Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador Itinerary

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Are you planning a visit to South America and solely have 2 weeks of trip? Don’t fear, it’s doable to see a variety of locations in South America simply in 2 weeks. On this article, I will probably be sharing our itinerary for 16 days in South America, visiting Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. 16 days is only a however greater than 2 weeks, however these 2 days really play an enormous distinction for a troublesome (by way of planning) journey like that, so if in case you have 16 days to spend in South America – that’s superb.

If two weeks is all you’ll be able to handle, and you actually wish to go to Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in 14 days, this may additionally work, you’ll simply must spend much less time in one of many locations of this journey (scale back time spent in La Paz by sooner or later and spend much less time in Ecuador as nicely). 

Helpful hyperlinks:

…which are talked about on this submit (so you will have them multi functional place):

Journey insurance coverage for South America: you should use EKTA Journey insurance coverage

Reserving flights in South America – Skyscanner

Motels – the overview of lodges by day you’ll find within the brief itinerary a number of paragraphs beneath

Tour to soak up Peru: Lima meals tour

Rainbow mountain tour from Cusco

Practice tickets from Cusco to Machu Picchu: Peru Rail

Bus to Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

Salar de Uyuni Day Tour

Salt Resort in Salar de Uyuni – Resort de Sal Luna Salada

La Paz excursions: La Paz teleferico tour and La Paz avenue meals tour

Rental automobile in Ecuador: ebook right here

Our Amazon Lodge in Ecuador: Napo Cultural Heart

Quito strolling tour – verify availability right here

7 days in Ecuador: Quito, Mindo and Amazon adventure in Yasuni National Park

Listed here are some issues you could know earlier than taking this journey:

The right way to journey between Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in case you solely have 2 weeks in South America?

The simplest technique to journey between Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador is by buses and planes. Nonetheless, not everybody can sleep in evening buses (*quietly raises a hand*), so it’s doable to journey solely by air. Should you solely have 16 days in South America, I don’t suggest travelling simply by bus (though it will be doable, particularly in case you purchase multi-city flights, e.g. arriving to La Paz and departing from Quito. That approach, it will be doable to begin your journey in La Paz, head to Salar de Uyuni by bus, return to La Paz, take a bus to lake Titikaka, cross the border to Peru and take a practice or bus to Cusco. The remainder of the buses would take merely an excessive amount of time, except you wish to spend 22 hours in a bus as an alternative of 1 hour in a aircraft from Cusco to Lima. It’s completely fantastic if in case you have 2 months in South America, but it surely wouldn’t work very nicely in case you solely have 2 weeks). 

For purchasing flights in South America, we used Skyscanner – it helped us to seek out the most affordable fares! One other software to strive is WayAway.

What to pack for two weeks in South America?

The packing record for two weeks in South America depends upon the season while you’re visiting the continent. Nonetheless, some locations like La Paz and Quito have comparable climate all yr lengthy, so the packing record shouldn’t change drastically. Lima may be colder or hotter relying on the season and the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador can have roughly rainfall relying on the month. 

For two weeks in South America, I like to recommend bringing many layers, so you’ll be able to simply alter your outfit if it will get chilly or sizzling. Carry a minimum of 5-6 t-shirts, tank tops, lengthy sleeve shirts, shorts, leggings, lengthy fast-drying trousers (2-3 pairs), fast-drying shirts (3 pcs), fleece jacket, trainers, leather-based boots, sandals, waterproof backpack, a number of attire in case you put on these, hoodies, sweatshirts and a crossbody bag with a variety of hidden pockets (Lululemon makes baggage like this).

Right here’s a brief overview of the two+ week South America itinerary:

Day 1: arriving to Lima, exploring town, evening at Ibis Types Miraflores 

Day 2: exploring Lima within the morning, afternoon flight to Cusco, evening at Marriott Cusco

Day 3: exploring Cusco within the morning, 1pm practice/bus to Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu), an evening at Casa Andina Machu Picchu

Day 4: Exploring Machu Picchu, night practice to Cusco, an evening at Novotel Cusco

Day 5: Cusco and night flight again to Lima, then a flight to La Paz

Day 6: Arriving at La Paz airport (most likely late at evening / early within the morning), exploring La Paz, evening bus to Salar de Uyuni

Day 7: Day tour to Salar de Uyuni, an evening at Resort de Sal, Luna Salada (or an evening bus to La Paz)

Day 8: Flight to La Paz with 5 hours to spend in Cochabamba, an evening at Selina La Paz or MET Resort La Paz

