hellosway.co Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
June 27th, 2021 Swimming Hole

Little parking space among redwoods, picnic bench and short little trail down to the river where there are multiple rocky beaches and rocks to jump from. Nice spot!

June 26th, 2021 Willow creek campground

Really lovely spot! Several spots for tents spread out along the river. Forested and covered from the wind. Family friendly. Stealth camping also possible from the parking lot trail to the river where there’s plenty spots to set up a tent. Would definitely recommend. Really pleasant, beautiful.

October 25th, 2020 Oasis Stop n’ Go

Regular and Diesel available, cheap. Decent offerings at the little shop.

October 24th, 2020 Entrance to camping near Hot Spring

Use this road to get to the hot springs! Folks mention the bad road, but we made it just fine in our Sprinter (the road was dry, could see how it would be bad during rain season). The baths are so special, an absolute must see!! Plenty of room to camp and park close to the springs or on the road there.

October 24th, 2020 Hot Spring on island in River

Truly amazing hot spring, a must-see! In October the river was so low we easily crossed on the little stones. Giant hot pool must be 25x15ft, and the two hot pools in the river are even warmer. Clean, just a couple other people here, saw ospreys flying overhead and fish jumping out of the river. Loooove it here. Plenty of places to park and camp.

October 24th, 2020 Just off road on Oregon Trail.

Takes about 20-30min to get here from the highway. Not sure what the previous commenter was referring to, to us these seemed to be a dry desert spot to park. No amenities or fire ring, nothing special. We spent the night. It’s a quiet place to park but I don’t know that you need to go out of your way to camp here.

March 15th, 2020 Hotel Hamacas

Okay spot to spend one night. They charged us 30 soles to camp. We asked if camping would be free if we ate at the restaurant and we got a very clear “no.” Felt very safe though, and the bathrooms are nice. Loud music on a Saturday night but not unbearable.

March 11th, 2020 Tottus Supermarket

American style supermarket with all the hard-to-find items we’d been hunting for and an incredible produce department. Also great variety of breads, cheeses and meats. Recommended for a little luxurious grocery shopping!

Note - big parking lot onsite, with high clearance!

March 10th, 2020 Local Restaurant and Cevichería

Indeed a great cheap spot! Big plates and the ceviche was tasty. We paid $4usd total for two people!

March 10th, 2020 Artisan Market

Lots and lots of woven goods and handicrafts in the road beside the church. Everyone’s pretty willing to barter. Less expensive than in Cusco!

March 8th, 2020 Apu Ecolodge & Camping

We parked here for 3 nights while hiking the Santa Cruz trek in reverse (started at the trailhead right beside the property). Super friendly little lady runs the house which also has a restaurant. She made us tea while we organized our backpacks. Felt very secure and safe! As previously mentioned it’s 10 sols per day to park there. Clean toilet and sink available, as well as outlets for charging.

For those curious about the trek, we really enjoyed hiking west to east. Each day was about 9 miles, plenty of campsites interspersed along the very clearly marked trail. So beautiful!

We paid a total of 50 sols to get back to our car from close to the end of the trail in Huaripampa (we were lucky there was a collectivo there waiting!) From Caraz we paid for a short ride in a Tuktuk and then hailed another collectivo to take us back up the hill to our car.

March 4th, 2020 Entre Panes

SO GOOD! So filling, great service, great local food and all for 10 soles?? Just wow.

March 1st, 2020 Mar y Tierra - Restaurant and Cevicheria

Nice spot! We paid $15usd for two people – a nice ceviche plate and a big thing of calamari style fried fish with coffee and a pitcher of passionfruit juice. They take visa. Good pit stop!

March 1st, 2020 Cochera Pimentel

We stayed here one night and it was fine. Would recommend parking later in the day, the lot starts to empty out closer to 6pm. This is the parking lot of the Hotel Garuda and is VERY popular on the weekend as a place to take showers after a day at the beach. There’s also a little restaurant onsite. The family that runs the hotel also runs this lot, and they’re friendly. The lady charged us 5 soles to park during the day, and 15 soles for camping.

The town is an odd mixture of extremely poor homes and modern villas. The beach is huge and sprawling, on the Saturday we came there were hundreds of people partying. We were told this area is safe, and felt safer thanks to the night guard and locked gates. Not a bad stop on the way south but just keep in mind you will not be alone here until nightfall.

February 29th, 2020 Maracuya Cafe

There’s a bunch of cafes on this strip, all pretty similar. This one’s nice! You can watch your car from the street. Standard fare, decent prices. Pretty good omelette with coffee and juice for $3.5 US.

February 29th, 2020 Super - a great supermarket

Can confirm this is a good supermarket, relatively limited produce section. Two ATMs present, one is BBVA and the other is Scotiabank.

February 28th, 2020 Police Checkpoint

Standard check in, just asked for TIP and sent us on our way.

February 26th, 2020 Cafe San Sebas

Really nice diner style spot with North American influence. Wooden tables, great service. On the plaza. We had a big breakfast for about $6pp. Cafe con leche for $1.5. Cozy. Outdoor seating as well. Recommended!

