Ecuador & the Amazonas 2018
German passport holders do not require a visa for Ecuador for entry up to 90 days.
US Dollars and credit card are possible at some places.
Spanish and hardly any English even in Quito. We managed with only few words of Spanish, with our hands and feet, but it is easier to get around when speaking at least a little Spanish.
Right-hand side. Pedestrian walks are ignored. Care has to be taken when walking on the streets especially in Quito.
Taxis are cheap (e.g.: 20 min for 2,50 US$). UBER is also available. Just need the app. In competition with taxis though. UBER drivers might be stopped by police if recognized. Nothing will happen to you in this case. Police will stop a taxi for you and you just change cars. Best to sit at the front with the driver so that it does not look like a UBER ride.
Taxi ride to the airport from Quito is around 25 US$.
Taxi drivers did not speak English. Best to show address.
Public transport is cheaper, but a bit challenging especially if you don't speak Spanish.
Not expected, nor common in Quito. Happy faces when you leave a few extra coins ;)
Wifi is possible in some places. Internet connection is not always the best, even in hotels (2018)!
Ecuador is known for pickpocketers. We did not experience anything the like and felt safe.
We rather experienced a very helpful culture. But it always also needs the be kept in mind that if people are approached with a smile, they mostly will return a smile ;)
However, even though we felt safe it is like always when travelling to foreign destinations: it is best to keep all your belongings closely with you, or lock it in your hotel safe. Walking around on your own at night is also not adviseable. Especially for women on their own.
In case of medical issues an option is to go to the following hospital: Hospital Vozandes Quito. Only very little English is spoken, but very helpful and kind. Bill needs to be paid after consultancy.
Also good to check the recommeded doctors by your country's embassy on their website. The German embassy provides a list of German doctors for various countries for instance.
Quito is at 2850 meters above sea-level the second highest located city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. Therefore, oxygen in the air is lower than most people are used too, which means some people will experice altitude sickness. This includes for instance symptoms like being short on breath, nausea, being a bit tired/ less energetic. Most people are fine after 2 to 3 days.
In October we never had issues with mosquitos, neither in Quito nor in the Amazons (Tena region). However, malaria medication might be necessary in the Amazonas at other times, or other locations. Consult your doctor to be sure.
Due to the altitude in Quito, no mosquitos, so no malaria ;)
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, socks covering ancles and insect repellent will help to protect as well. When buying insect repellent, one with deet 50 and above is recommended. This can be obtained online, or in your pharamcy. In South American countries we generally recommend to wear long-sleeved cloths, especially because of the Zika Virus, as there is no immunisation agsinst it. Therefore, not getting bitten by mosquitos is the best option ;).
Ceviche (seafood casserole).
Ilapingachos (potatoe pancakes). Potatoe soup (Locro de papa). Empanadas (fried pastries with meat, plaintain or cheese (queso)).
Ice Cream 😁 in Quito available every few meters.
Plantain in the Amazonas with meat and some salad and sometimes fries.
In Quito a meal often consists of rice with meat and some salad and sometimes fries. Soups are served as a starter.
Almuerzos are cheap lunch meals at about 2,50 US$ consisting of a soup and a main. Almuerzo can be found in most streets in the centre of Quito.
Street food is available anywhere and you can just sit anywhere in the Old Town of Quito and some street food seller will pass you. You basically don't need to really move to eat!
Ecuador is also famous for coffee and chocolate.
Additional info: Like in most developing countries, especially around the equator, be careful when eating local food, as you don't really want to suffer from travel diaarhea. This may happen because your stomach is not used to the local bacterias and this can affect your health shortly. If you happen to be affected by travel diaarhea drink a lot of water/tea and see a doctor after 3 days of no improvement.You might need antibiotics to recover.
Precautions are not to drink, or brush teeths with tap water, no food that is not cooked and peeled, which means stay away from unpeeled fruit and salad for instance. No ice cubes, or ice cream. Sanitize your hands and your mobile phone screen frequently. Keep in mind though that even if you keep to all these precautions, you still can be affected by travel diaarhea. It is just a try.