Day 9: A day tour of your selection: Copacabana (Titikaka Lake) or a tour to one of many mountains

Day 10: Exploring La Paz, late evening flight onwards to Quito by way of Lima or Bogota

Day 11: Arriving in Quito, driving to Mindo, evening at Casa Divina

Day 12: Birdwatching in Mindo, visiting Mitad del Mundo, night in Quito 

Day 13: Flying to Coca, staying at Napo Cultural Heart in Yasuni (Amazon journey)

Day 14: Amazon rainforest

Day 15: Amazon rainforest

Day 16: Flying again to Quito, exploring town centre, flying again by way of Lima

Alright, with out additional ado, let’s begin with the very best itinerary for barely greater than 2 weeks in South America!

2+ weeks in South America: Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador itinerary

Days 1& 2: The highlights of Lima

Lima airport and the very best locations to remain in Lima

Lima airport is situated proper inside town, so attending to town from the airport doesn’t take too lengthy – round 30-40 minutes, relying on the visitors. The simplest (hassle-free approach) is pre-booking a switch prematurely – then anyone will probably be ready for you on the airport. You should use GetTransfer for that. You too can connect with airport wifi or use roaming to ask for an Uber or Cabify automobile and pay round $13-16 for that. Uber works nicely on the airport, however within the metropolis, it’s not so good. It’s nearly all the time approach sooner to only flag a taxi on the road (and cheaper as nicely), nevertheless, be sure to ask the worth earlier than beginning the experience. Despite the fact that nearly all of taxis use the meter, some don’t, and also you may find yourself overpaying by loads! 

Miraflores and Barranco are two areas which are hottest with vacationers. Should you’re searching for an inexpensive resort, strive Selina Miraflores or Ibis Types Miraflores (each within the $30-50 vary per evening). Alternatively, Radisson Purple Miraflores or Miraflores Park by Belmond are each nice choices if you need a fancier resort.

The most effective issues to see and do in Lima in 2 days

I’ll offer you a really temporary overview of the very best issues to do in Lima in 2 days. If you wish to see our detailed itinerary, you’ll find it on this submit: a weekend in Lima – the very best issues to do in Lima in 2 days! 

Listed here are some must-see locations and the very best issues to do in Lima in 48 hours:

Issues to do within the Historic Centre of Lima
  • Plaza de Armas aka the principle and probably the most stunning sq. in Lima. There are many stunning buildings on completely different sides of the sq., however probably the most spectacular one is the Metropolitan Cathedral of Lima. It’s a working cathedral, so the doorway is free, however be sure to watch the principles and a few issues will not be allowed (e.g. taking movies, particularly throughout a mass). 
  • Basílica y Convento de San Francisco de Lima – it’s well-known for its underground catacombs. A variety of vacationers go to these catacombs, as they’re usually talked about as one of the well-known sights of Lima! 
  • The streets of Lima Metropolis Centre – it’s good to only stroll round within the historic centre of Lima and discover completely different streets, have a look at the cafes and eating places and wander inside cute shops and memento outlets
Fun itinerary for 2 days in Lima: the best things to do in Lima in 2 days
Wonderful issues to do in Miraflores

Miraflores is among the leafiest districts of Lima and it’s additionally the most well-liked space for consuming out and buying. Most vacationers additionally find yourself staying in Miraflores, as there are nice lodges and loads of eating choices. A surprising seashore can also be very near Miraflores! 

  • Eat in a standard cevicheria (cebicheria) – La Mar Cevicheria is among the finest ones within the metropolis. The queue was lengthy however the meals was value it! We waited for 45 minutes earlier than we have been seated within the bar space and an additional 45 minutes till a desk grew to become accessible and we might lastly eat! There’s additionally a beautiful juice bar situated simply throughout the road from La Mar Cevicheria – you must undoubtedly strive Lucuma smoothie there, it’s heavenly!
  • When you savoured the ceviche, head to Parque Maria Grau and stroll all the way in which in the direction of Larcomar. In your approach, you’ll go to Parque del Amor which was impressed by the Guell Park in Spain. In whole, the stroll to Larcomar from La Mar sevicheria is circa 3.5 km lengthy. The views on the way in which are gorgeous.
  • Take a meals tour of Lima – the easiest way to complete the day in Lima is to take a meals tour! Now, there are many meals excursions in Lima; some begin within the morning, some – within the afternoon and a few begin within the night. For this itinerary, it’s simpler to take a night tour that begins at 5pm or later – verify the costs and availability right here
  • Have a standard breakfast in a signature restaurant – San Antonio Pasteleria in Miraflores 
  • Go to a standard market very near Miraflores – Mercado 1 Surquillo. Mercado 1 Surquillo is a comparatively small market and most of stalls are promoting poultry, fish and varied cooking provides. Nonetheless, there have been additionally some stalls promoting juices and smoothies (we had one other one made with lucuma) and a few stalls promoting avenue meals, particularly a big number of soups.
  • For lunch, we picked a small restaurant situated simply exterior the market – Bam Bam Sebicheria and it was glorious. The parts have been big they usually have been solely half value of what we paid in La Mar yesterday. Be certain to strive the speciality there – the cockles referred to as Conchas Negras. They’re very completely different from a typical ceviche you may strive someplace else! 
Greatest issues to do in Barranco

