Latin America specialist Sonia left us all green-eyed with tales of her incredible trip to Ecuador and Galapagos, one of the most exciting and varied destinations to visit. Read on to find out what she did and where she stayed…
Packed with cultural heritage, colonial charm and situated in the middle of the world, Quito is a fascinating capital. Offering a wealth of unique things to see and do, Imagine Latin America have conjured up their top five favourite experiences to enjoy in this fascinating city.
Walking tour of the old town
As one of the most well preserved Spanish colonial cities in South America, Quito’s old town is packed with impressive colonial monuments and architectural treasures to explore. With its narrow cobblestone streets, picturesque plazas and beautifully decorated historical churches, it’s no wonder it was one of the first cities to be declared a World Cultural Heritage Site back in 1978. Wandering around the heart of Quito is the best way to soak up its colonial charm; stroll around the main square, see the lavish ornate interiors of the San Francisco and Santa Domingo monasteries and marvel at the Virgin Mary monument at the top of Panecillo hill.
Live Quito like a local
For those with a real interest in culture, this tour around Quito is the best way to get under its skin and discover the city through the eyes of a local. With an expert guide, discover the lives, beliefs, cuisine and traditions of Old Town Quito. Explore the overflowing markets, meet with local artisans and herbal healers, and visit a traditional chocolatier and taste some of the world’s finest chocolate handmade in Ecuador.
Pacari chocolate tasting
Ecuador is fast becoming the chocolate capital of the world. The award-wining Pacari chocolate is made entirely in Ecuador and this family-run business strives to produce the finest quality chocolate in the world. Using the Arriba Nacional cacao, a native plant in Ecuador that yields a bean classified as "fino de aroma" this cacao is known for its rich, full taste and complex fruity and floral notes. On this tour, you will have the opportunity to travel into the Amazon and learn about the chocolate making process from tree to bar, as well as sampling some of this chocolate yourself. As the birthplace of the cacao tree, the Ecuadorian Amazon is rich in history when it comes to chocolate, and seeing the chocolate process first-hand is a fascinating experience.
Travel to the middle of the world
Located 30 minutes north of Quito, is the Equatorial Monument which marks the Mitad del Mundo (Centre of the Earth). Stand with a foot on each hemisphere and visit the Ethnographic Museum which showcases the great diversity of Ecuador’s native groups.
Luxury custom boots experience
For those with a lust to meet with artisans and discover local traditions, this unique tour will allow you to discover La Mundial Custom Boots. Founded in Quito in 1906, the company was founded in the historic heart of Quito when a local shoemaker, Don Francisco Rivas, worked alongside an Italian bootmaker sent to share his techniques and create better boots for the equestrian division of the Ecuadorian military. Touring around its production facility, you will discover the history and process used to create these custom-made and hand sown riding boots using the finest leather.
There are plenty of things to see and do to keep you entertained whilst exploring Quito.
To find out more information of the other activities we can arrange for you call us on 020 7622 1116 and find the perfect activity for you.