Okay so everyone was a little confused when I said I was going to Ecuador on vacation.
Why did I choose Ecuador?
Simple answer: Its cheap as hell, and absolutely gorgeous.
Flights were $276 +$100 in bag fees (Spirit sucks, but what you gon do).
Kayak.com/explore is a very useful tool when looking for a vacation anywhere when all you really got is two nickles and a carry on.
*you can use this tool to set your budget, and they’ll show you everywhere you can go in the world* (this is what I use)
Where in Ecuador did I go?
Well I landed in Guayaquil, Ecuador at midnight. Woo Child the ghettttooo. My hotel was $48 for the night, and right outside my window you could see people selling ass on the corner.
but in the morning we took a bus 3 hours to Puerto Lopez (bus cost $2.50). Im bougie too, but that bus was lit for $2.50, and people kept jumping on the bus selling snacks and water…which I enjoyed because, I be hungry. However, they do have Uber in this part of Ecuador but it would’ve been $150. .
The views on the bus are so beautiful!! You’re up so high, going around cliffs, looking down at the water, wow. So anyways, finally we get to Puerto Lopez, and I can breathe, because before I was like omg, did I really just bring us to the ghetto? (Guayaquil scared me) JK, but really not kidding. Puerto Lopez is on the coast of Ecuador. So you get all the pretty beaches, the crazy looking birds, and more touristy cute places that got infinity pools. If you travel like 20 minutes from Puerto Lopez, you got Montanita- which is the party town if you tryna get lit. We never got lit. We had plans to, but I fell asleep.
If you wanna get lit, take a taxi to Selinas in Montanita. It’s a hotel that has lots of young people that are partying & having fun.
ANYHOW, where did I stay, you ask? Well, only the finest of course. Nautilus Lodge. It was a bit pricey, but worth it for us. They treated us like muhhhfugggin Oprah & Gayle.
Okay so, I guess yall wanna know how much it cost for me to get my grub on?
$8 maybe per meal? I was eating hella “pescado frito”. I love me some fried fish w/ rice & beans and salad.
The cocktails were $5 each ( and this is at the hotel, mindd you), I’m sure if we got lit on the beach it would’ve been less, but I don’t care. They were making the drinks from real limes, coconuts, and strawberries. Taking like 10 minutes to make each drink, but Lord those drinks were splendid.
Okayyyyy, but what y’all do there?
We went on a boat and went snorkeling for $8 each. That was so much fun. There’s tourist places all along the main road, and they’re all honest and kind. No ones is really trying to swindle you, which was so comforting, because I reallllly hate that. We met so many people on the boat. Had really good conversations. Lauren even got to drive the boat, like literally, they let her drive the boat for like 20 minutes, teaching her how to do it. Also, make sure you get a translator app before your trip so you can really talk to people and have fun.
This is a picture of me before I got on the boat:)
This was our first day out in the sun for real for real, cus it had been type cloudy, and we were thirsty for a tan so we didn’t use any sunblock. BIG FREAKING MISTAKE. One thing I wish I knew was that Ecuador is hella close to the sun, meaning my black ass was literally getting BROILED. We were only out for like an hour, and my skin was burnt-burnt. It was peeling, and looking unidentifiable. I was pissed.
Day 3 into my 10 day trip and my face was ruined.
Fear not though, like I said, we were Oprah and Gayle up in that bihhh. The owner of Nautilus Lodge really went to the pharmacy and got me some healing cream, took about 4/5 days for it to clear up. So lesson learned, wear your sunblock at all times.
Okay so that was bit for Puerto Lopez! We stayed there for three days and hopped our asses back on a bus to go to Manta !! ( We chose Manta because its close to Quito Airport, and we were flying out the next day).
So boom, we get to Manta and we get a taxi to bring us to the apartment we were staying at that I found on Booking.com. Now, when we arrive, I cannot for the life of me find this shit. The taxi driver is getting tight cus we ‘arrived’ and were still sitting in the car, like nah I don’t see it.
Lauren is like, let’s just go back to the bus terminal, and I’m like no let’s keep looking. So after 15 minutes of sweating on the street, I find it…it was exactly where we pulled up to, it just didn’t look like an apartment.
This part was a little scary lmao. So some lady answer the door, and is “Welcome!! you’re here”, but it was like weird cus whole time she knew we were outside and didn’t come rescue us because she was still cleaning. But whatever, so now she shows us to the apartment…and I’m like ohh hell no. This was not the shit on booking.com. Like at all. Sis had a hole in the wall, and it was the wall between us and outside, and to fix it, she stuck a damn water bottle in it. That was all I needed to see.
So I wouldn’t suggest that you get an Airbnb or Apartment in Manta, the whole area was like…yeah. I ended up telling the lady, thank you but no thank you. It was $50, but whatever. I took my ass down the street to Manta Host Hotel, which had a balcony, pool, and games and all types of fun stuff for $100 a night. We didn’t do anything in Manta, just relaxed because our flight was at 5 in the morning to go to Quito. The flight was just 45 minutes, and I think it costs me $40. It’s a very tiny airport, and getting through tsa took maybe 55 seconds lmao. THE FLIGHT HAD THE MOST BREATH TAKING VIEW EVER!
