Long-Awaited Vacation in Ecuador

Meg and Dave in Plaza Grande, QuitoDave and I just got home for a three-week vacation in Ecuador. We had been hoping to go on this trip for a couple of years now. Originally, we had wanted to go for our honeymoon, but after realizing how much our wedding was going to cost, we opted for a cheaper option! So, about two years later it was finally the right time, with Dave done his MBA and enough vacation time in the bank. It was an amazing trip, and I will write about it in several posts because there is so much to say! We also have a tonne of photos.

We left Ottawa on Nov 10 in the afternoon. As a result of Air Canada cancelling our original flight, we were taking the milk-route to Quito, which included one night in Caracas on the way. All went well though and we arrived in Quito on Thursday afternoon. We checked into our hotel in the Mariscal Sucre area – part of ‘new town’ and a very lively and popular neighbourhood full of hotels and restaurants.

Basilica del Voto Nacional, QuitoOn Friday, we confirmed our trips to Galapgos and the amazon with our travel agency and organized several day tours for our return to Quito after Galapagos. We also visited the Museo Amazonico, a small museum showcasing the various indigenous groups living in the Amazonian part of Ecuador. Following a walk through Parque El Ejido, a large park in the centre of Quito, we went to the Museo Casa de la Cultura. The museum is fairly large and houses several different exhibits, including art and anthropology. There was some construction going on though, so we could only get to the anthropology section. It was well done though, and very interesting, covering the history of the Ecuadorian people from the arrival of its initial settlers. That night we had dinner at a wine and tapas bar which was based on an interesting concept – for one price you get all the wine you can drink and all the tapas you can eat (and it was quite tasty!). Different prices bought you a different selection of wine (so the more expensive prices gave you a greater selection of better wine).

Views from Old QuitoOn Saturday we did the Lonely-Planet recommended self-guided walking tour of Old Quito. Old Quito is beautiful and has been well restored. The area is full of centuries’ old buildings and churches and cobblestone streets. We started a Plaza Grande, where the Palacio del Gobierno and a cathedral are located. From there we followed the road past to La Ronda, and old cobblestone street full of bars and cafes and a few shops. From there we passed the Church of Santo Domingo and then continued on to Plaza del Teatro, where, not surprisingly is the city’s theatre. Then we walked over to the Basilica Voto Nacional, which we wandered through. After visiting the basilica, we followed the suggested route past the Bolivar monument, through Parque Almeda and past the Quito Observatory, and then around the legislative palace. As it was a Satruday, there was a big artisan market in Parque El Ejido, which we wandered through. After lunch, we visited the Museo de la Ciudad – an old hospital that is now a museum depicting life in Quito over the centuries.

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Posted in ecuador | travel Submitted by Meg on Thu, 2010-12-09 20:28

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