exporting myself down colombia way
March 14, 2008 8:51 AM   Subscribe

bogota to quito trip: suggestions and advice?

heading down to colombia in june and flying out of ecuador in july. what to do, see, ride and eat along the way? any sober, nonhysterical comments about safety (past standard US Dept of State boilerplate)?
posted by yonation to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, if you have time while you are in Colombia, I'd definitely recommend Palenque de San Basilio. It was originally established as a maroon village (a settlement of runaway slaves) that was never defeated by the Spanish, and resisted until the Independence. Their culture and music is really interesting. Also, it's not far from Cartagena, which is also a very beautiful city, so you can go to both in the same trip.
posted by micayetoca at 12:02 PM on March 14, 2008

I've spent alot of time in Ecuador and will be going back down again next month. I have traveled alot on my own - just be smart about walking around at night in the cities by yourself. Don't wear jewelry, don't flash money, don't accept drinks from strangers, yada yada yada. Take the same precautions you would say being in NYC if you're worried about crime. Have been there 14 times and have not had a problem ever.

You're not giving us a lot of info - do you speak any kind of Spanish? what kind of budget? Are you into hiking? Culture? As for Ecuador - get out of Quito, see the Equator, go to Otavalo and bum around the volcanos and lakes, head south to Banos and go mountain biking along the Ave. of Orchids, Cuenca is great, the most colonial city in the country, Pappallacta has a great hot springs little resort. of course, there's the cool local markets, the Galapagos, jungle lodges, great birding, horseback riding, etc. The coast isn't that beautiful (in my opinion), but surfing is popular and there's loads of hostel type hotels and the seafood is deeelish. And you can't leave without at least tasting "cuye", roasted guinea pig. Tastes like chicken, I swear. It's just the gnarly teeth and claws that can be a bit off-putting. Try ceviche if you like seafood and there's empenadas and "sopas" like locro, a cheesy, potatoey, filling soup topped with popcorn and avocado.

Bus transportation, like in a lot of Latin America, can be cheap but flaky, crowded. Helps if you speak Spanish so you can ask questions. Money - ATMs are plentiful and dispense US dollars. You won't need a converter as it's the same voltage as the USA.

MeMail me if you have any specific questions.
posted by HeyAllie at 12:19 PM on March 14, 2008

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