I had originally planned to stay in Quito for 5 weeks to decompress and re-orient focus that had been dispersed to more social and adventurous enterprises, back into creative endeavors. I figured such a small, nondescript location that I had chosen via a map instead of more organic recommendation would afford ample space and few distractions. Half-way into my stay into Bogota last month though I cut my Quito time short in order to remain longer in Colombia. Once I arrived into Ecuador, though, I was glad I did.
On paper, Quito is a mid-size city of around 2 million people; but a view from above makes it seem much larger. I found Quito to be a comfortable place to live — even relaxed. There are large parks full of people enjoying the ample sunshine and ideal temperatures. Quito is at altitude so that even though it’s on the equator the temperatures hover around 22 degrees C (72) in July. There’s a mix of sunshine and clouds and it doesn’t seem to rain much.
I stayed in an AirBnb in the financial district of the city convenient to a myriad of restaurants, a large super market and within walking distance of a few gyms. Perfecto. Beyond this it afforded a perfect work space during the day to hunker-down and focus which was much needed having just launched a new project at work the same week of my arrival. I developed a routine of exercising and working until lunch at which time I broke away and would frequent what became one of my favorite restaurants in South America. Lucia’s Pie House – is a restaurant/cafe in the style of a Southern comfort food diner. As authentic and good as any equivalent I’ve eaten at in the US – I was surprised to have found it in Quito, Ecuador.
I had a single weekend in Ecuador and I made the most of it. There are many worthy side-trips within 2 or three hours of Quito that make exploring a breeze. I chose to visit the BellaVista Cloud Forest Reserve, about two and a half hour drive from Quito. I stayed overnight and spent two entire days hiking through trails intersecting the forest. Amazing the number and diversity of plants, insects and birds that were effortlessly encountered. You can see all of the photos I took there by using this link.
I left Quito and Ecuador the way a traveler hopes to – wanting to return. I just scratched the surface of the explorations offered here and didn’t even touch any of the volcanoes or coast line. I am excited to return.