On January 3, I took a flight from JFK to Panama City and another one from there to Quito. I arrived in Latin America for the first time in my life. After waiting for like an hour or more at immigration, my friend Oli was awaiting me at Vibes Hostel (cheap and quite okay) in Quito’s infamous neighborhood Mariscal late at night. A taxi took me straight to the hostel for 8 dollars.
We spent two nights in Quito before taking a cheap collective bus to Baños de Agua Santa. Since the bus stopped like every couple minutes to pick up or drop off either other passengers, or vendors who joined the ride to sell food and all sorts of things, the ride took about three hours.
Baños is a nice small village in a beautiful mountain environment. We rented some bikes and visited these impressive waterfalls. The hot springs were pretty disappointing though, since they weren’t kept natural at all. Instead, it was a couple of basins with hot water and way too many people in there to feel comfortable. The hostel Princesa Maria was a great place to stay at reasonable rates. We even ended up eating at a nice Swiss restaurant called Swiss Bistro.
Leaving the Andes after a few days, the drive to party place Montañita on the coast (via Guayaquil) took us quite some time in a couple of different buses. We spent about a week surfing and enjoying life in that little village before leaving Ecuador. That place is worth a visit to enjoy some party days. A recommendation: Hotel Sumpa, which offers cozy bungalows a bit outside of the party noise at 30$ a night for up to three guests.