Hi all! I’m 33/F/USA planning a trip to Ecuador in August. I’ve been to the Galapagos before and spent a day or two in Quito and Guayaquil, and want to return to explore the mainland! I’m somewhat flexible on timing but planning for roughly 2 weeks. I’m mostly looking for beautiful scenery and outdoor activities, and have been wanting to go to Secret Garden Cotopaxi forever, and recently discovered LluLlu Llama Mountain Lodge which seems to have the same vibes.
Day 1: arrive Quito late, stay at Community Hostel or Secret Garden Quito
Day 2: Quito – day trip to Mindo
Day 3: Quito – day trip to Otavalo
Day 4: Quito – Cotopaxi via shuttle, Secret Garden Cotopaxi
Day 5: Secret Garden Cotopaxi
Day 6: Cotopaxi – Banos
Day 7: Banos – stay at Great Hostels
Day 8: Banos
Day 9: Banos
Day 10: Banos —> Isinlivi, LluLlu Llama Mountain Lodge
Day 11: Isinlivi
Day 12: Ilsinlivi —> Quito
Day 13: fly back from Quito
My main question is re: safety – I’ve traveled solo in several places in Central and South America and I know safety concerns can often be overblown, but it does look like violent crime has risen a bit in Ecuador. Has anyone been lately? Since my trip is focused outside the cities I’m not sure how concerned to really be, but I’ve read that with the current situation one shouldn’t go out in Quito after 6pm – I’m fine not going out in Quito at night while I’m there, but mostly concerned about the transport to and from Isinlivi, which is a series of bus rides. I’d normally go for the local bus journey, but wondering if arranging a taxi/driver is the way to go here.
Also wondering if I should add/remove days from Cotopaxi and Banos – I’m interested in doing all the outdoor activities and perhaps a day trip to Puyo from Banos.
Also, has anyone used EcuadorHop lately? It appears to be operating but there’s some mixed information on TripAdvisor. I emailed them and haven’t heard back. I also contacted WanderBus and they replied that they’re not operating right now.