May 22, 2022

Going to Ecuador – Why You Shouldn’t Skip Old Town Quito and Casa Gangotena

Casa Gangotena not just uses a gorgeous location to stay in heart of the historical center, it likewise will lead you through the finest parts of the city mentor you about Ecuador history, culture, and traditions. It will immerse you in unique experiences that arent your ordinary best things to do in Quito, and youll hardly have to lift a finger when it pertains to preparation. Its sort of like a concierge service on turbo drive, they do not simply tell you were to go, they take you there and hold your hand while doing it..

There is an old historical part of town, and then the newer suburban area where most individuals live.

Stay at Casa Gangotena– Your Expert Guide to Quito.

Does anyone else feel this way?.

On my recent trip to Quito Ecuador, I did simply that, I let somebody else handle it, I trusted them, and it exercised incredibly well. Surprisingly it wasnt a tour company– it was a historic hotel in Quito Old Town that I let take the reins and it was an ideal way to experience the city leaning on their regional proficiency.

In 1978, Quitos Old Town was stated the first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Site city thanks to having the biggest and best-preserved Historic Center in the Americas. From the over-the-top gilt interior of the Church of la Compañía to the federal government, municipal, and church head offices taking on in the Plaza de la Independencia to the pedestrian streets of La Ronda and the everyday bustle of San Francisco market, the cultural heritage of Quito is impressive. The hotels and dining establishments deal with a tourist crowd, but there is likewise a feeling of a bit of a revival in Old Town, where locals and travelers can intermix in life; reviving the old city.

Dont Skip Quito Ecuador.

Its Easy to Get to Quito.
JetBlue in fact has budget plan friendly airlines tickets direct from Fort Lauderdale to Quito beginning at $130 one way. Then its easy to take a domestic flight from Quito to the Galapagos for very little more than it would cost you to just go to the Galapagos directly.

I desire the plate handed to me by someone genuinely well-informed of the location … not just some site that is attempting to win the SEO game.

If you can, then I suggest you get the huge photo of Ecuador by including a stop in Quito– a capital city at the center of the world.

San Francisco Plaza.

I know this sounds weird because I am one of those websites that tell individuals what they can do in a destination, but I only do blog about locations Ive really been to and experiences Ive had.

Casa Gangotena Rooms and Decor.

Casa Gangotena.

This is why you remain at a place like Casa Gangotena in the historic heart of Quito– to experience this history very first hand and immerse yourself in the culture.

I felt as if I were in a movie as I opened the huge windows and looked out on the ancient square!.

Quito Old Town UNESCO Site.

TABLE OF CONTENTSDont Skip Quito EcuadorQuito Old Town UNESCO SiteStay at Casa Gangotena7 Things To Do in Quito Arranged by Casa GangotenaTake a Heritage Guardians TourVisit San Francisco Bell Tower at SunsetVisit Museo Casa del AlabadoLearn How to Make Ecuadorian CevicheVisit a Local Pottery Studio and ArtistDo a Chocolate TastingRent Bikes and Go Ride with the Locals on Sunday.

I understand what suburbs appear like, we have them all over the United States. I do not understand what a almost 500 year old city looks like– one that started with the Incas, was colonized and now is complete of old gorgeous buildings each telling a story of Ecuadors history and traditions.

Spend a number of days in Quito initially and soak up the history and culture of this high-altitude city set down on the equator. There is plenty to see and do in the city, not to mention the unbelievable and up-and-coming food, drink, and artesian scenes.

Casa Gangotena sits in a prime place on the corner of San Francisco Plaza. Over centuries, the plaza went from being a holy Inca area to an al fresco market for indigenous traders, and eventually was the setting for a number of colonial mansions to be built around its boundary. Casa Gangotena was among those estates. It unfortunately was harmed in a fire in 1914 however was reconstructed by its owners, the Gangotenas, in 1924. The Gangotena household owned the house up until the mid-2000s when the present owners (Metropolitan Touring) acquired the mansion with the objective of transforming it into a world-class boutique hotel.

— its much more than just a beautiful high-end hotel.

Sometimes I have the energy to explore all of those little information hopping from review to evaluate and pulling together a customized itinerary, but lets be severe– this takes hours if not days. Other times I simply desire somebody to commend me on a platter, allow me to tailor it a little– but let somebody else provide me to the finest experiences in Quito that are also special and cultural..

7 Things to Do in Quito Arranged by Casa Gangotena.

Casa Gangotena has a variety of guest special experiences as part of your stay. This is what moved the needle for me from normal high-end hotel to being more of an ambassador to the city and culture for visitors.

