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Trip To Ecuador

July 16th, 2008

When I started planning to go to Ecuador, I was very excited because Ecuador was close to Colombia, my home country. I have not been back in my country for more than eight years.

The beginning of the trip to Ecuador:

The first city was Guayaquil. It was a great city but very hot. While riding the taxi from the airport, the taxi driver decided to check if our bags were still in the open-trunk every time we stopped at a traffic light. What I great start, ah??? Any way…we arrived to our hotel at the Best Western, checked in and ran downstairs to a great tour of the city in the afternoon. The tour guy was very knowledgeable of the history and culture of the city.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OxhlNyz7hE[/youtube]
Año Viejo

The best thing I liked about this city was the toys hanging on the street for the Año Viejo (This toys are only in the street when December gets close by since it’s a tradition to burn a character that you pick to welcome the New Year) and the iguanas at the different parks. I liked the toys because they reminded me of my childhood, and the iguanas because I had never seen then before. Also I like Malecon 2000, which has great restaurants overlooking at the sea and a fantastic view (just recommend to go in the day time).

Our second stay in Ecuador was Cuenca. It made a big impact on me. At the airport, there were lots of children asking for money and also looking for food in the trash cans. It was really sad, but aside from this the people look warm, nice and very honest. When we arrived to the hotel, we felt in love. It was a really great place. In the entire stay in Ecuador, we received the best service in this place. The hotel is really not a hotel, is a hostal but the best hostal you have ever seen. Its called Hostal Posada del Angel; great people, great service. It felt like I was with family.

Cuenca is a little cute town that you can feel really safe. There are great bar, amazing restaurants like La Mansion Del Belalcazar-what a great place!!! It is beautiful and perfect. That night we had great fun. Cuenca was really the best city for me in all the three big cities that we went to. It is such a great place with great people.

Our next city was Quito. It was very cold. Our hotel had the worst service but it was really fancy. At least our beds were very comfortable. A phone call there was $2.00 a minute, while in Cuenca it was $0.10. I don’t even want to remember how much I paid there in phone calls. We did a lot of touring and shopping, especially in Octavalo market. One of the things that I most liked when I went to Quito was the bike-ride tour. When we rode the bikes, it was very scary. I really thought I was going to fall. We rode from the volcano to the main park. One of the greatest attractions in Quito is La Mitad del Mundo. This place was amazing!!! Here you can buy your souvenirs as in Octavalo Market. See the video below for an example of one of the experiments that they perform at La Mitad del Mundo.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OxhlNyz7hE[/youtube]
Experiments in Mitad del Mundo Quito Ecuador

Hope you guys like my ideas.

take care and happy trip!

leidyhurtado Destinations, Travel , ,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

March 28th, 2008

Hello I am Leidy! I work with Product in Touricoholidays.com and I am in charge of Mexico and the Caribbean and would like to share some important things to do in Rio de Janeiro. When you check-in at your Hotel, please get ready to explore this fantastic city.

Rio de Janeiro

My first day at Rio, I walked the entire strip of Copacabana and then had lunch at Barril 1800 in Ipanema. This was a great restaurant with very good food. Try their traditional dish called “Feijoda” and accompanied with their traditional drink “Capirinas” or if you don’t drink alcoholic beverage, please try “Guarana”. After this, I explored Ipanema, walked the entire strip of the beach to see the beauty of it, oh! And when you are walking either in Ipanema or Copacabana, please stop in any of the little kiosks and make sure you drink a Coco Gelado, Delicious! At night time after a very long day at the beach, get ready and dress up!!! Either choose to eat in a fancy restaurant or go dancing. I chose to eat at Porcao. This is a great churrasqueria and you can eat as much as you want! I recommend to try their typical meat is called Picaña. Also make sure you tell your waiter to give you filet mignon. This is already included. Also they have a buffet and it contains from Jumbo shrimps to risottos. They are 3 Porcaos in the city, please choose the one in Flamengo. It has the best view of the city at night. (This is going to cost around $120 or R 150, 00 reais for 2 persons). If you have a great celebration or you want to go aloud and you have the money to check out the best restaurant in Rio, please go to “Antiquarios” (one of the most expensive but BEST restaurants in Rio). It is AMAZING!!!! This is a Portuguese restaurant and it cost about R 200 reais per person. Please make reservations.

My second day in Rio, I went to Corcavado/Cristo Redentor. Please make sure you go after noon so you can make sure and see the actual statue. This is an amazing experience. I spend R 100 Reais for 2 people to go here. A taxi took us there and waited for us in the lower part and gave us one hour to explore. This is plenty of time to see it and take plenty of pictures. After Corcovado, I went to visit the other side of Copacabana called Barra da Tijuca. Locals just called it Barra. (pronounced Baja). Here is another beach and other kind of views. If you don’t want the beach, wait! Don’t live this area! Go to Barra Shopping. This is a 3 stories Mall. It is amazing! You can find anything and do your shopping (this is not good for souvenir shopping). If you get hungry in the mall, no worries, they have this great restaurant called “La Mole”. If you don’t want restaurants then just have a snack at Casa Do Pao de Queijo and then pass by the ice cream store called “Babuska” They have one of the best ice creams I have ever eating.

Third day in Rio, Please go and check out Pao de Azucar or Sugar Loaf. Again go around noon to see the views. After this just go and take your own tour, check out the biggest soccer stadium “Maracana” try to go in a day that is an actual game going on. They are so many things to do in Rio that I can be here talking all day. Just make sure you have this list in your hand:

  • Corcovado/Cristo Rendentor
  • Pao de Azucar
  • Barra da Tijuca/ Barra Shopping Mall.
  • Maracana Stadium
  • Sambodromo
  • Metropolitan Cathedral

Have an AMAZING TIME!!!

Leidy Hurtado

leidyhurtado Travel, Travel Guide