|Travel Ecuador : Quito :|
Quito is the capital city of Ecuador and is the city that most people arrive in when they visit the country. If you travel to Quito in Ecuador you will find that it has a good deal of attractions to offer to the tourist.
The old town of Quito was designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1978. The sarea is packed with pretty colonial buildings and lots of fascinating museums and churches. It is easy to spend a day in this area wandering around and exploring.
Other city attractions include the Telefériqo, a cable car that takes you up to 4100 meters, where on a clear day you have a superb view of the length of the city and the mountains beyond. For those not wanting to travel to such an altitude, the Panecillo (Quito’s protector) sits on a hill close to the old town and offers pleasant views, particularly of the old town.
Many people travel to Quito, Ecuador to study Spanish. Quito has in excess of 40 Spanish schools to choose from, so it is a good option for this. In addition, compared to other Spanish speakers, Ecuadorians speak fairly slowly and clearly, so Quito is a great place to learn.
Aside from all that Quito has to offer, travel to Quito makes for a good base from which to explore the surrounding parts of Ecuador. There are many attractions within an hour or two of Quito, including Otavalo, Mindo, the Equator, Papallacta and the Cotopaxi National Park.
Travel to Quito Ecuador is facilitated by a very large amount and variety of hotels. It is possible to find anything from large branches of chain hotels, to expensive boutique-style hotels, through to cheap hostels with dorm rooms for backpackers. The hotels are to be found in 4 main areas – the old town, the Mariscal, La Floresta and the north. The greatest selection of accommodations is to be found in the Mariscal part of town. The majority of travelers stay here because of the convenience and proximity to restaurants. The old town is a charming place to stay, and offers hotels that are situated in beautiful colonial buildings. La Floresta and the north are a little further away from the center of everything but provide the opportunity to experience a bit more of the real Quito.
If you travel to Quito, Ecuador, you will be pleasantly surprised by the cosmopolitan nature of the restaurant scene there. Quito restaurants offer a great selection of excellent, traditional Ecuadorian food. Aside from this, you can find all kinds of international food, from Italian to Mexican to French and all kinds of Asian food. The number and variety of restaurants in Quito is outstanding. Some of the best restaurants are found in the Mariscal area, although there are excellent restaurants also in the old town, La Floresta and the north of Quito.
Travel to Quito, Ecuador would not be complete without sampling some of the great nightlife on offer. For those who want lively and upbeat, there are numerous bars and nightclubs to experience. Salsatecas offer a chance to practice your newly-acquired salsa skills. Don’t be put off by those who have been dancing for years! Those looking for a slower pace can go to the theatre, or take in a ballet or other dance show. There are also a few cinemas to choose between, for a quieter night.
It is not surprising that Quito perhaps provides the best transportation links in the country. The airport links up Quito with a variety of towns and cities all over the country, from Guayaquil, Manta and Esmeraldas on the coast, to Coca and Lago Agrio in the jungle. It is also possible to fly south to Cuenca or Loja, cutting out a significant journey time by doing so.
Buses are also offered to all of the cities above, and many more besides. It is possible to take a bus to most places from Quito. Journeys cost approximately $1 per hour.
Within Quito there is an excellent public transportation network including trolley buses and normal buses. Taxis are also a good, cheap option, although insist that the driver uses his meter, or at the very least, agree a price upfront so that there are no nasty surprises at the end of your trip.
As with any large city, anywhere in the world, Quito does have some crime. Most of this is petty crime such as pickpocketing and robbery. You can do a lot to protect yourself from such issues by having some basic common sense. Do not carry more money than you need at any one time, and avoid carrying a purse or bag at night. It is always better to call a taxi at night, even for a very short journey. Don’t wear expensive jewellery and do not flash around electronics such as cameras and ipods.