Colorful Quito!

I am back in the land of good WiFi so get ready for a barrage of Ecuador pictures!

My work sent me to Ecuador for a two week expedition to radiocollar wild mountain tapirs and get biological samples on them. This information will hopefully give us a better idea of where these animals range and where we should focus future conservation efforts! Carlotta and Cofan are two of only seven mountain tapirs in the North American continent and I am so lucky to be one of their keepers. Tapirs are crazy cool hoofstock animals with elongated noses that help them pull leaves off trees to eat.

Joanna, Beth, and I are together on the trip and decided to spend a few days before the expedition exploring the wonderful city of Quito!

We stayed at the most beautiful hotel called Vieja Cuba. It has gorgeous decorations and the staff is fantastic. It’s location was ideal for walking to the local plaza and city parks.

Breakfast was my favorite part of the day. Fruit, yogurt, granola, eggs, toast, coffee, and literally the best juice you’ve ever had. I miss it already.

We took the double decker city bus tour which was worth every penny ($15) and had a great day hopping on and off seeing the sights.

We stopped at the famous statue of the Virgen de el Panecillo which was beautiful and gave us gorgeous views of Quito.

Then we toured the Basílica del Voto Nacional. This incredible church was so beautiful and moving. The detail in every nook and cranny was mind boggling.

We walked around the Basilica for a couple hours soaking it all in. I especially loved the gargoyles, but it was hard to get a good picture of them. They were all different kinds of animals.

Then we hopped back on the bus for more touring. The people in Quito are so wonderful and friendly and added just as much to our experience as the city sights did.

Of course we ate a lot of food too. I didn’t try much of the street food because I was worried about tummy issues right before the expedition, but I never turn down a cup of coffee anywhere.

We were walking around town and just happened upon a fun event going on. I got a kick out of the fact that it was called the Primates Fiesta! There were no actual primates there, but this monkey keeper thought it was fun!

We had a great couple of days in Quito, but it was finally time to get to work. If you’re curious about how much luggage and things it takes to execute this kind of expedition…..

And we were off to Papallacta, our home base for the two weeks of field work. I will get a post up soon about our first week of work! Have a wonderful day, my friends. We are on our way back to the states today and I am sad to leave this beautiful country, but excited to see my family. I have been missing the puppers something fierce.

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Have you ever been to Quito? What was your favorite part?

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