REE Ecuador experience, backpack or suitcase?

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REE Ecuador experience, backpack or suitcase?

Postby Alpine_Resort » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:12 pm

Is there anyone who has done this tour who can tell me which luggage would be best? I've done other G tours and they always recommend backpacks but I've found that a reasonably sized suitcase with wheels is more convenient as we rarely carry it long distances and it's often easier to drag it than take it on and off, especially since I also carry a camera bag. We usually end up carrying it like a duffel instead and suitcase is easier. Is that the case with this trip? I'm wondering about the home stay and jungle lodge. Are there dirt paths on which we have to drag luggage?
Thoughts?
Thanks!
Jodi from rural Ontario, Canada
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Re: REE Ecuador experience, backpack or suitcase?

Postby jasonatl » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:32 am

I did a similar Ecuador trip in September. A backpack is a very good idea. Your jungle home stay almost certainly will have you dragging your suitcase through dirt and will be a pain going up stairs, which if it is the same place we went, there are a lot. You might also end up taking a motorized canoe to the home stay (depends on if the trucks are available or not) so getting in and out of the boat will be much easier and there will be less chance of your belongings getting wet with a backpack. Likely it is the same jungle lodge we stayed at, which if I remember correctly had gravel paths that would be even more difficult to roll a suitcase on than loose dirt.

I actually did use a large wheeled gym bag for flying to and from Ecuador but left it in storage at the hotel in Quito. Since REE starts and ends there, you'll almost certainly be able to store your extra stuff in the hotel's storage room but you might want to call G to double check. The rest of the time I couldn't imagine using it. The public buses would have been a huge pain with a suitcase. Bring a backpack large enough for everything you need between stops in Quito and leave extra items at the hotel. Also bring a daypack because you're not going to want to lug your full size pack around when doing daily activities.

It's a long enough trip that you probably don't want to pack enough clothes to wear them just once. Laundry at the hotel in Quito was insanely expensive and was very inexpensive everywhere else in the country. Make use of the laundry stops whenever your CEO mentions them. Think I never paid more than $4 to have all my dirty clothes washed, dried, and folded neatly. The hotel in Quito charged one member of our group $40 and it was for only a few items.

Ecuador was one of my favorite trips and I'd love to go back sometime. You should have a great time. If you have an extra day, taking a day trip to Mindo is well worth the trouble. In Banos avoid the quad bikes. Everything else in Banos was great and inexpensive but the quad bikes were expensive and unsafe.

Have a great time! Your camera will get plenty of use during your time in Ecuador as will your smile muscles!
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Re: REE Ecuador experience, backpack or suitcase?

Postby Alpine_Resort » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:28 pm

Thanks Jason!
That's very helpful advice. We're pretty light packers and won't likely have anything we need to store. We're doing the Galapagos before the REE tour but I'm thinking we'll need the shorts and stuff for the beach part of Ecuador and they're not that heavy to drag around.
We've got 2 days after the tour and are thinking of going to the Maquipicuna ecolodge in Mindo for a couple of days.
Has anyone been there?
Jodi from rural Ontario, Canada
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Re: REE Ecuador experience, backpack or suitcase?

Postby SueLavery » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:37 am

I too am going on REE Ecudador and have a small suitcase with wheels and also straps but no waist belt. Thought it may be good for this trip as would be easier to get up stairs if I can haul it onto my back.
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