Is a week long stay enough to get to know a city? When it comes to Quito, BIRD of Mouth could spend months soaking up the relaxed Ecuadorian Sierra culture, hanging out in the picturesque piazzas and exploring the multitude of architectural gems.
Like most though, we just don’t have the luxury of that much time and need a push in the right direction for what to see and do in order to get under the skin of a place even with only seven nights to spare.
BIRD of Mouth looks to historic mansion hotel Casa Gangotena’s new series of daily adventures recently introduced to make sure guests can get to grips with authentic Quito in just a week.
Monday for the body – every Monday evening Rosa Lagla, one of Quito’s most well regarded traditional therapy practitioners will conduct a demonstration of ‘limpias’ – traditional Ecuadorian body and spirit cleansing rituals.
Tuesday food day– A Tuesday night chocolate tasting offers the chance to learn about Ecuador’s most famous export. Ecuadorian chocolate is considered by many to be the finest in the world.
Wednesday for History buffs – on Wednesday night guests can learn about the 500 year old San Francisco Plaza and its monastery, with an hour long lecture enjoyed (cocktail in hand) from the hotel’s beautiful panoramic terrace which has a bird’s eye view of the site.
Thursday for culture vultures – Guests get exclusive evening access to the El Alabado Museum each Thursday. This museum houses one of Ecuador’s most impressive archaeological collections and is located only a stone’s throw from the hotel.
Sunday night sundowner – Sunday’s activity is short and tasty with a lesson on how to make ‘Agua de Frescos’, a refreshing ‘mocktail’ made with sugar, lemon juice and local herbs.
Saturday night in- Saturday evenings offer a narrated tour to those interested in the heritage of the hotel itself. The mansion building has a colourful past and was historically the residence for several presidents during the late nineteenth century. Rebuilt in 1926 following a fire, it was designated a ‘heritage property’ soon after Quito was nominated as UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site in 1978.
Friday night city stroll – A 45 minute walking tour now takes place every Friday evening and promises a snapshot into the city’s past and present, guiding guests on foot from the Plaza Grande to Plaza San Francisco and passing some of the capital’s most important historic buildings along the way.
The new Casa Gangotena Quito Experiences take place daily at 6pm and are free of charge for hotel guests. http://www.casagangotena.com