Ecuador Tour 2013
January 11th – 20th, 2013

January 13th

Woke up this morning to mist in the air from the last remnants of rain, a beautiful rainbow over the hills showing all but the beginning and the end. The hills are visible now that the clouds have moved and it’s going to be another beautiful day in Quito. Being Sunday the church bells have started ringing calling those to worship. Today we visit Pakakuna Gardens. On our way we stopped at a beautiful old monastery church built in the 1600’s.

South Americas largest private garden, Pakakuna means ‘ hiding place’ and it does that in spades. It is a very hard place to find and only those who have special arrangements can get in. Dr. Claus Egger likes people who are interested in plants to come visit and our group loved plants, loved meeting him and hearing his story and seeing the gorgeous gardens. Pakakuna is situated lower than Quito and because of this gets quite warm and can support a whole host of plants that obviously love where they live. Trees dripping in Spanish moss, others hosts to all kinds of plants that love to make their home by saddling up to trees for food and moisture like bromeliads and orchids. Air plants hanging everywhere and on the ground flower beds laden with all kinds of colour and form. Truly a magical place to visit.

There are more than 500 species of plants that Claus and his wife have brought from all over the world. They live in one of the most tranquil and green spaces along with many birds that took our breath away with their colours and song. He loves bromeliads and orchids and many can be seen in his private garden – yes, we saw that too. Some are native while others made their way here from all corners of the world.
What they have also done here, because this is a huge property is begin a major environmentally sound project to protect and conserve the environment while creating a community for people to live – surrounded by these beautiful gardens and continuing on to create new ones. The homes are surrounded by trees, shrubs, plants and water so it truly is a place for those who love plants to live. This has also led to job creation, which is an important consideration as well. This is all now handled by their foundation, which is non profit.

Once we had finished our visit we approached the club house to have a lunch prepared for us. What a perfect setting too as we sat looking out onto the grounds surrounding the house with the pool in the distance.
Needless to say after a delicious lunch we were ready for a nap – the high altitude can do that to you, so we left and headed back to Quito not before stopping at the Scala Mall – it was handy – to pick up items we wanted from the huge grocery store. This mall was very unique in that at the top of the building they had a vertical planting – and it was huge! Inside the mall there were also vertical wall plantings made to look like artwork scattered all over the mall…beautiful.

No, it didn’t rain today, it was perfect - sunny and warm and yes I ate some more biscochos with dulce de leche tonight along with a cup or two of coca tea.



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