For those who are counting – we have stayed in 9 locations during our first month of travel. Due to the ever-changing variety of mattresses, pillows, sheets, temperatures and noises I have had difficulty falling asleep most nights. This has been a educational experience – learning how to do things – or not do them. I still don’t know what’s best. Researching and finding accommodations is one thing that has taken lots of time. Thinking we could get a better price once we were here I was hesitant to book in advance. I also thought it would be easier to locate a real estate agent, but we haven’t used one. We have both shown up in a location without reservations and booked them in advance. In some situations we have been able to negotiate lower prices. In the end, until looking for longer multi-month stays, the security of having a reservation may be worth more than the savings. Here’s what we spent per night so far. Let me know if you see a pattern. Quito Hotel Andino, 5 nights with breakfast for $38/night Quito AirBnB apartment (2 places) 10 nights for $39.70/night Bahia CoCoBongo Hostel, 3 hours for $25 Bahia Hotel Herradura, 2 nights for $40/night Manta Donkey Den Guesthouse (AirBnB), 3 nights for $42/night Salinas, Chesco’s (AirBnB), 2 nights for $45/night Cuenca Blue Sky Hostel, 1 night for $20 Cuenca Cosy Studio (AirBnB), 7 nights for $35/night Cuenca Apartment (AirBnB), 31 nights for $25/night The Internet has many websites to locate rentals and we used AirBnB in Quito, Santa Marianita, Salinas, and now for our upcoming month-long stay in Cuenca. In Puerto Lopez we arrived without a reservation and the taxi driver who greeted us had a map to show where the hostels were located and how much they cost. We also arrived Cuenca without a reservation.
We have managed to negotiate lower rates by showing up and asking for a discount both in Bahia and here in Cuenca. We arrived after dark so we checked into one of the hostels across the street from the bus terminal intending to search for a place in the morning. While walking the streets in search for a month-long rental the owners of one hostel drove us to see one of their other properties, a modern studio apartment that I recognized as one I had enquired about on AirBnB for $1200 a month. Through negotiations they offered it to us for $900 instead, but we felt it was too small for one month and thought we worked out an agreement to stay for a week. Yesterday he told us that our week is over on Friday at 10:30am and not Saturday. All the agreements were made in English so I’m confused as to how we ended up with a 6-day week. We had already reserved a new place to move to on Saturday and couldn’t get connected with them in time to change it. Just another of the many frustrating “lost in translation” episodes we’ve experienced The funny thing about my inquiries on Craigslist and AirBnB ads is – 1) they never get back to me, or 2) they get back saying it’s available or not. When I reply to ask where it is located, or when it might it be available, I never get a response!
My search in Cuenca came down to 3 interesting places on AirBnB and we actually got to visit only 2 of them. It came down to a choice between staying in the center of the historic district in a place with only one easy chair besides the bed and 2 kitchen chairs or spending $288 more for a 2 bedroom apartment with a full size sectional sofa, flat screen TV, full size fridge, and washer and dryer! We want to experience “living” here for a month and since we haven’t had TV with English channels the past month – the cushy seating won out!