Ecuador
Hacienda Batán Grande

Here you’ll find travel reports about Hacienda Batán Grande. Discover travel destinations in Ecuador of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

19 travelers at this place:

  • Day224

    ¿Qué Pasó en Quito?

    March 10 in Ecuador

    From the shallow-end of the Amazon in Baños, we travelled four hours by bus to Quito, the capital city of Ecuador. We arrived at the bus station and it appeared that there were very few people catching our bus. No more than five minutes after we commenced our journey, the bus stopped and hoards of people got on, filling up every available seat, with a few left to stand in the aisle. Then came the “late night” infomercial on-board the bus with hawkers selling their goods. But these hawkers were unlike others who normally sell baked goods, drinks or other snacks. They even had a suitcase filled with all kinds of odds and ends. They had everything from hair straighteners, solar-powered lamps to sunglasses; everything except the free steak knives. Pero espere, hay más (But wait, there's more). The sales pitch went on for about twenty minutes, with one spruiking and another handing out the goods for people to look at or try, except they didn't bother with the gringos. The language barrier was obviously too much for them. Phew! One of the rare moments where lacking the language skills, or at least appearing to, has been to our advantage.

    When we got to Quito, the bus dropped us at the terminal in the outskirts of the city and we then had to make our way to the downtown area by taxi. Not long after we arrived at the terminal, we ran into los Canadienses, Dave and Terrie, who had taken a slightly later bus but managed to arrive around the same time. Dave went out to the taxi rank to enquire about the cost. But by the time that we got back out to the taxi rank, the price had increased from US$8 to $10. The extra cost was either inflation or a gringo tax. We jumped in two taxis and headed for the centre of town. There was no way that we would have all fit in one taxi, along with all the luggage and shopping that the los Canadienses had brought with them.

    When we arrived at our hostel, we quickly unpacked and went to explore our surrounds. And while we felt there wasn't much in the area by way of food and drink, we were able to sniff out tasty treats. We were able to combine both alcoholic beverages and dessert in one treat in the form of alcoholic lollies. The lollies were filled with a small shot of alcohol that burst in the mouth. Unfortunately, the delicate sweets needed to be consumed immediately – there was no way that they were going to survive the next part of our trip. What a shame!

    We continued to graze our way through Quito but, according to Jason, he felt that despite the lack of exercise and the increase in calories that we had lost weight. Jason assumed this on the fact that he needed to wear a belt. However, Ricky crushed his wishful thinking and offered an alternative hypothesis; could it be that our clothes have simply stretched? If we were to stand on the equator near Quito, our bellies would be in the northern hemisphere and the rest of body would be in the southern hemisphere. Do they sell lite and easy meals in South America? We certainly haven't seen a Jenny Craig Weight Loss Clinic anywhere in South America – just many panaderías selling sugar-laden desserts.

    In between snacks and meals, we caught up with los Canadienses, who joined us in our gastronomical adventure through Quito, before they continued on their journey of Ecuador. We spent the next few days wandering around the downtown and historic areas of the city, admiring the colonial-style buildings. According to UNESCO, Quito is the largest and best-preserved city in all of the Americas and became a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978. Being within one kilometre of the equator and at an elevation of 2850 metres, the city is the second highest capital city and the closest to the “middle of the earth”. Fortunately, the elevation of the city means that it has a cool, subtropical highland climate. After four days in Quito, we decided it was time to move on to lower, warmer weather.

    Next stop: Guayaquil

    For video footage, see:
    https://youtu.be/zx8l878gBM0
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  • Day236

    Quick Stopover in Quito

    March 22 in Ecuador

    From the Galápagos Islands, we returned back to Quito for two nights, staying close to the historic centre. Our first day back in the second highest capital city in the world was spent revisiting some of the sights in the historic city, punctuated with bouts of eating. At lunch, we couldn't help but notice a number of sex workers and their pimp plying their trade up and down the street. The sex workers, wearing skimpy short skirts and sporting Kim Kardashian-style buttocks, strutted as they waited for their clients. In the evening, we meet our new Colombian friends, los Colombianos, Eylen and Carlos, for a drink and a bite to eat. After practising our Spanish with los Colombianos, we vowed to hunt them down in Medellin and then returned to our hotel to prepare for our next destination. There was nothing more to see here. Time to move along now.

    Next stop: Otavalo
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  • Day12

    Back in Quito - Ecuador

    September 1, 2016 in Ecuador

    I went back to Quito after the butterfly farm. There I checked into Community Hostel recommended to me by my friends from the zip line. Great little place where I met lots of cool people.

    That night I met up with my friends from the Canyoning at the famous Bungalow. Pretty normal club if you ask me but they were super hyped up about it. It was fun, I got drinker then I thought I would and danced a ton and around 3:00am took a taxi back to the hostel.Read more

  • Day11

    A little culture

    November 27, 2017 in Ecuador

    As requested, something a little more cultural for this post. The following is from our tour guide today, augmented with my own thoughts.

