I have traveled to six continents and used a variety of guidebooks for each trip. Never have I encountered a book that was so inaccurate in simple information (facts like when the rainy season is) and grossly bombastic (singing praises of mundane structures). The worst part of my trip was getting robbed twice, both times in broad daylight and both times in places that the book highly recommended (walking tour of Quito). The book failed to warn travelers of common scams (evidently, it is so common for tourists to get feces thrown on them as a distraction tactic that there is a checkbox for it on police report forms). The police regularly hand out slips of paper with a list of common scams. When speaking with my tour guide the day after getting robbed, he shook his head and said that there are several places he would definitely avoid and the "walking tour" recommended in my Lonely Planet book covers some of those dangerous areas. The authors did not do diligence in their research.
Pretty good guidebook2010/7/11
I spent two months in Ecuador (including about a month in Cuenca) with this guidebook and was overall pretty satisfied with it. In general, the hotel recommendations were good, and there was good information about interesting things to see and do. Even places that aren't super touristy, I was generally impressed with its coverage. It failed to note several interesting festivals that I attended, so I think that coverage of events could probably be improved. On the whole a solid four stars.
Indispensible travel guide2010/6/26
Downloaded the Kindle version of this book a week before leaving for Ecuador and read it cover to cover before arriving in Quito. It was absolutely indispensible! We used it to guide our choices on Hostels, restaurants, the best modes of transportation and how and where to arrange for them, which coastal cities to visit and skip and must-see attractions. It was right on the money with it's hostel recommendations (although some of the quoted prices had changed, but that's to be expected) and the places we visited all lived up to their Lonely Planet reputation. My friends on this trip all agreed that this guide helped us get the most value and enjoyment out of our trip to coastal Ecuador, Quito and Guayaquil.
The book almost every backpacker carries in 20102010/6/10
Joseph N. Scudder
I just returned yesterday from a month in Peru and Ecuador. This new edition of the Lonely Planet guide to Ecuador is the one more backpackers carried than any other guide. Even though it is a new edition, many backpackers had used their book so much it looked like it had been used for a couple of years.
It is a thin volume. That is good and bad. It is good for weight, but is light on food and housing options in some of the smaller towns. There are many gems not in this guide that may be even better values.
I am a college professor who usually goes for the moderately priced housing options. This guide is good for that. This guide along with Trip Adviser will help you plan a great journey at a reasonable cost.
Self promoting at times2009/9/21
My problem with this particular LP is that it felt like many of the hostels recommended or written up were only done so because the writer had a personal stake in the hostel. It could have also better warned of the danger areas nearby to the walking tour in Quito as I was mugged at 4:30 in the afternoon only a short distance from the directed path. However, like other LP's it has nice maps of cities and does a good job of orienting the reader when entering a new city.