Reminiscing about Quito, Ecuador
My trip to Quito was something I had definitely not expected… I was invited to spend 3 days in Quito while spending a month in Palmira, Colombia; a small city outside of Cali. You know me… never say no to an impromptu adventure!
So what do you get to see in Quito, in 3 days?
#FunFactQuito : Quito was the first UNESCO World Heritage city! So surely there must be a thing or two to see!
Treat yourself and stay at Casa Gangotena! A spectacular hotel, full of light and peace, in the very centre of Old Town Quito. If your budget is not that extravagant, at least pick a hotel near the Centro Histórico so you can easily walk around, grab some street food and visit the several beautiful and scarily gothic churches!
In Quito, stay around the Centro Histórico, or Old Quito, where nearly everything is instagramable! Hang around on a Sunday and see entire families flood the colonial streets of the old town, munching on some very interesting street food (fried pork ears for example), children buy gigantic balloons and local artists sell colourful paintings of daily Ecuadorian scenes for very reasonable prices. Take your time to stroll, discover forgotten alleyways and small picturesque churches.
For food, I’d say beware… I love tasting things from different places, and my stomach is usually quite an ally, but after my first meal in Quito I was sick and my travel partner too! And he’s a local! So stick to simple stuff I you know what I mean! BBQ meat (asado) was the only thing that seemed to do it for me while in Quito, and it’s delicious!
I would avoid venturing out of the Centro Histórico on my own, unless accompanied by a local or unless I know exactly where I am going! The city of Quito is a concrete jungle! That was the first feeling I had when I saw the miles and miles of buildings and graffitis that spread ahead of me when approaching the city. Some areas are not for the weak-hearted… so just be cautious yeh?
But don't let that get in the way of the great experience you’ll have when you reach the Middle of the World (in the map, La Mitad del Mundo). That feeling of standing, literally, in the middle of the world, one foot on each side of the Equator! Yes! As you may know, Ecuador is home to the Equator! The perfect line that divides our planet into two hemispheres. Take that iconic photo of you standing between North and South! Buy a poncho before that, and play the part! I’d say this was THE highlight of my trip to Ecuador. It’s one of those things you must see once in your life!
Not far from that, El templo del Sol (the Temple of the Sun, in the map) was a very interesting visit that mixed ancestral knowledge of the sun, and art made by a peculiar painter Ortega Maila. This Temple was built exactly on the Equator line and in the crater of the Pululahua volcano! My visit of the temple included a crash course on herbology, an art mastered by the local indigenous people, an experience of time through the sun’s reflection inside the temple, and a live demonstration of Ortega Maila’s art, followed by a Coca leaf tea! Yeah! Quite an experience!
Check out the Google Map I’ve created for my trip, with all the places I’ve visited and referred to! I just made it sooo easy for you!
Another absolute must-see in Quito, El Panecillo (in the map). Picture this: A 40 meter-tall Virgin Mary standing at the top of a hill, overlooking the whole of Quito! Souvenirs flourish in this part of town, and I remember finding quite a few pretty little things to bring back! Buy a pot of sliced mango from one of the street vendors, sit, and watch the city breathe under your feet!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, it’s a quick one really! Click on the map and check out some other places I’ve highlighted. For proper coffee (I mean you ARE in Ecuador after all), check out Café Galetti (on the map), in the Old Town and ask to try their Ecuadorian Amazonas roast! Yes they have that! Also, bring back a bag of Amazonas roasted coffee home and impress everyone!
But for now, ciao!
Would love to read your comments! Have you been to Quito?