For the more adventorous there are plenty of small paths leading through the woodlands that demand a slightly more strenous walking mentality! To get there either take a taxi to the centre of the park ($1.50)which is the best spot to begin walking or else take the ecovia to Naciones Unidas and commence the steep walk up to the park from behind the estadio. La Parque Metoplitana offers more than mere open spaces and delightfully clean air after the black fumes choked out by one of Quitos hundreds of buses in the busy streets below. The forests are home to a wide collection of birds and finding yourself at any one of the many look out points the views across the city are utterly spectacular.
So much so that one fellow Metroplitana lover has described the view points as being akin to watching the comings and goings of Quito from the clouds. For the aspiring photographer the light rays on a clear morning will offer unrivalled photographic opportunities that emphasise the vastness and rugged moutaneous beauty of Ecuador’s ever growing capital. On a Sunday morning the more energetic Quitenos can indulge in capoeira and yoga classes put on the in park ($1.00 9-11.30) whilst the enormous number of families spending their Sundays relaxing or walking offers excellent people spotting opportuninties and gives any first time visitor a real taster of latin life and the abolsute importance of family.
Picnic tables and open bbq stands means its easy to make a day of it in the park whilst taking any one of the paths north you will find yourself upon the small community of indigenous origin that live in the parkland. For those who feel that neither the highrised buildings of north Quito nor the traveller granola havens of the Mariscal show the ‘real’ Ecuador, undoubtably the maize crops, small carpintery workshops and grazing lamas that are quietly residing in the parkland show that despite the urban appearance of Quito it is easy to find yourself in minutes faced with more rural communities all trying to beat out a living in the capital. You see one reason why the weary traveller should not be put off by reports concerning Quito’s increasing crime rate or the noise and chaos of the city is that urban life everywhere is affected by similar problems, yet on exploration any visitor will realise that Quito is a unique city is full of hidden nooks and crannies just awaiting to be discovered by the traveller who chooses to take their nose out of the standard guide for five minutes and discover the charm of this paradoxically tranquil and utterly chaotic latin city.