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Old 01-06-2018, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,213 posts, read 3,205,319 times
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A friend is considering a birthday trip to Aruba. If I attend I'm considering extending the trip and stopping in Quito before going to Aruba.


Would love to hear about people's experiences in this city.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Everybody I knew raved about it, but I thought it was so-so. There are two Quitos, the old city and the new, I think about a mile apart, a pleasant walk through a park. Old Quito is just an old Andean city, quite dangerous in some quarters. New Quito is just a new Andean city, no different from any modern South American city.

One thing I recall, I found it hard to get a decent evening meal at a fair price. But our hotel was nice, they let my wife use the kitchen.
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:19 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
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I loved Quito. It's very stretched out, so there will be a lot of walking involved. Quito is at a pretty high altitude, so if you're not used to it, take it easy. You can start taking Diamox a couple of days before you go to help.


I thought the food was very reasonable and quite good (with the exception of the roasted guinea pigs you'll see being sold on the sidewalks -- I couldn't quite bring myself to try one). Hotels are reasonably priced.


The churches are breathtaking, from the spectacular cathedrals to the little neighborhood chapels.....colonial architecture at it's best. Loved the craft shops. People are "reserved" but very polite. English isn't as commonly spoken as in some South American and Latin American countries, but you can always find someone to help you.


If you have time, there are side trips to be taken, 2-3 hours away: Otovalo for the market and the Devil's Caldron for sheer WOWEE! If you want something touristy, there's always the Center of the Earth attraction, where you get to straddle the equator (of course, the actual equator is a couple hundred yards off somewhere at the bottom of a ravine, but who's quibbling about details?)
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Old 01-06-2018, 11:59 PM
 
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Why Quito and Aruba? I think Cartagena may be a better combination.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:32 AM
 
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Quito and Cartagena would be polar opposites, except the historic architecture would be similar. I'd also choose Curacao over Aruba. Aruba is a beach destination and they are all pretty much the same. Curacao has a unique culture unlike anywhere else.

It all comes down to what the traveler is looking for.
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:43 AM
 
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I visited Quito in 1996. I stayed at a small hotel off out Avenida Amazonas which was a good location for walking around and was considered safe at that time.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Mtns of Waynesville,NC & Nokomis, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
...I'm considering extending the trip and stopping in Quito before going to Aruba.
...
You realize it is a nearly 5 hour flight from Quito to Aruba, not counting pre flight 'airport time'?
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,213 posts, read 3,205,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cebuan View Post
Everybody I knew raved about it, but I thought it was so-so. There are two Quitos, the old city and the new, I think about a mile apart, a pleasant walk through a park. Old Quito is just an old Andean city, quite dangerous in some quarters. New Quito is just a new Andean city, no different from any modern South American city.

One thing I recall, I found it hard to get a decent evening meal at a fair price. But our hotel was nice, they let my wife use the kitchen.
You found dinners in Quito expensive...? Really? I am surprised to hear this.


Totally off topic: I was reading a post of yours a few weeks ago (can't remember in what forum) and ended up looking at pictures of Cebu. Lucky you to live in such an amazing city! Made me put this on my (long) travel list of "must see" places!
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,213 posts, read 3,205,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamary1 View Post
I loved Quito. It's very stretched out, so there will be a lot of walking involved. Quito is at a pretty high altitude, so if you're not used to it, take it easy. You can start taking Diamox a couple of days before you go to help.


I thought the food was very reasonable and quite good (with the exception of the roasted guinea pigs you'll see being sold on the sidewalks -- I couldn't quite bring myself to try one). Hotels are reasonably priced.


The churches are breathtaking, from the spectacular cathedrals to the little neighborhood chapels.....colonial architecture at it's best. Loved the craft shops. People are "reserved" but very polite. English isn't as commonly spoken as in some South American and Latin American countries, but you can always find someone to help you.


If you have time, there are side trips to be taken, 2-3 hours away: Otovalo for the market and the Devil's Caldron for sheer WOWEE! If you want something touristy, there's always the Center of the Earth attraction, where you get to straddle the equator (of course, the actual equator is a couple hundred yards off somewhere at the bottom of a ravine, but who's quibbling about details?)
Thanks for your input


I don't think I'd be interested in the guinea pigs either I love to eat good when I travel...I have yet to see what type of food is prevalent in this area. This will be my first time in South America. I don't know yet how much time I will have; I am thinking 3-4 days. (My other choice FYI is Guatemala City but I've done no research on that. I picked Quito based on proximity to Aruba.)
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,213 posts, read 3,205,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nn2036 View Post
Why Quito and Aruba? I think Cartagena may be a better combination.
Cartagena just has never been on my travel list. Looks pretty though.


And this is going to sound like the most superficial of reasons but...I'm a member of a few travel facebook groups and Cartagena is always mentioned. I'd started to see so many posts and pictures about it (people were going on group trips there) I'd felt I'd almost been there myself lol. But Quito has been on my list primarily because of the Galapagos Islands. However, I won't be able to make it to the Galapagos Islands anytime soon so I figured...why not at least see Quito now since I'll be kinda close?


From what I've seen the city seems like it would offer the kind of vibe I'd like to experience on my next trip. Typically Portugal and Spain is high on my list as I've been before and really like both places, and since I didn't make it to either last year (and won't make it to either this year), for some reason I feel Quito might be a good choice to fill the void of not being able to make it to either of those two countries.


I did mention above I also have Guatemala in the back of my head...


I am open though so if anyone wants to share opinions of Cartagena please do so.
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