Info on Quito, Ecuador

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Apr 15th, 2007, 08:50 PM
  #1
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Info on Quito, Ecuador

Hi. I will be going to Quito in November for a week. I am looking for advice on some interesting or exciting trips within a couple hours of the Quito area. The Galapagos Islands are not an option due to the cost. Can anyone recommend some adventurous things to do? (Not too adventurous, however, as one party in our group will be 60) While there for a week we plan to go to Otacvo (sp?) for the day to shop. We would also like to be in some wilderness or trpopical, or national park type area for some fun or go and see some volcano's etc. Can anyone make any suggestions? Also, what will the weather be like in November? Any info would be greatly appreciated.
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Apr 16th, 2007, 10:14 PM
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ttt
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Apr 17th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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You can catch a bus to the equator!
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Apr 17th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Otavalo is a nice day trip, as are the excursions to the Cotopaxi volcano. Most tour operators in Quito can set you up with either.

Don't shortchange Quito itself. I think it is a fantastic city for shopping and sightseeing and restaurants.

The monument at Mitad del Mundo is on everybody's list, but did you know that it really doesn't sit on the equator? The original measurements in the 1700s were about 900 feet off, as shown by GPS measurements taken about 10 years ago. I read that in the Fodor's South America guide. If you do the obligatory photo shot straddling the line, you are still standing entirely in the southern hemisphere.
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Apr 17th, 2007, 09:38 PM
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lilypoo

Jeff_Costa_Rica gave you some good advice.

You can get a private guide and do some day trips to Otaval, Cotopaxi and also to the Bellavista Cloud Forest.

I also liked Quito. You can take a taxi to "Old Quito"
This is where the main square is ( called "La Plaza de la Independecia" ) where lots of historical buildings are such as:
The Cathedral
The Culture Centre( 1767)
The El Sagria Church.
San Francisco Church
Saint Augustine Church

This main square is really huge and nice to just walk about and admire all the building, many of which have free admission.

You must also take a ride or drive up to the hill where the Blessed Virgen Mary is located on the top of this hill.
Just ask any taxi driver to take you to the "Virgen de Quito.
The view from here are spectacular, and the drive going up and down a little scary!!!

The name of the hill is: El Panecillo.

Just mention this to your guide or taxi driver.

At Mita del Mundo , this is the name of the location of the Equator line, rows of busts were erected in the late 1970's.
These busts depict the European explorers that had ascertained the equator line location.

This location is just a short ride north of Quito.
There is just one problem...as Jeff has mentioned, the line location is not on the true equator line location.!!!

The TRUE equator line is just a short distance north of this impressive present location.
Jeff says it is 900 feet north and that should be about the distance that it is.

Now this TRUE equator line runs though an aboriginal museum site.
Guides here will happily balance and egg on a nail(a nice sight to see !!!) or better still they will show you that water that is poured down the drain will REVERSE direction on either side of this true equator line.

All this is done to show you that it is THEIR facility and NOT the other magical line with all its pomp and rows of busts that is the true equator line.!!!
It is something to see. Visit both place when you get to Mita del Munda.

You better bring a sweater and or jacket.
If you think you will be hot, hot because you are so near the equator...this is not so.
Quito has a high elevation and the temperatures get very chilly at night if you are walking about in just a short sleeved sweater or blouse ( brrr!!)

Percy
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Apr 18th, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Amazing! I went to Mitad del Mundo about 18 years ago when they still thought it was on the equator!
Another activity worth considering is just stargazing if you've not been to the Southern hemisphere before.

I agree that the views from El panecillo are great. I walked up and down the hill which is quite steep but I was with several friends at the time as we'd been warned not to try this alone as there had been muggings in the area. Try to pick a clear day.
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Apr 18th, 2007, 09:30 PM
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Thanks for the info! If one is not a climber is it still worth it to go see the volcano in Cotopaxi? It looks like great picture opportunities but are there other less strenuos activities to do besides climbing the volcano? Would it be worth it to stay overnight? Any info is greatly appreciated.
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Apr 19th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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lilypoo

No you do not have to go to Cotopaxi.

It could be very cold up there and windy.

You will see some wild horse roaming about and if you are lucky ( I was) see some condors flying above.

It is a loooong bumpy road going there.

Spend the time touring Old Quito and Mita del Munda.

There is a nice town on the way to Cotopaxi called Saquisili and every Thrusday there is this huge Market going on.

it is just like out of the National Geographic!!
The market is about 6 blocks bu 4 blocks and it is nice to just walk around and see how the locals live and what they eat.!!

If ( when) you go to the town of Otavalo for their market , then tell your driver tocontinue on to the town of Cotacachi.
it is a nice quaint little sleepy town with a lovely centre square with a lovely Arupul tree loaded with 1000's of red flowers in front of the nice church.

Percy


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