When evaluating Barranco and Miraflores, it’s onerous to say which one is best, as a result of each of them are beautiful! Nonetheless, Miraflores is usually extra common with vacationers and has barely extra upscale locations, whereas Barranco has a variety of hipster locations and occasional outlets.

  • Go to the Bridge of Sighs. Probably the most well-known landmark in Barranco is the Bridge of Sighs
  • Discover the road artwork of Barranco! Barranco is among the most photogenic locations in Lima, so if it’s good images you’re searching for, you’ll have the ability to take a variety of them in Barranco.
  • Go to a avenue market a number of steps away from the Bridge of Sighs and discover the stalls with fruits, cosmetics and a few crafts, it’s undoubtedly value visiting for a couple of minutes
  • Stroll the photogenic Bajada de Baños that leads straight to Lima seashore. 
  • Benefit from the seashore!

Flying to Cusco 

Flying to Cusco solely took about 45 minutes and the views from the aircraft have been breathtaking! We anticipated to really feel unwell as quickly as we landed, however that wasn’t the case. In actuality, the altitude illness normally kicks in a number of hours after you land and never immediately. Cusco it’s among the many highest-altitude cities on this planet. At 3300, there isn’t as a lot air as persons are usually used to, so lots of people expertise some kind of mountain illness. It normally goes away by itself, however to ease the signs (which we felt subsequent day once we awoke), you’ll be able to drink some coca leaf tea. We additionally had two aspirins every and it helped tremendously! 

Day 3-5: Cusco and Machu Picchu

The place to remain in Cusco

Over our complete keep in Cusco, we stayed at two lodges, one very inexpensive and one other one barely costlier. The primary one is known as El Andariego B&B and we paid for it lower than £30 per evening. The second, Novotel Cusco, was round £60 per evening. 

Should you’re searching for a cheerful resort/hostel, the place you’ll be able to meet others, strive Selina! Or, if in case you have a bigger price range, strive Marriott Cusco, it’s great.

Exploring Cusco: the very best issues to do and see 

Cusco is among the finest cities in Peru for sightseeing! Listed here are a number of the finest issues you are able to do and see in Cusco:

  • the principle sq. of Cusco, Plaza de Armas! It’s gorgeous and it’s all the time full of individuals. Since we arrived within the night, we went to the principle sq. after checking in and it was nonetheless full of individuals. It appeared like Cusco by no means sleeps!
  • 12-angled stone – is a well-known artefact situated inside one of many partitions in central Cusco. You may learn a bit extra about it and its significance right here 
  • The primary cathedral of Cusco situated on the Plaza de Armas – it’s free to enter and it’s completely gorgeous inside
  • Mercado San Pedro – Cusco’s busiest and hottest market, the place you’ll be able to observe on a regular basis lifetime of the locals in addition to purchase some meals, sweets, fruits and souvenirs
  • Qorikancha museum
  • Memento buying in Cusco: memento outlets in Cusco are round each nook and though most of them promote comparable issues, surprisingly, the choice and the colors are completely different in every store. The foundations are the identical as in all places else – the additional away from foremost sq., the extra inexpensive are the costs for souvenirs.
  • Take certainly one of superb excursions: e.g. a cooking class and San Pedro Market tourConventional Cusco sightseeing tour or Cusco meals and avenue meals tour 
5 days in Peru: itinerary for Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu

The place to eat in Cusco: the very best eating places

Cusco, because it turned out, has unbelievable gastronomy! There are many superb eating places in Cusco and, excellent news, – there aren’t even that costly. Plus, there are many nice low-cost eating places and cafes, the place you’ll be able to eat extremely nicely for much less. 

