5 fascinating things to do in Quito

About Quito 

First, let me tell you a little bit about this colonial city in the Andes of Ecuador.

Despite being for some, only a stopover for their trip to our amazing Galapagos Islands, there are plenty of reasons to visit the capital city of the country. But first let me tell you about this beautiful city.

Quito, is located in the Guayallabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha volcano in the Andes mountains, being one of the most populated city of Ecuador and the second highest official capital city in the world , the city was founded by conqueror Diego de Almagro giving the name of Santiago de Quito (nowadays the town is named Colta, near Riobamba) on August 15th, 1534, but later that year the city was renamed as San Francisco de Quito and refounded on December 6th, 1534 and  and moved to its current location by Sebastian de Benalcazar.

With its sunny days and vibrant ambiance, Quito is the biggest city in the Ecuadorian Sierra and showcases the mix of cultures and traditions in the region. Colonial churches, shamanistic healers, delicious gastronomy and a vibrant nightlife.

From our years of wandering through Ecuador and living in Quito we have chosen these 5 fascinating things to do in the city for you.

This archipelago surrounded by volcanic islands, consisting of 21 islands in total is part of Ecuador and  is located on the Pacific Ocean right on the equator line, 563 miles to the West of continental Ecuador.

The islands are known by their vast number of endemic species that are only found in this magical place.

Downtown Quito

  • Downtown Quito

The Historical Center of Quito was one of the first to be declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1978. Located just about 25 kilometers south of the equator line, Downtown Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centres in the Americas consisting of about 130 monumental buildings, and 5000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties.

During our day tours of Quito, we will visit the most iconic buildings of the center, starting with the independence square which is surrounded by important buildings such as: The Presidential Palace, the Cathedral and El Sagrario Church.  Not far from the independence square we can find the most beautiful churches in the area, La Compania de Jesus, built in the XVII century, considered to have one of the finest examples of baroque art in America. Included in the tour is a visit to San Francisco Church, a place full of history and legends. The tour includes a visit to el Panecillo hill, a beautiful place where you can admire the stunning views of the colonial and modern city of Quito.

  • Middle of the World

A place full of history located just a short drive north of Quito. This imposing monument was a representation of the French Geodesic mission where explorers initially calculated  latitude 0. This place gives us the opportunity to be in two hemispheres at once, surrounded by shops, restaurants and small museums showcasing the wide range of cultures, traditions and rituals  of different parts of Ecuador.

Next to the MIddle of the World monument, lies Inti ñan Museum a place to visit to learn more about the place. Our tour includes El Templo Del Sol, close by the Pululahua lookout, where we can experience more about the traditions and culture of the idigenous people who lived there.

Our clients enjoy visiting the Middle of the world together with some of these other options, in a 2 to 3 day tour.

  • Botanical Garden

A wealth of colors and beauty for the senses. Our visitors to the Botanical garden are always positively amazed by the wide variety of flora species in such a small country, that are showcased throughout this place.

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, measured by square kilometer. At the Botanical Gardens,  visitors can go through the habitat samples such as wetlands, cloudforest, high-altitude paramo and dry forest. During our day tours of Quito, it is important to include the Botanical Garden, one of the highlights of the city, specially the Orchid exhibition, with some of the more than 4000 species of orchids discovered in Ecuador.

  • La Ronda in the weekend 

Music, tradition and history combine in this narrow street in downtown Quito.  For our guests this is an opportunity to unwind, relax and take in the culture and traditions of the city.

As visitors stroll through the cobblestone streets of La Ronda, one of the oldest streets of Quito, they get to travel back in time to the colonial era. This beautiful street is full of shops where our guests can experience the daily activities of its artisans and musicians, also the best way to try the traditional food of Ecuador.

Before the spanish conquest this street used to be an Inca Trail, to get water by its inhabitants, and in the 17th century La Ronda started to be the main spot to hangout for musicians, bohemians and poets. However in the past years the neighborhood got abandoned in time until 2006, which the help of the inhabitants of Quito and the Municipality started to renovated and recovered all the colonial buildings of the neighborhood until it became once again one of the most beautiful and colorful streets in Downtown Quito.

  • El Teleferico 

Depending on the weather we will add a visit to El Teleferiqo to our tours. This is a place that allows visitors to admire the imposing views of the city and depending on the weather to take in the Andes. The teleferiqo of Quito is one of the highest cable car lifts in the world, located about 4000 meters which will allow you to feel like you are touching the sky.

“If you ever have the chance to go to the middle of the world go to Ecuador!!, you have to go!! It’s a place where you can go to another country yet still feel like you are home. The sights are gorgeous, the food is yummy and the people are friendly. Thank you for organizing my family trip, I will never forget it.”

George Robinson

In conclusion, the capital city of Ecuador has quite a wide range of activities to do. Your experience  as a whole will be memorable and unforgettable. Quito is a place where travellers can learn about the culture, traditions as well as admire the diversity of flora species in the country.

We can help you add this tours to your Quito adventure. Contact us: info@lifeistravelling.com

We can help you add this vibrant destination to your visit to Ecuador. Contact us: info@lifeistravelling.com