Sierra Bound – Heading to Quito, Ecuador

As I prepare for my trip to Quito Ecuador, I am remembering the various rejuvenating visits I’ve had to see my family there. For those of you who have never been, I am hoping to recount some of the places I recommend checking out if you ever find yourself in this beautiful corner of the world.

South American Topography & Climate

Ecuador is a small but incredibly diverse country with many climate zones in a small area: the highlands, jungle and coastal areas on the Pacific. Amongst the nation’s prides are the famed Galapagos Islands where Darwin once studied the evolution of the rare species that are found there (including the now endangered Komodo Dragon).

butterfly

In Mindo, Ecuador, checking out the butterflies in 2012.

A Rich Historic Culture

As the home to a large indigenous population with spiritual ties to the land throughout the country, you’ll see lots of beautiful crafts that are still produced and that showcase a stunning living-legacy. Meanwhile, the old city centre downtown has many large churches, a prestigious presidential palace, and narrow cobblestone streets, which highlight the history of Catholicism, since the Spanish colonialists arrived in the 1500s, with some restored buildings that date their construction to the 1800s. Because of its well-preserved nature, the historic city centre was declared one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1978. There is a museum of anthropology and archaeology too, where one can see many artifacts from pre-Columbian ancient civilizations to gain a better understanding of how the Incan people lived prior to colonization.

market

In the indoor market in The Mariscal, Quito.

A Constantly Evolving Cityscape

Today, many indigenous people speak the native Incan tongue of ‘Quechua’, but most Quiteños are urban metropolitan folk, and the city is constantly modernizing, with newer condo developments, restaurants and cultural museums opening frequently. I have heard there is a growing scene for more experimental music, street art, DJing and VJing, which I hope to see more of and learn about.

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo

The Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in downtown Quito.



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