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Paleo in Ecuador?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I'm going down to Ecuador for two weeks in January...anyone have any experience eating paleo (or at least gluten free...thats really the important part for a short term trip) down there?

Thanks!

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:09 AM

Oh and Otavalo, north of Tena, has a stellar Saturday market. I mean just huge. Gigantic. Everything from livestock to sweaters, touristy to local. Better if you know how to bargain, because they will definitely try to rip you off, but it's incredible. Only on Saturdays from like 8am to 1pm.

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:08 AM

For the Galapagos, you have to fly out from Quito and it's about $300 round trip, flights once or twice a day. Some of the islands are inhabited, so you don't need a cruise and there is reasonable accommodation. I hear a week is about the right amount of time to spend there, any more and it gets redundant.

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:06 AM

I wasn't near Tena at any point at ALL but there are tons of volcanoes, if you are interested in climbing. Cotopaxi is a challenging 1-2 day climb requiring a guide and acclimation, many fit tourists could do it without prior experience. Tungurahua is a currently erupting volcano near Banos, which isn't far from Tena. The town is very tourist friendly. I was up near the caldera lake Cuicocha, which is beautiful. If you can swing the Galapagos, do it. How many times will you be in that corner of the world, you know?

81b5d7e4c96ed2a703c3a2ef07c7d294

(30)

on December 24, 2012
at 04:53 AM

super helpful, thanks! We will be in the Tena area for the first week kayaking, then bouncing around for the second week. Any suggestions for places to definitely see since you were just there?

7e6644836cdbcbe2b06307ff7db92d31

(693)

on December 24, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Meat and vegetables.

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2 Answers

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245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 12:47 AM

Ahhhh! I was just there for 6 weeks. What area(s) are you visiting?

Generally, everything grows there so there is tons of fresh produce, and a lot of chicken. I had no problem at all being paleo up in the Andes about 3 hours north of Quito. The hardest thing for me was just explaining why I don't eat maize, because they had it with every meal.

Generally though, I found it surprisingly easy to eat paleo and really enjoyed the trip.

Do you speak Spanish? A useful phrase will be "Verduras en lugar de arroz, pro favor" which means "vegetables in place of rice, please" also: "Contiene harina de trigo?" which is how you can ask if it something contains wheat flour

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:08 AM

For the Galapagos, you have to fly out from Quito and it's about $300 round trip, flights once or twice a day. Some of the islands are inhabited, so you don't need a cruise and there is reasonable accommodation. I hear a week is about the right amount of time to spend there, any more and it gets redundant.

81b5d7e4c96ed2a703c3a2ef07c7d294

(30)

on December 24, 2012
at 04:53 AM

super helpful, thanks! We will be in the Tena area for the first week kayaking, then bouncing around for the second week. Any suggestions for places to definitely see since you were just there?

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:06 AM

I wasn't near Tena at any point at ALL but there are tons of volcanoes, if you are interested in climbing. Cotopaxi is a challenging 1-2 day climb requiring a guide and acclimation, many fit tourists could do it without prior experience. Tungurahua is a currently erupting volcano near Banos, which isn't far from Tena. The town is very tourist friendly. I was up near the caldera lake Cuicocha, which is beautiful. If you can swing the Galapagos, do it. How many times will you be in that corner of the world, you know?

245cbe47a4a092c07f494233c4c28a5c

(269)

on December 24, 2012
at 11:09 AM

Oh and Otavalo, north of Tena, has a stellar Saturday market. I mean just huge. Gigantic. Everything from livestock to sweaters, touristy to local. Better if you know how to bargain, because they will definitely try to rip you off, but it's incredible. Only on Saturdays from like 8am to 1pm.

best answer

2
D2b653e1bb95489af69ece6182abec48

(375)

on December 23, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Tasty things that are common in Ecuador: Roast chicken, soup, fried yucca, ceviche and grilled seafood near the coast, plantains, fruit you can peel. Chicken and rice is ubiquitous and generally mild in flavor.

Edit: A word of caution: simply seeking meat and vegetables may not be your best strategy. That salad you ate with your chicken might later have you wondering why the hospital has plenty of signs promoting hand-washing, but no soap. I didn't like the taste of the pork. A similar story for beef, which I stopped eating after I saw a few dozen cows in the median on the highway out of Quito grazing on a mountain of trash. Chicken, goat and alpaca were usually good, and there's also guinea pig. My typical meal was soup. Often you get to see first-hand how the chickens that went into it live. It's a typical meal for locals, and they don't usually see tourists eating all the animal parts that don't make it into American soup, if they order soup at all. Caldo de cabeza, if you're into that. But be careful above ~3000 meters, where boiling water doesn't get it hot enough to kill the bacteria.

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