ecuador

Quito, Ecuador is the second highest capital city in the world. It sits at about 9,350 ft. above sea level, right on the Andes mountains. When we arrived in Quito it was very dark and late at night. The next day we were immediately stunned by the beauty of the Andes. Me, Kate, and Marie had no idea what to expect in Quito or the Galapagos Islands. The trip turned out to be a great one.

Quito, Ecuador is the second highest capital city in the world. It sits at about 9,350 ft. above sea level, right on the Andes mountains.

When we arrived in Quito it was very dark and late at night. The next day we were immediately stunned by the beauty of the Andes. Me, Kate, and Marie had no idea what to expect in Quito or the Galapagos Islands. The trip turned out to be a great one.

El Panecillo is a hill located n the middle west of the city. On top of the hill is a monument to Mary. This monument is unusual because Mary has wings and was inspired by “Virgen de Quito” by Bernadrdo de Legarda.

El Panecillo is a hill located n the middle west of the city. On top of the hill is a monument to Mary. This monument is unusual because Mary has wings and was inspired by “Virgen de Quito” by Bernadrdo de Legarda.

Me, Kate, and Marie getting a great meal in Quito. Their main dishes are fish and rice. The fresh juice was amazing. I actually got sick when I came back to the U.S. because I had gotten so used to the fresh, good food in Ecuador.

Me, Kate, and Marie getting a great meal in Quito. Their main dishes are fish and rice. The fresh juice was amazing. I actually got sick when I came back to the U.S. because I had gotten so used to the fresh, good food in Ecuador.

The historic district of Quito. It took about three days to acclimate to Quito’s altitude. Altitude sickness is something I’ve never experienced before. It was a little rough the first couple of days, especially when combined with the noxious fumes of unregulated car exhaust that seemed to smother out the little oxygen that was in the air. I woke up a few times each night, gasping for air - and I felt a little nauseous for a couple days. It wasn’t so bad. Quito was so beautiful that I hardly noticed it at all.

The historic district of Quito. It took about three days to acclimate to Quito’s altitude. Altitude sickness is something I’ve never experienced before. It was a little rough the first couple of days, especially when combined with the noxious fumes of unregulated car exhaust that seemed to smother out the little oxygen that was in the air.

I woke up a few times each night, gasping for air - and I felt a little nauseous for a couple days. It wasn’t so bad. Quito was so beautiful that I hardly noticed it at all.

Kate and Marie on the streets of Quito.

Kate and Marie on the streets of Quito.

Santiago and friends on the streets of Quito. Santiago, Rollin, y Palo showed us around Quito for days.

Santiago and friends on the streets of Quito. Santiago, Rollin, y Palo showed us around Quito for days.

Native Ecuadorians: Santiago’s mami y sobrina (mom and niece).

Native Ecuadorians: Santiago’s mami y sobrina (mom and niece).

A historic church in Quito - one of my favorite stops. Note Kate, the sole blond among a sea of Ecuadorians. This was right after she got her bag slashed open in the market place by a mean old lady. Nothing was stolen.

A historic church in Quito - one of my favorite stops. Note Kate, the sole blond among a sea of Ecuadorians. This was right after she got her bag slashed open in the market place by a mean old lady. Nothing was stolen.

The church of the Compania of Jesus in Quito has been catalogued by UNESCO as one of the hundred most important World Heritage Site Monuments in the world. This building started in 1605 and was finished in 1650. There are 44 paintings and 56 sculptures inside, including huge paintings depicting Final Judgment and Hell at the entrance. Most of the inside is covered in gold.

The church of the Compania of Jesus in Quito has been catalogued by UNESCO as one of the hundred most important World Heritage Site Monuments in the world. This building started in 1605 and was finished in 1650. There are 44 paintings and 56 sculptures inside, including huge paintings depicting Final Judgment and Hell at the entrance. Most of the inside is covered in gold.

The church has profusely carved altars covered in gold leaf. It is also considered one of the richest and most extraordinary temples of South America.

The church has profusely carved altars covered in gold leaf. It is also considered one of the richest and most extraordinary temples of South America.

More of the inside of La Compania church in Quito.

More of the inside of La Compania church in Quito.

La Compania church in Quito.

La Compania church in Quito.

A dove (Holy Spirit) looks on God, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary at La Compania church in Quito. This section was huge.

A dove (Holy Spirit) looks on God, Jesus, Joseph, and Mary at La Compania church in Quito. This section was huge.

Some indigenous people at Otavalo.  Otavalo is a huge indian market in the Andes mountains. It is about three hours outside of Quito. 
I felt uncomfortable taking pictures of the people there, so this is my only picture of the market. There were hundreds of tables just like the one seen here. The people insist that you bargain with them… so I bought a stunning alpaca tapestry, a shrunken head (goat style), some pearls, and some indigenous finger puppets for a cousin. My favorite find was some rope shoes I got back in the city and a huge purple shell. Most things sold for half of what the people originally offered. I also bought a purse from a little girl who was about seven years old. I walked away with some interesting things.

Some indigenous people at Otavalo.  Otavalo is a huge indian market in the Andes mountains. It is about three hours outside of Quito.

I felt uncomfortable taking pictures of the people there, so this is my only picture of the market. There were hundreds of tables just like the one seen here. The people insist that you bargain with them… so I bought a stunning alpaca tapestry, a shrunken head (goat style), some pearls, and some indigenous finger puppets for a cousin. My favorite find was some rope shoes I got back in the city and a huge purple shell. Most things sold for half of what the people originally offered. I also bought a purse from a little girl who was about seven years old. I walked away with some interesting things.

A native weaver at the equator.

A native weaver at the equator.