On Sunday evening we hosted a giveaway contest for the internet universe that gave people the opportunity to Wing it this Memorial Weekend to an unknown destination. Five days later that destination is now Quito, Ecuador and our lucky winner departed this afternoon to experience one of the most beautiful countries we’ve ever visited. Our things to know this week is a sample of the itinerary that was crafted by our partners @MountainStones. A little friendly reminder that you too can discover Ecuador using Wing it for $800 roundtrip (flight + hotel).
Ecuador is the only country in South America whose national currency is USD. It makes things a lot easier; consider your brain free of the exchange rate train.
Surrounded by the Andes Mountains, be prepared for changes in altitude as you explore the capital city. Even in the dead of summer, pack a light coat and layers
Quito is unfortunately full of crime. Enjoy walking the city but beware of your surroundings and remember to tone down your ‘gringo-ness”
Some of our Ecuadorian friends are the owners of Boutiquito, a boutique hostel in the bohemian district of Guapulo. The hostel’s design reigns true to the country’s Andean culture. You’ll find that you can easily relax in homey lounges and outside patios that have some of the best views of the Andes Mountains. If you can arrange it, plan a trip in early September when the Guapuleños honor their neighborhood with a festival that includes a parade of costumes and fireworks.
Zavalita is claimed by most Ecuadorians to offer the best ceviche in Quito. You’re always guaranteed fresh seafood and toasty chifles aka plantain chips.
Muckis is one of the most high-end restaurants in the city. It’s elegant, a bit old-school in its style, and the best part, people tend to arrive by word of mouth.
Zinc Gastro Bar is ideal for big groups. It’s a staple bar with a variety of delicious empanadas.
Sabai Beer is for artisanal beer lovers. If you’re itching to try some local beers, Sabai offers are wide variety of brews. It’s a laid back scene perfect for lunch.
Bungalow6 is where you go to party. It also probably has the highest ratios of gringos of any bar in town.
El Pobre Diablo is Quito’s live music bar. Live music is always a good idea no matter what city you’re in.
Two hours south of Quito you can reach the national park of Cotopaxi, home to one of South America’s most active and highest volcanos. Should it be accessible and you are bold enough to climb it, it certainly ranks as one of our most adventurous day trips. The Wing it team only made it to day three and then altitude sickness struck so please do share if you reach the top!
There are tons of tours that leave Quito daily and there is plenty to see inside the national park. For starters, get a on a horse and spend the day taking in the stunning panoramic views. You’ll spot rabbits, condors, foxes, and if you’re lucky, some pumas and wolves. We promise this park carries a special energy and is frequented with fewer visitors than you’d imagine. Wake up early and get there.