Ecuador Tour 2013
January 11th – 20th, 2013
 


January 14th

Our first visit today was to the Quito Botanical Garden. Our guide met us and introduced us to the many plants that are native to Ecuador as well as those that are not. Of special interest were the Fuchsia boliviana and the Podocarpus. The Podocarpus we heard was the only conifer in Ecuador and quite rare. The other plant that I really liked was the Epidendrum porphyrum with its tiny little purple flowers. So many different plants here plus an incredible collection of hundreds of orchids and roses. It’s not a large garden but it is jam packed with species from the coast, Amazon rainforest, the Andes and other parts of the world. Representing the moorlands or paramos of the high Andes, the cloud forest, the dry forest, and thrown in for good measure are the Inca garden, bomeliad garden, palm garden and orchid displays. More than 1200 species of orchids and a number of hybrids are exhibited in the ‘Crystal Palace’ greenhouses. One holds altitude and the other holds tropical and the variety of these is exquisite.
 
From here we drove to the historical and UNESCO heritage area in Quito and began our walk around. The area is full of moorish and baroque architecture line the cobble stone streets. This is the area that you find most of the churches and the one we chose to visit was I think the most spectacular.
 
The Church of the Society of Jesus or Basilica de la Conpania de Jesus is a monument to the Jesuits who built it between 1605 and 1765 and really isn’t totally completed yet. It is covered in 23 karat gold….everywhere….every centimeter! We were not allowed to take any photos while inside and it is just so hard to describe it, you just have to see it for yourself. The central nave is topped by a 26 meter high continuous barrel vault and decorated in gold leaf. The main golden alterpiece built in 1745 is topped by an octagonal dome in intense reds, golds and blues over a sky background. There is precious artwork here too as well as angel faces, fruit crowns, grape clusters and more. This is one truly ‘take your breath away’ church.
 
From here we drove to the middle of the world – the equator. Here we had not only a guided tour but got to take part in some demonstrations of what it was like being on either side of the equator…everyone had their photo taken with one foot on one side and one foot on the other. We then did some shopping as there was a great shop here where we got to see a demonstration of weaving.

As we were driving back to the hotel along the side of one of the major roads was blocks and blocks of graffiti…thought I would show you some of what I saw.
Back to our hotel to rest until dinner at Theatrum Restaurant…
 
Built in the late 1800’s over what was known as "Plaza de las Carnicerias". Its unique location and outer architectural design, combined with an impeccable contemporary decoration, have turned it in to one of the best restaurants in the Historical Center of Quito. Gastronomic Offer
 

 

 
 

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row