I wish we could stay in Quito more than two or three days. It is absolutely delightful.
Hotel San Francisco
Hotel San Francisco de Quito has an ideal location in the heart of the historic area three blocks from Plaza Grande. The charm of this 17th century colonial house has been carefully restored and complemented with modern conveniences such as WiFi (not all rooms get a strong signal so ask when booking). The reception area and rooms are reached by means of stairs only. Our two rooms were 27 and 29. 27 is on the 3nd floor and opens to a patio while 29 is a smaller room on the 4th floor. Both had kitchen sink, fridge, microwave, phone and tv. Breakfast, with choice of eggs, was served in the arched-ceiling cellar. Pleased to recommend.
Hotel: Made reservations directly with Hotel San Francisco de Quito through email.
Tours: We did a self guided walking tour around the city using Lonely Planet’s guide book as reference.
FOOD & DRINK IN QUITO
BREAKFAST buffet at the hotel was ample with juice, bread, eggs, bacon, tea and coffee.
Magda Market store chain (mango coloured building with orange and green signage) has a fairly well equipped store two blocks from Hotel San Francisco on the way to Plaza Grande. We found everything we needed for a relaxing eat-in dinner using the kitchen in our room.
La Guaragua, on Espejo Oe 2-40, across the street from Teatro Bolivar. We ate there twice – once on the pedestrian only street and once inside upstairs. Reasonably priced, good, fresh food and friendly service.
Hasta La Vuelta, Seňor – located in the former Palacio Arzobispal on the northeast side of Plaza Grande. The Archbishop Palace hosts two or three fast food outlets and three restaurants clustered around a fountain on the ground floor, another restaurant, balconied and open to the fountain below, on the second floor and Hasta La Vuelta, Seňor on the top floor. A beautiful, open-air setting. Prices rose as we climbed higher but the food was excellent.
PLACES TO GO IN QUITO
At an altitude of 2,850m asl the city is the second highest administrative capital in the world (next to La Paz, Bolivia) and the highest legal capital (over Sucre, Bolivia). Founded in the 16th century and built on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. “Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America.”UNESCO
Getting out and walking is the best way to see the city and mingle with its citizens. How much time you have in Quito will determine how extensively you enjoy its riches. Lonely Planet has a very good suggested walking tour in which you can stop along the way and take a closer look.
TO & FROM QUITO
To Quito from Puerto Maldonado, Peru via LAN airlines.
From Quito to Otavalo via public bus.