Quito and la Mitad del Mundo
My Ecuador trip ended in Quito, its capital, where I spent four nights. Quito has a nice historical centre, with the main sights of the city (basically colonial churches and plazas) and it is there where I booked my hostel to be able to explore the old town by foot. However in the evening there were not many restaurants or entertainment options so it was a little bit boring.
Mariscal Sucre neighborhood, instead, was much better equipped with cafes, hostels and restaurants and had an interesting nightlife. I also found a nice place for salsa lessons there so in the end I spent most of my time in Quito there.
A must see when visiting Quito is the day trip to La Mitad del Mundo (Half of the World), right on the ecuadorian line. Apart from the “must picture” on the 0° 0’ 0” point there are some pavilions to visit, one of them related to Charles Marie La Condamine’s expedition.
From La Mitad del Mundo I booked a two hours tour to the crater of the extinct Pululahua Volcano. This caldera is one of the two inhabited volcanic calderas in the world and the only one cultivated by its inhabitants, growing in its rich soil various crops. Pululahua is a very atmospheric place, especially just before midday when a kind of fog starts filling the crater. This fog is the only real source of water for the crops cultivated here because it never rains in Pululahua. Due to the shape of the crater, it also has a unique micro-climate which supports cloud forests, orchids and other kind of plants. In the end this little tour was my favourite sight in Ecuador, lol.
I left Quito on the fourth day, direction to Colombia.
My Tips :
- La Posada Colonial (Paredes S1-49) was the perfect hostel for exploring the old town. Nice rooms, rooftop terrace with views and good breakfast for only 2.5$;
- Academia Salsa y Merengue (Foch E4-256) proposes dance classes for 6$ (groups), 8$ (couples) and 10$ (individual). If you are staying in Quito for a long time, they also have interesting packages;
- Local buses are a cheap and fast way for traveling in Quito but are plagued with pickpockets so be careful!
- If you are interested in visiting Pululahua Volcano, go before noon to be able to take some pictures, after noon it gets completely covered by the fog!
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