If you have an experienced backpacking friend who knows you well, he or she will provide the best advices where to start… but the sometimes … you just want to embrace in a new adventure in a place that nobody knows well. This blog will help you to start planning your trip knowing the basics about Ecuador, but the tips that no travelers know.. only locals…. We advise you to keep reading because we want to help you to make any trip safer and more fun.
Planning a trip to Ecuador? We’ve got a bunch of useful resources to help you plan your trip!
Tips to travel around Quito
1) You do not need to book a hostel in the center of the town, there are bunch of places around the city. However, the center of the town has became more popular to host tourist, neighborhoods like San Blas, La Floresta, El Dorado have amazing views of the city, they are centrally located. By the contrary, La Mariscal the old gringolandia (that is how we used to call it), is not a hot spot anymore. Is definitely a place for party and dinner out, but if you prefer more relaxing atmosphere to rest at night, we recommend check the areas above.
2) Once in Quito, don’t forget to check out La Ronda, It’s the cutest little street filled with bars, salsa clubs, and restaurants, where Spaniard just to live in the past.
3) Quito airport is about 45 minutes from the city, that means is actually far away. You can take a taxi per 25 dollars or a bus for 8 dollars. Honestly, for this one, we highly recommend the taxi… buses can be cheaper in a way, but after your flight you will be probably exhausted and the bus makes a whole route that takes 2 hours to get to the city. Therefore, think twice! It might be better to spend a bit more in this one.
Tips to travel from Guayaquil to the beach Olon or Montañita
4) The bus terminal in Guayaquil is actually a mall, it might seem a bit odd but this unconventional idea, is actually very practical. You will always enter the building at the first floor, you can get your bus tickets there to go to the mountains, jungle and border (some bus companies goes to Perú and Colombia) and opposite side there is the food court, which is an amazing combination while you traveling, you can get some fries, McDonald, Chinese food etc.
5) Another advice at the bus terminal, there is security around. However be attentive to your belongs. Delinquency in Ecuador is not violent, mostly pick pockets, so you might feel comfortable and want to leave your belongs at this mall while you get food, or your bus ticket but this is not a good idea.
6) The buses to come to Olon and Montañita depart from the third floor, and you can buy the bus tickets there as well. There is an office from CLP Cooperativa Libertadores Peninsulares that goes straight to both beach towns in Ecuador for only 6 dollars. Important tip! They have WIFI, so check the options to connect. By the way, public transport to travel around Ecuador is very cheap, almost 1 dollar per hour, except when they offer a preferencial service and direct buses.
Tips to backing all around Ecuador
7) Even though Ecuador uses USD, the coins are unique to the country and therefore useless outside of Ecuador and unfortunately, change is very difficult to get. So anytime that you can use the 20 or 10 bills at the cities and keep the change for #Montañita or #Olon.
8) Most of ecuadorians do not speak english, so learning a few phrases will help you. Despite the non-english communication skills, ecuadorians are super friendly and patient to try to understand you, and they will make a big effort to mime an answer. Of course, the ideal would be to learn some spanish in that way you can communicate in a better way. Please check our programs at Outdoor Spanish and Surf school, we are conveniently located at the coast, where you can relax, chill and progress in your spanish skills while surfing or just discovering Ecuador.
9) During long trips, buses play old movies, most of the time those are the favorites from locals and some times there are just bad taste from someone, very violent and always in spanish. So, bring you music to travel or prepare yourself to enjoy one movie while traveling, because is nothing you can do about, it is just part of the culture.
10) We love tourist! Most of the time, ecuadorians like to help, so if you feel lost or need some help, there is always someone there that would like to give you a hand, if you speak some spanish do not be afraid to ask. We like to help, feel useful regardless of your level of spanish, we will try to find a way to help you. So please feel welcome to ask.