JOURNEY TO THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD - QUITO - EVENT
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
A flight will take us from Manta to Quito - Ecuador's capital and an official World Cultural site. The Quito experience begins with an exploration of the historic center. Some of the highlights include the Cathedral, the church of La Compañia de Jesus, and a walk through the charming cobblestone streets of Quito's "Old Town". Rich in art treasures, fine woodcarvings and altars of gold leaf, the historic center was the first location to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1978.
We'll enjoy lunch at Theatrum, one of Quito's most highly regarded and iconic restaurants. Located on the second level of the historic Teatro Sucre, we are sure to fall in love with Theatrum's elegant atmosphere and splendid food. Our afternoon is at leisure so we can relax and adjust to the altitude. We can enjoy the wonderful treatments at the Swissotel's Amrita Spa or just relax by the swimming pool.
This evening we enjoy a cocktail and appetizers at the Mindalae Museum. First, we explore the museum's impressive exhibitions of handicrafts, utensils, dress, musical instruments, and weapons representative of both current and historic indigenous groups within Ecuador. The museum was constructed in the shape of a clay pot and it has five floors and three exhibitions: Amazon Region, Ethno-History, and Ethnography. Mindalae holds more than 700 pieces coming from all around Ecuador.
As we finish our tour of the museum, we'll hear the beats of traditional music beginning to emanate from the bottom floor. Descend the stairs to find a live band and the SARUYMANDA Folklore Ballet performing some of Ecuador's most important dances. Cocktails and appetizers will be served as we watch the performance. Afterward, we transfer to the Rincon La Ronda restaurant for a lovely Ecuadorian dinner before returning to the Swissotel.
Thursday, January 17th, 2013
After breakfast, we head to the Middle of the World (the Equator), whose exact location was determined by the scientists of the French Geodesic Mission. In the 18th century, there was significant debate in the scientific community, specifically in the French Academy of Sciences (Academie des sciences), as to whether the circumference of the Earth was greater around the Equator or around the poles. Louis XV, then the King of France, and the Academy of Sciences sent two expeditions to determine the answer: one was sent to Ecuador where they determined what we all know today - there is indeed an equatorial bulge which makes the earth's circumference greater around the Equator.
Today we visit the Inti Ñan Museum, which has become a didactic center that promotes both the culture and the identity of Ecuador. The museum has the only solar clock in the world that has two faces on the equator line, an agricultural calendar, and a stone index that shows the four seasons as well as the solstices and equinoxes.
From the Equator we transfer directly to the Quito Airport for our flight to Guayaquil, where we will rejoin the ship.
Overland Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The timings indicated are approximate, and are given here for general reference purposes.
After arrival in Manta, transfer to the airport to board the flight to Quito
8.30am Arrival at Manta airport
9.30am - 10.00am Flight to Quito
10.00am - 10.45am Drive from airport to Colonial District
10.45am - 12 Noon Walking tour of Old Quito
12.00 Noon - 12.10pm Drive to the Itchimbía viewpoint
12.10pm - 12.30pm Time to take pictures. Use of toilet facilities
12.30pm - 12.45pm Drive to Theatrum
12.45pm - 2.00pm Lunch at Theatrum
2.00pm - 5.40pm Afternoon at leisure at the Swissotel
5.40pm - 6.00pm Drive to Mindalae Museum
6.20pm - 7.30pm Cocktail, visit the museum, and enjoy a local dance performance
7.30pm - 7.45pm Drive to Rincon La Ronda Restaurant
7.45pm - 9.15pm Dinner
9.15pm - 9.45pm Drive to Swissotel and overnight
7.30am Wake-up call
8.00am - 9.00am Buffet breakfast in one of the hotel's private rooms
9.00am - 10.45am Drive to the Middle of the World (the Equator)
10.45am - 12 Noon Visit the Inti Ñan Museum
12.00 Noon - 12.45pm Drive to the Quito Airport
1.15pm - 2.00pm Flight to Guayaquil - Arrival at José Joaquin de Olmedo airport
2.45pm - 3.00pm Transfer to port
Expected Weather: January is normally cool and rainy in the highlands and Guayaquil.
What to Bring: Comfortable walking shoes; rain gear; sunscreen; sunglasses; formal wear for the gala dinner
Luggage: Baggage limits are 20 lbs p/p,
Flight: Flight schedule is still to be confirmed
Currency: US Dollars
Electricity: 110 V - There are adaptors at the Swissotel. Plug configuration same as U.S.
Luggage: Up to 20 lbs per person
Documents and Visa Requirements: Passport with at least 6 months validity.
Accommodation: Run of the house. Swisshotel Quito
Land cost includes:
" Private vehicles and English-speaking drivers.
" All entrance fees.
" Gratuities for luggage porterage and restaurants.
" Cocktail at the Mindalae Museum.
" Local dance performance at the Mindalae Museum.
" Meals as specified.
" 1 glass of wine or beer with dinner (Rincon La Ronda Restaurant)
" Hospitality desk at Swissotel on Jan. 16th
" Bottled water and snacks on coaches.
Land cost Excludes:
" Alcoholic drinks during lunches
" Personal expenses (laundry, phone calls, etc…)
" 5-star deluxe hotel
" 232 oversized rooms
" Central Quito - 7 blocks from Central Rio Amazonas Road.
" Distance from airport: 5 km
" Approximate time by car: 15 mins
" Distance to Colonial District: 15 mins
" 5 restaurants and one bar.
" Includes Steak house, French, Japanese and Swiss cuisine
" Spa and separate beauty salon open during daylight hours 7 days a week.
" Gym, aerobics, racquetball, squash, tennis, indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath.
" Wireless broad band internet service
" Full Laundry service
" Complimentary newspaper
" Shopping arcade includes Menswear, Gallery, News store, Jewelry, and cigars.
" ATM Bank teller machine
" 24 hour Room Service
" Standard room size 30 - 37 sq. meters
" Satellite TV, internet,
" Both bath and shower
" Mini-bar, safe, hair-dryer, coffeemakers, irons with ironing board
" In-room CD player at the executive level rooms.
" Fax machines at the executive level rooms.
" City view and volcano view available