We’ve arrived! It’s time to share my first impressions of Quito, Ecuador!
Life is still a little crazy but a few days ago, late in the evening, we landed in Quito. The first things I noticed were the smell of ozone, a dryness in my nostrils from the high mountain air, and a sense of relief that we are finally getting started on this new adventure.
First Impressions of Quito
The new airport, only about 6 months old, was crowded with Ecuadorians returning from vacation and US tourists arriving for theirs. Despite the crowds, lines moved quickly and bags arrived in a timely manner. We were soon on our way into the dark Andean night.
We drove for about half an hour through quiet and well-lit city streets. It was a little surreal to see the capital city looking so still and calm, even at midnight. Businesses were all shuttered with heavy metal doors and window coverings, homes hidden behind tall concrete walls, and few cars were out on the streets. Our other experience with South America, Buenos Aires, taught us that night life is muy normal. Obviously, that’s not the case here.
Altitude Welcomes Everyone To Quito
We were greeted at the hotel with hot towels to wipe our hands and faces and tall glasses of orange juice to help us hydrate. It’s not just the long international flight that will dehydrate the body but the altitude, a grand 9,300 feet. In fact, Quito is the second highest capital city in the world. In order to adjust, it’s important that we drink lots of water and be careful with how fast we start exerting ourselves.
So far, so good. We’ve had the slight headache that passes with more water and a little ibuprofen. After a great night’s sleep, we awoke to a gorgeous morning and a beautiful view! It’s one of the few pictures I’ve taken so far. We’re still figuring out the local layout and haven’t taken out the cameras onto the city streets. But as our comfort level increases and we figure out how not to look like nosy tourists and more like interested travelers, I’ll have more to show you.
that photo is beautiful. this is such a stunning city but my attempts to photograph it never come out quite right!
I find that the light in the early morning and the late afternoon are the absolute best for photography! I’m still working on some night time shots that I hope to share soon. The great thing about digital photography is that I can take several shots at different settings to help me learn what combinations work best. I’m slowly but surely gaining confidence away from the auto settings and I’m much happier with the quality of photo. I have to say, I really enjoyed your dancers from Mitad del Mundo… you’re certainly on your way to capturing the heart of this place via photography as well!
Thank you! That was on the burst setting on my camera, I managed to capture the whole dance. Although I lost all my photos yesterday! My USB stick went missing and all my photos with it.. just as I was about to back them all up! Very sad.
Are you enjoying everything? How long are you here for?
We have a couple of years here… just getting started! How about you?
i leave in two weeks! sad to leave quito but will still be travelling. after two years you’ll be locals!
I look forward to following your travels to new places! Any chance you’re headed down south to Buenos Aires? We have recommendations if you do!
sadly not this time! Peru and then a short stint in Brazil. i’ll remember to ask when i do go!
Happy travels! We’ve done a short stint in Peru – just a week for Cusco, Machu Picchu, and Puno. All very much worth visiting. We used a great guide in the Cusco area, Fredy Zapata, who worked for Wayki Trek, https://www.facebook.com/waykitrek. Just in case you need a guy who has a master’s degree in Peruvian History and can tell a story like no other guide we’ve had. He speaks excellent English but actually did a bilingual presentation on a lot of stuff as my kids preferred learning in Spanish. He was just great!
Oh great, thank you! I’ll look him up. Did you trek? I’m currently leaning towards not trekking and having more time for other things
We trekked – 4 days and it was wonderful, for the most part. Day 2 was grueling. If you’re interested, you can check out the travel posts on a different blog; eventually I want to get them all over to this site but for the moment, I’m too busy writing about Ecuador!
Wow! Sounds like you’re going to have a great adventure!
I can’t wait until we feel settled in so that we can really start exploring! Can’t wait to hear about your own adventures!
I miss you here in the states and your diaries but love this series. Thank you for so many beautiful pictures.
I promise many more beautiful pictures as soon as I’m brave enough to take my camera outside!