Arrive in Quito

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Currency Converter $1.00 US Dollars = $24,900.00 Ecuador Sucre (They use US Dollars on the street)

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We arrive to Quito, Ecuador's charming capital city located at 9,350' in an Andean valley, in the evening. We're met at the airport by a local guide, Roberto (everyone must pass through customs on their own), and transfer to the centrally located Sebastian Hotel (or similar) for the night. (D*)

Our email to Mom from Quito


Dear Mom,

The next morning we flew to Quito, Ecaudor. Gary came down with food poisoning and we spent the day in the hotel room. After 3 tablets of Imodium he was eating again.

Quito is very modern. Almost surprisingly. There are fast food restaurants, gas stations that are current and modern, like the ones in the US. In the Rural communites there are modern facilites and the farmers live on a higher standard than in Peru or Bolivia. The child have shoes, and looked well kept. Granted we only saw the rural communities between Quito and Otavalo, along the Pan American Highway, but in general I would have to say there is more money being filtered down from the rich. The industry is flowers. There are many green houses that produce roses and carnations. Industries have moved in and trained the farmers to produce the flowers, most shipped to the US. 2 dozen roses sells for $1 US in Quito.

Love, Bindy and Gary

Quito, Sebastian Hotel

Almagro 822, P.O. Box 17-07-9377 Quito - Ecuador
Phone 222400, Reservations 222300, Fax (593-2) 222500

Heater Bar Restaurant Parking Place Laundry Service Hall for Meetings Telephone in the rooms Cable TV in the rooms Fax service and computer Exchange for dollars Room Service (24 hours) Taxi Service Reservations 24 hours E-mail

Perfectly located, right in the middle of modern Quito, the Sebastian Hotel is one step from the best restaurants, banks, galleries, travel agencies and airline offices. Ten minutes away is historical downtown, the colonial Quito, embellished by narrow cobble-stone streets and the monumental architecture of its churches and convents which display the rich masterpieces of the world renowned Quitenian School of Art.


Lonely Planet quote


The capital of Ecuador is arguably the most beautiful city in South America. Located 2850m (9350ft) above sea level and just 22km (14mi) south of the equator, it boasts a wonderful springlike climate in a spectacular setting. Vistas in Quito are dominated by mountains, with several snowcapped volcanoes standing sentinel in the distance; the city itself sits at the foot of 4700m (15,400ft) Rucu Pachincha.

Architecturally, Quito has plenty of colonial treasures, and modern building has been strictly controlled in the old town since 1978, when it was declared by UNESCO a world cultural heritage site. The old center is full of whitewashed houses, red tiled roofs and colonial churches, with no flashing neon to disrupt the ambiance of the past. The northern part of the city is the new town, containing modern offices, embassies, shopping centers and airline offices. Major sights around town include the 16th century Monastery of San Francisco, Ecuador's oldest church; the stark 16th century cathedral; the beautifully preserved colonial-era alley of La Ronda; and El Panecillo (the little bread loaf), a hill with fabulous views of the old town and an enormous statue of the Virgin of Quito.

There are a number of decent museums, colonial churches and impressive plazas, as well as an open-air Indian market at the foot of El Panecillo. Bustling Avenida Amazonas, the showpiece street of modern Quito, is a good place to stop in a sidewalk cafe and watch life go by. Of special interest to those whose fancies tend towards all things slick and slithery, the Vivarium on Reina Victoria in new town is a museum dedicated to the appreciation and study of Ecuador's reptiles and amphibians. To the delight of herpetologists, it houses a number of live specimens, including iguanas, tortoises, turtles, frogs, boa constrictors and the infamous fer-de-lance, one of South America's most poisonous snakes.

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