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Has anyone ever taken a cruise tour flight from Manta to Quito just for the day?
I am booked on a 42 day America's Discovery cruise on Holland America starting from San Diego on November 23, 2008 and ending in Rio de Janeiro on January 4, 2009. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do in each of the many ports, except for Manta, Ecuador. Manta, Montecristi, Machalilla don't sound very exciting to me. I'd love to go to Quito for the day but the price is $899 per person. Since it involves flights and the possibility of missing the ship on the return, I don't think I would try to do it independently. I'd like to know if anyone ever took a tour like this, either on HAL or another line, and if it was worthwhile. Any comments gratefully received.
JMHO, but $899.00 per person for one day in Quito??? Not worth it.
You can easily fly from Rio to Quito at the end of your cruise MUCH cheaper. Spend a couple of days or even take a short Galapagos cruise (3 or 4 days).
You run a real risk of AMS (altitude sickness) trying to fly into Quito, run around looking at cathedrals, and fly back. Sea level to 12,000 feet-unless you live at a high altitude, you may get really sick.
True, there is NOT much in Manta-dirty little port town. But you can go to Montecristi via taxi for about $20.00 per person. GET OUT OF THE MARKET after a quick look around in the market. Montercristi is the home of the Panama Hat-the best hat makers are out of the market.
Many thanks for your comments and suggestions. I remember going to Cuzco years ago and feeling wiped out for the first day until I adjusted to the altitude. I think I'd rather save the money and skip the Quito excursion. It sounds like it isn't necessary to take an organized tour to Montecristi if I can get a cab at the pier either on my own or with like minded fellow passengers. I can speak enough Spanish to be comfortable doing independent touring. Are there are particular shops or hatmakers outside of the market that you would recommend?