Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

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Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby joeb83 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:57 pm

Hey all,

Booked this trip for 16 days of Ecuador- all my friends are saying why you going to ecuador if not going to galapogos- but ohh well....

anyone have recent sugeestion on Eduador and the Amazon- is 16 days too much?

Read some stuff already- but anything else that you'd share would be cool...

Im from Los Angeles. Ecuador and Columbia are the only S.A countries that I have not visited.....

CHeer
JOe
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby moviegeekjn » Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:32 pm

Have only been to Galapagos & Quito in Ecuador--1 or 2 days is enough for Quito...

But spent over two weeks in Colombia and highly recommend it. As long as you stick to major "tourist" routes, travel in Colombia is far safer than government agencies would have you believe. I had enlisted a tour service to help transitions and provide a few services, but with some research I could have managed perfectly well on my own. Knowing more Spanish would have been a major plus since many Colombians are not conversant in English.
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby joeb83 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:14 am

Hi Moviegeek

Thanks for your post.....If i had 7 days in columbia- what would you recommend? Bogota and Cartenga? what were your favorite parts of columbia.....I would love to do columbi abut cant find a decent tour that fits my price and dates......I havent booked my flight to ecuador yet....ur input is appreciated.

Cheers
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby moviegeekjn » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:12 am

Bogota and Cartegena are the two most popular tourist spots, but my favorite areas in Colombia were Medellin and the coffee region around Armenia (Salento). Once rated the most violent city in the world in the 1990s, Medellin is greatly cleaned up now and extremely beautiful... and about the friendliest city I've ever visited.

If you are confined to just seven days for Colombia, I'd look into splitting this up between Bogota, Medellin, and Cartegena since transportation between those cities should be relatively easy.
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby joeb83 » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Thanks Moviegeek...

Did you stay @ Hostels? WOuld you recommend any must see day trips in columbia? how easy is travel by bus in columbia- or do u recommend internal flight to save time since I have a week....

cheers
Joe
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby jasonatl » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:42 pm

I did Amazon and Inland back in September and had an amazing time. Most of the places we visited we all wished for a couple more days to enjoy and explore the surroundings. You may find that sixteen days isn't enough rather than too many. I stayed a couple of extra days in Quito after the trip which gave me time to participate in a couple other adventures not part of Amazon and Inland such as the Mindo cloud forest (where we also did zip lining) and Cotopaxi.

There are lots of optional activities on this trip and because Ecuador is so inexpensive, you'll be able to try out things you might never have thought about doing because there is so little risk of wasting a bunch of money. The only optional activity I did that turned out to be not worth the time or money were the quad bikes in Banos.

Since Ecuador uses the US dollar, you'll find it much easier to deal with money while you're there. The local ATMs didn't even charge me a fee to use them, though there might be some that do.

Even if you don't do any of the optional activities, the included ones along with some really nice locations makes for a great trip.
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby joeb83 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:36 pm

Jason thnx for the reply

question- how was the food in ecuador?....I have been to all countries in south america expect ecuador and columbia....so thats why im looking at this trip...

did you enjoy the amazon trip? How were the accomidations in general.....

Cheers

Joe
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Re: Amazon and Inland -Ecuador

Postby jasonatl » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:45 pm

I liked the food in Ecuador but I'm not terribly fussy when it comes to food... also I ate jungle fruit worms and guinea pig during the trip so my taste buds might not be similar to those of most people. :) The food in Ecuador was for the most part cheap. Most meals were less than $5USD. If you go to a US chain like Burger King, you'll pay about the same as you would in the US. In Quito, there are several restaurants near Hotel Quito that serve North American type food and charge a pretty penny for it. The restaurant in Hotel Quito itself is high priced but the breakfast is incredible. Beer is cheap in Ecuador but liquor is expensive.

I was happy with the accommodations throughout the trip. Hotel Quito was a bit more upscale than I thought necessary for this trip but we all enjoyed the change of pace each time we were there. The Amazon home stay is a bit primitive (showers but no hot or even warm water), but was clean, which was what I cared about mostly. I did sleep in a Cocoon (sleeping bag liner) while there due to bugs. The lodge that followed the home stay was still in the jungle but I didn't bother with the Cocoon since there weren't many bugs and none inside the rooms that I noticed. Everywhere else the accommodations were typical hotels or resorts. The hot springs was nice and I think it loosened everyone up since we all saw each other in bathing suits. ;)

The Amazon itself was very interesting. This trip doesn't take you very deep into the jungle but you're far enough in that the locals you meet are living a genuine tribal life. We learned quite a bit about how they farm and produce goods. The guided night walk in the jungle was incredible. We saw tons of different insects and even had a small deer follow us around, apparently curious who were these glowing creatures out and about in the middle of the night.
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