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Ecuador: Quito
04 Jan 2014

So Quito was interesting. We arrived here on Saturday night and immediately felt the effects of the altitude when we climbed the three flights of stairs to our hostel and nearly fainted. We grabbed some late night dinner (for $4 each!) and then passed out. This was all after about an hour-long taxi ride from the airport - the airport is really far away!

The next morning we joined a group of people from the hostel to explore the city. We went to the Ministerio de Cultura and saw lots of cool pottery and golden art from the Incan days of South America.

After the museum we went to grab lunch at a local almuerzo restaurant. The food was absolutely terrible, but it cost $2.50 for soup, meat, rice, beans, and a drink. And then my bag got stolen.

Jambox, rain coat (a nice collapsible, lightweight one), 3L camelbak, two 10,000 mAh batteries, and my personal journal, all literally vanished from beneath my feet. We spent the next three hours scouring the neighbourhood to see if maybe, just maybe, the guy decided to ditch some things in a garbage bin nearby. No luck.

So a police report and an insurance submission later to world nomads, I now embark on the wonderful process of insurance claims. Will keep posted on how that goes!

Other than that we were starting to think Quito was really nice, so maybe we’ll give the city another chance some day.

Arrival

Jan 04, 2014

from Cartagena, Colombia

Departure

Jan 06, 2014

to Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Weather (Celcius)

Elevation (m)

Travel Planning: Quito, Ecuador

Friday, December 06, 2013 17:30

http://www.quora.com/South-America/What-are-some-cool-places-to-go-in-South-America

High-altitude city that is the capital of the country. Take a cable car to the city’s highest point for a stunning and sweeping view of the city. Good nightlife, restaurants, and cafes in La Mariscal (Gringolandia).

Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Founded in 1534 on the ruins of an ancient Inca city.

The city is divided into three parts: the Old City at the centre, with southern and northern districts to either side.

Do

Walking Tour

A recommended walking tour that could enhance your vision of the Historic Center is as follows. Take the trolley (watch your belongings) south until “Cumanda” stop. Get down, you are on Maldonado street. There you will have an impressive view of what once was the “Jerusalem” ravine, which stands between Panecillo and the core. Walk north past the trolley stop and go down a narrow stairway that brings you to La Ronda street, of Pre-columbian origins. Walk up picturesque La Ronda until you reach Av. 24 de Mayo. This boulevard was built on top of this section of Jerusalem ravine to connect the two sides of town.

On Garcia Moreno Street turn north and you will arrive to the Museo de la Ciudad, which provides an easy and interactive history of Quito. Then walk on Garcia Moreno street until Sucre, which is a pedestrian street. La Compania is at the corner and if you go up Sucre street you will reach San Francisco. If you continue on Garcia Moreno you will reach the Main (independence) Square. If you go to San Francisco, then walk to La Merced and down to the Main Square.

This itinerary follows a chronological and logical sequence of sites. Most people do it backwards, turning La Ronda and Museo de la Ciudad as distant points where you’re usually worn out by the time you get there. In any event, the Historic Center is so vast that you need more than one visit to see it all. The recommended walk provides you with a good overview if you’re short of time or want to see as much as possible on a first day.

Middle of the World

The Middle of the World 45 mins from the capital Quito, you can go to see the Monument to the middle of the World. It’s a big monument with many events and things to do. For example, national indigenous music groups play different songs of their culture. There are museums with the history of the 0 latitude and history of Quito as well. There are many unique artworks and once you are there you can even weight your self and you will find out how you weigh less on the equator.

El Panecillo

Do not travel up El Panecillo on foot; use a taxi even during the day. Not only is the neighborhood bad, but the road leading up the hill has very narrow sidewalks, and sometimes no sidewalks at all. This presents a risk of being, at best, overwhelmed with diesel fumes as busses chub by, at worst, getting run over.

Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus

Casa del Alabado

La Capilla Del Hombre

Sleep

Chez Elena Guesthouse

Community Hostel

  • 92% on hostelworld
  • 5 (95%) on tripadvisor
  • Hundreds of really solid reviews.
  • communityhostel.com
  • $30/night private for 2 people
  • $10/6 bed dorm
  • $12.50/4 bed dorm
  • Breakfast: 7:30am-9:30am for $2.50
  • Dinner: $5

For a safe & secure ride, we have a private driver named Omar who can pick you up from the airport upon request. He will carry a car-full (3 people) for $35 total, and will wait for you and your party at the airport with a sign with our logo on it. if a reservation to get picked up by Omar is made by each party then the cost of the pickup would go down to 25 for each party since the reservations were done seperatly. If you are interested in hiring Omar, please feel free to call us and set an appointment.

