My stay in Quito, whilst brief, has been awesome. I believe part of this is due to the amazing people I met made possible through the Secret Garden Hostel and a tour I went on with CarpeDM tours.
There are so many reviews about this place on google so I will keep my post about it brief.
The rooftop bar is AWESOME. It has such a cool vibe, hammocks, free drinking water and hot drinks, and they will provide breakfast and dinner if you are willing to pay extra (between 3 and 5 dollars depending on what you want). The staff are friendly and the lady who occasionally cooks makes the most delicious chocolate cake. The one downfall (which isn’t really a negative) is the stairs. There are many stairs. This combined with the altitude of Quito, you may find yourself out of breath more frequently then you would back at a normal sea level. This can’t really be helped and the hostel is set out well with a quirky spiral staircase leading up to reception and the bar. Be sure to use the showers on the second floor in the middle of the balcony – they are hot and have a good pressure. My dorm room bed cost $10us per night and the bed was comfy (although squeaky), and there are lockers for your valuables in the room.
The view from the rooftop bar.
To book your stay visit HostelWorld.com and search for the secret garden hostel Quito, Ecuador.
Downstairs is the CarpeDM travel agency. They are so super helpful and run many different tours and can help organise cheap and safe trips in various places around Ecuador. The staff there are so lovely.
They also run a free walking tour which I believe is a great intro to the city. I did this on my first day and our guide was very funny but had a breathtakingly fast walking pace.
Some of the people on the streets of quirky Quito :
We went to 4 churches, saw the changing of the guards at the presidents place, visited a chocolate making cafe and went to the fruit market. We stayed in the old town for the tour and walked a lot. We were also given a few free tasters for various Ecuadorean sweets including an alcohol lolly, honey paste thing, sugared coconut and sugared peanuts. We also had chocolate and tried the beautiful cacao butter at the chocolate shop (my hands look 10 years younger and they smelt like chocolate).
Some of the churches:
After the walking tour which ran from 10.30am until around 2pm, we returned to the hostel to eat our lunches (I had a cheese and potato spicy soup with avocado) a few of us met the tour guide again and he drove us in his car out to the equator line.
Mitad del Mundo is the demarcation of the equator as it makes it way through ecuador. It splits the hemispheres in half. It’s worth visiting even though the tour is somewhat corny and touristy. Make sure you go to the right place and not the monument that was put in the wrong place (and costs more).
The little museum located here is very cute indeed and costs $4 for entry and a tour which has some interesting exhibits including some info on the tribe who used to shrink human heads. We were even shown 2 examples of real human shrunk heads (one is pictured above). We got another chocolate tour and more free testers (I love free stuff. It always tastes so much better then stuff you have to pay for).
On our way home we bought delicious raspberry ice creams from street vendors who brought them to our cAr. Desert before dinner is always the way to go.
I finished the night by drinking a carton of wine with 2 Irish lads, ah how I’ve missed the life of a traveller.