Visiting the Equator is one of the original tourism attractions of Ecuador that never seems to lose its charm. But once visitors arrive at the “Mitad del Mundo” (Middle of the World), about 30 minutes from north-central Quito, they should not be surprised to find two Equators. READ MORE
When tourists come to Quito they often visit the central historical district, the tourism district known as the Mariscal, and some of the other attractions around the northern half of the city. But the largest part of Quito–the rural area–often goes unnoticed and unexplored.
Most think of Quito in an urban context, but that really is only part of the story. Quito, in its entirety, is divided into 32 urban parishes and 33 rural parishes. Rural Quito is much larger than urban Quito. But what is there to find in the Quito countryside? READ MORE
For the greatest of aficionados it causes the heart to race even though it moves no faster than 25 miles per hour. It is both a time machine and a modern marvel offering nostalgic voyages in a setting unlike any other on the planet.
The Ecuador railway, originally constructed at the turn of the 20th century, has been restored in recent years and is positioned to become the star attraction in Ecuadorean tourism. Considering that Ecuador is home to both the Galapagos Islands and Amazon jungle, that is saying a lot. READ MORE
It is one of the reason travelers migrate to Mexico and Cuzco: the stamp of times past in the ruins of civilizations long gone.
The dominant civilizations of the Americas have left legacies that are the source of hundreds of thousands of visits every year. The Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza and the mystical remains at Maccu Pichu are almost unmatched in their majesty. But the Incas and those who came before have also left a trail of fascinating discoveries in Ecuador. READ MORE
Less than two months after christening a new international airport in the capital city of Quito, Ecuador has opened another new air facility in its most popular province, the Galapagos Islands.
The new terminal on the island of Baltra replaces an aging facility with one that is not only larger, but more comfortable and on a path to becoming more ecologically friendly. The new airport has 10,000 square feet of capacity for passengers, compared to the mere 1,500 in the old terminal and cargo capacity has doubled to 20,000kg. READ MORE
Fine or flavor. It sounds like a choice, right? When talking about cocoa–the bean from which chocolate is produced–the words fine or flavor (in Spanish it is termed “fino o de aroma”) indicate a very distinct choice. But the choice is not as implied – between fine chocolate and flavor chocolate. In reality, the two are complements and your choice is really between chocolate that is fine and flavorful or chocolate that is a bit more ordinary.
“Cacao” is the Spanish word for cocoa (just switch the letters o for a, and vice versa). Cocoa beans or cacao beans are the same thing–the raw material for making chocolate. In English the word cocoa traditionally refers to the chocolate drink made with chocolate powder–one of the final products made from the cacao bean. READ MORE
There would seem to be two ways to approach coffee in Ecuador. We recommend you try both.
First, is the old fashioned way
Café Aguila de Oro has been selling Ecuadorian roasted coffee beans in Quito since 1948. The small shop on Benalcazar Street near the Presidential Palace in old town is owned by Vinicio Morales and his wife Teresa Vizueta. The only electronic device in Café Aguila de Oro is a digital clock on the wall. The measuring scale, cash register, and some of their grinders and roasters were new when the store opened 65 years ago. The equipment – remnants from a simpler time – attests to an equally simple formula for success that still works today. READ MORE
The condor is an Andean symbol, as identifiable to Ecuadorians as the bald eagle is to North Americans. And like the bald eagle, the condor has lived under the threat of extinction. Estimates place the wild population in Ecuador between 40-60 birds. But despite their rarity, there is one place where tourists can find several in captivity: The Condor Park in Otavalo.
The Condor Park, situated on the barren hills near Otavalo is a rescue center for more than 27 species of birds of prey. But it serves not only as home for nearly six dozen birds, but is an educational center for students and tourists alike. READ MORE
They are an odd sight even when expected. The Curuchos –dressed in purple robes, masked from head to toe, and wearing a large cone on their head – are part of Quito’s Easter, celebratory tradition. The cones symbolize humility and the color purple, penitence. READ MORE
There are a few events every year in Quito that bring hundreds of thousands of people together: Ecuadorean Independence (August 9-10th), the Fiestas of Quito (December 6th), and Semana Santa, or Easter Holy Week.
Holy Week (happening the last week of March) is the only one that allows visitors to witness Quito’s significant expressions of faith. Below we explain the significance of the celebrations and where they can be observed. READ MORE