Vacation advice requested.


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The Granite State.
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 12, 2013 - 04:08pm PT shows plane tickets to Lima for $750, Quito for $650, and all countries in Central America for $500.

I'm taking a trip this winter, where would you go?

I'm thinking Ecuador, totally off my radar, and it seems like a great place with a great culture.

Thoughts, comments?


Trad climber
Auburn, CA
Nov 12, 2013 - 04:18pm PT
How long are you going? Climbing? Learning Spanish? Trekking?
Peru is higher on my list than Ecuador. If I was going somewhere to learn the language I've heard good things about Ecuador and it has mountains to climb as well...

Trad climber
Less than a second shy of 49 minutes
Nov 12, 2013 - 04:23pm PT
If you get to Quito, make sure you can pound down for a flight and boat trip into The Archipelago of the Galapagos. . . it would be a shame to be that close and not go. . . your mind will be forever blown. . . I promise!

Nov 12, 2013 - 04:38pm PT
Central the extra 100 bones an go south. Belize sucks, Costa Rica is alright, Nicaragua is fun and worth a tour but probably not as cool as Ecuador, Guatemala is cool as well.

Honduras is ok but not that great, although it had the best sea food.

Social climber
Nov 12, 2013 - 04:47pm PT
Ecuador probably has the best mix of different South American zones in the smallest place. You get coast, highlands, big volcanoes, jungle, etc. all reasonably accessible without traveling vast distances.

Peru is great, though Lima is not really much of a destination in and of itself. If you are going to climb big peaks or surf I'd choose Peru--the Ecuador has both as well (and the water is warm).

I'm not a Central America fan, it's just too hot.

The Granite State.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2013 - 05:02pm PT
Two week trip.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2013 - 05:59pm PT
Rio beaches don't need to be nude.

Colombia if you want wildlife diversity.

Peru is more tourist-friendly and, duh, safer. Pricey going to the Galapagos
although cheaper if you arrange it from Ecuador and don't mind flying on
White Knuckle Airways.

Not a lot of places can compete with Peru in that you could surf one day,
be in the Amazon jungle stroking yer caiman the next, be at Machu Pichu the day
after, and head up Alpamayo two days later. You could easily do all that in
two weeks and then make a movie of it called 'Money Pit II'. "Two weeks!"

BTW, as a builder you're required to go to Machu Pichu. You knew that, right?

The Granite State.
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 12, 2013 - 06:07pm PT
Machu Pichu was my first idea, but it's rainy and difficult to access in Feb, no?

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 12, 2013 - 06:12pm PT
A guy from New England is gonna be turned away by a warm drizzle?
No, they will be berry happy to take yer moolah in Feb. I would pray for
a little rain to keep the crowds at bay.
goatboy smellz

Nov 12, 2013 - 06:35pm PT


Trad climber
The state of confusion
Nov 12, 2013 - 06:38pm PT

Have fun!

Big Wall climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 12, 2013 - 09:27pm PT
The ruins are much different than Tikal. The setting is more impressive, the scale less impressive, and the craftsmanship is unreal. There may never have been more skilled stonemasons than the Incas.

You could do all those things in Peru in two weeks if it wasn't for how long it takes to get around the country. Can't fly into Huaraz, so you are looking at a long bus ride to get to the Blanca no matter what.

Ecuador is much quicker and easier to get around. With that short of a tip it is hard to beat.

Sport climber
mammoth lakes ca
Nov 12, 2013 - 09:42pm PT
Legoland in san diego..!

Trad climber
Nov 12, 2013 - 09:46pm PT
I'l be in New Zealand for the months of January. Definitely not a cheap flight though. Killer hiking and climbing from what I hear.


La Paz, Bolivia
Nov 12, 2013 - 09:51pm PT
Rainy season at most spots mentioned. Go as south as you can for climbing.

Now if anyone wants to bring a boat down here . . .

Nov 12, 2013 - 09:59pm PT
I hear that Flint, Michigan is great that time of year.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Nov 12, 2013 - 10:05pm PT
Legoland in san diego..!
No. I was forced to go there, on Father's Day no less.

More on point, anywhere in Central or South America sounds awesome. Been just about everywhere else but never there. If it's you're first time, hard to imagine you being disappointed where ever you decide. It'll all be new to you, right? Adventure aplenty to be had.

the last bivy
Nov 13, 2013 - 01:36am PT
another vote for Quito. Everything is there. The Amazon , the beach , the volcanoes. I stayed at a place called the Secret Garden, really fun on the cheap with an international clientele. Ecuador is on USD's too.
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
Nov 13, 2013 - 01:37am PT
Come caving with us in the Galapagos Islands March 2014.

16th International Symposium on Vulcanospeleology

The International Union of Speleology (IUS) is hosting a symposium on volcanoes and lava caves in Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz in the Galapagos. The host of the symposium is the chief Ecuadorian scientist of the Galapagos Islands, so we will be traveling off the beaten path to areas of the Galapagos not seen by tourons.

There will some pre-symposium cave exploration and mapping. And there is a post-symposium cruise throughout the Galapagos Islands that includes sight-seeing, snorkeling, hiking and kayaking (March 25-30, 2014).

Right now we're looking at about 60-70 attendees from more than a dozen nations around the world.

You can download the latest newsletter (#67) with the latest information from this website (although #67 has not yet been posted). You can also write to me for newsletter #67 (5 megabytes).

Harry Marinakis
Vice chairman
IUS Commission on Volcanic Caves

Credit: Sierra Ledge Rat

Gym climber
Great White North
Nov 13, 2013 - 07:04am PT
I went to Ecuador about 6-7 yrs ago on a spur of the moment thing. stayed at Hosteria Papagayo outside Quito
it was nice, pretty cheap, great food, and you could get rides to the volcanoes from there for climbs/hikes. didn't check out the jungles, however.

I am also contemplating a christmas/new years trip for next month. probably go to joshua tree. need to escape the mega cold.
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