If you are trying to make the most of a limited time and you have the budget, I would definitely recommend a guided tour in Quito. One of my biggest splurges of the trip was a private tour of Cotopaxi National Park or Parque Nacional Cotopaxi. Continue reading “Cotopaxi National Park”
It looked like any other gondola, or what they always looked like in the movies anyway, I had never been on a real gondola before. The closest I had come was the ski lift at Adventureland Amusement Park or the Skyfari at the Henry Doorly Zoo. It seemed mostly safe, only swaying in the stronger breezes as we ascended the mountain. Not that I cared that much, I was too busy trying to take in the view behind me, below me, and above me. The thickening golden rays of the waning afternoon sun streamed through the valley below, once again highlighting the many colors of the city.
Continue reading “TelefériQo”
I did not think about it, my feet simply followed the neatly laid bricks. Winding along to my right, I stored the map in my back pocket. The leaves set within the bricks corresponding to the leaves on the map were meant to guide me along, but I let nature choose my direction. Continue reading “Jardín Botánico de Quito”
The narrow gaps between buildings that passed as streets reminded me of Ireland. The outside of the church was unassuming, the white and light blue did not draw attention to the quiet sanctuary. It was only after passing through the black gate and heavy wooden doors that we began to see hints of the splendor within. Continue reading “Quito’s Historic City Center”
The lines on his face and weariness in his soft, brown eyes did not diminish the determination in his voice as he moved up and down the block. He waved a yellow, blue, and red flag, condor flying proudly, in each hand and let the surplus stick out of every hole in his simple gray backpack. His thickly accented advertisement became the anthem I will forever associate with my trip and the Ecuadorian people. Continue reading “Mercado La Mariscal”
Less developed than Mitad Del Mundo, the entrance to Intiñan Museum (located closer to the real middle of the world as established by GPS) is tucked away off the side of the road. Walking across a bridge, the winding path led through some greenery before arriving at a gathering of modern buildings made to look like huts. Birds chirped as the breeze rustled the branches they were settled in. Continue reading “Intiñan Museum (The Real Middle of the World)”
As I walked through the gate and up the sidewalk, nothing seemed out of the ordinary…then, the monument came into view. Rising 30 meters (about 90 feet), it dominated the center of the “village” that has sprung up around it. The bright center line separated the two halves of the world and acted as a guide like the yellow brick road leading straight to the door. Continue reading “Mitad Del Mundo”
It was difficult to give up my layers at first. The chill in the air and the mist sticking to my goosebumps made me reconsider, that is until I put my first toe into the water. I registered the sting only for a second before throwing everything below my shoulders under the surface. My muscles relaxed as I swirled around, taking in my surroundings. Continue reading “Papallacta Volcanic Pools”
I should have been tired after a two hour flight, two hour layover, and five hour flight, finally arriving in Quito at 11:30 p.m., but all I could feel was the excitement. It was chillier than I was expecting (whenever I hear equator I automatically picture a tropical paradise), but my friend from Quito had warned me, so I had the proper pants and jacket to keep me warm and dry. The airport was by no means empty, but not nearly as busy as Atlanta had been. The further we got from the airport the more lights we came upon until we could see the twinkling of Quito. The orange and yellow dots splashed up onto the mountains like grains of sand washed onto the beach.
Continue reading “Travel Quito, Ecuador”