QUITO – Cotopaxi Volcano – Middle of the world – Travel guide ✩ Ecuador!
Check out our Video about Quito “Explore Quito ✩ Ecuador!”
Feeling like tasting the finest chocolate in the world? Curious on what it feels like standing in between 2 different hemispheres? Want to feel your heart pounding of joy because you just climbed one of the tallest active volcano in the World?
Well, there is nothing left to say…Quito is waiting for you!
The world’s first city to be declared UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage Site!
The old city center of Quito is a pleasure to walk in!
The historic buildings are full of art centers and the parks full of street food!
Our favorite place was “La Ronda“, an old street in the center, where you can find old shops frozen in time and an amazing Chocolaterie, the Chez Tiff Artesanal.
Here they gave us a free lesson about the process of the chocolate, from the seed to the final product!
At the end you can buy, of course, chocolate, drink chocolate or go for some delicious smelling cocoa butter to hydrate your skin or lips <3
We loved the 70% chocolate bars and the cocoa butter!
We know that everybody talks about the Otavalo Market, that should be the Best artesanal market in South America, but we talked with a few people, locals and tourist, that told us than now is not worth going anymore.
So they recommend us another market in Quito with lower prices and better materials.
So we went to the “Mercado Artesanal” in Jorge Washington street, a little bit south from the center, but full of great Ecuatorian handicraft!
I got some very good deals with jewelry and a beautiful alpaca blanket for 20USD (that now we will have to carry around for a few months 😀 ).
The middle of the world!
One hour and a half (with public transportation) north from Quito you can try how it feels like to be in the middle of the world!
There there is a “park“, the entrance is around 7USD, where you can:
Check the line that divides our world in a half;
Enter in a museum where they teach you about the effects of the equatorial line;
Get to know more about the process of the chocolate;
Have a 15minutes show at the planetarium.
There you can try to balance an egg, that is supposed to be easier in the equatorial line.
We felt that this park was a little bit of a “tourist trap”, since the price was a little high.
They told us that there is a second line, less touristic/pricie and actually the real line! You have to go to the left just when you go outside of the “touristic park” and just turn left again. But we didn’t had time.
Another great experience was trekking the Cotopaxi.
This 5897meters high Volcano is one of the tallest active in the world and it is surely worth a visit!
At the entrance of the park you will find drivers/guides that will offer to take you up there. They asked us for 18 dollars each one, but with my ability to negotiate, I lowered the price to 50 dollars for 4 people.
After a 30 minutes drive to the base of the Volcano you will have a 1 hour trekking up the Volcano until a shelter. The walk is not too far, but since you are going higher you will need few stops to catch your breathe and of course enjoy the view!
The José Riva Refuge is 4864m high (15.953 feet) and there you can enjoy your victory of climbing a Volcano with chocolate, warm soup, sandwiches and if you need it (I did) a Coca Thé for the dizziness.
To get to the entrance of the park of the Cotopaxi: take a bus that takes you south, direction Quitumbe and get out at the last stop (Quitumbe); there take a bus direction Latacunga and ask the bus driver to get you off at the entrance of the park of Cotopaxi. (Around 2USD total)
A friend told us that you can get a lift at the entrance of the park to the Cotopaxi and pay around 1USD.
Bring warm clothes, up there the air gets very cold, and chocolate bars for some energy!
From Quito to the Park of the Cotopaxi we took around 2 hours, so get up early because the park closes at 4:30.
The middle of the world
How to get there:
Take a Metrobus direction north to “Ophelia” and get off at the last station (Ophelia);
There take the yellow bus that says “Mitad del mundo”;
After a 60 min drive you will be there.
Now go enjoy some chocolate!