July 2019

T is for Tren Ecuador, Tigua Art, and Tagua Jewelry

♦ TREN ECUADOR (a.k.a. Tren Crucero), award-winner of finest luxury train experience in South America, rides the rails along the 280-mile route between Quito and Guayaquil, providing what amounts to a four-night cornucopia of culturally rich experiences combined with stays at historic lodgings, while traveling beneath snow-capped volcanoes and over Andean mountain passes, scaling and […]

S is for Spas and Street Art

♦ AH, THE SPAS In Quito, JW Marriott invites guests to unwind with Vinotherapy, a new treatment blending fine wine and blissful relaxation. Vinotherapy, an innovative wellness treatment infusing the healing properties of wine and grapes with body and facial treatments, is designed to help combat aging and activate blood circulation.  The treatment is a […]

R is for Retail Therapy, Rose Trail, and Road to Ruins

♦ RETAIL THERAPY in Quito and throughout the country is going to focus on Ecuador’s outstanding  range of handicrafts: super-fine buys in weavings, textiles, ceramics, wood carvings, paintings, silver, gold, vegetable ivory (tagua).  Hone your haggling skills at El Edjido Park, across the street from the Colon Hilton, which turns into an alfresco art gallery […]

Q is for Quito Metro and Quiteño School of Art

♦ The QUITO METRO (Metro de Quito or MDQ,) is scheduled to launch the end of 2019 (hopefully).  The single-route line runs 22.9 kms (14.2 mi.) linking 15 stations, from Quitumbe in the south to El Labrador in the north. There will be only one stop in the Old Town, San Francisco; however, the station […]

P is for Panama Hats

♦ PANAMA HATS are of course misnamed, for while Panama gets the credit, Ecuador makes the top of the fine extrafino hats. The name Panama Hat was adopted in 1903 when nearly 100,000 hats were shipped from Ecuador to Panama for use by the construction workers who were building the Panama Canal.  Today hat-making is […]

O is for Orchids and Otavalo

♦ ORCHIDS aficiandos need only head an hour northwest from Quito to find the Pahuma Orchid Reserve; it’s the wet forest home to over 270 species of orchids (9 of which are endemic), as well as bromeliads, mosses and ferns.  Right in Quito, orchid lovers should head for the Jardin Botanico (Botanical Gardens in Carolina […]

N is for Neighborhoods, Ñan, & National Geographic

♦ NEIGHBORHOODS worth knowing, other than the Centro Historico, include some very cool places. La Mariscal in the modern sector of town hosts the majority of café/bars; entertainment’s ground zero here is Plaza Foch, a quiet, low-key spot by day and heart of the action early on in the evening, before moving on to nearby […]

M is for Modern Arts, Mercado Central, & Museums

♦ MODERN ART MASTERS: Get to know Ecuador’s vibrant contemporary art scene. Internationally recognized, for example are Manuel Rendon, who brought the Constructionist Movement from Europe to influence such fine arts as Enrique Tabara, Oswaldo Vitieri and Anibal Villacis. At the same time, the 20th century saw the rise of the Indigenista Movement, pioneered by Camilo […]

L is for La Ronda, Locro de Papas, and Lloa Parish

♦ LA RONDA is a small neighborhood tucked into the historic center of Old Town Quito. Its main pedestrian-only street (Calle la Ronda) is lined with colorful houses and balconies abloom in geraniums, cozy restaurants, ice cream parlors, chocolate shops, a honey-based products store, coffee and hot chocolate cafes, and even a beautiful little boutique […]

K is for Kids ♥ Quito and Kallari Chocolate

♦ KIDS ♥ QUITO – Put on your list of the capital’s kid-friendly attractions: Museo Interactivo de Ciencia (Interactive Science Museum), designed for children between 3 and 8 years and housed in a former textile factory; Vivarium, located in La Carolina Park and hosting a great display (over 45 species)  of live reptiles—snakes are particularly “popular”—that […]

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