We finally made our trip up to volcano country near the Columbian border. A change of scenery is just what we needed but still, it was good to return to Cuenca after ten days. We absolutely loved the half hour flight on Latam Airlines. Much preferable to an eight hour bus trip! Bruce booked us first class which wasn’t much more than standard, so we were in the front row seats as far away from potential covid contamination as possible. Everyone was required to wear a mask, but surprisingly, no mention of vaccinations or covid tests. Our first stop was Quito, the capital city. We took a taxi from the airport which is quite a distance from the city. Excellent highway! Our hotel was located in a part of the city called NewTown. What a sight to look up and see skyscraper apartment buildings sitting right along the edge of the cliff. Bruce commented that it looked like the city of Oz. So sorry not to have a photo!! We stayed three nights at a boutique hotel which had a very nice restaurant. There were also some trendy places to eat in the immediate neighborhood and interesting neighborhoods to explore.
Our hotel concierge helped us to arrange a taxi ride to the town of Cotacachi two hours north of Quito. I wanted to visit this town that has around five hundred expats living there who think it is a paradise. For this reason it was one of the places we considered as a possibility before moving to Ecuador. We spent six nights at a luxury resort so we had plenty of time to explore the town and surrounding areas. Unfortunately because of Covid, the hotel did not offer some of the activities that we expected from the brochure, such as bike riding, condor watching and horseback riding.
However, they had a first class restaurant where we ate two of the six nights. Otherwise we walked into town and sampled some of the less expensive restaurants and cafes. The hotel/resort had twenty four apartments that were supposedly decorated in the style of Louis the Fourteenth……not my favorite, but a version of opulence I guess. Certainly our rooms were spacious and comfortable.
We were ready to get back to our lovely life in Cuenca at the end of ten days. We will continue exploring other areas of the country until the time when international travel becomes a possibility again. We have two more trips lined up….Vilcabamba September 23 through 27. Another lovely resort near the Peruvian border, but this time, decorated in a style that we love. We spent a few days there two years ago. Photos will be forthcoming. And we go back to the ocean at the end of November, but this time we visit Salinas, a larger town that is the vacation spot for Cuencanos during their holidays…..of which there are MANY.
So until next time, take care and enjoy the rest of your summer!