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Gluten Free Travel In Ecuador

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Years in the past, I traveled with my backpack and Lonely Planet information to Ecuador. I beloved the truth that I might see the Amazon, the Andes, volcanos, and seashores, all inside a days journey. At that time, the phrases ‘“gluten-free” had not entered my vocabulary. I might be recognized with celiac illness seven years later. From that time on, “gluten-free” turned an integral part of any travel plans. Lately I took a return trip to Ecuador. Close to the gluten-free weight-reduction plan, it was a bit tougher than anticipated. Should you comply with a gluten-free weight loss plan and don’t have to be concerned with cross-contamination, touring in Ecuador ought to be comparatively straightforward. Naturally gluten-free meals are plentiful within the Ecuadorian eating regimen. The problem was the lack of knowledge of the idea of cross-contamination. I do converse Spanish, so the language was not the difficulty. Information of the gluten-free food regimen in Ecuador is just years behind many other elements of the world. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel here. You just have to perform a little pre-planning. It truly is a rustic ready to be explored!

Gluten-free journey ideas for Ecuador are scarce and outdated on-line. In order to make touring to Ecuador easier for the subsequent gluten-free traveler, I decided to diverge from my traditional medical articles and share info on touring gluten-free in Ecuador. It is a unbelievable country, wealthy in tradition and wonder. Travel here is definitely accomplished on a really low finances. I hope this info encourages anyone on a gluten-free weight-reduction plan to visit the little nation on the equator. It is well worth the effort!

Particular restaurant recommendations are listed under the overall ideas. Take a look at the zipline video under in case you are up for an adventure!

1. Awareness of celiac illness/gluten-free food plan is minimal until you’re chatting with someone who has lived or traveled elsewhere. “Vegan” or “vegetarian” are steadily confused with “gluten-free”. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t journey here, just be prepared.

2. Pre-made gluten-free merchandise usually are not easily present in Ecuador. It was almost unattainable to locate GF bread, even in markets. Pasta was out there and some quinoa based mostly cereals however other gluten-free meals will not be straightforward to locate even within the giant cities. Think about packing staples for journey resembling crackers, pasta (in case you are picky), GF oatmeal and bread. You might also need to convey soy sauce, tortillas (yes I stated tortillas), pancake mix, crackers, flour. Most familiar gluten-free brands/products are usually not present in even the massive markets.

3. Take a look at Los Baños, it’s a enjoyable journey town, with Zip strains, waterfall tours, and a number of other gluten-free dining choices. Don’t miss the waterfall “Pailon Del Diablo”.

four. The GF bakery ”Free Life” listed in some on-line posts not exists

5. Rotisserie Hen is usually marinated with beer. Please ask.

6. Corn tortillas are readily available however typically cross-contaminated with flour as a result of shared gear. They are sometimes made behind the massive supermarkets in an in-house “tortilleria”. Prepackaged corn tortillas are troublesome to seek out and really costly.

7. Pan de Yuca is quickly available in shops and from road vendors. It’s sometimes gluten-free but cross-contamination could be a problem. It is obtainable in the bigger supermarkets recent and frozen.

8. I really like taking the bus and traveling with the locals but it’s also possible to take flights, a personal driver or UBER to journey the nation. All are VERY fairly priced.

9. I situated two 100% gluten-free restaurants, both within the town of Mindo. They are listed under.

10. With the current exodus of refugees from Venezuela, extra Arepa eating places are popping up. Arepas are sometimes gluten-free. In fact, all the time ask!

11. Ensure to ask about soy sauce “ Salsa de soya” or “Salsa de China de soya”. It is typically utilized in marinades as is beer!

12. Maggi is a model of hen broth utilized in many restaurants to organize meat and fish dishes. It incorporates gluten.

13. Most restaurants should not have devoted fryers so don’t belief the papas fritas (french fries) which are in all places. You need to ask.

14. I recommend you say at Airbnb’s or flats so that you simply all the time have a kitchen out there to you. There are various houses or flats for lease throughout the country and lodging could be very inexpensive.

15. Most small cities don’t have supermarkets. They have small shops with primary provides. You will all the time be capable of discover eggs, rice, beans, meat, produce.

16. In basic, caution when asking road vendors or distributors on the buses about gluten in their foods. Ask if their merchandise include flour “harina” or wheat “trigo”. They could inform you what they assume they need you to listen to so be persistent with questions. I recommend you carry a restaurant card that explains the importance so that they really perceive. They in all probability gained’t know what gluten is.

