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Ecuador Cat & Dog Shelter

Quito, Ecuador

Ecuador Cat & Dog Shelter
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The Location

  • Getting There

Fly to Quito, Ecuador. The rescue centre is located in central Quito and is easy to get to by bus or taxi. O2E can organise your transport from Quito airport or your accommodation if you prefer.

  • The Location

Ecuador, officially named the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. Right through the centre of the country running north to south is the Andean mountain range with the country's highest peak Chimborazo reaching 6310m. The capital is Quito located at 2800m in the Andes and the largest city is Guayaquil near the Pacific with 2.5 million inhabitants.

Ecuador's culture is very diverse and reaches far back into human history with the first cultures emerging on the coast some 6000 years ago. Today's society is a vibrant mixture of those first indigenous people and later European influences following the Spanish conquest with some African values thrown into the mix.

The country boasts one of the most fantastic arrays of landscapes, habitats and species on the planet. However, unfortunately, Ecuador’s natural wealth is continuously challenged by unsustainable activities from sectors such as oil and gas, fisheries, logging, mining and infrastructure. Iconic species such as jaguars, great green macaws and brown-headed spider monkeys are all in jeopardy from the rampant habitat loss.

Hidden treasures lie off the Ecuador coast in the form of a dazzling diversity of marine life on the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean. A remarkable numbers of species have been recorded, including five species of sea turtles, twenty kinds of whale and dolphin, hammerhead and whale sharks, manta rays and countless species of fish, corals and molluscs.

There are two official languages spoken in Ecuador. The most common one is Spanish introduced by the Spanish invaders some 480 years ago. The other one, Quechua was also a foreign tongue brought by the earlier invaders, the Incas. Quechua is mostly spoken by rural indigenous people in remote regions of the Andes and Amazon. There are also several other languages spoken by various Amazon tribes.

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America.

Quito was the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Broad Ecuadorean smiles, salsa music and big bowls of hearty stews and soups compliment Quito's thin air, snowy mountainous backdrop and rumbling Pichincha volcano. In historic Old Town, superbly preserved baroque churches and monasteries exemplify the fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous influences. Modern Quito is alive in the city's sleek, contemporary art museums and thrillingly modern Telefériqo cable car experience.

The district of La Mariscal is the best place for crafts, from llama rugs and jewellery at La Mariscal Craft Market to ethnic art at Folklore Olga Fisch gallery-shop. Find the finest Panama hats at Homero Ortega & Hijos in the New Town or choose fair-trade wooden bowls and woven mats at the Sinchi Sacha Foundation in the Old Town.

  • Free Time and Travel Opportunities

Explore the Old Town with its gorgeous mixture of colonial and republican/independence era architecture (Late 1500's to 1800's), relaxing plazas and a stunning number of churches. If you happen to be there during Christmas or Easter, you'll be amazed at the number of events, masses, and processions that bring out the crowds.

Take a walking tour and stop to watch the old men play Ecuador's version of bocce at Parque El Ejido. Visit the Middle of the World monument, bicycle ride the Ciclopaseo , a 30 kilometre (20 miles) ride that takes place every Sunday, take a cable car ride up the side of Ruco Pichina or go mountain biking.

You'll find an abundance of craft shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels across Quito’s grid of streets. There are countless artisans working on unique crafts including guitar-makers, candle makers, tanners and leather-workers, silversmiths, ceramicists and woodcarvers. There are several fair-trade shops in Quito which promise to pay the craftspeople fairly for their products.

There are long distance buses taking you to all of the major towns of Ecuador and from the larger centres you find smaller buses servicing the remoter areas of the country for the cost of around US$1 for a one hour trip. Air services are available to most major cities and tourist destinations.

The coast features long deserted beaches, mangroves and coastal lowlands. It is also the country's agricultural centre with large plantations, especially bananas, dominating the inland plains.

For the more adventurous travellers there are guided nature trips deep into the virgin heart of the Amazon and to the mountainous region of the Andes where you find active volcanoes and crater lakes.