Hi, it’s me Marimonda.
Today, I’d like to share my first day in Quito. In my previous article, I described about my bus trip from las Lajas to Quito, and it took me the whole day. After the long bus trip, I just wanted to chill out in my room. I stayed in Masaya hostel in a double standard room and pretty happy with it. I will write a review on it in the following post.
Since the hostel is located in the old town(close to la ronda), I spent my first day wandering around. The old town of Quito is considered to be one of the well-preserved Spanish Colonial towns in the world. As a result, the whole area of the old town was named on Unesco World Heritage list in 1978. Compared to other old towns in latin american countries, that of Quito is not only massive in size but culturally rich.
After seeing it, I would call this area as following. La Ronda, una calle maravillosa. All narrow alleys were picturesque. I was amazed how they could build this beautiful town in that high area-the altitude of Quito is 2,850m- long time ago and how they have preserved it well for many centuries. I felt as if I were travelling in time. Also the contrast but harmonious colorful architectures and the blue sky gave me another touching.
It was 10ish in the morning when I arrived at La Ronda. Most shops were preparing start the day. So it was more relaxed and chill. Around 11, however, the street was already full of tourists. If you’d like to get some pictures in an empty street, I recommend you arrive there before 10 a.m. You might be the only one in the street at that time. Even though it was early in the morning, the Sun was very strong. Carrying a high protective sunblock is a good idea.
The street is quite short. With food, you may need longer time, but I think two to three hours would be enough to look around. It depends on where you stay, but as I mentioned I stayed in a place where only 5 mins away from the street. Thus it was perfect for me enjoy this beautiful street day and night.
There are many restaurants in La Ronda. At meal time, servers are on the street and calling visitors to show their menu. I had late breakfast, so I wasn’t that craving for food. Thus, I decided to have a cup of hot chocolate. I had a chocolate espresso (which is the pure melted chocolate) and a chocolate with water. They were not sweet at all. The server gave me sugar so that I can add some sweet as my taste. I tried chocolate espresso because it looked exotic, but to be honest I don’t think I would try it again. It was just too thick for me. I preferred hot chocolate with some water or milk. It was much easier to swallow.
People say it’s a bit dangerous area, especially at night. It’s so touristic area now, so many thieves are often spotted. During the day, you can see many police officers in the street. They usually keep their eyes on foreigners to prevent the crime. When I was walking around the street with my camera, they came to me and told me be aware of my camera. So I would say during the day it’s relatively fine.
However, at night was a bit different. Personally I didn’t feel it was that dangerous as much as I was warned ( I didn’t see any suspicious person), but it was pretty dark and the way to La Ronda seemed quite dangerous. So many homeless people in the street and beggars I felt somewhat insecure. I think it’s better to visit there as a group at night.
Enjoy your trip with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