17. Mercadona and Super Maxi are the two giant grocery store chains in Ecuador. They have some gluten free gadgets however not many. See the part on Quito for links.

18. Mitad del mundo- Don’t miss the chance to stand on the equator. Stand in each the Northern and Southern hemispheres on the similar time!

Cafe Hood

Beloved this funky little restaurant whose owner had spent many years in the U.S. The meals was superb they usually understood cross contamination. We ate here a number of occasions. Additionally it is related to a hostel. It may well get busy so plan forward.

La Tasca Cocina Espanola

Spanish tapas are simply made gluten free. This quaint restaurant with scrumptious meals had many gluten free choices. They understood cross contamination. There are only 5 or 6 tables so make plans! They’ve reside music on choose nights.

Honey Coffee and Tea

In case you are in the mood for a restaurant that feels like it could possibly be in the U.S. or Canada- attempt Honey Coffee and Tea. They didn’t have gluten-free meals but the coffee drinks have been superb and the environment implausible!

There are not any concessions in the park. It is a lovely and ethereal place but so far as meals is worried, convey it with you.

Don’t miss Cotopaxi-it is well worth the effort. We took an Uber from Quito and it was incredible and cheaper than a tour. We rented a decide up truck at the entrance with an area information for a singular experience. There are a number of, ready and out there.

Pack a lunch and hike as much as the refugio in case you have the stamina. There is a small store on the entrance with a number of choices of gluten-free snacks/meals, otherwise, there isn’t a meals close to the park. Once within the park, there are not any concessions.

Café de Ñucallacta

This can be a extremely popular spot for tourists-us included! The owner is from Cuenca however he lived in California. It is a cafe and restaurant. Their coffee is scrumptious! They understood cross contamination and had gluten free menu gadgets and baked items. We ate there every day while in Cuenca.

Hell’s Grill

A tremendous view awaits if you are able to stroll the steep dust path up to the restaurant. They have been capable of accomodate a gluten free eating regimen by preserving it very simple!


This was a late night time discover that saved us! There is a grill within the front window where the meats are ready. There’s gluten in the kitchen but they do have rice and beans that can be placed on the aspect and have been reportedly protected. We ate here several occasions with out incident. It is a sports activities bar as properly so in case you are on the lookout for tranquility you could have to look elsewhere if a recreation is on.

Panaderia Masa Madre

Bakery with gluten-free bread obtainable. This bread shouldn’t be protected for anybody who must avoid cross-contamination i.e. celiacs or extreme gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy. I cannot find an internet site for them however the bakery is situated close to Papa City.

Papa Town

A restaurant based mostly solely on french fries! The fryer is devoted ( please examine this hasn’t modified) and your selection of toppings is countless. There’s bread within the restaurant so speak to them about cross contamination if that may be a concern for you. Indulgence at its greatest!

On my first journey to Ecuador, the Diablo de Nariz ( Satan’s nostril) practice experience was an unforgettable journey. I rode my backpack whereas sitting atop a rickety practice automotive that traveled the traditional monitor. At that time it went from the city of Alausi’ to the coast. Sadly ( or thankfully relying in your viewpoint) driving atop the practice is not allowed. At this time it is a bit touristy however is value a visit none the less. The landscape is breathtaking. If you arrive on the turn round level ( it not goes to the ocean) you’ll have time to wander and eat. There’s one cafe. We introduced meals but did buy espresso and snacks in addition to some primary menu gadgets. They seemed to know cross contamination. Because of the amount of tourist journey, there are fairly a couple of individuals who converse English right here.

Guayaquil is a big port city that is house to the second largest airport in Ecuador. It’s a frequent departure point for the Galapagos Islands. We didn’t go to right here but if in case you have any info on dining options in Guayaquil, please e-mail me

Guayaquil Airport

We weren’t within the airport long however we did find El Español within the arrival space. That they had many snacks from Spain and had gluten free breakfast gadgets. Cross contamination was a problem with the ready meals however the snacks of meats and cheeses and crackers have been welcome!

Simply my favorite town in Ecuador. It might have correlated with the truth that it provided probably the most gluten-free dining options! It is situated within the Andes Mountains and is understood for the various fowl species, butterflies and orchids. We loved a number of nights of light exhibits placed on by fireflies! It’s surrounded by cloud forest. You possibly can take a taxi to the tarabita (cable automotive)which runs over the river to trails result in a number of waterfalls.

