All pictures are my own and property of © The Baking Tour Guide.
Where to Go:
Intiñan Solar Museum: The Sun Museum is in the outskirts of Quito and celebrates Ecuador’s landmark as the “middle of the world.” There’s a short exhibit about the history of the Amazonian people, along with some fun activities that show the power of magnetic forces at the equator. You can balance an egg on a nail. You can also see water go straight down a drain instead of swirling right or left. Originally the center of the Earth was thought to be at the Mitad del Mundo, and a statue was erected there in 1930 to honor the unique latitude and longitude. Sadly, the monument wound up being 240 meters off. Visit the Sun Museum to see the real deal.
Otavalo: Otavalo is about 2 to 4 hours by bus outside of Quito. The town is famous for its intricate textiles, usually made from wool, that are sold in markets. All clothes, accessories, and pieces are made by hand. The exquisite artwork is world-renowned. According to a friend of mine from Quito, the people of Otavalo are the only individuals in Ecuador who do not need a Visa to visit the United States.
Old Town: The Old Town is a gorgeous quarter of Quito that contains European-style buildings and stunning churches that date as far back as the 1500s. The churches are painted with gold, which is a signature style of Quito architecture. The crucifixes in each church are also mangled and bloody, and some of the statues have real hair. There is also a famous Basilica in the old town. It looks similar to Notre Dame, but has Galapagos animals on the outside instead of gargoyles.
What to Eat:
Authentic Fritadas: Ecuadorian fritadas are deep-fried chunks of meat (usually pork). I recommend eating the authentic fritadas near the markets at the Mitad del Mundo. They are fresh from the fryer, which means they will be hot and tender.
Don’t knock it until you try it. It lends a smoky note to the beer.
Quaker drink: This is an Ecuadorian oatmeal drink (hence, Quaker) that contains a blend of local fruits, cooked oats, and spices. Simply amazing (Pictured on the left).
Morocho: Ecuadorian spiced corn pudding drink. It is better than any smoothie or milkshake I’ve ever had.
Empanada: These Ecuadorian desserts/snacks are pastry doughs filled with cheese and baked or fried. Think of them as funnel cakes on steroids. Find a good place in La Ronda for your first empanada experience (Pictured on the right).
Guinea pig: I never had the opportunity to try it, but make sure you know where to get good quality cuy or cuyo (guinea pig).