Can you guess where in the world this destination is from the clues below?
Imagine this: In the cool shade of evening, a farm manager from a French chocolate company leads you slowly through the trees. He prunes branches, knocks down termite nests and handpicks nocturnal ants from the fruit. When he spots a bright yellow, football size pod, he raises his machete and cuts it down with a single stroke. A second crack of the blade splits open the dense shell, revealing a mass of glimmering white pulp packed in the center. He hands you the pod, and you dig your fingers inside the slippery, pulp covered seed. The pulp is sweet and tart, like nothing you’ve ever tasted. But it’s the white seed at the center of the pulp that’s the real prize: the cacao bean, the pride of this country’s chocolate.
Such a scene can unfold when you’re visiting this capital city, which is regarded by many as the most beautiful on its continent. It’s a city where you can still take a taxi anywhere in town for $1 to $5 and find a menu del dia, usually a four-course meal of soup, salad, meat/rice/vegetables (or even guinea pig – a delicacy here), dessert and beverage for less than $5.
This city is nestled at the base of an active volcano, uses the US dollar as its currency, and its old town has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where in the World is This Destination?
Quito was officially founded in the year 1534 AD, making it one of the oldest cities in the Western Hemisphere. Ecuador has the highest active volcano on earth, Cotopaxi, which stands 19,347 feet above sea level. Quito, a city nearly two miles high in elevation, is the highest capital city in the world and the only capital city in the world menaced by an active volcano. Ecuador has four unique geographical locations, the Amazon jungle – home to Yasuni national park, the Coastal region – with surfing and different typical foods, the Galapagos Islands – with its rare and amazing animal and plant life and the Andes (Sierra) – a popular vacation and retirement destination. In Ecuador’s Amazon jungle, there are still groups of indigenous people who have never seen the modern world. Ecuador is one of the only places in the world where it is possible to visit a jungle (Amazon), mountains (Andean), and ocean beach (Pacific) all in one day.
Do explore Celebrity Cruises' Galapagos sailings, if you hear Equador calling out your name!