"b1bob does Quito big time" Top 5 Page for this destination Quito by b1bob
Quito Travel Guide: 1,111 reviews and 3,089 photos
As soon as I got back from my last trip to South America (January, 2002), I knew somewhere in South America would be my next foreign destination. For the longest time, I thought my next South American adventure would be similar to the last- back to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Alexandre was all set to have me back and I was eager to go. However, I needed to renew my Brazilian tourist visa (they still required that persnickety bit of bureaucracy 6 years later, but one thing had changed: the price went up from $45 to $100 and I would have to go to Washington to get it done- for at least another $100 or so between petrol, lodging, and food).
Meanwhile, in 2006, my friend Sergio moved from Spain to Ecuador with his wife and daughter. From day one, they invited me to come out there and see them. The ideal time for me to travel in 2007 was between the American elections (we do have local elections in odd years in Virginia) and Thanksgiving. I want to thank Sergio for his hospitality showing me around the town and the countryside of north-central Ecuador.
Even before you factored in the visa expenses, the flight to Rio de Janeiro was $100 more than that to Quito. Besides the tightwad factor (I almost picked the nickname travelntightwad when I joined VT), I had been to Rio before, but not to Quito. I had wanted to visit Ecuador since July, 1984 when I met some friends from there (whose daddy worked at the Ecuadorian embassy in Washington) on holiday in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. So, on 6 August 2007, I finally pulled the trigger and organised my trip to Quito.
Researching a trip is almost as much fun as actually taking it. In doing the research, I found out that Quito is some 2800 m. (9184 feet) above sea level. I had never been that high on land before. I also read where guinea pig (cuy) is a local delicacy. I was somewhat less conflicted on whether to try that than the tronquitos (a soup made of various key parts of the bull).
From day one, I was determined I would eat, buy, and even try to think locally in order to get as much from the culture as I could in the little time I had there. That is exactly what I did. However, all is not great in Quito. You will not get a chamber of commerce whitewash job from me here (I even find faults in my own hometown.), but rather you will get an honest accounting of my trip there. I hope it helps!
- Pros:Friendly folks, good food, and cheap prices for most things.
- Cons:Bad drivers, bad roads, and grinding poverty in spots.
- In a nutshell:Quito is a friendly and fun city with its share of problems.
Sometimes the best restaurants are small, hole-in-the-wall places like Empanada Boliviana. Restaurants like these that... more travel advice
In general, things are cheaper in Quito than they are in the United States. One exception is blue jeans. Before I left,... more travel advice
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b1bob's Related Pages
Quito Travel Guide
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- "Quito - Capital of Ecuador"
- "b1bob does Quito big time"
- "A city among volcanoes"
- "Thinking of South American Cities? Think Quito"
- "¡Bienvenidos a Quito!"
- "Connected with nature at the middle of the earth"
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- 80 Reviews
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- 40 Comments
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