I had two nights to spend in Quito between Bogota and The Galapagos. Quito airport isn’t exactly near Quito (think about a 30-45 minute drive) and I had some friends that were renting a car and traveling to some other cities Ecuador has to offer so I decided to tag along with them. I stayed at a cute little place called Hostal El Parque and had my own room with a king bed for just $20USD/night!
We took a day trip and went to Otavalo and Cotacachi which means as we were driving, we crossed the equator. I thought there would be a line down the middle of the road or something to show it, but it was just a sign. Anyhow, Otavalo is a cute town about 90 minutes from the airport with a HUGE market with tons of local handicrafts and food. I managed to escape with just a few bracelets and some delicious food and good times.
Our next stop was to Cotacachi which is known as the leather village. I thought Florence had great leather but this place was fantastic! I wanted every purse and jacket and was drooling over some of the prices. Handcrafted leather coats for $150USD or less!!! I had to remind myself that I was I was backpacking and did not have the space or the need for a leather coat in my bag. I did splurge a little and bought a cute pair of leather shoes that were on super sale and I just couldn’t resist.
We intended to head to Laguna Cuicocha but got a little distracted with shopping and missed the 5:00pm park closure. We drove to the gate and still managed to see some amazing views. The entire drive was full of gorgeous views of volcanoes and cascading landscape with a layer of fog that hovered at all the peaks. It was a beautiful day and a perfect way to not be in the city!