Okay so we land in Quito. Taxi’s are waiting everywhere by the way, so you’re good. I recommend taking Uber, or checking the price fo Uber to see if it is cheaper first, it was for us 🙂 The houses are beautiful, theyre all in the hills, its like LA but better. It’s very modern here. It’s also inland, so don’t expect anymore beaches. In Quito we decided on a private room Airbnb for $28 a night (I see it for less now $20), and it was the BEST decision ever. Our host was barely there, there was a maid, and we had so much space we didn’t even need the whole place. The Airbnb was LIT. I wish we could’ve stayed longer. Our host Nuria was so cool. At the Airbnb there were two pools, tennis courts, jacuzzi, restaurant, spa..you name it. (Click on the hyperlink to see the Airbnb) Perfect for a good photoshoot. **Also she has a dog (the dog in picture), so if you’re allergic or something, issa dub for you. Its a little foo-foo dog that’s so cute and loving.
Food: We ate at the restaurant at the Airbnb, super cheap.
We did go out at night and ate at a new restaurant called Uma. It was beautiful. Food was delicious & the service was great.
Okay but what did yall do?
Well, we went to the teleferico! its like a cable car thing that goes all the way up to the top of the mountains in Quito. the ride in the cable car is like 20 minutes long, and its like the best 20 minutes of your life. the scenery is beautiful. it’s an absolute must. I’m sure people hike there, well I’m actually positive, but I’m lazy as hell, but I’m sure it’s an amazing hike. BUT KEEP IN MIND. The elevation is crazy. Your ears will pop. You might feel sick (I did..but I’m also dramatic so idk). And its cold as hell once you get to the top lmao.
The llamas were at the top. There was a guy there charge $1 for pictures. There’s also coffee/hot chocolate at the top too. The swing is also at the top too. My pictures were barelllyyy edited. It is REALLY this beautiful. Being above the clouds is a whole different experience.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG. We wanted to go to Mindo! Mindo is the jungle part of Ecuador. It also has the most biodiversity of any place on earth. Charles Darwin studied here because of it. I wanted to come here because I wanted to get a little uncomfortable. I knew there would be tons of insects and bugs but I was like, nah this is my dream, nature is like home to me. SOOOO we got an Uber to Mindo which was about $75 because it is like 3 hours away or something like that. We could’ve taken the bus but I just was lazy and tired.
Where did I stay?
Hosteria Saguamby I chose to stay at two different places because they were both so beautiful and I wanted to see what both had to offer. They were both amazing. I can’t really say if one was better than the other. Only difference was Terramambu had a pool, and free ziplining, the other did not. BUT Saguamby had the river view room with the inside jacuzzi, which was amazing because when you look out the window there’s horses grazing. Its like out of a dream. You basically have to stay at both.
Where did I eat?
Every day we ate at the Food Studio, it’s right down the street from both hotels. Their food was so fresh and had so many different flavors in their food. I really enjoyed it. Only thing is, they legit have a different menu everyday, and there’s only two options on it. However, it’s so good, you just gotta trust it.
TIPS for Mindo *
- BRING ALL THE DAMN BUG SPRAY YOU HAVE
- BRING A PONCHO, ITS MISTY RAINY EVERYDAY, CUS HELLLLER ITS A RAIN FOREST
- BRING RAINBOOTS IF YOU WANNA GO HIKING OR BIRD WATCHING.
- MAKE MINDO LAST ON YOUR STOPS THROUGHOUT ECUADOR BECAUSE YOUR HAIR WILL BE POPPED FROM THE HUMIDITY AND RAIN. MY EDGE CONTROL DID NOT STAND A CHANCE IN THIS WEATHER.
- BRING LONG SLEEVE CLOTHES FOR THE BUGS. I SLEPT WITH PANTS ON AND STILL HAD HELLA BITES.
- BRING SOMETHING FOR THE BITES- CALAMINE OR HYDROCORTISONE. YOU WILL GET BIT BY SOMETHING.
- BUY SOME BINOCULARS IF YOU WANNA SEE SOME BIRDS.
What is there to do in Mindo?
Use this link, because sis said it all. She has all the best tips about mindo, about where to go and what to do, etc.
Personally I did the Butterfly garden, bird watching, tubing, chocolate factory, and tubing. All of them were dope.
Butterfly Garden: great for pictures, and just amazinggggg beautiful butterflies.
Tubing: fun as hell, slightly dangerous.
Bird Watching: umm okay, so this guy bamboozled us into paying $70 for birdwatching, it was miscommunication, but never ever pay that much. We thought he said (and agreed to) $17. He was so cool and gave us so much information about Ecuador and gave us insight into the livelihood of those in Ecuador. It seemed like an honest mistake but who knows. We only seen like 4 different bird species, so it was not worth it in my opinion, but it was a really cool experience because we hiked through the jungle to watch these birds dance and do a mating call. Really fascinating and interesting. We also got to see humming birds, really close up.
Chocolate Factory: I didn’t have high expectations for this tour, but it was really amazing. We learned SO MUCH. It was more than just about chocolate, plus the tour guide was hot, so that was good, and so was the chocolate.