1. Take a Heritage Guardians Tour.

We were met at the hotel by the regional resident guide, Manuel, who becomes part of a grassroots NGO company that has actually produced a walking tour of the San Roque neighborhood. Considering that Manuel didnt speak English, we were likewise signed up with by a Metropolitan Touring guide, Giovani, who existed to guarantee we got all of our concerns addressed along the method.

Other locations we stopped were simply as fascinating as the spiritual relic repair work store. We dropped in at the local covered market to find out all about fruits and vegetables that I had never set eyes on before. We had the ability to taste them and find out how they were used by locals. In addition, we stopped at a regional healers home discovering how she practices cleaning rituals. She not only showed us concoctions to drink, however likewise how she administered plant showers where you are brushed with branches of numerous medicinal plants.. We stopped at hat makers, and mask makers, we were likewise taken inside the Church of la Compañía; which is sort of like walking into a world where whatever has been altered to gold … yes gold. The tour even included lunch at a local dining establishment with a demonstration on how to make ice cream by hand in the traditional method.

Giovani and Manuel also addressed my many questions about street suppliers and even assisted me try my first ever beer foam drink (a mixture of beer and egg whites) that I was quite amazed with. Strange truth– I could find absolutely NOTHING about this beverage as I tried to research it on the web … which was aggravating– but also made me pleased. If you see this drink sold on the street … get one and try it!.

The Heritage Guardians initiative concentrates on area integration and promoting the worth of heritage and traditions. It allows visitors to explore, satisfy residents, and experience their every day life along the method. The objective is to better comprehend how the locals thrive and live in this historical city. Not just did I learn more about how essential wood spiritual statues are to Ecuadorians, all of our other stops were completely eye opening too!.

What to Expect on a Quito Heritage Guardians Tour.

This is when I had a big ah-ha moment. As soon as when I was taking a trip in Mexico there was a women holding an infant Jesus statue in her lap in the airplane seat beside me. I thought it was the weirdest thing ever– today it makes sense … sort of!.

, if you just have time for one day in Quito– do this!! All of us crowded around the small workshop of Gonzalo Gallardo; the small male wore a black sweatshirt with paint all over the front of it. He selected up a little wood baby Jesus and started to show us his work that he does to meticulously bring back the religious wooden relic. His service is a family trade that he will hand down to his children, something very normal in this part of the world. The part that actually spoke to me, was how this attachment to family spiritual relics was so strong in Ecuador that there were organizations like this that existed. This wasnt simply a see to a store; it was custom and history … and it blew my mind..

The trip is put on by Metropolitan Touring who owns Casa Gangotena and can be scheduled through the Metropolitan Touring website.

It was fascinating seeing the work he does and merely the large number of items that he had to repair in his little shop!.

2. Go To the San Francisco Bell Tower at Sunset.

Casa Gangotena offers check outs to the Belltower of San Francisco along with La Compañía churches and can be arranged at reception, 2 days ahead of time.

This is an unique experience provided to Casa Gangotena visitors just, and its completely worth it. At dusk, we went to the Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco (the church and convent of Saint Francis) situated right throughout the square from the hotel. The complex was developed in the 16th century and is considered to be the largest architectural ensemble amongst the historic structures of colonial Latin America. All of that essentially indicates … its a beautiful complex and certainly worth a stop..

Any visitor can go within and marvel at the luxurious golden decor of the nave and chapels and enjoy the yard views. But only Casa Gangotena visitors can be escorted up in the bell tower at sunset. This is a special location to see the sun go down and get a view of the entire city.

3. Go to Museo Casa del Alabado.

However the finest part about this museum was the curation and the condition of the artifacts. I believed the entire museum was well done, keeping me interested and curious as to what I would discover in the next space. It houses a collection of over 5,000 pieces, 500 of which are on long-term display screen. These pieces were from at least 13,000 BCE to the European conquests beginning in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. It was tough for me to think of how pieces this elaborate and stunning couldve been produced in these ancient times. Plus– their collection was so incredibly undamaged.

This stop is included in the Heritage Guardians Tour; nevertheless, if you dont take that tour, you must still go! The entrance is complimentary for Casa Gangotena visitors (simply reveal your space essential card). And if you plan to go on your own (which you can), currently the museum requires you to book ahead.

Of all– it was not overwhelming, it was little. You could get through the entire museum in just an hour or 2. And it was embeded in an old colonial home integrated in the 17th century, so you not just got introduced to ancient pre-Columbian artifacts, but you had the ability to see the inside of an old colonial house too which I discovered very remarkable.

