Hi, I’m going on a 4 week solo trip to Southern Peru in September and would like to spend up to 2 weeks in either Ecuador or Bolivia before or afterwards. In Peru, I’ll stay along the Peru Hop route . I’ll also visit the Amazon for a few days and got a permit for the Inca trail.
I’ve been wanting to go to Secret Garden Cotopaxi and Baños for years but hear nothing but positive things about the 3-4 day tours in Uyuni/Tupiza as well. I am mainly looking for natural beauty, volcanoes, and scenery. A few considerations I had are below but I’m happy for further opinions and any advice regarding traveling as a solo woman with limited Spanish skills . From my research it seems that the areas I’m planning to visit are safe taking normal precautions but perhaps I’m missing something?
* Secret Garden looks fantastic and has been on my list forever
* In Ecuador, I could visit Cotopaxi, Quilotoa, Baños, and Quito comfortably in two weeks without traveling long distances.
* Looking at photos and trip reports, the natural environment in central Ecuador is more appealing to me because it is greener and lusher with waterfalls etc. Quilotoa looks gorgeous! However, I assume that Uyuni is far more impressive in real life than on photos and people keep telling me it is THE PLACE I cannot miss
* Uyuni is easier to reach from Peru by night bus. For Ecuador, I would have to fly into Quito from Lima or Cusco which is nowadays rather expensive and there are no non-stop flights.
* Spending a few days in La Paz and biking down the death road seems fun!
* Housing and traveling around Ecuador seems to be more comfortable than the night bus to Uyuni and the accommodation during the salt flat tour