Magic Bean on Plaza Foch in the Mariscial Sucre district offers good quality American food.
El Maple on Plaza Foch in the Mariscial Sucre district offers fresh organic, vegan meals.
Mama Clorinda on Plaza Foch in the Mariscial Sucre district for Ecuadorian food.
Casa Nuestra in the Mariscial Sucre district for authentic Ecuadorian food. (No English spoken/English menu available).
Coffee & Sweet for people who are after a Starbucks kind of cafe. Found in the Mariscial Sucre district for instance.
In the Old Town of Quito any Cafe on Plaza Grande, or at the San Franzisco Church was fine. Many restaurants at the Calle de La Ronda.
Almuerzo options are found anywhere here and are definately the cheapest dining option.
We have not been, but read that the Theatrum Restaurante in the Old Town of Quito serves excellent Ecuadorian food and offers fine dining.
Casa Sierra Madre/Casa Cruz Loma in Quito.
This guest house is located in the modern district (Marscial Surcre) in Quito and in walking distance (approx. 5min) to Plaza Foch, a party and eatery square.
It is tidy and simple. Breakfast is offered every morning consisting of toast, ham, jam, either fried or scrambled egg, juice and some granola with yoghurt or milk.
For the less fancy traveller who does not want to stay in a hostel this could be an option. The old town of Quito is about 30 to 40 minutes by foot.
The staff is very helpful and speaks English!
Casa Gardenia in Quito
Located in the Old Town of Quito with all major attractions like churches, the Calle de La Ronda and plazas around. This place is very tidy, clean, simple with a nice interior design and a great view over Quito from the balcony. Only 7 rooms are available. Free tea, coffee and fruits are available all day long.
A fresh breakfast is served in the morning consisting of freshly squeezed juice, jam, butter, eggs of your choice, cookies, granola, yoghurt, milk, croissants, ham and cheese.
The staff speaks English fluently and is very helpful!
For those who love to watch television, there are so many channels to choose from and also in English.
We felt comfortable here!
Things to do in and around Quito
Old Town of Quito
Walking through the old town of Quito brings Ecuadorian history a bit closer. Varies churches can be visited including for example the Basilica del voto , Compañía de Jesús and the San Francisco Church. The Presidential Palace for which tickets need to be booked on the website upfront (even though entry is free) is also an option. Hanging around at Plaza Grande observing people we enjoyed too. The city museum and the La Casa Del Vado Museum can also be visited. For a bit of quietness away from the city centre the Itchimbia Park is nice. There are also free walking tours in the old town of Quito starting at 10.30 am and 2.30pm. More info: http://freewalkingtourecuador.com.
Plaza Foch in the Marscial Sucre district is the right place for those who are into nightlife. A large number of clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes are around.
Ciudad Mitad del Mundo
Mitad del Mundo stands for "The Middle of the World" where you can stand on the ecuator line.
Experience Quito from the top and take the cable car on the Cruz Loma mountain and drive from the base up to 3950 meters. From here you will have a nice view over Quito on a day with a clear sky.
Cotopaxi Volcano (not done it, as we were sick :( )
Hike and bike the Cotopaxi, which is the world's highest volcano with a height of 5897 meters. Very straneous hike, due to the altitude. For hikers and adventurous people surely a great experience!
A cloud forest as the name indicates not too far from Quito including walks, zip lining, chocolate tasting butterfly watching and hikes.
Otavalo local market
The biggest traditional market in South America to buy traditional crafts and experience a local market.
Termas de Papallacta
Spend a day away from Quito in the natural hot springs of Papallacta to relax.
Laguna de Quilotoa
Crater sea with a stunning lndscape and a nice hike.
This is just a glimpe of what Ecuador has got to offer. You can also take a flight to the Galapagos Islands from Quito, or fly deep into the Amazonian rainforest and spend time in one of the nice lodges exploring the Amazon around it!
There are surely some hike options in the Ecuadorian Andes too! We just did not have enough time to explore Ecuador fully.
We already decided though that Ecuador is worth a second visit ;)
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