Equatorial Quito

After spending a week on the Galápagos we flew, via Guayaquil, into Quito. The capital of Ecuador is officially the highest capital in the world, but we still think La Paz deserves this title more. Apart from visiting Baños, we spent four days in Quito itself.

Centro Histórico

We opted for an organized walking tour through the historic center of Quito: the city is huge, and hard to explore on your own. It turned out the (free!) three-hour walking tour brought us to a lot of highlights we would have never found ourselves. We were even allowed in the palace on the Plaza Grande!

After visiting Plaza Grande, and a few other significant buildings, we finished the walking tour in the colorful neighborhood of La Ronde. From here, the view of the Virgin of Quito statue on the hill was quite beautiful. After trying out some Ecuadorian candy (with a warning not to chew with the front teeth due to the extraordinary amount of sugar), and trying some delicious juices at the Mercado Central, the walking tour came to an end.

La Mitad del Mundo

About 25km outside of Quito, in a town called San Antonio, there is a special place where the northern and southern hemisphere meet. There are two different monuments: one where early discoverers calculated the center of the earth would be, and one where GPS proved the center to be. Both are about 200 meters apart, yet the unofficial center has the largest and most impressive monument.

Given that it is easy to reach La Mitad del Mundo by public bus (we each paid $0.80 round-trip), we recommend spending an hour or two at the sight. Some people will call it a tourist trap, but we felt it was still worth it, especially getting a picture taking with your body parts in different hemispheres.

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We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.

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