito or Ecuador, so check it out.

In the green shaded box above, from the dropdown menu: choose "ecuador" (just to expand your options) and type in clothing, or safety Quito, or altitude sickness. This will get your started on some answers.

Have fun.

Orlando, Florida
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2. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Thank you for your quick reply quiltingmama!

I actually did do all the searches like you suggested. which is how I found out about not wearing shorts and the altitude sickness.

The reason, I posted my question is because most of those searches were dated 2006-2009, a few in 2010 and a couple in 2011.

A lot can happen in 4-6 yrs ...I was hoping there might be more "updated" replies.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Good for you for doing your homework first. On thing about the search option, and I forgot to tell you, is that you can search by "relevance" or "date". Relevance is the default.

Here's one about clothing from last week:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g294308-i2254-k5589…

I always say "go conservative" Sundresses should be okay if close to the knee and maybe something light to throw over it for modesty and warmth. As this thread says, they tend to dress up a bit.

Safety from April:

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g294308-i2254-k5318…

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g294308-i2254-k5361…

Altitude sickness

tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g294308-i2254-k5316…

I was in Peru and has some problems at Lake Titicaca, but that is a lot higher than Quito and it affects everyone differently. In Peru, they chew coca leaves or drink coca tea. I did too, but I didn't notice any benefits - no hinderance, but no great help. Most likely didn't drink enough of it. It is available but not everywhere in Quito. I just ended up treating the headache with OTC meds and taking things slower. You may have no affects.

Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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4. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Wow, where did you read the temp would be in the upper 80s in Quito??

QM has given you most of the advice I would (except for being skeptical about those temps!). The Top Questions on the main Ecuador forum about safety will be very useful, and on the Quito subforum there is a link to all there is to see and do in and around Quito.

Most people will be short of breath and have a headache the first few days due to altitude. The common advice is to take it easy--don't gogogo from the moment you step off the airplane. Avoid alchohol the first couple of days. Stay hydrated. Sipping coca tea does help, though if your work requires you to submit to random drug tests, it can register as cocaine in your urine for a while. I recently came across a study by the Annals of Emergency Medicine that suggests that simple ibuprofen is an effective prophylactic at even very high altitudes; here's a synopsis …jwatch.org/cgi/content/full/2012/622/1 Diamox, a prescription drug, is overkill in my opinion for Quito and can have serious side effects.

Pensacola, Florida
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5. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

I'd be surprised if the temps reached 80F in Quito, but then again weather norms seem to be the exception these days. We just returned from Quito on Tuesday. Spent a couple of days there before our Galapagos trip. Wore jeans/travel pants and long-sleeved shirts most of the time around Quito ... the latter more for sun protection than anything else. Don't forget to use sun block.

Going slow and staying hydrated is key. You'll probably notice the altitude effect when you land at the airport. Take it slow walking to passport control ... it's a fairly long haul. By the next morning, we were fine wandering around at a normal pace. The teleferico takes you up to 4100 m, so I'd put that off until you're acclimated to the altitude.

Blending in with the locals is smart; use common sense when wandering around. The same rules apply anywhere in the world. Check with your hotel staff, as well as the tourist police on the street, about where it is safe to go and where not to go. Time of day is important. As an example, we walked a pedestrian path from the JW Marriott to the El Jardin Mall and Park Carolina beyond with no problems on a weekday morning when the streets were crowded with locals going to work. Two guys from our group used the same pedestrian way returning from the mall on a Saturday evening when the area was deserted and almost got mugged by a pistol-toting man (they managed to fend him off and weren't hurt, but it could have easily gone the other way). Not saying this to scare you (or anyone else). We found Quito to be overall safe; and never felt uncomfortable walking around or taking taxis (always orange licence plates). The key is to use COMMON SENSE.

Arvada, Colorado
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6. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

We were in Quito last weekend and found the temps on the slightly chilly side, we were comfortable in jeans and light long sleeved shirts. Our hotel, NU house, set us up with a guide for Quito who was outstanding. Perhaps ask the desk at your hotel to do the same, it made our day in Quito safe and such fun. If you want the name and number of the guide who helped us, feel free to pm us, he charged us $40 for 4 hours, got us to the front of the lines at all of the sights, even bargained for us in Spanish when we did some shopping. He volunteered to take pictures of us everywhere, and the pics he took of us were great! We saw places we would never have found on our own. When we were bothered to buy stuff, etc, Carlos shunned them quickly and kept us safe.

Edited: 8:35 am, July 19, 2012
Quito, Ecuador
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7. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

you have some good info in these responses, which I won't duplicate. Regarding temps/clothing, temps right now are near 80 during the day IN THE SUNSHINE. It will feel much cooler in the shade, or if the wind is blowing. Best advice is to dress in layers which can be easily added/removed as the ambient temperature changes. Once the sun goes down, or if clouds come in, it will be much cooler and you'll need a light jacket. Shorts will mark you as a tourist - avoid them in Quito (they're fine on the coast). Best of luck, and enjoy your visit.

Orlando, Florida
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8. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I got the temps from the 5 day weather somewhere on this site or another one I'm reviewing. From those of you that have just returned, thank you for letting me know about the weather.....I will rethink my packing....I have mostly sleeveless for daytime. I will pull some out and put in some longer sleeved shirts.

We have traveled to Europe, Caribbean Islands, Mexico and other places. I am very alert when walking around strange cities. I usually go by my self as my hubby is not interested in history, culture or arts. This is why I asked about the safety issue. He will be working a few of the days and I will be by myself. He says I am just getting paranoid!

Again, thank you everyone for your help! I will try to give a review when we return.

Ubud, Indonesia
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9. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Just don't walk around alone after dark, get a taxi home, (they are cheap max $4 to anywhere) we stayed in Old Town and found the street deserted apart from police after 8pm which was a bit scary.

Quito is a beautiful city and we would highly recommend staying in the Historic District and having dinner at Vista Hermosa!

worldwideadventurers.com/south-america/ecuad…

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10. Re: Lots of Questions about Quito!

Soooo agree, a lot of old posts! We'll be I'n Quito 01/13, and have done extensive research, with limited information online. You have to hope someone in the know, is online to see our questions, n has time or experience to respond! I promise when we arrive in Ecuador we will post all our pros n cons! We are so excited, because it all sounds 97.99% positive :) p.s. I know not to wear shorts I'n San Francisco, too cold @ night! But not in Sacramento, Calif. in summer, hot, hot, hot! Have a great learning experience, I'n Ecuador n beyond.......