A number of the eating places I might suggest in Cusco:

Chicha – the well-known restaurant of Gaston Acurio, you could ebook prematurely

Yaku restaurant 

Papacho’s for superb burgers

Cucharitas Ice Cream for the very best and really uncommon ice lotions (they usually additionally serve “regular” lunch meals there 

The most effective day journeys from Cusco if in case you have a full day otherwise you’re planning to remain a bit longer in Peru

Taking a practice to Machu Picchu (Aguas Calientes) 

As of now, there may be direct service from Cusco to Aguas Calientes, so that you don’t must take a bi-modal service with a minibus and await 1 hour in Ollaytantambo!

The journey immediately by practice takes round 3.5 hours (+/- a while you spend on the practice station for the checkin – most individuals arrive 45 minutes earlier than the practice). We used Inca rail, but it surely wasn’t nice, so I’d suggest sticking to Peru Rail! 

The journey to Aguas Calientes is superb, nevertheless, having accomplished it now, we discovered that it’s most likely not value paying for a costlier practice. We have been glad we caught with the fundamental practice, as a result of the home windows have been big anyway and we might see all the things. One tip in case you’re in a position to decide on your seats: select the seats which are going through the path of the journey. 

Additionally, be aware that you’re not allowed to convey a suitcase with you, only a small backpack. When you have nowhere to depart your bag in Cusco, strive going to a hostel – they normally provide bag storage for $5 a day! 

The place to remain and what to do in Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes is a really small city with practice tracks proper within the coronary heart of the road. It’s not related to every other city by street – all the things and everybody comes by practice. Many of the lodges in Aguas Calientes have a river view and are situated proper subsequent to the practice tracks. Nonetheless, there are some which are situated additional within the city. Should you’re solely staying in Aguas Calientes for one evening and don’t thoughts going to sleep comparatively late (9-10pm) and waking up at 4am (or with the primary practice) and also you don’t thoughts the paper-thin partitions and the noise of the river, however you worth comfort, value and gorgeous views out of your room, you’ll be able to decide in for one of many lodges close to the practice tracks! We stayed at Susanna Inn and it was beautiful! Nonetheless, In order for you a quieter place, far-off from the practice tracks, contemplate staying at Amakonkay. In case your price range permits, you’ll be able to keep at Jaya Suite and even immediately close to the doorway to Machu Picchu, on the gorgeous Sanctuary Lodge by Belmond

There isn’t that a lot to do in Aguas Calientes contemplating its dimension. Nonetheless, you’ll be able to go to the native artisanal market subsequent to the practice station or go to the Mariposario de Mindo. Some individuals additionally go to the Scorching Springs (the city is called after them, in any case).

Visiting Machu Picchu

In an effort to get to the doorway to Machu Picchu, you’ll be able to both hike for 1.5 hours or purchase a shuttle. You should purchase a ticket within the city or on-line right here and save a variety of time! 

I additionally suggest shopping for a ticket to Machu Picchu nicely prematurely (a minimum of a month prematurely). You should purchase it on the official web site right here. Nonetheless, if it’s nearer to the date and it looks as if the official tickets are offered out, you’ll be able to all the time strive the vacationer businesses. A few of them purchase a sure variety of tickets for day-after-day, which they will promote to vacationers later. Should you’re searching for some last-moment tickets (lower than 10 days prematurely), you’ll be able to purchase them right here.

We have now discovered a variety of articles stating that the very best time to go to Machu Picchu is early morning – at 6am. That’s as a result of Machu Picchu is just not crowded but and the sunshine seems gorgeous. Nonetheless, the articles didn’t point out that in case you’re visiting in March – Could, it’s very possible that Machu Picchu will probably be coated by a thick fog within the morning that may clear round 9-9:30am. Lots of people who entered with us at 6am stayed till 9am and will really see the postcard view of Machu Picchu. That’s as a result of you’ll be able to’t return in case you proceed the stroll across the web site. In an effort to see the view, you’ve acquired to face on the viewpoint and wait. 

Can you visit Machu Picchu in 2 days (on a weekend trip)?

Since we solely purchased a ticket to Machu Picchu (no Waynapicchu or Huchuypicchu) after which needed to await 3.5 hours to see it (completely our fault, although for not checking the specifics of visiting Machu Picchu in April), we have been fairly drained, hungry and needed to make use of the bathroom (take into accout there are none contained in the archaeological web site), so we accomplished the remainder of Machu Picchu pretty shortly, in about an hour! Nonetheless, in case you’re feeling okay, you’ll be able to undoubtedly spend longer then, particularly in case you rent a information on the entrance or purchase a tour!

