Quito, Ecuador

There are a number of things I’ve found interesting about Quito, and Ecuador in general:

  • The city of Quito is long and narrow (25 miles long by 3 miles wide); it’s shaped like a banana, which is only fitting since its largest agricultural export is bananas
  • At an elevation of 9,350 feet, Quito is the highest capital city in the world (now that La Paz is no longer the capital of Bolivia)
  • Quito sits almost directly on the equator, so there are 12 hours of daylight all year long; the word “ecuador” is Spanish for equator
  • In 2013, Quito’s new international airport opened. It’s a 45 minute-plus taxi ride from the airport to central Quito. Like Denver international airport, Quito’s airport seems to be in the middle of nowhere.
  • In the Ecuadorian highlands (including Quito and Cuenca), there are just two seasons – rainy and dry, and the weather is unpredictable all year long. Based on weather forecasts, we expected a lot of rain during our two week stay. Although clouds often rolled in during the afternoon, it only rained on two days of our trip.
  • Bus travel in Ecuador cheap, it only costs a quarter to ride city buses and for longer trips, bus far is about $1 per hour travel.
  • Roses are a big export. 60% are exported to the U.S. In Ecuador, $2 will buy you 24 roses!
  • In the year 2000, the U.S. Dollar replaced Ecuadorian Sucres as the official currency. This makes dealing with money easy if you are traveling from the U.S. However, because the U.S. Dollar is strong now, it’s a good time to travel to countries where the U.S. Dollar isn’t used, so you can benefit from a favorable exchange rate. Regardless, Ecuador is still an inexpensive place to travel.

Although we stayed in Quito for three nights, we didn’t spend much time in the city. We spent one morning exploring Quito, and the other days, we were only there in the evening hours, which we spent going out for for dinner. Although the people were kind and the colonial architecture impressive, overall, Quito just wasn’t our cup of tea. Which is OK…we really aren’t “big city” people anyway. Besides, we probably had a bad first impression as we arrived into the city on a Sunday night, and there seemed to be NO WHERE to sit down and eat dinner. Here’s what ended up in front of me when we finally found a place that was open…

image

that’s a chicken foot in the soup…I think I’ve lost my appetite

Our second night in Quito, we headed to La Ronda. It’s a restored cobblestone street lined with restaurants and shops. We were a little disappointed that the menus for the different restaurants were all so similar. Because of that, we chose where to eat based upon ambiance. We ended up in a cozy restaurant that had a talented musician playing acoustic guitar. It was nice.

image

la ronda…police heavily patrolled the area, which made me feel safe and unsafe at the same time

We stayed at a hotel near Plaza Santa Domingo (in the historic district, close to La Ronda). The place lit up beautifully at night.

image

plaza santa domingo at night

image

plaza santa domingo during the day

One of our favorite spots in Quito was sitting on the patio of Dulceria Colonial, a long-standing cafe on the Plaza Grande.

image

plaza grande…the two green umbrellas on the left belong to dulcerina colonia

image

enjoying coffee at dulcerina colonial…great people watching from the patio

image

plaza grande

image

shoe shining in plaza grande

image

municipal palace in the plaza grande

There are SO MANY ornate churches in Quito. Here are the ones we visited (all of which are within a couple blocks of each other).

cathedral of Quito

cathedral of Quito

image

iglesia de La Compañía de Jesús

image

church of San Francisco

image

inside the church of San Francisco

image

view of plaza San Francisco from the front door of the church of San Francisco

image

monasteria de carmen…ok, not a church…but it is a fully functioning convent

The city of Quito is quite hilly. To me, it seemed hillier than San Francisco.

image

hillside homes

Overall, Central Quito is quite scenic. There are views and architecture to admire on seemingly every block in the city’s center. I’m thankful for the opportunity we had to experience it for ourselves.

image

a typical Quito street…colorful street fronts with a scenic backdrop

image

a monument to the Virgin Mary, located on top of El Panecillo

4 responses to “Quito, Ecuador

  1. Hahahahaha… the chicken foot in your bowl outdoes the bird egg in ‘egg drop soup’ in Spain! I hope you found the broth tasty anyway (as I did in mine though my broth looked more like used dish water). Those colorful street fronts always make for great photos! What are the temps @ the equator at this time of year?

    • Loved all the colorful street fronts! The temps were really nice…highs in the 60’s and 70’s everywhere we were except for the Amazon, which was hotter.

      On Sunday, February 7, 2016, Jay and Joann's Journey wrote:

      >

  2. Beautiful pictures and the different churches were absolutely breathtaking – I know your vacation is ending, but what a wonderful time you have had. Safe travels. Love Grandma

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s