Quito, The second largest city in Ecuador. The city reminds me of a mix between Santa Marta Colombia and Cartagena Colombia. A little bit of a Spanish influence but with larger sidewalks, and more parks. I am not the biggest fan of cities, but Quito had a charm that made me love it.
My first day I went to visit the middle of the world, the equator line! It was about a 1.5 hour bus ride out to the official site (which isn’t the exact accurate line) where there was a monument you could climb up, a line for the equator, and experiments that you could do. This included balancing an egg (which was quite hard for me and took about 10 minutes to do).
Entrance to the park was $2 USD and entrance to the top of the monument was $3 USD.
Steven, my friend from Washington State studied abroad 4 years ago in Quito so we said hello to his Abuelita who he stayed with while he was in Ecuador. Pretty amazing to see the two reconnect and see where he lived for his semester.
After we were called from the sidewalk into a stone store that had crystals, jewelry, healing rocks and more. Unbelievable collection of magical rocks from a sweet older woman who was so happy to have us there. She even introduced us to her 92 year old mother who gave us tips on what to see in Quito.
After the store we headed across the streets to buy harmonicas at the music store! They included 2 empanadas with the purchase. Classic. We walked about Quito the rest of the day; gorgeous parks, and beautiful churches!
Fun fact: Quito (and Ecuador) recycle! Especially bottles, they reuse them and in most places if you return them it saves you $.50 USD! Isn’t that amazing?
One morning Steven and I had breakfast at a black and white color copy place where you could eat and make copies at the same time. Again, classic.
There are a couple of day trips you can do from Quito. We decided to do a day trip to the thermals or “hot springs”.
The name of them is called the Thermals papallaca and it was a $2.30 USD bus ride and whopping 3.5 hour bus ride. The trip should only be 1.5 hours one way, but we were stuck in traffic and had the worlds slowest bus. Even concrete mixing construction trucks were passing us.
The entrance to the park was $7.50 USD. Inside the park were 5 thermal baths, hot, hot, hot! Some cold baths and an ice cold river you could jump into as well. It’s quite amazing for your heart to get extreme cold and then extreme heat. All in all we spent 5 nights in Quito, I would love to go back one day!
We also went to the largest church in Quito. On my travels I have been to quite a few churches, but this one beat them all. There was a super scary stairwell leading up to the very top of the church. It had no railings and was literally 5 stories high. I was so scared but did it anyway! The views of quito are from the top of the church. It is located downtown Quito and has a $2.00 USD entrance fee. Climbing is worth every cent!