Trip Start Jun 29, 2010
11Trip End Jul 20, 2010
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San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 1,397,698 according to the last census (2001), and, as estimated by the municipality, approximately 1,504,991 in 2005, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of Metropolitan District of Quito. The canton recorded a population of 1,842,201 residents in the 2001 national censushttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quito
Traci and I had a great day in Quito. We took a self-guided tour called Old Town Walking Tour (Lonely Planet - Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands page 95). We visited 18 different spots in the old town area, including:
Plaza Grande, Palacio del Gobierno, Cathedral, La Compania de Jesus, Plaza and Monastery of San Francisco, Museo de la Ciudad, La Ronda, Church and plaza of Santo Domingo, Basilica del Voto Nacional, Plaza San Blas, Simon Bolivar monument, Parque La Alameda, Quito Observatory
Legislative Palace, Parque El Ejido, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, and Avenida Amazonas.
La Ronda - We had a drink called Canelazo (more info below). It was really good, warm and smooth. The aftertaste was delicious and also powerful! You gotta try this drink some day! ;-)
It typically consists of aguardiente (sugar cane alcohol), sugar or panela, and agua de canela (water boiled with cinnamon)
Basilica del Voto Nacional - We decided to visit this gothic church for it's awesome 360-degree view of Quito (see video below). This building was built in 1926 and they used turtles and iguanas protrude instead of gargoyles. The highlight of this place is the towers, which you can climb if you have the nerve - the ascent requires crossing a rickety wooden plank inside the main roof and climbing steep stairs and ladders to the top!