We booked a 7 hour bus tour through Viatour for $290.00. Outside our hotel there is a cab waiting with a driver who doesn’t speak English. That threw us in a flurry. Eventually our guide arrives. We realize it is just the two of us on tour. Humm?
We are told it is too congested to visit Monserrate on Sunday and the cable car is not in operation. With the long line-up for the funicular we would have to try around 4:00 PM. This would be the end of the day and our main purpose for taking this tour. We both went berserk. We negotiated our way to get there. Now he recommends the morning is best.
On the positive side our VIP pass is included, which allowed to skip the line. As soon as we arrive we are on the funicular within twenty minutes. Monserrate is 10,340 feet above sea level. Every now and then we are a bit breathless. I notice several people out of breath with deep red faces and sweating. However, not as bad for us.
Pathway to the Top
The hike up the hill from the funicular had many interesting sites to see along the way. Wonderful Religious Statues, views of the city below with various types of shrubs and plants along the pathway.
Sanctuary of Monserrate
Rebuilt in 1926 due to earthquakes that destroyed the ancient church from the past. Inside many were waiting for the next service. The statue inside is known as Black Virgin of Monserrate. It got its meaning from the past when candles burning turned the faces of the statues black.