Do
- check up to date travel advice (www.minbuza.nl or www.fco.gov.uk). Ecuador is a
- beautiful country and people are very friendly but it is still wise to check up up to
- date travel advice;
- check every bill you receive. There is a lot of fake money around (we received
- fake money from a taxi driver). Pay attention at the size, numbers on the bill and
- the watermark. Buy a small blacklight torch (very cheap) to check for hidden
- marks. Be aware of switching tricks! For instance, a waiter takes your bill and
- comes back to say the bill is false, but in fact he switched your bill for a fake
- one;
- take busses, the system is very good and busses are ok;
- absolutely go to the Galapagos Islands. Yes, it isn't cheap but worth every
- penny! We can recommend taking an 8 day boat trip (read also our tips & links
- on the Galapagos section);
- spend enough time in Quito, we loved this capital city! A nice place to stay is
- Hostal Posada del Maple (www.posadadelmaple.com) and Magic Bean
- (www.ecuadorexplorer.com/magic) has terrific food;
- visit the (animal) markets of Otavalo and Saquisili;
- get a closer look at Andean life by visiting the villages of the Quilotoa loop or
- parts of it. You can make a beautiful hike from Laguna Quilotoa to Chugchilán
- (with a local guide) but be aware of the many nasty dogs in this area;
- climb the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, to the top or to the refuges. If you have
- good weather, the views are amazing;
- support the project of El Cóndor, near Chimborazo, by visiting the village and
- buying some local craftwork (www.interconnection.org/condor);
- make a train ride from Riobamba to Alausi and continue on the spectaculair track
- called 'El Nariz del Diablo'. You will sit on top of the train, so don't wear your
- best outfit;
- wonder through the colonial city of Cuenca and have a wonderful Italian dinner at
- La Viña;
- pay a visit to Guayaquil, the largest city of Ecuador, although many people skip
- this town we liked it. Stroll over de modern boulevard and visit Las Peñas.

Don't
- step in a cab with only 2 doors, already one passenger, no signs or when the cab
- driver approaches you. Ask around in your hotel which ones are safe;
- ever give your bag to someone in the bus! Not even when the person seems very
- friendly and just wants to help you by putting your bag away. It's a trick to steal
- anything out of your bag;
- visit 'la Mitad el Mundo', of course you want to stand on the equator but this
- place is a bit of a circus and very touristy;
- go to Baños if you don't like mass tourism. If you do decide to go, stay at Hostal
- Plantas y Blanco (great breakfast/lunch) and get a glimpse of the still active
- Tungurahua Volcano;
- visit the ruins of Ingapirca if you have already seen ruins in Peru, Guatemala or
- Mexico. It takes a long time to get there and the site is very small;
- go to Montañita unless you like to party and don't mind the flying 'grillos'. We
- heard much better stories about Puerto Lopez.

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