When we were researching our trip, I often had a hard time finding affordable, furnished apartments in safe areas that would accommodate children. I figure I can update this as we proceed on our trip, but here is a list of the places we have rented so far in case you are looking for lodging ideas in the cities we have been to.
Casa Valhalla. 4 apartments of varying sizes and prices, all furnished, WiFi and laundry included. The owners are offsite, but extremely helpful and friendly. There is a great backyard for playing and grilling out. This place is within walking distance to Boquete, although the sidewalk is not stroller friendly in all places. Taxis are about $2-$3 to town. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/245961
Panama City, Panama
We only stayed in Panama City for a total of 3 nights, and therefore didn’t rent an apartment. This hotel is near the main bus terminal and the domestic airport. Although far from the International airport, they provided a shuttle for a fee. Very family friendly, will put a pack and play in your room on request. There is a nice lounge and patio area for getting out of each other’s hair for a while. Restaurants within walking distance, or they will order food in for you! Beer and wine for sale on site. http://www.thebalboainn.com
Near Plaza Foch, Quito, Ecuador
Nice apartment with a very helpful and thoughtful host, although on the pricey side for our family budget. Not exactly a family friendly neighborhood (please watch yourself at night on this street) and quite LOUD! Great views and adjacent to public transport, high-end restaurants and markets nearby. Great spot for the childless and night owls! https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2171267
Near La Ronda, Quito, Ecuador
We loved this apartment! Spacious and easy to live in. Laundry in the unit and a workable kitchen. Nice neighbors with lots of kids! Affordable, especially if renting for a month or more. Adjacent to La Ronda AND Parque Cumanda, and the trole and ecovia stops are also very close (see my post about things to do with kids in this neighborhood (https://2kidsnoitinerary.com/2014/08/27/families-and-kids-off-the-beaten-path-in-quito/). There are markets, fruit stands, restaurants, play areas, and security guards 24 hrs a day. Loudish on the weekends, but a decent trade off for the awesome neighborhood. You’re welcome. http://quitorental2.blogspot.com
Hostel Llanovientos, Baños, Ecuador
Nice family-run hostel up the hill in town. Wonderful views, clean and friendly. We requested three beds, and they gave us a room with a matrimonial and a bunk bed. Areas for the kids to play around included an indoor lounge, garden area with fountain and BBQ patio. Breakfast was simple but I would definitely do it again as coffee proved hard to find in town and pricey (there are a few legit coffee shops but they weren’t open early). Cheap and perfect for a short visit to Baños! Watch out for dog poop all over town though, there are stray dogs absolutely everywhere. http://www.banios.com/llanovientos/
This was the nicest place we have ever stayed in. Seriously. The beds were North American size and sturdy, which is a huge deal after months in the usual “matrimonial” beds that are way too small for us gringo couples. The thread count was high. The furniture was extremely comfortable. The patios were sunny and enjoyable. The kitchen was stocked to the gills with every conceivable appliance and tool – more than we even had in our own home! There was a bathtub!! With hot water! There was even a media room with a projector and a connection to netflix and amazon prime back home, which meant endless episodes of kids shows, etc, in English! You can safely drink the tap water in Cuenca! There was also a nice health clinic nearby, lots of restaurants and cafes, and a pedestrian river walk.
The catch? This is an apartment that belongs to a very lovely North American couple who live here full time, and only rent it out when they are out of town. How we got that lucky…I will never know. But here is the link in case you do too.
The host here is a perfectly lovely woman, and the beach has views to die for. As for Mancora, well, it wasn’t my favorite town to be sure. This is a very rustic rental, but in a place that offers only either cheap hostel beds or exceedingly expensive luxury rentals, there isn’t much to choose from in the middle range. If you enjoy camping, you will enjoy this. Try to stock up on food before you get to Mancora, although, since Lima is 17 hours away, good luck with that.
Kind of an interesting change from a hostel or apartment. We took advantage of our membership in the South American Explorers club to do more than just pick up maps and travel info in Cusco, and booked a room for almost a month. The price was right, and the kids enjoyed hanging out in the shared garden with lots of people coming and going every day. There are other (mostly college age) people staying here and volunteering, so you will never get lonely. The shared kitchen was biggish, although others’ habits may remind you of your years in the college dorms! Close to the main plaza and good restaurants (check out the vegetarian place nearby – Green Point – delicious!). Nice neighborhood with lots of interesting alleys and streets to explore. The single room we rented proved a little small and rustic for us for such a long visit, but might work better for smaller families. The shower is not awesome.
I will continue updating this page as we travel.