12 Aug, 2022 ·
By Jessica Gallant - Nomade Magazine
I will always remember the first time I flew to South America. This day, I was so excited to explore a new country, but also to set foot on a new continent. My introduction to this part of the world was in the city of Quito in Ecuador and it couldn't have been more perfect.
Quito is a pretty town perched 2,800 meters above sea level in the heart of the Andes mountain range. Although it is the most populated city in the country, I have not once felt the abundance of people while wandering the streets of the capital.
I had the pleasure of staying there for 3 days before heading back to a more remote region of the country. So I established my headquarters at the Hotel Eugenia where I was able to sleep comfortably in a warm setting. Every morning, I had the right to a magnificent view of the city from my window before enjoying a delicious breakfast on the ground floor.
For my short stay in Quito, I opted for the services of a local guide to make sure I didn't miss the must-sees and learn as much as possible about the history of the city. I could not visit this place without going to the Museo del Sitio Intiñan where I was able to walk on the equator and learn more about the people and their traditions. I even received a stamp in my passport to formalize this accomplishment.
I then continued my guided tour through the old town of Quito where magnificent churches dot the historic center, classified by UNESCO. The streets being dotted with old colonial buildings, I was totally charmed by San Francisco Square and the church of the same name. I loved sitting there and taking the time to observe everything that was happening around me. Several cafes are present in the surroundings to simply enjoy the beauty of the place. The Plaza Grande is also pleasant to visit since it is a family and lively place in the heart of the city.
My favorite of my visit to Quito was undeniably the unmissable view of the Virgin of Sorrows of Quito perched on the hill of El Panecillo. It is simply impressive to see this 38 meter high statue appear between the buildings in the city during a walk in its direction. It is also possible to reach it after climbing many stairs. The reward is totally rewarding since the view obtained over the city is breathtaking.
Before leaving the capital, you must of course take advantage of its many restaurants offering the tastiest dishes. This is the ideal place to taste a delicious ceviche, a "Frijole" soup or a small cassava roll with cheese. During my stay, I was even offered to eat fried guinea pig. This is a delicacy in Ecuador and it is very important not to waste anything when this dish is presented to you. For my part, I was accompanied by a group so we could easily share the whole dish.
Although my visit was brief, I loved my few days in the city simply enjoying the excitement of this scenic destination. The Ecuadorian people were very welcoming and I was able to make beautiful cultural discoveries there that I will always remember. For its succulent dishes, incredible landscapes and friendly citizens, I will definitely return to Quito.