Im not generally into ancient history museums, I find them a bit overwhelming and stuffy. Nevertheless, the moment I walked into the Museo Casa del Alabado. I knew this would be various..

Casa del Alabado is unique in the sense that its screen is organized thematically, not chronologically. The goal of the museum is to treat things as works of art instead of archaeological remnants. It is developed to bring you closer to the spiritual, social, and political practices of cultural groups who resided in the numerous regions that are Ecuador today; assisting me dive deeper into the culture of the area. Perhaps this is why I liked it a lot compared to other history museums!.

4. Learn How to Make Ecuadorian Ceviche.

One of their chefs taught us how to make Ecuadorian ceviche ourselves. This is part of the Casa Gangotena Exclusive complimentary evening experiences.

You will not leave starving!

5. Visit a Local Pottery Studio and Artist.

One of my favorite things at Casa Gangotena was the overwhelming mixed drink menu. It was mind-blowing since they used flavors that I had never ever considered for cocktails or mixed together. The mixologist and Beverage Director, Jossimar Lujá, not just develops amazing mixed drink mixtures however he informs.

If interested, Casa Gangotena will help organize a see to the pottery studio and you can meet ceramicist Claudia Anhalzer to find out how she develops the ideas for the containers that house the mixed drink story. Plus– you can see her other work on display screen in her studio.

He worked with a local pottery artist to create distinctive drinkware that opts for each beverage story on the menu. It was such an unique principle Ive never seen before and the pottery was absolutely gorgeous..

This was an emphasize of my check out, I love it when art and storytelling come together, and you felt like you actually got an unique behind the scenes look at the existing Quito art scene.

6. Do a Chocolate Tasting.

Casa Gangotena also provides an exclusive experience for their guests called Chocolate Quiteño (Quito-Style Chocolate). I didnt do this personally, but this is a hands-on experience with a Casa Gangotena host. You can taste a standard hot chocolate, Quito-style, that includes including fresh cheese to the delightful brew, as well as a variety of chocolates from the Amazon and the Coast.

Did you know that there is a conflict about where chocolate originated? Mexico likes to claim it, however Ecuador says its the pioneer of this delicious pod turned chocolate bar. Regardless of the origin, Ecuador is a chocolate hot area, producing some of the.

Casa Gangotena can assist you arrange this type of tasting experience with Pacari.

We in fact went to a tasting at the well-known Pacari chocolate that was arranged specifically for us. It was a total tasting experience finding out all about their tree-to-bar procedure. Pacari boasts its essential to success is that they work directly with more than 3500 small regional farmers. By working without intermediaries, they create trust and transparency giving them reasonable costs for their product. In addition, this collaboration enables them to also share knowledge about biodynamic and natural procedures, which enables them to get a better item while taking care of their piece of land. Its excellent for the farmers, its good for Pacari, and its truly great in your stubborn belly.

7. Lease Bikes and Go Ride with the Locals on Sunday.

If you can, then I suggest you get the huge photo of Ecuador by including a stop in Quito– a capital city at the center of the world.


Simply remember– Quito sits at 9,300 ft– so be prepared to huff and puff a little. The botanical garden was a charming respite of calm in the city and an excellent turnaround point for us to go back.

When I hear that somebody is going to the Galapagos– I almost confront them and demand they dont skip Quito and Casa Gangotena, now. Hopefully, now you can see why Im so passionate about it! Its a short however terrific stop on your way to the Galapagos that you will not regret.

In 1978, Quitos Old Town was declared the first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Site city thanks to having the largest and best-preserved Historic Center in the Americas. Every Sunday Quito locals park their vehicles and get on their bikes to explore the city. Just remember– Quito sits at 9,300 feet– so be prepared to huff and puff a little. Now when I hear that someone is going to the Galapagos– I almost confront them and demand they dont skip Quito and Casa Gangotena.

If you are searching for an unique method to get familiarized with Quito and you desire a one-stop shop so that you do not have to lift a finger on itinerary planning, then remain at Casa Gangotena. Its such an unique method to experience everything Quito has to provide as well as offering you expert experiences that are special and catered towards your interest.

Every Sunday Quito residents park their cars and get on their bikes to explore the city. A number of major thoroughfares are closed to traffic to give way for countless bicyclists, runners, and households out for a walk. Casa Gangotena will help you arrange bike leasing and off you go pedaling through the historical center out to the modern-day suburbs.

Take a One-of-a-Kind Journey Through Ecuador in Style.
Take a look at this.
Metropolitan Touring Unique Destinations Package. This 10 excursion consists of Casa Gangotena in Old Town Quito, Mashpi Rainforest Lodge, and Finch Bay Galapagos Lodge.