Wow! This country is absolutely gorgeous…outside of Quito.

We took a trip to a town called Papallacta which is about an hour and a half outside of Quito. I wasn’t expecting to find such beauty so close to the city. But lo and behold there it is. Once you step outside the big city and leave behind all the tall buildings and concrete you find yourself surrounded with amazing natural beauty. I am not a city person so for me it is a treat to see so much green. And I love that we don’t have to drive too far to begin to enjoy how beautiful Ecuador is in its natural state. I hope you enjoy these pictures. I hope they entice to come visit us in Ecuador. The beauty that surrounds the city is definitely one of the things I love about being here. – Maria

The scenery begins to change as soon as you leave the city behind.
The scenery begins to change as soon as you leave the city behind.
I love country roads with country houses and lots of green.
I love country roads with country houses and lots of green.
These mountains are so majestic. I feel so small just looking at them.
These mountains are so majestic. I feel so small just looking at them.

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We spotted waterfalls coming from the rocks and the mountains all the day up the mountain.
We spotted waterfalls coming from the rocks and the mountains all the way to our destination.

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These shrines give proof of Ecuador's catholic mindset. You can see then everywhere alongside the road.
These shrines give proof of Ecuador’s catholic mindset. You can see then everywhere alongside the road.

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Here is photographer in training, Isabela, taking pictures of the scenery.
Here is my photographer in training, Isabela, taking pictures of the scenery.

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I thought it was interesting that in such an isolated area they track your speed by radar.
I thought it was interesting that in such an isolated area they track your speed by radar.

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Our vehicle pared on the side of the road while we took pictures and took the view in.
Our vehicle pared on the side of the road while we took pictures and took the view in.

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The public transportation in Ecuador.
The public transportation in Ecuador.

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A small town nestled in the mountains.
A small town nestled in the mountains.

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Entering the cloud forest.
Entering the cloud forest.

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The more we went up the prettier it got.
The more we went up the prettier it got.

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The oil refinery. One of many. Ecuador produces its own oil which is good for us since the price of gasoline is so cheap.
The oil refinery. One of many. Ecuador produces its own oil which is good for us since the price of gasoline is so cheap.

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One of the many rivers we came across during our drive.
One of the many rivers we came across during our drive.

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A house with the river on the background.
A house with the river on the background.

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So pretty. My camera could not capture all the beauty my eyes witnessed.

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Always nice to see a "danger" yellow line near where you are driving.
Always nice to see a “danger” yellow line near where you are driving.

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An unattended fruit stand. I guess you don't have to worry about anyone taking your stuff.
An unattended fruit stand. I guess you don’t have to worry about anyone taking your stuff.
A narrow bridge we crossed.
A narrow bridge we crossed.
The river over the bridge.
The river over the bridge.
An oil pipe coming our of the mountain.
An oil pipe coming our of the mountain.
A town in the middle of no where.
A town in the middle of nowhere.

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You can have your car washed here. I wonder if they have you take it into the river. :-)
You can have your car washed here. I wonder if they have you take it into the river. 🙂

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Another waterfall coming out of the mountain.
Another waterfall coming out of the mountain.
A river Cody wanted to check out.
A river Cody wanted to check out.

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Cody going down to explore the river.
Cody going down to explore the river.
We parked on the side of the road to explore the river.
We parked on the side of the road to explore the river.

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Going down.
Exploring.

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This is what Cody hiked to get to the river.
This is what Cody hiked to get to the river.

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The little restaurant where we enjoyed trout for lunch.
The little restaurant where we enjoyed trout for lunch.
Another waterfall.
Another waterfall.

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On the way back to Quito we noticed this beauty. It is a totally majestic snow covered mountain.
On the way back to Quito we noticed this beauty. It is a totally majestic snow covered mountain.
Gorgeous.
Gorgeous.
The colors on the rock.
The colors on the rock.
These guys are busy with a very heavy load.
These guys are busy with a very heavy load.

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I thought this sign was funny. It reads "mandatory detour" as if all other detours where optional. :-P
I thought this sign was funny. It reads “mandatory detour” as if all other detours where optional. 😛

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Another waterfall.
Another waterfall.

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I love all the green.
I love all the green.
Driving back to the city.
Driving back to the city.
Out of the mountain.
Out of the mountain.