On common, I might say, it will take 1.5 – 3 hours to finish in case you’re solely going Machu Picchu, with out the montaña! Nonetheless, some individuals rework it right into a full day journey by climbing all the way in which to Machu Picchu and skipping the shuttle bus (takes 1.5-2 hours) every approach – and the return approach is far simpler and sooner, so generally individuals simply get a one-way shuttle. 

Strikes in Peru and what to do in case your return practice is cancelled

Sadly for us, there have been sudden and sudden strikes in Peru on the times once we have been visiting Machu Picchu, so we really acquired caught there and nearly missed the remainder of the journey. I assume and hope that yours would go forward so I gained’t spend any time describing what to do in case your practice will get cancelled – you’ll be able to learn extra about it on this article: Getting caught in Machu Picchu: the best way to get out from Aguas Calientes

Often, the way in which again to Cusco is fairly straight ahead and you must get again to town in 3.5-5 hours! After which fly again to Lima with none points! 

Flying to La Paz from Lima:

We landed in La Paz round 3:30am! There’s a direct flight, but it surely was twice costlier than flying by way of Bogota, so we purchased a less expensive flight. Each flights land early within the morning. Since passport management takes fairly a little bit of time, you’ll solely get to town centre of La Paz at 5:30am and even 6:00am. Since we had to purchase a SIM card and surprisingly, the method took a bit lengthy, we arrived simply after 6am. 

Day 6: Exploring La Paz 

The place to remain in La Paz

Some nicer and posher lodges are situated within the South of La Paz, e.g. Achumani station, however it is going to be very inconvenient to remain there in your first day in La Paz, since a lot of the landmarks are situated within the metropolis centre and that’s the place the buses to Uyuni depart from as nicely. You may keep there later, as soon as you come back from Uyuni. 

I like to recommend reserving Selina resort/hostel – it’s inexpensive, but it surely’s tremendous fashionable and has nice web. We booked it for two nights though we solely stayed there for 12 hours, but it surely solely value us one thing like $45 (which was value it, as a result of we managed to sleep additional 4 hours on arrival from Lima after which relaxation for a number of hours earlier than taking an evening bus to Uyuni).

For the remainder of the keep in La Paz, we booked the just lately opened Resort MET, which was superb! You may verify the worth and availability right here. 

Issues to do in La Paz in 1 day (while you’re very drained):

  • Have a 3-course lunch in the very best restaurant of La Paz – Gustu (from the founders of NOMA in Copenhagen)
  • Stroll across the historic metropolis centre and go to the attractive Calle Jaen. 
  • Climb the mirador Kili-Kili for the very best views of town – the very best views could be simply earlier than sundown! The view from Kili Kili is admittedly gorgeous – you’ll be able to see the 360 panorama of La Paz! 

We didn’t spend an excessive amount of time within the metropolis centre this time, as we knew that we are going to have extra time in La Paz later and also have a correct tour of town that we booked prematurely.

Taking an evening bus to Uyuni

The buses to Uyuni depart within the night, at 9pm, nevertheless, you could be at their workplace a minimum of quarter-hour previous to that. Most bus operators have their very own little places of work, the place you’ll be able to register, sit down, go to a bathroom and even have some tea. Night time buses to Uyuni might be very inexpensive and easy and might be fairly luxurious as nicely. You may verify the costs and availability of buses from La Paz to Uyuni right here >

We booked a Todo Turismo bus. Our bus was superb – it had two ranges – the VIP on the bottom stage and the conventional seats on the primary ground. Since I’m fairly dangerous at sleeping within the buses, we went for probably the most handy possibility, the VIP seats that recline fairly nicely (most likely round 150 levels or so). Regular tickets value round $36-38 a technique and VIP prices a bit extra, round $45 every approach. It’s undoubtedly not low-cost, however the planes to Uyuni are far more costly, plus, you’re saving cash on the resort.

The tickets additionally embrace meals – dinner and breakfast!

Day 7: Salar de Uyuni and an evening at a Salt Resort

A day tour round Salar de Uyuni

We arrived on the Todo Turismo workplace in Uyuni round 7:45 am within the morning. Their workplace additionally has bathrooms, tea and a few cozy sofas if you wish to wait there for a short time till your tour begins. 