Misqui Quinde- 100% gluten-free

That is a completely gluten-free, quinoa-based restaurant. It was so nice to eat without worry and have recent vegetable quinoa soup, vegan quinoa burgers, and even quinoa ice cream! All was scrumptious. The owner was so type he provided to make us recent pan de yucca the subsequent day. It wasn’t even on the menu! To see my world-wide record of 100% gluten-free eating places, click right here.


100% gluten-free. Situated immediately throughout from the bus station, this small restaurant with solely a couple of tables had superb arepas and empanadas. To see my world-wide record of 100% gluten-free eating places click right here.

El Chef
We didn’t end up consuming right here as a result of time however I did speak to the proprietor. She said the fryer was dedicated and the steaks have been gluten-free. Please affirm in case you do eat right here

El Sitio

This isn’t a dedicated gluten-free restaurant however they understood the concept of cross-contamination and had fairly a number of gluten-free choices. The food was great and fairly priced.

Dragonfly Inn

The restaurant in the inn did not have a lot in the best way of gluten free choices.

I’m listing it because you possibly can’t assist however be enticed by its exterior and delightful outside patio along the river. It’s value a stop for a beverage at the least!

Most tourists come to Ecuador to go to the Galapagos. We weren’t lucky enough to go there (it’s expensive). I need to mention nevertheless that more individuals do converse English on the Galapagos islands on account of tourism however gluten-free eating choices per report are scarce. Plan ahead if traveling here. One choice that has been used is hiring a personal chef ( inexpensive than it sounds) to prepare dinner for you. This is straightforward in case you are on a boat or staying someplace with a kitchen and could be very cheap.

Manzanita is a cool, hip, surfer-vibe city that was energetic and colorful.

Tuja Food and Drink

A small place with arepas made to order and superb fruit bowls and smoothies. There’s gluten within the location however the arepas are cooked individually. Please allow them to know if you must worry about cross contamination.

The Wave

A pleasant open air location to hang out.

We had beverages and chips/guacamole for an afternoon break. They did have gluten free snacks obtainable. Please ask about cross contamination.

La Cosecha

One of the few locations in Equador to seek out gluten-free bread. They’ve sandwiches on the bread and per report understand cross contamination but please ask. Nice environment. A pleasant place to hang out, learn or surf the online.

Inka Zen Tea Home and Cafe

A tea house and cafe with gluten-free and vegan baked items. Cross contamination may be a problem. Please asks specifics on your state of affairs as it’s a small kitchen.

Most people will fly into Quito or Guayaquil when arriving by aircraft. Quito is a VERY giant metropolis. Guayaquil is huge, but not as giant as Quito. Quito might have more eating places that provide gluten-free choices than I have listed. We stayed in an house and cooked whereas we acclimated to the time change and altitude. Be happy to e mail me when you’ve got extra info that could be helpful to add. We did not stay lengthy and used it as a spot to arrange and store.

Republica de Cacao

This can be a chocolate company and cafe with a number of places throughout Quito and Equador. It’s a quiet respite from the busy city and presents gluten-free chocolate and occasional and a quiet, air-conditioned place to rest.


A enjoyable journey up the mountain led to a lookout and trailheads. There is a very small snack store at the prime with drinks and a few gluten-free snacks.

Miskay Restaurant

This can be a centrally situated restaurant with a implausible view from the roof. The Tripadvisor evaluations made it look like skilled at accommodating a gluten-free weight-reduction plan. We did not discover this to be so however it was a terrific place for a drink and a relaxation. I’m positive that it’s value a attempt as different reviewers appear to have had higher luck. It have to be dependent on employees.

Tremendous-Maxi (Grocery store Chain)

This is the most important supermarket chain in the nation and one of many few locations you will be able to seek out gluten free products. There are several places in Quito and throughout the country. Do not look forward to finding alternatives equal to extra westernized nations. The merchandise which are obtainable are typically quinoa based mostly. Easiest to take a taxi to get to any of them if they don’t seem to be strolling distance.

Mercadona (Supermarket Chain)

A grocery store chain with many places throughout Equador. Reported to have gluten-free gadgets. I found a number of but not many.

Wyndham Lodge Restaurant ( throughout from airport)

You possibly can’t miss the big, trendy lodge situated instantly throughout from the airport. Many international flights arrive very early within the am or late within the evening. We stayed here as a result of a 4 am a departure. The restaurant was very versed on gluten-free and had many choices.

El Espanol ( in airport terminal)

We did not go to this location however did visit the Guayaquil airport location. That they had many gluten-free snacks and menu gadgets. Cross-contamination of the prepared gadgets was a problem but the numerous pre-packaged snacks have been welcomed by this very sleepy and hungry traveler.