Quito, at an altitude of 2,850m is the second highest capital city in Latin America after La Paz in Bolivia. Flanked by the Andes and the towering Pichincha volcano, the rich architecture of bygone colonial days, the scenery and overall effect will literally take your breath away.
As one of the most well preserved Spanish colonial cities in South America, Quito’s old town is packed with impressive colonial monuments and architectural treasures to explore. With its narrow cobblestone streets, picturesque plazas and beautifully decorated historical churches, it’s no wonder it was one of the first cities to be declared a World Cultural Heritage site back in 1978.
Wandering around the heart of Quito is the best way to soak up its colonial charm and get under the skin of the city; see the lavish and stunningly ornate interiors of the San Francisco and Santa Domingo monasteries. Explore the overflowing markets and meet with local artisans and herbal healers or visit a traditional chocolatier and taste some of the world’s finest chocolate handmade in Ecuador. Another popular local dish to try is the famed ceviche with popcorn. This rich and flavoursome seafood dish can be found in all varieties across South America, each country claiming they are the creators of this traditional favourite.
After exploring Ecuador’s rich and majestic history, take one of the world’s highest cable cars to the summit of Cruz Loma (4,050m), where you can enjoy incredible views over the city and its 14 surrounding volcanoes. Travel to the middle of the world and straddle the Equator, and learn the science behind this geographical wonder as you participate in experiments which prove you are on the equator.
A few days exploring this dramatically beautiful capital is a must and with our first-hand knowledge we can ensure you make the most of your Quito experience, whether it be the best colonial boutique hotel or our favourite place to eat, we can point you in the right direction.