Jan 22, 2009
Feb 13, 2009
Overall, Quito is a winner, a fascinating and unusually trendy Latin American city. I would also recommend it as a good first time Latin American visit, due to safety and friendliness of the people. Pictures below. Don't miss the pics of the cathedral (where Joe and I climbed outside ladders and stairs to the top - would never be allowed in the U.S.).
My Ecuadorian journey began with a few days of acclimatization in Quito, Ecuador's capital. Quito sits above 9,000 feet, so flying from near sea level at Dallas to 9,000 feet is a task in and of itself. Quito is by far my favorite Latin American urban area. The population is only two million, relatively small compared to its counterparts - Lima, Mexico City, etc. Quito is also very middle/upper middle class, an anomaly for Latin America. Most large Latin American cities have a small upper class and a very large, dirt poor lower class. Quito's differences make it a very enjoyable and safe city. Of course, the U.S. State Department will tell you a different story. I felt safer in Quito than I have felt in some U.S. cities. Quito is a beautiful city as well. It sits in the Ecuadorian highlands, surrounded by volcanoes, most notably Pichincha, which rises to over 15,000 feet above the city. Quito also is littered with Spanish colonial architecture...and delicious food. And it's cheap. I ate delicious steak dinners for six bucks (high end U.S. steakhouse quality stuff).