Ecuador Journals

Ecuador: High Andes and Amazon Jungle

A June 1998 trip to Ecuador by travelman

Quote: Ecuador has it all! Sohistcated cities and low-key villages in the Andean highlands; a beautiful Amazon Basin; and the Galapagos Islands. The volcanic mountains are majestic and tourist rates are low. The people are remarkably warm and genuine.

Ecuador: High Andes and Amazon Jungle

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Overview

Quote:
Quito(especially the restored colonial Old City) is marvelous. Stand on the nearby Equator with a leg in each hemisphere. Visit the Lake District and Otavalo market. Thermal bathe at Banos beneath an active volcano. Visit the Amazon basic for a few days by plane and dugout canoe. Satay in a Spanish-Colonial hacienda.Quick Tips: Three US airlines fly into Quito. Internal flights are heavily booked and long-distance bus service varies, but is pretty dependable. Summer is dry season but cooler, especially in the evenings. Book trips in Quito by recommendation.Best Way To Get Around: After adjusting to the altitude, walking in Quito is fairly pleasant for strolling especially in the O...Read More

Puerto Anfi

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Hotel | "Hostal Sierra Nevada"

Quote:
This is such an ideal base in Quito, I almost don''t want to share it. There are under 20 rooms, each modern and comfortable but with local native crafts, each named after a volcano. Freddie, the host mountain-guide speaks fluent English and is fantastic with recommendations as are his staff. Next door is a healthy cafe open for breakfast and until evening. The location and service can''t be beat.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 19, 2001

Puerto Anfi
Barranco de la Verga
Canary Islands, Spain
(34) 928736296

The Maverick

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Hotel | "La Cienega"

Quote:
This Spanish-Colonial hacienda and country estate (18th century) is part of a national chain of historic properties. This place reeks of history, ambience and class but the price is rock bottom compared to what a comparable place in Spain would be. The rooms in the main building are super comfortable and old-fashioned. The explorer and cartographer Von Humboldt slept here in 1802. The property is about a 1km walk in from the PanAmerican Highway near the village of Lasso and the city of Latacunga (some 90 minutes south of Quito). The super-scenic Cotopaxi Volcanic Park is nearby and taxi will come to La Cienega. The rate includes a full breakfast and dinner a la carte in the formal dining room with roa...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 21, 2001

The Maverick
485 South Atlantic Avenue
Ormond Beach, Florida 32176
(386) 672-3550

Agua Fresca Ristorante

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Restaurant

Quote:
This place in the market town of Otavalo is one of the healthiest and most welcoming places in the country. A three-course vegetarian meal, cooked with care and the healthiest ingredients, was very tasty. The decor is funky and wonderful. The price in 1998 was about $2 USD (this is not a typo!). To boot, they had a good five-man group in the evening for "La Musica de los Andes" with native instruments and a vocalist, too. The local music in this setting was haunting and wonderful. A small tip was optional. By all means, go to Otavalo for market day but stay an extra day or two when the town is much quieter. Visit nearby Peguche (for weavings) and Lago San Pablo for peaceful walks.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 23, 2001

Restaurant Mariane

Restaurant

Quote:
Banos is the most wonderful thermal town at 2000 foot altitude between the Andes and the Amazon Basin. Though it is geared to tourism, it was quite empty midweek in mid-June when I spent three days there. While it is in South America, the atmosphere of this clean orderly town is European. Indeed, there are European-run hotels, cafes,and restaurants living there. My best find has a French bistro-restaurant called Marianne on one of the main streets. Intimate, owner-chef operated, one could be in Paris but without the prices and attitude. Three courses with healthy ,tasty continental food and a glass of Chilean or Argentine wine was under $15. ENJOY!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 21, 2001

Quote:
While staying in the town of Banos, I saw a notice at my small hotel's reception about visiting a weaver in the village of Salasaca. So off I went the next day by bus and was quickly directed to Senor Alonso's Pilla's small house in the village just off the main road. This village of some 2000 people between the city of Ambato and town of Banos is noted for traditional crafts. Sr. Pilla sat at his home-made backstrap loom weaving beautiful, traditional belts and other articles with native designs and colours. We talked for awhile and then I was invited back the next day (June 11) to observe the local "Solstica" Festival -the welcoming of the sun and moon, in the local cemetary. Accompanied by Alons...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 24, 2001

Museo del Banco

Attraction

Quote:
This National Museum is in central Quito between the new and old cities diagonally opposite the US Embassy. It is a fairly new and well-designed building both inside and out. It has three floors, each with a different focus. The main floor is devoted to pre-history and ethnography; the second to the settlement of Ecuador; and the third to Colonial and Modern Art. The whole museum is airy, well-lit and with excellent explanations. Temporary exhibitions are also featured. The hours were Tuesday-Friday, 09h00-17h00; Sat/Sun/Hols.: 10h00-15h00. The entrance fee is low. From here one can stroll into the Old City (A UNESCO Heritage site) via 10 Augusto and Venezuela streets.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 22, 2001

Quote:
I had a wonderful four-day experience in "el Oriente" - the northern portion of Ecuador's Amazon basin near Colombia. I had met a representative of the Yuturi Lodge here in Toronto at a Travel Show and found their Quito office on Amazonas near the Hotel Colon quite easily. Having a good impression , I booked a three-night package with them. It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. One hour by small 12-seater modern plane over the Andes and jungle to Coca (the village on the Napo River, tributary of the Amazon) and then about five hours by motorized dugout canoe to the Lodge. The accommodations were basic but clean and well-organized - bamboo huts with comfortable bed and mosquito-ne...Read More