We determined to ebook this tour it was the best-rated tour in Uyuni and it exceeded all our expectations. We visited all the principle sights, from the practice cemetery to the salt mine and museum. We had a beautiful buffet lunch in the midst of Salar, 1 hour in Fish island after which we had a photoshoot in the midst of Salar. Our group was fairly giant – we have been 18 individuals in whole and our information shot a video with all of the tour individuals – it was enjoyable! After that, we had some snacks and wine watching sundown in Salar and even one additional exercise – stargazing, which was among the finest recollections! It was such an extended tour and we acquired to our resort round 8:45pm (with a courtesy elevate from the tour operator).

Night time at a salt resort 

For one evening, as an alternative of taking a bus again, we determined to deal with ourselves and keep at a luxurious resort de Sal Luna Salada. A number of the rooms there have a view to Salar (together with ours), which was superb. Every part at this resort was made from salt, even a number of the furnishings!

Days 8-10: La Paz and a number of the finest day journeys 

Uyuni to Cochabamba/La Paz by aircraft 

Earlier than the pandemic, there have been loads of direct flights to La Paz from Uyuni. Unsure if there are some now, however once we visited Bolivia, there have been none. So we booked a flight to La Paz with an interchange in Cochabamba. 

Wonderful issues to do in La Paz: 

If you wish to learn extra about exploring La Paz, I’ve this submit about 15+ superb issues to do in La Paz right here >>>

On the 4th day in Bolivia, you’ll be able to both keep in La Paz and proceed exploring town or take one of many day journeys and both go to Copacabana (lake Titicaca) or to one of many mountains, or, alternatively, possibly you’re feeling match to go to the well-known loss of life street biking journey?

Listed here are a number of the finest day excursions you’ll be able to take from La Paz:

Non-public tour to lake Titikaka (requires minimal two individuals) – it is possible for you to to see one of the stunning and largest lakes on this planet 

The well-known bike tour to the loss of life street (it’s a descent from over 5k over the ocean stage), but it surely’s nonetheless a really difficult tour, because it requires superb bodily situation 

Lovely Palca Canyon Tour with an non-compulsory cease at Valle de las Animas 

Chacaltaya & Valle de Luna Tour (be sure to convey heat garments, as Chacaltaya was a ski resort) 

Condoriri and the lagoons full trekking tour for trekking lovers 

Well-known Huayna Potosi mountain trek – all the way in which as much as 5000m above the ocean stage with gorgeous views (difficult) 

Different good issues to do in La Paz:

Should you determine to spend the remainder of the journey in La Paz, I like to recommend the next actions:

  • Discover Achumani – the luxury space of La Paz with loads of espresso outlets and good eating places
  • Have dinner in Manq’a – a terrific restaurant specialising in Bolivian meals
  • Head to town centre and go to Mercado de las Brujas (Witches Market) the place they promote new child llamas and llama foetuses that dangle exterior the stalls. Additionally they promote varied teas, soaps and sweet which are produced for various causes, e.g. to assist discovering a job, discovering love, getting wealthy amongst different issues
  • Take a avenue meals tour of La Paz – go to a number of the finest stalls in Mercado Lanza after which go to a restaurant with a tasting of the most well-liked Bolivian dishes as a part of this tour – verify the costs and availability right here 
  • Take a teleferico tour of La Paz – ebook it right here) Our information, Maria, advised us loads concerning the historical past of La Paz and El Alto and concerning the Cholitas (girls in conventional Bolivian attire) and Cholets (a word-play for Cholitas + Chalets), which rich Aymara (indigenous individuals) of El Alto and La Paz construct for themselves. There’s additionally a really fascinating tour of the very best Cholets in El Alto together with visiting a celebration – you’ll find out extra right here

Flying to Quito: 

As I discussed earlier than, most worldwide flights depart from La Paz very late at evening – one at 3:30am, one other one a bit later, so it’s onerous to determine whether or not to go to mattress early and attempt to sleep 3-5 hours earlier than the flight or stay awake in any respect and sleep in Quito as an alternative. We determined to attempt to sleep on the resort for 3 hours after which slept for two extra hours in one of many flights. Our flight to Ecuador was by way of Bogota (but once more), so we arrived in Quito round 9 am. 

Days 11-12: A visit to Mindo from Quito, Mitad del Mundo

Selecting up our rental automobile

In Quito, it took us lower than 20 minutes to cross all of the border checks and choose up our baggage. Our automobile rental expertise wasn’t nice as they tried to overcharge us for the automobile deposit, however ultimately, they charged us the right amount as we have been in a position to present them our unique reserving. Be certain to have web entry or print out your affirmation prematurely! We additionally acquired a handbook automobile for a value of an computerized one (which is a downgrade), however that’s a daily automobile rental expertise in Central and South America sadly (we had the identical in Costa Rica). You may hire a automobile on-line right here.