    Today is Ecuador’s Independence Day, commemorating liberation from the Spanish Crown. Ecuador has two favourite sons, Simone Bolivar and Antonio Jose de Sucre. They were aristocrats of Spanish descent who, like the United States’ founding fathers, were dissatisfied with subjugation to a distant monarch. They raised an army together and drove the Spanish off the continent entirely. Bolivar had dreams for a united South America (‘Grande Colombia’) but this never eventuated. South America is rich in resources and, organized, Grande Colombia could have rivaled the US. Instead, the continent’s fragmentation, conflict and abuses of power means it has been left seriously underdeveloped. Who wants to invest in a country where everything you work for can be nationalized in a heartbeat?

    Ecuador’s recent political history is similarly chaotic. It’s been invaded three times by Peru since 1941 over some random valley. It had 10 different presidents in the 1990s, then one for 10 years, who was finally forced out this year when he tried to enact laws allowing him to rule indefinitely. The current President, Lenin Moreno, is crippled by a gunshot so was installed by his party as a pitiable public face amidst discontent. He’s gone off script, apparently, and has impeached the former President for corruption. Probably just cleaning house to consolidate his own position though. Madness.

    There’s a doco on Youtube, Civilization: The West and the Rest, which touches on South America’s untapped potential. You need stability, security and accountability to create great countries, something in short supply here.

    Also, do let me know what you want to hear more of. Otherwise you’ll just get me ranting about crappy hostels or South American mismanagement.

    Pics: (1) The Independence Day parade. President Moreno is on the balcony; (2) Pinatas of politicians - one of them is Trump apparently.
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  • Day12

    All for one, and one for all?

    November 28, 2017 in Ecuador

    The Three Musketeers is a story of loyalty and brotherhood in the most trying circumstances. Their unity is embodied in that famous line above. I like to think our triumvirate shares a similar bond, strengthened by time and shared experience. Sometimes, however, the musketeer bond finds itself tested:

    (Note: Names censored after threats of defamation from my fellow musketeers)

    1) The hostel room window: Undoubtedly the biggest point of contention. Two musketeers feel hot and want it open, one doesn't and tries to close it secretly. Words have been exchanged over this, but no duels yet.

    2) Hygiene: I'm not particular about this, but one musketeer has had a mere 3 showers in 10 days. He's beginning to smell..

    3) Directions: Despite travelling Quito a mere 3 days, each musketeer is adamant he has developed an ingrained map of the city. Disputes arise at cross-roads, where each musketeer will insist on a different direction, split and beginning walking down it, before we all rush back, realising we need each other. Google Maps is no help as we've all run out of data.

    Humanity's success comes from our ability to pool talents and work together. We're plainly more successful than other animals, who just kill and steal from each other most of the time. The fate of this group will depend on our ability to suppress selfish primal instincts and compromise. The signs are good though - no one's punched another yet.

    Pics: (1) One of the disputes breaking out into open violence; (2) The top of some church - Virgin Mary statue framed by the two clocks, each showing a different time (neither correct); (3) Another Ecuadorian street for Sophie - this is what most look like.

    Final note: We are actually having a great time together. Mostly. If only they'd close that damn window.
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  • Day24

    On the equator

    November 4, 2016 in Ecuador

    Arrived in Quito….. and what a surprise! Other places we had been to in South America showed signs of poverty and with no concern for the aesthetic appeal such as gardens and well maintained homes. In fact many houses appeared unfinished mainly due to the fact that they did not have to pay land taxes or rates until the home was finished, therefore houses were never complete. Flew into Quito to a near new airport, beautiful smooth roads into the city, and very attractive city too, set amongst quite steep hills (actually make that volcanos)

    Stayed at the Dan Carlton Hotel (very nice) and after the usual tour around the old town (another church, another market Square, another presidential palace, another statue on the hill – this one of Mary / Madonna, not Christ) we had a free day to do as we pleased. Fortunately we were aware that we were very close to the equator and our guide organised a group tour to the real equator. I say this because there are 2 equator points – one with the big monument etc. that was determined in the 1930’s but it's actually out by about 200m or around 7°. We went to the real equator (as determined by GPS) and it was really interesting. Standing on the equatorial line we saw the corealis effect demonstrated (not sure of the spelling but it is the direction water drains according to which hemisphere you are in). The guide filled a sink with water, placed it over the equator line, pulled the plug, and the water drained straight down. Repeated it just 2m in the northern side and the water drained in an anticlockwise direction, repeated on southern side and drained in a clockwise direction. (I may have mixed them up but you get the idea). Also the wind speed meters were spinning in opposite directions on either side of the equator and yet they were only about 5m apart. It is like one side cancels out the other. It is for this cancelling effect that Ecuador does not have hurricanes or cyclones or tornados (but they do have earthquakes and volcanos). It was all really fascinating and I'm glad we went.

