When one thinks of Ecuador the Galapagos Islands are the primary goal of most travelers. What my family discovered there went far beyond Darwin’s studies. We found ourselves relaxing in the lush countryside of the Northern Andean Highlands. A perfect place to rest for a couple days. Soak our tired bodies in fresh mountain spring water while reminiscing of your expedition.
What we discovered is that the rich organic volcanic soil of the Andean Highlands provide bounty for fabulous “Farm to Table Cuisine.” Fresh Trout from the streams that weave through the hillsides in altitudes so high they’re cloud covered in the mornings. Fresh organic meats, cheeses, chocolates & wines are the perfect remedy for sunbaked Islanders. Interesting to learn that Ecuadorian Chocolate Beans are considered some of the finest in the world. Another treat is Quinoa, grown organically from the lava hills in the south and still harvested by hand without any mechanized processing.
Traveling in either direction between the Capital City of Quito and the Andean Highlands is an easy and timely access by private driver or self- drive. The Republic of Ecuador translates to “The Republic of the Equator.” A must is a stop at the Quitsato Sundial where one can straddle the northern & southern hemispheres for that perfect tourist photo. Visit the planetarium and Stroll through the La Mitad del Mundo Monument (La Mitad del – the half Mundo – the middle). Inside the monument is a small museum that displays a variety of indigenous items pertaining to Ecuadorian Culture: clothing, descriptions of the various ethnic groups and examples of homelife and activities.
Take the time to reflect and pamper yourself after conquering the Galapagos “Bucket List.” Enjoy another part of Ecuador even if just for a few days. Breath in some mountain air and rejuvenate before the journey home. It’ll all still be there waiting for you.