Exploring Mindo 

After a fast lunch in a close-by shopping center, we began our drive in the direction of Mindo. Mindo is among the most stunning locations in Ecuador and it normally takes round 1.5 to 2 hours to get there. The street to Mindo could be very scenic! You’ll cross very tall mountains, stunning forests and a variety of gorgeous viewpoints. 

Mindo is a small city well-known for its Cloud Forest – a really particular ecosystem, a tropical evergreen forest, which is residence to a really excessive variety of birds. In Mindo, we booked a ravishing lodge referred to as Casa Divina. Casa Divina had two beautiful strolling trails on its territory and we determined to discover them shortly after our arrival. After dinner in Mindo city, we additionally had an evening jungle tour across the Casa Divina with the proprietor of the resort as nicely. 

Birdwatching in Mindo

We spent the whole morning of our second day in Ecuador birdwatching. To have the ability to see many birds, you could get up very early. Casa Divina has a tremendous rooftop terrace and a small spot, the place they lay fruits each morning, so the birds come to the property for a morning feast. The terrace of Casa Divina normally opens at 7am and the breakfast begins round 8am.

Some individuals come to Mindo to see the well-known and really uncommon fowl, cock of the rock. In an effort to see them, you really must get up additional early and hike for some time. You’ll have increased probabilities to see cock of the rock in case you go together with a information, and it may be the most suitable choice although the excursions are fairly costly. You will discover out extra about these excursions right here.

Different issues to do in Mindo

There are many different good issues to do in Mindo moreover birdwatching. Listed here are a number of the issues I might suggest:

  • Mindo Zip Line – a tremendous zip line that consists of 10 completely different tracks. You may ebook it on-line right here 
  • The Mariposas de Mindo – the butterfly sanctuary. It prices round $6 per particular person to go to and even features a small tour. You may see 3 varieties of butterflies there and there are such a lot of of them, 1000’s or much more
  • Mindo Cable Automotive – it brings you to the Nambillo Waterfall and has open cabins, so you’ll be able to simply observe the environment, take images and search for birds! You may ebook your ticket prematurely right here 
  • Cocoa and chocolate tasting and excursions – if you wish to be taught a bit extra about how cocoa beans are grown and the way chocolate is made, you’ll be able to ebook one of many cocoa and chocolate tasting excursions like this one. Alternatively, you’ll be able to go to a restaurant like Mindo Chocolate and take a look at chocolate there in addition to purchase some candies on the native retailer.

Heading again to Quito, visiting Mitad del Mundo 

We spent the primary half of our day in Mindo, visiting a number of the finest sights, then had a lunch there and round 2:30 pm, we headed in the direction of Quito. On our approach, we determined to cease at one other, world-famous attraction, Mitad del Mundo! 

Mitad del Mundo is a line which separates the North and the South Hemispheres. The precise geographically right line is someplace 200 meters away within the village, however in Mitad del Mundo, you’ll be able to go to a museum, put a number of stamps you can stamp your passport with, eat one thing on the numerous eating places and purchase some souvenirs on the native shops. And, after all, you’ll be able to take a variety of images! 

We spent the remainder of the night in Quito – we checked in at our resort Ibis after which headed to a close-by shopping center for a fast dinner and last-minute looking for the Amazon journey. 

Days 13-15: Staying within the Amazon in Ecuador – Napo Cultural Heart

Attending to the Amazon lodge in Ecuador (Yasuni Nationwide Park)

We determined to select Yasuni Nationwide park as our vacation spot for exploring the Amazon jungle in Ecuador. We picked Yasuni for a number of causes. To start with, it didn’t have any instances of Malaria within the final 50 years. Secondly, it was comparatively simple to get there. Lastly, it had superb opinions and lodges that weren’t too costly. 

In an effort to get there, we took an early morning flight to Coca Airport which took lower than half-hour. Then we took a taxi to the river port, discovered our information, and waited for one more couple, who arrived in a later flight and loved the 2-hour speedboat experience to the lodge. We have been additionally provided a really good lunch field whereas within the boat!

Our expertise at Napo Cultural Heart – a unbelievable inexpensive amazon lodge in Ecuador 

All through our keep at Napo Cultural Heart everybody who labored there was unbelievable – very pleasant and well mannered! From our superb information to the chef on the restaurant and other people from the group, everyone made us really feel very welcome! 

I wouldn’t dive deep into our itinerary, because it differs relying on the season, the climate and the variety of individuals within the group. We have been extremely fortunate to reach on the dates when there have been no different arrivals, so we just about had our information to ourselves!

