Book! Pack! Go Travel! by Robbie Mamo

Overnight in Quito, Ecuador

Overnight in Quito, Ecuador

The flight from Panama City went smooth and only a few hours later I had landed in Quito. Quito airport is almost an hour drive to the downtown core and I found a taxi to take me to the Plaza Foch area for costed $20. They use US dollars here as a currency which makes things easy to calculate. Not having time to arrange a city hotel and knowing that I would be heading to the Pacific Coast the first chance I had, I got the taxi to drop me off at the main square of Plaza Foch. Once there I instantly found some hostels and hotels to look at for a night’s rest.

Quito is the second highest elevated capital city in the world at 2800m and this means cool nights in most seasons. My first impression of the Plaza Foch area was that it was touristy and geared towards a younger crowd and travellers. The main square had lots of restaurants with large terraces, most of which had gas heaters to keep diners warm at night. This area also had lots of travel agencies advertising trips to the Galapagos Islands which sit off of Ecuadors coast, volcano tours and treks as well as other various tours.

Adventure tourism is a big drawing card for the country and there were stores selling equipment for this everywhere you looked. Another thing that was obvious was that this area is full of people using and selling drugs.  At one point I saw a teenager drop some cocaine off of their hand and onto the ground and then scoop up whatever they could from the sidewalk to sniff it. After seeing this I decided that I would take taxis between my hotel and the main square as I never trust what some addict is willing to do in order to afford their next fix.

Plaza Foch by day.

IMG_3110 IMG_3109 IMG_3105

 

Plazy Foch by night.

IMG_3093

Where to stay…

When I’m overnighting in a city after being in transit for a long time I always like to treat myself to a nicer hotel with hot water and some room to stretch out and relax.  Also finding this area to be a bit on the shady side I thought I’d get something a little on the nicer side.

I stayed at a hotel called Fuente De Piedra and the room was $65 per night. The room they gave me had 3 queen size beds and a large bathroom as well as a desk. The building was a nice mix of cement and wood and the exposed walls and wooden beams gave it a cozy feel. The staff were wonderful and the security was very good here. Definitely one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in for the price.

Fuente De Piedra had a welcoming appearance compared to most of the other hotels in the area.

IMG_3104

My room at Fuente De Piedro had lots of character and was a great place to stay in the Plaza Foch district of Quito.

IMG_3099

Another area popular and safe area which is common with tourists is called Mitad del Mundo and is located near the Mitad del Mundo monument. This is a large cement structure which sits at the exact location of the equator marking South on one side of the equator and North on the other. I didn’t get a chance to visit this area but I regret that I didn’t as it is a very neat attraction. I had to pass on this as it was 45 minutes from where I was staying and I had already been in transit for the better part of two days  and was already eager to hit the coast.

After I checked in I took a taxi to the main plaza and got a quick bite to eat and then went back to my room for some much needed sleep knowing that the next day I would be on my way by bus to Bahia de Caraquez which is a short distance from Canoa.  I was excited to go to Canoa where a friend of mine owned a vegetarian cafe on the beach and taught SUP and surf lessons.

Gone on a whim…