Quito Ecuador

Quito Ecuador

So I’ve really been procrastinating writing about Quito.  I wanted to make sure I put my thoughts into exactly the right words.  The city was recently listed as number 16 in TripAdvisor’s Top 25 Destinations in South America.

So what are the right words to say about Quito?

Stay Away From Quito!!!

At least that’s my advice.  If I went back to Ecuador, I would probably fly straight into Guayaquil and travel from there.  I’ve now been to Quito 3 times and have not found ONE thing worth going there for.

Now I’m a believer, even if I don’t always follow the rule, in “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  So I’m going to pretty much leave Quito at this.

And I’m pretty sure whoever made the decisions at TripAdvisor to list Quito in the top 25 destinations in South America used about half the coke there before making that decision.

Quito Ecuador standard graffiti

5 Responses to Quito Ecuador

  1. “So I’m going to pretty much leave Quito at this.” … Which makes the article of no value to the reader. What’s the point of publishing it? Readers would appreciate an article that explains why the city should be avoided.

    • I tend to agree with you, which is why I immediately followed it up with a nicer piece on Jardin Colombia. I also said as much with my FaceBook post describing why there are two articles within an hour of each other (extremely rare on my blog). Most of my readers are looking for interesting places to visit or read about, and don’t want to dwell on the bad. However, I felt obligated to give SOME comment on a place as well known as Quito.

      On the other hand, had I dwelled on the negative I would have gotten tons of annoying messages arguing the exception to the rule. If I said Quito is dirty, I would get messages saying “you didn’t see the new part of town.” Well, yes I did and it was a bit cleaner but the only thing worth seeing there is the plethora of security guards wearing more armor than I wore in Iraq.

      If I said the people aren’t generally friendly, I’d get somebody telling me they know a friendly person in Quito. Yes, I met friendly people in Quito, but most people were ass holes.

      I can’t justify really telling you how dangerous it is because I’m not an investigative reporter and there is very little reliable information on crime statistics that I can find on the internet. I can reference links telling you that the freedom of press has been rated as pretty low: http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2011/ecuador …..

      And maybe my real world background and travel experience will be enough for some people to trust my opinion on the matter of security, but I don’t like to make public accusations without being able to justify them.

      And most importantly, unless you’re really into cheap drugs, there’s nothing really to do or see there. Even asking the locals in Quito what they would recommend doing results in “There’s a beautiful town about two hours away…” There are nice things in Ecuador, but aside from a once-around the historic part of the city, I found nothing of interest in Quito.

      Hope that helps clear things up for you.

  2. And as a follow up, I really recommend anyone going to Ecuador as a whole, but specifically Quito watch this video. It was choppy for me and I had to restart it several times, but if you are going to Ecuador, it’s worth the 30 minutes and maybe purchasing the book once it’s available. I recommend paying particular attention to the conversation about “express kidnappings” towards the end. I have seen Quito referenced as having the second most express kidnappings in Latin America next to Caracas. I can not, however, verify this via legitimate sources.


  3. I like your honesty..Many people and bloggers say that Bangkok is great but I found the people aren’t friendly, crime is everywhere most of the city is comprised of shanty towns. And regardless of what a blogger stated that most Thais speak English that is pure bullcrap when asked for directions they just ignore you and walk away. The visa situation is terrible and trying to get a retirement visa requires a lawyer and is expensive and you still have to report every six months to immigration. Also if you take up with a girl be prepared to pay for her family’s problems etc.

    • It’s amazing how everyone has their own favorite place. I’ve read plenty of blogs and forums where people love Ecuador. I thought Ecuador as a whole was just OK, but Quito sucked. Some people might love the place. I’ve got some friends who live in Thailand and love it but it never really struck me as some place I was dying to go. Different strokes for different folks I guess. I hope you’ve found some good places in your journey as well, Carl.

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