Days spent: hahaha plenty! Considering its central and very well connected position and how badly we fell for our hostel, we decided to use Quito as our basecamp to explore Ecuador.
Days recommended: 2-3 days are enough to explore the capital. If you’re planning day trips, up to a week.

Where we slept: El Hostelito, doubtlessly the best hostel we found in 4 months of travels. Social, relaxed, homely. It really felt like belonging to a caring big family, complete with a lovely pup, Frida. Cannot express how happy we felt every time we were getting back there, or how good it was to snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie with some hostel friends, or how sad it turned out to say goodbye. Plus, the whole concept of sleeping in a pod was brilliant. The sweetest dreams ever.

What we ate: you can actually find a bit of everything. We had a rip-off Asian hipster bowl @ Freshii, quite boring burgers at an all American pub, yummy Indian @ Chandani Tandori in Mariscal, the best Swiss cakes and bread @ Hay Pan (that’s where we had breakfast pretty much every morning, since it was a 1 min walk from El Hostelito) but mostly we went for grocery shopping and cooked our own meals at the hostel. Typical Ecuadorian meals in Quito’s downtown are based on soups, choclo (corn) and arroz con pollo or camarones (rice with chicken or shrimps).

What we drank: didn’t actually mention any specific drinks on my logbook. Just remember drinking a lot of Club beer.

How we travelled: We took a night bus from Mancora to Guayaquil and we crossed the Ecuadorian border. Then another bus from Guayaquil to Quito for a total of about 18 hours. The second part of the trip though, apart from offering some spectacular banana plantations and jungle views, was actually quite entertaining. In Ecuador everybody is allowed to jump on the bus to sell you (in a proper teleshopping moderators’ style), pretty much whatever you can think of: homemade yucca bread, a miraculous cream against every sort of skin issue, lottery tickets, candies and chocolate, holy cards…
Once in Quito we made good use of the public transports and taxis.

Km walked: 80.5

How Quito affected our wallets: well, Ecuador’s currency is American Dollars. Which reflects on generally more expensive prices (especially in restaurants). Chains like KFC or Domino’s have the same prices you would find in the States. Not that we were interested anyway.

Issues we encountered: Isa intentionally avoided to make me aware of Quito’s bad reputation since, she says, “I tend to worry too much”… Apparently, it is listed between South America’s most dangerous destinations. To be utterly honest, I felt safe the whole time. As usual, don’t play stupid, especially at night or when walking around the overcrowded downtown during weekends.

Would we recommend it? Yes, definitely. The world’s second highest official capital city, apart from offering one of the biggest and most well preserved historical centres of South America (an UNESCO world heritage site), is the perfect place to arrange a last minute Galapagos cruise or an easy getaway to the Amazons.

Analogue tips: I can actually tell you where NOT to go: Color Power. After paying more than 200 dollars just to have my films scanned, they first couldn’t deliver in time, and, when they eventually did, it turned out to be the s***tiest job a lab has ever done with my pictures. I had to pay my Italian lab to repeat the whole thing. Don’t waste your time (and money) here.

What to do:

Things we missed:  Cotopaxi, the loop to get to Quilotoa, the hikes on top of TelefériQo

Who deserves a big thank you: Cristina and the lovely staff of El Hostelito. You made us feel like home, helped us planning our time in Ecuador and supported me when I thought all my money was gone (I actually moved it somewhere else without remembering about it…). Also the amazing people we met at the hostel.


Olympus OM-1, Kodak Pro Image 100 (35) / Fuji Pro 200 (35)

Canon EOS 300, Fuji Pro 200 (35)

3-7 + 12-13/02/2017, Quito, Otavalo, Quillotoa, Ecuador

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October 24, 2017

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