As many of you have followed my journey you will know that I didn’t get much of a chance to document the last part of my trip through Latin America between January and March. I thought that it would be a real shame to have left so many amazing stories untold. So over the next couple of month’s I will be re-living and sharing the last part of my trip through Ecuador and Peru from Bridge jumping, White Water Rafting, Exploring the Amazon Basin to Climbing Machu Pichu.
After getting down and dirty in Cartagena and being burnt out in Cartagena from a bit too much partying, I felt that although I had done a lot of cool things in Central America I hadn’t really explored the adventure side of things anywhere near as much as I had wanted. With that in mind I made a spur of the moment decision and booked a flight at 2 days notice from Cartagena Colombia to Quito Ecuador. Financially it was not the smartest thing to do as it cost me over $400 USD compared to the buses I could have taken for half that price, But at the time it wasn’t an issue of money it was the change I really needed.
So I woke up early and headed to the airport. But not before clearing a bunch of crap out of my bag that I had been carrying around for months, Random toiletries sun block etc and that was when I made the decision to leave my drum behind.
I originally bought it in Guatemala on lake atitalan when I was going through a really hippy stage. I had the idea that one day in my travels I would find a awesome beach drum party where I could dance and play my drum just like so many of the nights at the rainbow gathering I attended in Guatemala. But unfortunately that day never came, I knew that the chances of me getting a wooden drum through Australian customs was low and since I was already carrying a massively overloaded backpack with a side bag + tent and sleeping bag I decided to leave it in the hostel donation box for children.
So after getting through security and having to explain why I had a pocket knife in my carry on in my terrible Spanish (Whoops) I was in the airport ready to board my flight to Quito via Bogota. This was my first flight in 2 months as I had bus’d and boated all the way from Cancun Mexico through Central America to Cartagena Colombia. Even though I was only in economy I still felt like a bit of a king sitting up there in my airplane seat being served a glass of wine and a lunch.
As I sat on the plane to Quito I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I had heard a lot of rumors about robberies in Quito and had even heard people refer to it as the robbery capital of South America, I’m not sure how well founded those claims were. But as a precaution I made sure that I had a flight that was arriving during the day and had already pre-booked Vibes hostel in the Mariscal area, Which is the main tourist area of Quito and the safest.
But all of that nervousness instantly disappeared when I got my first glimpse of Quito flying in on the plane. the first thing I saw was the ice capped mountain followed by an amazing view of the sprawling town of Quito,Was such a breathtaking sight and filled me with so much energy and joy. I knew right then that I had made the right decision to come here.
Upon arriving in Quito I collected my backpack and got a cab to my hostel, with I have to say one of the nicest cab drivers I had in my trip, he was super chatty and friendly and even spoke pretty decent English.
After checking into my hostel I settled in for unknown by me at the time one of the longest stay’s in a hostel in my entire trip. By the time I left Quito for good it had been over 12 days. I highly recommend Vibes hostel, It’s really secure with locked gate. they even have security guards patrol the street at night for added safety so there is no worry about walking down to the main gringo square where the clubs and bars are. It also is a very spread out hostel with multiple area’s to chill. So whether you are looking for a bit of a party in the onsite bar, wanting to watch some dvds from their collection on their TV. Plus the owner Santiago is a really chill guy and can help you out with anything you need.
So what is there to do in Quito? and why do I rate it as one of my favorite and most recommended cities to visit in my trip?
What made Quito so special to me wasn’t especially the city itself (Which was highly Americanized with more fast food places than you could poke a stick at) but how many day trips and activities you could organize from there.
These day trips are far too big to list in this post and are going to be covered in a series of blogs over the coming weeks, So stay tuned for the following awesome day trips and adventures that you can have from Quito.
- Wander the streets of Quito old town and take a the chair lift TelefériQo for some astonishing views over Quito
- Bike through Cotopaxi national park and climb the ice topped peak of Cotopaxi
- Visit the Equator line “Mitad Del Mundo”
- Marvel at the amazing crater lake of Quillotoa
- Shop at the biggest market in South America in Otavalo and check out its early morning animal market.
- Visit the cloud forest of Mindo for some hiking,humming bird viewing and ziplining.
- Organize a jungle adventure to the Oriente, Ecuador’s slice of the Amazon basin
- Bungee jumping in Banos