Staying in Quito for a few days, gives the visitor a great opportunity to discover and delve into the wonders of nature, art, culture, and gastronomic delights that the surroundings of this great city can offer to the tourist.
If we start in Quito, one of the must-visits is the Historical Center, where in its Plaza Grande you can start to discover the millennial origin of the Quitu Cara culture, and the fusion of Spanish and indigenous cultures. There are artistic expressions in each of the many Churches and Colonial Huts that visitors can discover just by walking through its streets. There are also examples of the worship of the Sun and the Catholic Church at its highest expression in the altarpieces adorned with gold and figures of the Quiteña School of Art carved in the finest woods of the mountains and eastern region.
But if you want to be amazed by a wonderful scenery, a visit to the cable car of the city will allow you to reach the most beautiful viewpoint of the Andes Mountain range, where from the majestic Pichincha volcano you can observe the Chimborazo, the Cotopaxi volcano, the Ilinizas, the Antisana, the Cayambe and the Imbabura.
If you’re interested in getting into the adventure of measuring the globe, you can visit the Middle of the World Monument, just 30 minutes from the city center, where you pay tribute to the French scientists who came with the mission to measure the line that divides the planet into two equal parts. Again, this is a meeting point of worlds and cultures where equilibrium tries to sum up all the forces of nature. It is here that ancient indigenous peoples learned to pay tribute to the Sun and manifested their cosmovision of harmony with mother earth and the universe.
To delve into the geography of the cloud forest and its mysteries of the mega-diverse flora and fauna, the visitor can get up early and in about two hours’ find the crystal-clear rivers that make their way through the western foothills of the Andes, all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In this region, visitors looking to discover the most diverse and colorful birds will find a paradise for sightings in their natural habitat.
If you are looking to relax and have an experience with the volcanoes, the moor, and the gateway to the Amazonian world, you should visit the thermal waters of Papallacta, less than an hour from Quito. Here you will not only discover a magical landscape, but your body and soul will find the refuge to recharge your energy with the waters that rise from the depths of the earth and mingle with the rivers that form the Andean moors and glaciers.
If you want to experience the Andes, a visit to the Cotopaxi National Park and the haciendas that can be found in its foothills, will allow you to learn about the history of mestizaje in colonial mansions that show history and a way of life that sustained Ecuador’s economy for many centuries.
Tourists who want to delve into the Andean culture and learn more about the native people, they can take a 2-hour tour to the city of Otavalo, center of Andean culture, tradition and crafts that will allow you to take a souvenir of the most colorful and fine looms produced by local hands.
This wide and close tour of the wonderful places located around the city of Quito will surely make you hungry. We suggest you explore the local gastronomy in each place. We are sure that dishes as typical as the “locro de papa” or potatoes with beans and cheese will leave you wanting to revisit so many other places that will fill you with pleasant memories and unique experiences. Follow us for more tips.
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