There are not many flights to Ecuador, so it takes a full day (dawn to dusk) to get here from the West coast of the United States. It is the same as going to the Caribbean.
The airport is not crowded and customs, immigration, baggage claim only takes 30 minutes. The only downside for myself is my relatively new luggage zipper was completely ripped and the suitcase wide open when it came into baggage claim. Oh boy…someone wanted something to steal. The good thing is that nothing was lost or stolen despite it falling it apart!
It takes about 30 minutes to get from the airport to the main city. At night is best as there is very little traffic. especially in the old city. It may seem a little intimidating to westerners at night as most things are closed and not many lights at night.
We are staying at Casa Gangotena which is a classic beautiful historical hotel that used to be a mansion.
The rooms are very luxurious and comfortable…however for the modern person, there is only one plug in the bathroom to charge your phones and electronics!
It is located in San Francisco plaza which is part of the old city with many cathedrals and museums. They also have the waves of pigeons like the main square in Venice.
It is the old city area with numerous quaint shops and cafe’s everywhere.
It felt very comfortable exploring, but like many large tourist destinations, there are various vendors trying to sell you trinkets.
There are tourist police everywhere which makes you feel safe. Here you can see them questioning someone who is trying to perform a music show with the local pigeons and is having a hard time getting them to provide tips for his performance.
The backside of the hotel has some great scenery if you look up into the hills.
The real hidden gem is the Terrace at the top of the hotel where you can enjoy the small plates of local cuisine.