Since we now have a van, we are able to carry more people back from the airport, if the pary is more then 3 people then we will charge an extra $8 per extra person that is in the reservation.

Local cabs from the airport should cost between $27-30. If you choose to take a local cab, please be aware of your belongings and meter prices. If you are wary or unsure of how to get to Community Hostel, please feel free to call us and ask for information.

If you’re taking a local cab, here is a simple way to ask a cab to get to Community Hostel: “Por favor a la Pedro Fermín Cevallos y Olmedo detrás del Coliseo Julio Cesar Hidalgo y Mercado Central.”

Travellers Inn

Minka Hostel

Pululahua Hostal

Biciq: free city bike rental in downtown area

Flying from Cartagena to Quito

Saturday, January 04, 2014 06:19

On our way to Quito! We got stuck with a crazy flight path today and will be making two stops on the way.

TimeLocation
5:40AMWoke up.
6:20AMReady to catch a cab to the airport.
6:29AMIn a cab.
6:44AMAt the airport.
7:18AMChecked in after having issues with our exit tickets (didn’t have the ticket no.).
8:25AMBoarding the plane.
8:45AMTake off! On our way to Bogota.
9:50AMLanded in Bogota.
11:40AMBoarded a bus to the plane.
12:00PMBoarded.
12:27PMWheee! Off to Cali.
1:01PMTouchdown in Cali.
1:20PMWaiting for bags.
1:52PMBags are connecting through it seems. Grabbing lunch now before we check in for our Quito flight.
2:36PMWaiting in line to check in.
3:20PMThrough customs after having a pat down, a metal scan, and our bags searched all after being asked by three different guards where we were going.
5:12PMBoarding to Quito!
5:30PMTake off!
6:24PMLanded in Quito.
6:43PMAt customs.
7:08PMThrough and grabbing a cab.
7:12PMIn a cab.
8:29PMArrived at Community Hostel.

Community Hostel

Saturday, January 04, 2014 20:56

We arrived at Community Hostel after a long day of travel. It’s a couple flights of stairs up on the third floor and we nearly died climbing them: definitely noticing the altitude!

The staff and people here were super friendly and we really loved our stay here overall. The neighbourhood that the hostel is located in doesn’t feel the safest overall, but it’s super close to the red line bus making it a pretty good location for getting around.

El Guaytambo

Saturday, January 04, 2014 21:23

We had quarter-chicken combo plates here for $4 and they were absolutely delicious. The combo included soup, a quarter chicken, fries, and a salad and everything was really good.

Ministerio de Cultura

Sunday, January 05, 2014 12:01

We dropped in to this museum for the morning without many expectations and as is usually the case were pretty entertained.

Restaurante Rincon de las Delicias "Mary"

Sunday, January 05, 2014 13:21

Terrible food for $2.25.

Hot Chocolate with White Cheese

Sunday, January 05, 2014 19:12

Strange combo. Wasn’t sure what to do with the cheese, so I ate it while drinking the hot chocolate. It was an interesting combination, but I can’t say that I’d go out of my way to order it again.

Flying from Quito to the Galapagos Islands

Monday, January 06, 2014 07:08

So excited to head to the Galapagos Islands!

TimeLocation
5:15AMWoke up.
6:15AMIn a cab.
7:15AMAt the airport. Paid for tourist card ($10/each).
7:34AMChecking bags. Mine’s at 17.2 kg.
7:39AMThrough security.
9:22AMBoarded.
9:36AMTake off!
10:11AMTouch down in Guayaquil.
11:38PMTake off. Wow they have lunch on this plane!
12:14PMLanded in the Galapagos Islands! (One hour behind)
12:40PMPaid for entry ($100/each), got our bags.
12:57PMOn the bus to the canal.
1:03PMWe’re movin’!
1:20PMOn a boat to cross the canal.
1:30PMCrossed the canal.
1:47PMPacked into a cab.
2:37PMArrived in Puerto Ayorta. Too late to catch a boat now sadly.
3:02PMCan’t make it to our airbnb sadly, so we had to find a cheap hostel nearby.

Arrival

Jan 04, 2014

from Cartagena, Colombia

Departure

Jan 06, 2014

to Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos