Quito, Ecuador

I would venture to say that ecuador is the hippie mecca of south america. lots of heads are drawn here because of the beautiful ecosystems, environmental opportunities, it’s very, very cheap, and people for the most part embrace gringos. people might stare at you, but it’s not because they dissaprove; most people outside of cities have never seen a hippie! quito is phat because there are heads all over, and there are lots of really cool restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc. super cheap, handmade indigenous clothing (like the brightly colored sweaters you see lots of hippies wearing) and wares are available in the city, and the massive outdoor market of otavalo is a 40 minute drive.

If you’re ever in quito, one place you absolutely should go to is called aladin. this is a middle-eastern hang out run by a few really nice, english speaking middle-easterners. they import most of their wares, such as intricately designed ash trays, delicate utensils and dishes, 3-foot hookahs, and heavy, elaborately made chess sets (you just might feel like you’re in iran or something!). you can have a cup of tea & snack at one of the couches, play a game of chess at the tables, or smoke a hookah of many varieties of flavored tobacco out on their patio. delicious food, incredible ambiance; it’s one of the coolest places i’ve been!

Cuenca is a hip, relatively new town in Ecuador, with lots of expats. Good water and inexpensive, with good health care available.

Ecuador Public Holidays

January 1 New Year’s Day
March-April Maundy Thursday
March-April Good Friday
May 1 International Workers’ Day
May 24 The Battle of Pichincha (1822)
July 24 The Birthday of Simón Bolivar (1783)
August 10 Declaration of Independence of Quito (1809)
October 9 Independence of Guayaquil (1820)
November 2 All Souls’ Day
November 3 Independence of Cuenca (1820)
December 6 Foundation of Quito (1534)
December 25 Christmas Day
December 31 New Year’s Eve