    Nearly at the end of our South American trip… next stop Galapagos Islands.
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  • Day36

    Ciao Colombia, gracias por todo

    December 4, 2017 in Ecuador

    So that's it. We leave you be for now.
    Ecen if the way out has become a "pain in the a...",
    still... there is so much to say about you, but let's keep it simple
    We loved all you offered us and you had so much more to offer.
    You made a great impression on us, muchas gracias for that. We are glad, you've been first on our list.
    Now let's see what's more to explore in South America.
    Bye tierra de la diversidad... Adios belleza.. Ciao Colombia.
    😢
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    .
    .
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    Y un gran saludo a Ecuador 😊
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  • Day85

    Quito

    August 19, 2017 in Ecuador

    Und schon wieder eine Nacht Fahrt, in Puerto Lopez sahen wir kaum Sonne aber Regen. Irgendwie werden wir nicht warm mit Ecuador, also weiter in die Hauptstadt. Da solls leichte hohe Berge geben - aber eigentlich reizen die ned so wirklich. Wir kommen zeitig, 4 morgens am riesen Busbahnhof an. Wie ein Flughafen, es ist sau kalt, vor dem Zähne putzen erstmal alles warme anziehen was wir dabei haben. Mit dem Sonnenaufgang fahren wir mit einem Bus eine guade Stunde ins Zentrum. Ab zum low budget Backpacker mit beachtlichen 15$ die Nacht, für 2 mit gutem Frühstück - passt. Wir gehen zum Plaza, es nieselt, viele Leute unterwegs is ja Samstag. Wir kehren in einem der schick urigen Bistros ein - erst ein Kaffee, dann eines der berühmten Bratensemmeln, es beginnt stark zu regnen, rein und ein Bier und eine weitere gute Semmel. Später bei Nieselregen zielstrebig (guided by google maps me) zum Markt, den es dann einfach nicht gab. Darauf kauern wir uns, anscheinend hilflos drein schauend, unter ein gut besuchtes Vordach. Wie kommen wir wohl an Dinge zum kochen? Kim wird von einer netten Dame angesprochen, die einen Regenschirm hat und uns selbstlos zum nächsten Supermarkt durch den Regen führt. Darüber hinaus kommt sie auch noch mit rein und bietet Assistenz an. Wieder sehr hilfsbereit - ich bin berührt. Wir kochen in der sperlich ausgestatteten Küche und treffen dort Belgier die mit uns nach Puno an der Streiknacht hängengeblieben sind. Es ist zwar Samstag aber nix geht zam, wir trinken ein Rum Coke und planen den vorzeitigen Abgang aus Quito.
    Am nächsten morgen preschen heftige Regenfälle runter, wir zögern müssen aber weiter. So auf gehts, eine kleine Regenpause wir gehen los Richtung Bus outa here. Wir gehen 2 Blöcke und der Regen setzt ein, wird stärker, wird fies noch stärker, Hagel kommt hinzu - Großstadt auf über 3000m + Unwetter merci. Wir flüchten und ich rutsche mit zwei Rucksäcken auf dem Hagel aus, falle vorwärts auf eine Kante vor einem Shop, rumple ein paar Werbeaufsteller in den Laden und höre nicht mehr auf zu jaulen. Die Jungs im Shop helfen mir auf, Volltreffer auf die Kniescheibe, ich weine weiter (voll die Memme) und sehe der Apokalypse draußen zu, sicher 30 Minuten lang. Der Schmerz und der Regen lässt ein wenig nach, wir gehen zum Busbahnhof, die Straßen stehen 30cm unter Wasser, dann sind die Goretex auch irgendwann nass. Raus hier, Wunden lecken.
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  • Day68

    Quito

    December 19, 2015 in Ecuador

    Finally got to Ecuador, Quito. The hostel is long way from the station so just got a taxi, by this stage we noticed that Ecuador is much more expensive than Colombia was (including hostel, taxi, cigi, food, due to the dollar probably).
    Hostel is right in the old town and really nice even if we had to go for a dorm cause of the high prices. The next morning we decided to join to the walking tour, organized by the hostel but as they did not limit the number of people in a maximum it was like 30 of us and could not hear anything so after the first stop we left to discover the old town on our own. Quito is super hilly, lots of beautiful places though, squares, streets and 7 churches within a 2 hours walk. We spent the afternoon with planning what to do for Christmas as we heard everything is getting booked at the coast...Read more

  • Day20

    Nicolas de toerist in Quito D2

    November 10, 2014 in Ecuador

    Heb veel geleerd vandaag tijdens de wandeling langs pleinen, kerkjes en huisjes. En wat hebben we dan geleerd vandaag?
    1. Uitgebrande theaters worden, maar gedeeltelijk gerestaureerd wegens niet noodzakelijk en het geld is op.
    2. Jezus zijn liefde is zo krachtig dat het brand kan stichten
    3. Sucre (standbeeld) heeft het blijkbaar gemunt op de Virgen de Quito

You might also know this place by the following names:

Hacienda Batán Grande, Hacienda Batan Grande

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