I spent 9 nights in Quito and I don’t have much to say about it. Plenty of travellers I’ve spoken to hated it. I enjoyed my time here but only certain parts are mention-worthy.
The Centro Historico (or Old City) is perhaps the most interesting part of Quito. Outside of it, it’s yet another city, filled with people trying to make a living. I always thought walking around in the daytime was safe but many travellers have reported being robbed in various ways. A Finnish couple staying at my hostel said that someone had sprayed mustard on the guy’s shirt, then someone said that a bird had taken a shit on him and they would offer to clean his shirt, but first, he had to take off his camera from his neck, which he put in his bag. When they sat their bag down for a second to pay attention to the shirt, someone had walked off with their bag. But wise that they were, they used the internet to aid their search. Many travellers had reported that anything stolen may appear at the local black market. The Finnish couple made their way there and lo and behold, they saw their camera “on sale”. They called the police, who helped confiscate the camera back (luckily, the couple had their lens serial number written down, which confirmed their ownership. But the thieves had also failed to erase the couple’s pictures on it, further proving it was theirs.)
One day, I was meandering around the streets and I stumbled upon this black market. I decided to walk in and explore. Indeed, plenty of stolen cell phones,cameras (mostly point and shoot but there were a few DSLRs), laptops and chargers were on display. I even inquired about the price of a DSLR and it’s priced about what a used one would cost in the USA. It was a seedy place in an otherwise charming Old City.