We arrived in Quito at about 2am and had a quick medical check to make sure we had our negative covid test / didn’t have a temperature. We made it out of the airport in about 30minutes! Our hotel was only about 5minutes from the airport so thankfully we were asleep not too long after we landed!
We got up around 9 and had some toast and eggs for a quick breakfast. We were picked up to go back to the airport to get our rental car. Had no issues except a new rule was implemented that cars with an odd last license plate number can only drive on Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays….. so just planning to pretend we don’t know that lol.
From the airport we drove to the teleferico (cable car) but it turned out it was closed until January 15th! Google lied – always click on the website.
We drove into Quito city center and checked into the Hilton (mostly so we could park the car). Then headed out to the Basilica del Voto Nacional (aka a big church). You can climb up the towers of the church for just $2 and got some really pretty views of the city! You also had to climb some pretty steep stairs
We spent at least an hour at the Basilica and had some food at the Cafe in the tower (got a hot chocco 😬).
It was raining off and on so when it lightened up we started walking towards Old Town. I’m not entirely sure what qualified this area as the old town but there was a big square and lots of churches. There were also a ton of people on the street selling all sorts of random stuff…. and quite a few puppers roaming around as well 🙂
We ended up going into the Igelisa de San Francisco because the doors were open. It was a very intricate church with lots of gold and even more paintings!
After exploring for awhile we were both pretty tired so we started the walk back to the hotel (about 35mins). We stopped at a grocery store on the way to get some wine for New Years Eve! Curfew is at 10pm so we were prepared to celebrate in the confines of the hotel room!
We took a quick nap when we got back then tried to figure out where we could pick up some food. We ended up walking a half mile to a place to find it closed (covid life) so we were going to just get KFC next to our hotel but when we got there they stopped letting people in! We settled for room service. We also bought some boxed wine in case the one bottle wasn’t enough…. LOL HAPPY NEW YEAR! We also tried to play Phase 10 via app but it didn’t work very well.
We turned on the New York countdown so we could countdown to midnight in English. Our room was on the 12th floor so we ended up being able to see a bunch of fireworks people set off throughout the city!
We had a later start to the morning having stayed up late for NYE and got a nice breakfast at the Hilton before heading out. We first stopped at the Mitad Del Mundo (middle of the world) line. It was $5 to get in and the whole area was actually really large with random exhibits, restaurants, and of course a long line dictating where the equator line is. Basically just random tourist spot to take a picture with a line 😂 it was fun though!
Also, I’m unsure if this is actually related to the equator but you could get this egg to balance on a nail…
Once we had our fill of photo-ops, we got back in the car and drove to a hike called Las Cruces (the crosses). Googlemaps took us the wrong route to get to the parking lot so we ended up parking like .3miles away from the lot…. but like .3miles of pure steep hills. GOOD START TO THE HIKE.
Along the hike there were crosses as trailmarkers. They were numbered, but we didn’t know how many there were so that wasn’t really helpful lol. It ended up taking like 1hr and 45minutes to get to the top. And man the end was STEEP. We had some nice views of the city along the way though!
Lots of sweat from this one! But a nice activity to close out our day. We drove 1.5hrs to Latacunga and just ordered some random food for dinner then went to bed.