I've been busy reading blogs and books ready for our South American adventure (July-December).
I'd kinda always assumed that Ecuador would be in the list of places to go but the more I read the more I wonder if we should leave this one out/shoot through quickly?
Quito is described by many people, and the books, as a scary place that doesn't have much to see.
Plus we have pretty much decided not to visit the Galapagos due to the cost, which thanks to the falling £, is rising and rising. Neither of us are particular bird lovers and I think there are other things we'd rather do and see.
I know that Ecuador has the Amazon, but we plan to visit that whilst in Bolivia.
So, I guess what I am asking is...is Quito worth a visit and what else is there to do and see in Ecuador?
[ Edit: Edited on 18-Feb-2009, at 02:36 by Benito2k ]
If there is nothing else in Ecuador that draws you to the country, I suppose Quito is ok to skip. I spent nearly two months in Ecuador and loved it (for perspective, I also spent 2 months in each Bolivia, Chile, Peru, 3 in Argentina and 2 weeks in Uruguay, so I have a decent perspective of what's out there to see).
My Ecuador highlights were a month volunteering on an organic farm in the Ecuadorian jungle (but you're visiting the jungle in Bolivia, that's good). Re: Quito, I enjoyed spending about a week in the city. The "middle of the earth" attractions just outside Quito are fun, especially on a Sunday when local families spend the day there. There are a number of decent museums, and it's a good city to refill supplies you may have missed while in Bolivia (if you're heading north).
Other Ecuador things to consider: I thoroughly enjoyed Banos. It's "the locals" vacation hangout, complete with hot springs, bikes to rent and beautiful hikes. I thought Cuenca was totally skippable, I wish I had those 48 hours back. I also fell in love with the jungle town of Tena, and made several excursions from there with local guides.
If you're not going to the Galapagos (there are more than birds you know) you can probably skip Guaquil, but I also really liked that city. For me, it had an urban/jungle (and I mean rainforest jungle) feel to it, but I like heat and humidity, you may not.
Not sure if this rambling bit of nostaligia helps.
If you'd like to see a bit more about what I enjoyed (and didn't), check out
http://mytripjournal.com/joshua_feyen and check out Aug. 3 for Tena, July 30-31 for Quito, July 26 for Banos.
Not sure it's too late for a response...but, just saw this and wanted to let you know that it's ABSOLUTELY worth the trip! I spent 3 weeks in Ecuador with my family who lives there (I'm from the midwest in the US). I'd suggest having someone fluent in Spanish to travel with you to be safe. But, the smaller towns in the Andes are amazing to visit! See Riobabma and Cuenca.. 2 of my favorites. Quito is beautiful and Salinas (on the coast) is amazing! The Ecuadorian trip down the Amazon was an experience as well! I wouldn't pass this country up!! Highly recommend it! It is a trip like no other into a place that you feel you've stepped back hundreds of years into!! (especially the small indians towns in the Andes!)