– Confederate Books
My favourite Bookstore in Quito. Sells and buys. Friendly US-Owner. Big choice of used Lonley Planet books.
(Calama 410 y J.L. Mera, (02) 2527890)
– TeleferiQo / Rucu Pichincha (admission $4)
The hike to the Rucu Pichincha (4700m) from the top of the TeleferiQo is a good opportunity to acclimatize oneself. Besides that you enjoy an amazing view over the whole city of Quito. Be sure to be at the teleferiQo station punctual at 9 oclock, to avoid waiting and to profit from the clear sight, which often lasts only till noon.
(Calle Arnulfo Araujo y A v. Occidental, (02) 3250085)
– Soccer Game (admission $8)
Quitos two best teams – Liga Quito and Nacional Quito – both have their own stadium. While playing against smaller Teams like Cuenca the stadiums arent fully crowded and fans are peacfull and laidback. The games are spectacular and visiting a game in Quito is a must for every footballfanatic. There are mostly two games a week (for example Wednesday and Sunday). Buy the newspaper “El Commercio” to check the dates. Buy the tickets right at the stadium (tribune around $8)
(Estadion Atahualpa (Nacional Quito) Av. Naciones Unidas y 6 de Diciembre)
– Daytrip to the hot springs Papallacta (admission $7)
The thermal bats of Papallacta are my favorite place in Ecuador. Luxurious, modern and clean you could spend the whole day in the different pools which vary from ice-cold to boiling-hot and are located in a lovely landscape between high mountains. Theres also an icy river through the complex, where you can cool down. To go there catch a bus at the Terminal Terrestre (2 hours ride) and ask the driver to drop you off at the road to the baths in Papallacta. When returning to Quito you sometimes have to wait more than an hour for a Bus to Quito.
– Museo Solar Inti Nan (near Mitad del Mundo – admission $2)
Interesting experiments right on the equatorline and fascination outdoor exhibition. When driving to Mitad del Mundo head out directly to this place 300m east of the official Mitad del Mundo Monument.
– I don’t recommend: Mitad del Mundo Monument
The Monument is not on the equatorline and I see no reason to visit this very touristic site.
– Spanish School Lector Academia
An excellent and reasonable priced German/Ecuadorian-run spanish school located in the northern region near the airport. Offers activities like city-tours and daytrips. Also arrange stays in friendly hostfamilies all located in the quiet and secure northern area.
(Calle Yumbos N50-270 y Fernando Dávalos, (02) 2276220)
– IE Internacional del Espanol
Offers trainings for spanish-teachers and publishes excellent spanish grammatic- and excercice-books for selfstudying. Good opportunity to improve your spanish on the road.
(Pinto E4-358 y Amazonas, (02) 2564910)
I joined their two-day tour to the Cotopaxi ($160). Perfect organization. I can also recommend their Hosteria PapaGayo in the Cotopaxi-area to spend the night before Climbing Cotopaxi or Illiniza.
(JL Mera z Calama, (02) 2529297)
– Positiv Turismo Ecuador Trips
Swiss-run agency, which offers well-organized trips and Galapagos Cruises. I joined their Cuyabeno-Rainforest Canoetour and was really happy about everything. Friendly people.
(Voz Andes N41-81 y M. Echeverría, (02) 2440604)
– I don’t recommend: Rainforestur
Went to the Illiniza Norte with them. Organization was a catastrophe (see LP Thorntree Topic). Definitly a bad agency with an unfriendly owner.
– L’Auberge Inn (single room with private bathroom $10)
Swiss-run quiet place with garden, internet, in-house agency and pool table. Rooms can be cool at night. Excellent Pancake for breakfast.
(Av Colombia N12-200 (near Old-Town and Mariscal), (02) 2552912)
– Hostal Charles Darwin (single room with private bathroom, Cable-TV and breakfast around $30)
Quiet location, garden, near the Mariscal area, friendly service.
(La Colina 304, (02) 2234323)
– Seven Eleven
Modern european-styled bar and restaurant. Eventhough the (strictly electronic) music is terrible loud, its worth a visit because of the excellent, reasonable priced and beautiful arranged dishes. Try the Filet Mignon ($5).
(Calama E619 y Reina Victoria (Mariscal), (02) 2556234)
– Los Troncos Steak House
Visit this Argentine Steakhouse for delicious grilled meat. The steaks are as juicy as the prices are, but if you don’t mind spending $20 for the best “Lomo Fino” (Steak) in Ecuador this is the right place for you
(Av. de los Shyris 1280 y Portugal (near Parque Carolin), (02) 2437377)
– Pizzeria Milano
This Swiss-Italian run Pizzeria serves the probably best and only real italian-style pizza in town (Big Pizza $5)
(Calama y 6 de Diciembre (Mariscal, right before the 6 de diciembre corner))
– I don’t recommend: Ch Farina
In a restaurant of this popular Pizzeria-Chain i’ve got sort of food poisoned after eating pizza and salad.
– Santino Club
While the bars and discos in the Mariscal area are overcrowded with tourists, you’ll be the only gringo in the several places in front of the Swissotel (Av. 12 de Octobre 1820). Discoteca Santino is crowded with young, well-dressed locals who dance to Salsa, Cumbia and Merengue till dawn. Admission $10, for this amount you can order drinks at the bar. Bouncers are rough: Dress well and be in female company.
(12 de Octubre y Baquerizo Moreno, (02) 2248078)
– Panamericana Internacional (Buses to Cuenca, Loja, Guayaquil, Machala, Huaquillas, Pasaje, Manta, Esmeraldas)
Most comfortable Buses, own terminal near the Mariscal so you can avoid the chaotic Terminal Terrestre where all the other buses leave.
(Av. Cristobal Colon y Reina Victoria), (02) 2553690)
– Trans Esmeraldas (Buses to Atacames, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Salinas, Lago Agrio, Coca, Ibarra, San Lorenzo, Manta, Machalas, Huaquillas)
Modern and comfortable buses leaving from an own terminal near the Mariscal.
(Santa María 870 y 9 de Octubre, (02) 2505099)