I booked into the hostel Boutiquito which is a bit off the Mariscal quarter, the so called party and tourist quarter of Quito. 2 reasons which made it a good choice: a much quieter location off the tourists but fully safe and this breathtaking view from the lounge into the valley of Quito.
Having met 2 girls in the hostel with similar objectives we planned our stay through: seeing the town, the equator and if possible the market of Ortavalo, one of the biggest market in Ecuador.
There are many sights in Quito and for sure you have to stop by at the old town. Some great churches, one is fully plated in gold from the inside (Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus), the charm of an old colonial town and some busy streets did not disappoint me. Also worth a visit is “el teleferico de Quito” which brought us at a hight just below 4000m where I cought some amazing views over the entire valley. Some 8 dollars well spent. It’s also possible to hike up the mountain gaining approximately some 800m more of altitude. One thing I did not want to miss was putting my feet on either side: the souhern and the northern hemispere at the equator. Realising that the main monument was built approximately 150m next to the real equator made me laugh. I am not sure how many tourists only come to see the momument in believe that this is the center of the world, the “Mitad del mundo”, making a picture and leave. The actual excitement of this place came with the museum I visitied. There are different opinions about the coriolis effect which you are suppose to see in the museum and how it’s done to trick tourists. Scientifically, the coriolis effect is too weak to be seen in such a way. Experiments have been successful made by leaving water in a flat sink with a very tiny hole on the bottom for about a week. All other rotation you can see is mainly caused by he shape of the sink. Still, if you’re not too fussy about the experiments it’s a very funny attraction and also the information given about the indigenous people in Ecuador is very nice. Good fun is also to make a raw egg balance on the head of a nail. I’ll have to try this out again when I am back in Europe. And the certificate I got with it serves very well as a postcard.