26 Sep Top tips for travelling in Quito, Ecuador
You should know before you go.
After living in Quito for one year and a half I have learnt of my own good or bad experiences. I have got my phone stolen, almost got hit by a car and I have not been able to pay, because I didn’t have coins. Don’t do the same mistakes as I did, and I can assure you will have a great time in Quito!
1. ALWAYS bring a warm rain jacket wherever you go. It is not four seasons in Quito, however the weather can change rapidly from 25 degrees blue sky to 10 degrees and pouring rain. Locals describe Quito’s weather a moody woman.
2. Always have toilet paper or tissues in your pocket. Many bathrooms doesn’t have toilet paper or you would have to pay for it.
3. It’s better to have a lot of coins than only a credit card or notes. The smaller the better. Many places in Ecuador don’t accept higher notes than $20. Everything will be a lot easier if you have coins on you at all times. Museums, Teleferiqo, transport, taxis and tips are expected to be paid with coins. If you take a short distance taxi and pay with notes, don’t expect to get the change back.
4. Be aware of your belongings. Nothing is worse than ruining your holiday by losing your camera or mobile. Quito have gangs known to trick you and steal your valuables. Even locals get robbed. Don’t show your smart phone anywhere in public. If you need to send a text or call someone, you should walk in to a restaurant or to a place with no crowd. You should not have valuables visible at all, not even in your back pocket. Be extra careful on public transport and in the old town. If you have to bring your phone and camera, I recommend using a fanny pack or a flat purse to have under your clothes.
5. Practice Spanish before you go or bring a small tourist guide with some sentences. Taxi and bus drivers will not speak any English. You can have a hard time if you don’t know the most used words related to travelling, ordering food and directions. If you use google translate on your mobile phone every time you need something translated, don’t be surprised if someone snap it from you as you hold it. This is not recommended.
6. Be careful in the traffic. Even though Quito is not the biggest city in the world. The drivers are crazy. Not many tourists decide to drive in Quito and I completely understand why. Many drivers change line unexpectedly and don’t follow rules. If you are a pedestrian be prepared to wait to cross the street. Driver has first priority in this city, unfortunately.
7. Taking taxis in Quito is easy and quite cheap. The official taxis are yellow with a green square sticker on the side with the number. Make sure the taxi-driver uses the taxi-meter, they are actually obligated to use it. It is normal for the passenger to sit at the back, and it is usually no seatbelt at the back. You can get a taxi by reaching your hand out in the street or you can book it through the app called Easy Taxi.
Have you been to Quito, Ecuador? Did you have any experiences that should be mentioned here? Write a comment below.