What to anticipate from Napo Cultural Heart

Your days at Napo Cultural Heart observe a particular schedule. You normally get up fairly early within the morning – round 5am or 6am(all of the fowl exercise occurs within the morning), have breakfast and head out together with your information. Through the morning journeys, you’ll be able to both go to the clay licks or to one of many statement towers if the climate permits. You too can keep on the lodge and go to the ladies locally and see them carry out their conventional dances and rituals. 

Then you definately normally return to your room for a fast change and head out for lunch. After lunch, you normally have an hour or two to relaxation to keep away from venturing out throughout the hottest time of the day. 

Round 3 or 4pm, you meet together with your information once more and also you enterprise out for one more exercise resembling a shorter stroll / experience to an statement tower. After that, you’ll have a dinner and have a while to relaxation. There’s satellite tv for pc web on the lodge, so you’ll be able to investigate cross-check your family and associates. There are hardly ever any actions after dinner. We solely had a brief evening stroll within the jungle as soon as with our information. 

Day 16: Exploring town centre of Quito 

The journey again from Yasuni Nationwide Park to Quito

We needed to get up very early, round 5 am to have the ability to catch the pace boat to Coca. Our information travelled with us again to Coca – and similar to on arrival, the employees members packed a pleasant breakfast for us, which was very beautiful! We arrived to the airport with a few hours to spare. Coca airport is tiny, and there isn’t a lot to do there. Nonetheless, there are two cafes the place you’ll be able to eat one thing in case you’re hungry or simply have a cup of espresso. 

Exploring the Historic Centre of Quito

On arrival again to Quito round 11:30 am, we didn’t have a rental automobile anymore and needed to take a taxi. We left our baggage at our resort – we booked Resort San Fransisco de Quito. It was very inexpensive and seemed similar to the “Casita” from the Encanto film! Nonetheless, if in case you have an even bigger price range, these two lodges may be even a greater possibility: Resort Casa Gangotena or Plaza Grande Resort

When you have a chance, I like to recommend becoming a member of a strolling tour that might convey you to the principle highlights within the metropolis. You may ebook one right here.

Listed here are a number of the finest issues to see in Quito:

  • Basilica del Voto Nacional
  • San Francisco Church
  • El Panecilo
  • Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús
  • La Ronda avenue – there are a variety of good conventional eating places there, plus the road could be very fairly
  • A panorama of Quito out of your resort rooftop terrace (most lodges have them)

Issues of safety in Quito

Sadly, the social inequality is sort of robust in Quito and crime is on an increase within the capital. It isn’t suggested to stroll within the metropolis centre of Quito after darkish – a variety of vacationers get mugged. Many of the lodges within the metropolis centre shut their doorways after darkish. Should you determine to stroll within the metropolis centre after darkish, you may be stopped by the police and escorted again to your resort.

On the brink of fly again:

Since our flight was departing very early, round 3:30am, we determined to fall asleep very early, round 8pm and tried to get a minimum of 4 hours of sleep. It took us simply round 35-40 minutes to get to the airport this late at evening! 

Our return flight to Lima was, after all, by way of Bogota after which we had our return flight to London (after all by way of Bogota once more), so we managed to go to Bogota airport twice in sooner or later. We tried to vary the tickets earlier than, however have been quoted $3000 per particular person to skip Lima and simply depart from Bogota to London, so we deserted that concept. Nonetheless, in case you do extra cautious planning, you’ll have the ability to keep away from such inconvenient flights! 

Abstract of our 16-day journey round South America: Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador in 2+ weeks! 

I hope you discovered this weblog submit helpful and acquired some new concepts on the best way to spend simply over 2 weeks in South America and go to greater than 2 international locations. Initially, we have been planning to go to Chile as nicely, as it will have been really easy to only cross from Uyuni to Chile and spend a number of days there after which fly to Ecuador from Chile, nevertheless, attributable to their strict pandemic insurance policies it was sadly not doable.

When you have any questions on this itinerary, be at liberty to message me on Instagram – you’ll find me as @lizatripsget!

Another posts you may like:

5 days in Peru: Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu

5 days in Bolivia: La Paz & Salar de Uyuni 

3 days in La Paz: the very best issues to do and day journeys from La Paz

Weekend itinerary for Lima: the very best issues to do & eating places to go to

7 days in Ecuador: our detailed itinerary

Staying at Napo Cultural Heart Lodge in Ecuadorian Amazon


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