One of the most fascinating countries I've visited is Ecuador, with it's flora and fauna, bags of culture and delicious food! Often seen as the gateway to the Galapagos Islands, but it has so much more not to be missed!
Quito City Square ©MDHarding
A to Z Country Blog - Ecuador
How to Reach Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador can be reached from many of the UK airports with several airlines including LAN Airlines, Iberia or KLM. We flew KLM from Edinburgh via Amsterdam with good connection times onto Quito. The flight time was just over 12 hours with a great in-flight service. We booked via Skyscanner getting the best rates available but did you know you can also check via TripAdvisor?
Flying High with KLM ©MDHarding
We stayed at the luxurious JW Marriott Hotel in Quito as part of our package, but there is lots of other accommodation options available for all budget levels. Discover the Top 10 Best Quito Hotels For 2018. We were taken back by the wonderful service, beautiful outdoor swimming pools and the restaurant food (delicious). The hotel is just 30 minutes away from the airport and located in Quito's new town. The easiest way to arrive is by taxi transfer (you can pre-arrange this via the hotel) which costs $50. There is a market, shops and eateries all within walking distance. We were pleasantly surprised to bump into our cabin crew, who were also staying a few nights here.
Luxury Stay at the Marriott Hotel, Quito ©MDHarding
What To See & Do
There is lots to see and do, from the Top 10 things to see and do we visited the old town with it's colonial architecture, large open squares and narrow streets. First thing in the morning is the best time to visit Basilica del Voto Nacional before all the bus tours start to arrive. Said to be the largest church in Quito, it has impressive stain glass windows and a tower that has incredible views across the city. Don't miss looking at the exterior with it's Gothic goblins and gargoyles.
While in Quito old town you might also like to enjoy some traditional singing and dancing over lunch? When visiting Quito it is a must to visit Ciudad Mitad del Mundo and do the tourist thing of getting your photograph taken on the equator line. You can also take the stairs to the top of the monument, visit the small museum and gift shops. Did you know you can also get your passport stamped here? Take your passport and for free you can get your passport stamped with a picture of the monument marking the special occasion when you visited.
If you would prefer to take a tour there are lots of options available including walking or city bus tours, visiting places of historical interest or even to the magical cloud forest where you can see a number of incredible species including humming birds.
Ciudad Mitad del Mundo ©MDHarding
Food & Drink
While visiting it is a must to try the local specialty foods and drink. One I can highly recommend is Ceviche. A dish of raw seafood marinated in lime and chilli. Delicious! To drink don't miss a refreshing glass of Pisco Sour. Created with Ecuadorian Pisco, key lime juice, sugar syrup and egg white. Cheers!
Sunset with a Pisco Sour ©MDHarding
I hope you have enjoyed reading and inspired to visit Ecuador. As always, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at enquiries@MDHardingTravelPhotography.com or message me via Facebook and Twitter. Happy Travels:) x