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Itinerary, Private tour & driver

Bridgend, United...
Level Contributor
136 posts
61 reviews
Itinerary, Private tour & driver

Wanting to travel over during late April & need some advice please:

1. Not enough time to visit Galapagos unfortunately

2. Suggested itinerary would be:

Quito

Tena

Banos

Alausi

Cuenca

Guayaquil

3.Is this a reasonable itinerary & how many days at each?

4.Can somebody recommend a tour guide to drive us around these main parts of Ecuador for 10-12 days & a basic cost of what this is likely to be - including vehicle & accomodation.

5.Recommendations for decent "average price" hotels & retaurants

6. We are a couple in their 50's plus 2 daughters in their 20's & we all enjoy hiking, sightseeing, some adventure stuff, decent accomodation & food.

Finally, at the end, we want to relax at a beach type holiday for 4-5 days after the above busy time - again recommendations please.

Many thanks

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
11,269 posts
101 reviews
1. Re: Itinerary, Private tour & driver

I would cut out Tena and plan to fly to Cuenca and/or Guayaquil to save time. Tena is secondary forest, no wildlife, and more about adventure activities which you can find as easily in Baños. From Baños you can bike to Puyo, a sort of gateway to the Amazon, or perhaps take a day trip a little further in if you like. There are plenty of agencies in Baños you can consult.

The beach portion--is that 4-5 days in addition to the 10-12 you mentioned? If it's part of your 10-12 days, you won't have time to do it all and be able to remember anything but the inside of the car or van.

The coast in April will be in seasonal transition so you may be able to get the warm weather you probably seek. My choice would be Puerto López, on the edge of Machalilla National Park. From there, among other things, you can take an excursion to Isla de la Plata and see the famous Blue-footed Boobies you would have seen in Galápagos.

There is a list of drivers in the Top Questions on the right. TA no longer supports the Traveler Articles so the list can't be updated any more. You can also contact well-regarded local agencies like AmazonAndesSky, Guanguiltagua Expeditions, or Happy Gringo, and put yourselves and your itinerary in their hands.

Level Contributor
187 posts
36 reviews
2. Re: Itinerary, Private tour & driver

My husband and I are going for two weeks in February and we're spending 5 days in Quito, 2 days in Latacunga (Cotopaxi and Quilotoa), and 5 days in Cuenca. We plan on bussing our way from Quito to Latacunga to Cuenca and then flying back since bus travel is so slow. I think you want to factor that into your plans.

Hotel recommendations can easily be found on Trip Advisor. There's no shortage of inexpensive hostels. Just read the reviews.

Montanita, Ecuador
Level Contributor
59 posts
3. Re: Itinerary, Private tour & driver

I would also recommend cutting out Tena agreeing with the above comments that it is secondary forest and the adventure activities such as white water rafting can be done in Banos as well as a one day visit to Puyo for the rain forest. I would include a visit to Cotopaxi National Park where you can reach the refuge and then downhill bike down which is an adventurous and exciting day tour. Also if you wanted to include a jungle lodge the Cuyabeno Reserve or one of the lodges leaving from Coca is an amazing adventure to do as a family, and if you don't have enough time for Galapagos it will definitely give you a sense of the awesome nature Ecuador has to offer. Also I would cut out Guayaquil and head straight to Olon (next town from Montanita) for your beach stay. Olon is a cute little village that has comfortable accommodations and is a short 5 min taxi or bus ride to Montanita, famous for its surf, nightlife, and restaurants.

My Recommended itinerary would be:

- Quito: 2 days

- Amazon (either Cuyabeno or leaving out of Coca): 4 days (including arrival and departure days)

- Cotopaxi: 1 day

- Banos: 2-3 days

- Alausi: 1 Day

- Cuenca: 2 Days

- Olon: 4-5 days

In my opinion this will give you a wonderful and complete visit to Ecuador. If you have any questions or would like more details about how this type of itinerary could work please let me know!

- Laura

4. Re: Itinerary, Private tour & driver

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