New Town -
Quito New Town includes
Quito's business district, around the La Carolina Park (Parque La
many of the embassies and international corporations are located along
with some of the smarter hotels. There
is a wide
range of fascinating museums
in Quito to suit all tastes. Since the relocation of the
airport away from the city, Quito New Town no longer suffers from
aircraft noise, making it an even better location to start or finish
your trip to Ecuador.
La Carolina Park is popular with
locals at weekends for
walking, running, cycling and football games - visit to get an insight
into life here, though avoid the park at night. It's
also home to the Vivarium, Natural History Museum & Botanical
La Carolina on
the Avenida Rio Amazonas side, has a fascinating collection of
snakes, frogs, turtles and caiman. The Vivarium
important role in research, in caring for amphibians
by customs, and also in educating students and visitors.
has several poisonous snakes, notably the "equis" ("X") or bushmaster
and the coral snake. Only around 10% of Ecuador's
of snake are poisonous, many are endangered, most are shy and well
camouflaged. Tourists will have to be extremely lucky to see
snake in the wild, so a visit to the Vivarium is your best option.
Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30a.m. to 5.30p.m. Keep
your ticket for a discount on entry to the Botanical Garden.
Parque La Carolina is an oasis of calm in the middle of the city.
Exhibits of different habitats showcase various flowers and
plants along with quirky little plant facts and statistics (Ecuador has
more plant species than all of Europe put together; 1 in every 4
of Ecuador's plant species is an orchid). The
have a huge range of these beautiful flowers and are also a great place
to escape the rain if you are unlucky with the Quito weather or have
timed your trip to Ecuador in the rainy season.
Daily, 9a.m. to 5p.m. (Monday 9a.m. to 3p.m.).
New Town also
covers the La Mariscal area, between El Ejido Park and Avenida
Colón, which is the main tourist area. La Mariscal
is full of hostals, hotels, internet cafes, travel agents, souvenir
shops, laundries, restaurants and pubs. In short, everything
a backpacker could need to get started on (or recover from) their trip
to Ecuador. If you don't speak any
Spanish, this is the place to base yourself as you are more likely to
find English-speakers in this part of town.
La Mariscal is
also where young Quiteños hang out as it is the nightlife
centre of the city. For this reason, Quito hotels in La
may be noisy at night, so bear this in mind when looking for a New Town
hotel. For a private room, quiet accommodation &
cable TV, try La Casa Sol (www.lacasasol.com). Rooms approximately
options far enough away from the square to avoid the ever-present
thumping of local clubs, but close enough to restaurants and bars,
try Posada de Los Jazmines (www.posadalosjazmines.com, $9/night with
breakfast) or Posada del Maple (www.posadadelmaple.com, $9/night with
breakfast). If you want to meet other travellers and don't mind
bunk accommodation, check out the very social and noisy
Vibes Hostel (www.vibesquito.com $7/night with breakfast) or El Centro
del Mundo ($5.60/night with breakfast).
art market is an informal
affair that takes place around
the edge of El
Ejido Park, weather permitting. There are a wide range of
qualities) of painting, but since art is such a personal thing, you
might find something you love. El Ejido Park is to the south
of the New Town, or the north of the Old Town, or in a sort of
no-man's-land in the middle, depending on your Quito
Ejido is also home to
a weekend craft
market with lines of green tents housing the
usual range of textiles, hats and jewelry with a few more unusual
offerings such as musical instruments & coins.
It's not all aimed at tourists, either - a
couple of stalls have hand-embroidered blouses, woven belts and all the
other paraphernalia for the traditional
Otavalo costume, which
they sell to the large population of Otavaleñas working
The Quito craft market at
Juan Leon Mera is open all week and is just a few blocks away.
There really is something for everyone here, so you can round
off your trip to Ecuador here and spend your remaining dollars on
souvenirs and gifts. Take as little as possible with you &
don't make yourself an easy target for pickpockets. Be prepared
easiest way from Quito New Town to the Old
Town or Historic
Centre of Quito is the EcoVia
bus along 6 de
plan their trip to Ecuador as a series of mini excursions, storing the
bulk of their luggage in a Quito hotel so as to travel light. The
good transport links and facilities here make a hotel in Quito New Town
a great choice for this.
Spanish Vocabulary for Quito New Town, the capital
city's tourist & business district:
Trole: trolley bus system along 10 de Agosto
EcoVia: bus line along 6 de Diciembre
Destinations: Quito New Town
The capital city of Ecuador, Quito, has many historical and cultural
attractions. Quito city maps give enough information to get
the various tourist attractions in the new town. Most
end up in Quito New Town at some point on their trip to Ecuador.
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
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