Once again, life has quite successfully interrupted my blogging ambitions. But for good reason this time: over the last few weeks, my husband and I have been busily caught up in the details and demands of moving. We have not only moved house, but also our business, and everything is being reestablished in a new city and a new province.
The city is Quito, Ecuador’s beautiful capital, which is located in the northern part of the Andes mountain range at a literally breathtaking altitude of 2,850 meters, or 9,350 feet (1). And as cities go, Quito ranks very highly in categories such as tourism, expat living, energy efficiency and cultural diversity. Located just a few kilometers south of the equator, the city itself is a world heritage site, valued by UNESCO for having “the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America” (1). It has also been ranked second on Lonely Planet’s “Best In Travel 2016” list of top ten cities around the world (2). All in all, it’s a beautiful, must-see, clean city that is well-suited to tourism and high quality living alike.
And as we’re settling in here, we’re finding more and more that for us the benefits of being in Quito aren’t just business related. Yesterday, my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting the city’s Teleferico, or sky rail, a great attraction for both locals and tourists. Located at the eastern edge of the city, the sky rail takes visitors up to the top of the Cruz Loma mountain in cable cars, where the enthusiasts can enjoy and photograph stunning views of the mountains and the city below. After disembarking the cable car at an impressive altitude of 4,050 meters, or 13,287 feet, visitors are invited to explore the area, have photographs taken with some friendly alpacas, or even hike the Rucu Pichincha trail, which leads to the nearby Pichincha Volcano (3).
In our experience, the sky rail was freezing, but wonderful fun. If you get to enjoy this essential Quito experience, be sure to bring insulated jackets (and even light scarves and gloves, if you’re susceptible to the cold like I am!), and be prepared to struggle a bit with breathing at such a height! For the ultimate day out, we would suggest avoiding the mediocre cafes near the cable car platform and bringing a packed lunch and a thermos of your favorite hot drink, if you can. Talk about one of the best picnic views ever! And we would also recommend going to the sky rail on a week day, as the lines for waiting to ascend are notoriously long. It is truly an experience to be had, and a wonderful way to take in just a little of Ecuador’s incredible natural beauty.
Have you visited Quito? What were your impressions of that unique place?