On March 17th after living in a hotel in David, Panama for almost three weeks we finally flew to San Jose, Costa Rica and then on to Quito, Ecuador. Upon landing we found the city of Quito to be fascinating.
Welcome to Quito
What we saw first was how beautiful the weather was it had just rained and the air was cool and not humid at all. We had lived with constant high humidity for the past several years so this was a real change for us. Our hotel picked us up for our short ride to the Parque La Carolina area of Quito.
Parque La Carolina, Quito, Ecuador
This area was just lovely, a nice big park that has soccer fields, jogging and running tracks, a paddle boat pond, botanical garden, biking, roller blading and skateboard tracks, aerobics on the weekends, food vendors. The park has soccer fields, jogging and running tracks, skateboard, bike and inline skate tracks, a pond with paddle boats, a botanical garden, vendors with food and drinks as well as aerobics on the weekends and other special events.
Quito, Parque La Carolina Botanical Garden
It is surrounded by apartment buildings similar to a NYC residential area — shopping, restaurants and stores on the lower floors with office and residential on the upper floors. We could not get enough of this area, shopping was incredible with four malls within walking distance of our hotel. We found Japanese, Thai, Italian as well as Ecuadorian restaurants.
Parque La Carolina - Site of Pope John Paul II visit in the 80's
Quito is a very metropolitan city with so much to offer. We spent the next two weeks traveling the areas around the city from the Old Town with it’s beautiful historic buildings, museums, churches and the Presidential Palace, to “La Mariscal” the new section with trendy places to stay, shop and eat.
Old Town, Quito - Presidential Palace
There is also an artisan mall that covers almost an entire block filled with Ecuadorian treasures from Alpaca blankets and shawls to silver jewelry and Panama hats.
We found the area around Parque La Carolina to be very safe and quiet. We had heard the stories about being attacked and robbed but we used caution and did not walk around at night. Most of our travels were during the day, we used marked cabs and were aware of our surroundings. I purchased one of the locally made small bags and wore it between Joe and I when I was out.
Our first appointment was scheduled for early the next week with our attorney. She turned out to be the best find in our planning and preparations for our move. With two apostilled documents and a one page application with maybe 8 questions on it we were in and out of her office in 30 minutes. Within a few days we had our passports back with our 6 month visa and were happily on our way down the coast.