February 25th, 2020 Posada Ingapirca

Pretty nice old-timey mountain lodge with lots of animals (2 alpacas in the front, 5 in the back, a crew of piglets, geese, bunnies, chickens) and a cool collection of Andean artifacts.

Pros: Only $5/car. Nice location, 6min walk to the ruins. Lodge is beautiful and old. Lounge space with fireplace, tv, pool table. The alpacas are more friendly than others we’ve encountered.

Cons: No shower. It’s a parking lot, so plenty of tourists coming and going. Staff seemed uninterested in us.

Overall really enjoyed our stay here!

February 22nd, 2020 Mercado Central (aka Palace of Fried Pigs)

We know you’ve been eyeing those whole pigs hanging on the side of the road. Here’s your chance to finally try one! This is your standard local eatery crowded with stalls all selling variations of traditional Ecuadorian fare. Including those marvelous pigs! The best fried pig you’ve ever had! So good. Most plates run around $4 and they come loaded.

February 22nd, 2020 Parking garage

Good spot to park right near the town center! Very secure, restrooms onsite, super friendly older gent working there. Charges $1/hour but only charged us $2 for 3 hours.

February 13th, 2020 El Idolo Restaurant (with showers!!)

Friendly family-run restaurant serving traditional grilled plates. We had the grilled pork and beef, served with boiled potatoes and Ecuadorian style fava(?) beans. Super tasty! Big plates, we took a Tupperware container of leftovers with ya. Nice vibe inside despite the appearance outside.

Also they have showers! And nice bathrooms! And a playground in the parking lot for kids! Pretty sure they’d let us camp too. Nice spot coming or heading to the border.

February 13th, 2020 Otavalo - La Luna Hostel

Looooooooooovely spot! So comfortable, peaceful and cozy. The included breakfast in the common area (all nice wood and flowers on every table) made our stay extra special. Beautiful garden, big lawn, trampoline embedded in the grass down below. Hot high pressure showers. Cute dogs. Great view of the village down below and proximal to hike around the lake (Cerro Negro views are amazing!) Just 15min to get to Otavalo market. The folks who run the place are so friendly. Would come here again and again if we could. Totally love La Luna!!

February 11th, 2020 Restaurante Jardin del Lago

Such a lovely spot. We camped in the lot and had the company of the hotel’s two dogs along with a motley crew of assorted other pups. The garden is full of all sorts of herbs and vegetables. The path down to the lake is lovely. Beautiful view. We cooked dinner ourselves, but did have the blackberries with ricotta. Blackberries are grown onsite! So delicious. Had a nice breakfast of eggs with hot chocolate. All that for 3 people, about $7USD total. Camping still free it seems! Lovely, peaceful visit. Really friendly host, although our Spanish wasn’t strong enough to understand everything. Wish we had more time here.

February 10th, 2020 Jimmy’s Auto Repair

Jimmy specializes in brakes suspension and transmission and is a very friendly and competent mechanic that can help with most anything. He had our transmission out to replace seals and had us back on the road in a just a few hours. Very fair prices

February 9th, 2020 Salinas Natural

Such a lovely spot!! Absolutely gorgeous drive up, looks like Norway but with green parrots and bromeliads. The road is in good condition and well marked. Neither steep or not rocky! There’s a big lot just before the path down to the hot springs, which we camped at for the night. Plenty of room, flat enough. So green!

The hot springs are open 24/7, just down the hill about a 3-5min walk. Friendly tenants. Big pool with some very hot patches! Just so beautiful. We arrived on a Sunday night and there was just one other couple. Empty in the morning. There’s a bunch of new stuff onsite including wooden changing rooms and lockers, as well as a restaurant and cabanas. All natural and tasteful.

One of our favorite and most relaxing stops on the journey south to Ecuador, completely worth the detour!

$15k pp, parking for $5k

February 9th, 2020 Restaurante Yerbabuena

Pretty expensive for what you get, most plates run around $11-12 USD. Food is okay. Atmosphere is very pleasant, service is good. Pretty empty on a Sunday afternoon.

February 4th, 2020 Routine Police Checkpoint

Briefly stopped, asked to see passport, title, license, and SOAT. Nice guy, sent us on our way within 5min.

February 2nd, 2020 Bucaramanga Central Market!

Wonderful display of totally fresh produce, meats, herbs, and all sorts of local products packed in a bustling 4-story building!! Really pure experience, we didn’t see any tourists here.

On the streets leading to the market there’s tons of fruit and fish being sold in the streets. Then you enter the market building and it’s full of giant veggies on the 1st floor, fruits on the 2nd, fish and meat on the 3rd, and restaurants and herbs and candles etc on the 4th.

One of the best public markets we’ve seen so far, and we’ve been visiting these big markets all along our way South from America.

January 31st, 2020 Police Checkpoint

Driving through on a Friday evening. We passed some slow trucks and the police pulled us over. The official had a translator and tried to get us to pay the minimum salary of an average worker. We explained there were broken lines in the road where we passed the trucks. He said we’d have to pay the fine when we exited the country. Will update if that’s the case in a few weeks...