Our first sight of Quito as we dropped through the clouds was of a bowl filled to the brim with lights. Quito sits high in the Andes, surrounded by mountain peaks, and the city runs right up the mountainsides. The plane dropped down, down into the lights as if it meant to land in the city center. Which is pretty much what it did—the airport is tucked right in alongside downtown!
We were met by our Adventure Life guide, a young man named Daniel, and whisked within minutes to our little hotel, Hostel La Rabida. The hotel had been built as a gracious home early in the last century. Our first impression was of wide, white-walled rooms, a curving staircase, and a fire in the fireplace. Daniel promised to be back in the morning.