Saturday, March 24, 2012


Mt Rainier from the Plane

Hello from Quito, Ecuador! Mike and I have been in Ecuador for 6 days now and have been having a great time. We left Vancouver on Monday March 19 and after 14 hrs of travelling, arrived in Quito, Ecuador.  The airport was fast and efficient and our tour guide from G Adventures, Fredy, picked us up at the airport and checked us into the Hilton Colon Hotel  in the Mariscal area of Quito (also known as “Gringolandia”).

On our first full day in Ecuador we went on a tour with Fredy to the Papallacta Hot Springs. It took about 2 hours of driving to the North of Quito to get there and on the way we got to explore some of the smaller towns near Quito. On the way to the hot springs we had to pass through the highlands at an elevation of 4200m EL.
Hot Springs

The hot springs were located in the town of Papallacta in the highlands of Ecuador at 3300m EL. We spent a couple hours relaxing and swimming in the numerous pools in the area, all with different temperatures. Some of the pool had small waterfalls and the area was surrounded by jungles and wild flowers. The craziest pools were the cold plunge pools that we were supposed to jump in between the hot pools. So Cold! After the hot springs we enjoyed a lunch of grilled trout and carne asade at a small Ecuadorian restaurant  in Papallacta before making our way back to Quito. 
That night we tried some Shrimp Ceviche for dinner and then had to spend some time sorting out our apparently non-existent reservation at the hotel. But luckily after getting in touch with GAP our hotel and itinerary was all sorted out.

The next day we found a great little bakery for breakfast and then Fredy took us to the equator line where we got to straddle the line, take some pics and learn about the Equator and about how the indigenous people of Ecuador discovered it hundreds of years ago.  We also learned about how the Ecuadorian volcanoes line up with the Equator. Very cool!

Equator Line

After the Equator we headed to the town of Otavalo where we explored the market and went for lunch.  After we left the market we drove through the country side of Otavalo where we ended up trapped in a traffic jam due to the President being in town! It was insane! Once the traffic started moving we joined up with the Pan-American highway (which goes all the way to Alaska!) and headed back to Quito.

Otavalo Market

Stay tuned for stories of our  next few days in Ecuador….

Click here for Equator Pics

Click here for Hot Spring Pics
Otavalo Countyside

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