Quito Travel Guide

  • Venezuela in Centro Historico, Quito
    Venezuela in Centro Historico, Quito
    by MalenaN
  • Do not mess with us!
    Do not mess with us!
    by Assenczo
  • Idolatery?
    Idolatery?
    by Assenczo

Quito Highlights

  • Pro
    b1bob profile photo

    b1bob says…

     Friendly folks, good food, and cheap prices for most things. 

  • Con
    filipdebont profile photo

    filipdebont says…

     to many pick-pockets 

  • In a nutshell
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    calcaf38 says…

     An authentic, unspoiled urban community 

Quito Things to Do

See all 427 Things to Do in Quito
  • Colonial Quito

    Convento de Carmen Bajo was originally not founded in Quito, but in Latacunga in 1669. Almost 30 years later the convent was destroyed in an earthquake. What was left was later taken to Quito and the convent was rebuilt there between 1718 – 1726. In 1745 it was inaugurated. The remains of José de Sucre were kept here for many years until they...

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  • Mitad del Mundo

    Although a only short distance from Quito, it is very arid here. Be sure to bring sunglasses and sunscreen. The admission price is higher than others have reported: $3. There is an ethnologic exhibit inside the monument, $3 extra. The park is a waste of time if your don't take it in. Also the exhibit without asking for a guide that speaks your...

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  • El Panecillo

    It is impossible to miss the hill known as El Panecillo , topped by its statue of the Virgen de Quito who watches over and protects the city. Although not high in comparison with the volcanoes among which the city nestles, it dominates the skyline when you look south down any of colonial Quito’s avenidas. And just as there are great views of it, so...

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Quito Hotels

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Quito Restaurants

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  • Pim's

    When I walked around in Parque Itchimbia in 2012 I looked for Pim’s as I wanted to eat lunch, but unfortunately I couldn’t find it. When I visited Parque Itchimbia again in 2013 I by chance saw that it was situated just below the Cultural Centre. If you are standing at the railing looking out over Quito, you are actually standing on the roof of...

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  • San Agustin – restaurant and ice cream...

    Heladería San Agustin was established already in 1858 and it is famous for its ice creams Helado de Paila, an ice cream that is handmade in big copper bowls. The ice cream feels a little bit like sorbet. They don’t only serve ice cream at Heladería San Agustin, but they also have a selection of traditional desserts and food. It is a popular place...

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  • Today’s lunch by Plaza del Teatro

    I had seen that Café del Teatro had opened again and went there for lunch. Unfortunately they had only opened in small scale to begin with and were not serving set lunches. I did not want to sit down and chose something more expensive from the menu. So, I looked for another place to eat nearby and saw a small café/restaurant in the corner of Plaza...

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Quito Nightlife

See all 39 Nightlife in Quito
  • A happening place on Weds night

    I must confess I thought my days in places like this were long gone but, well what can I say.I ended up rolling in here on Weds night. It was $9 to get in that covered 2 complimentary drinks.The place was packed with revelers, all friendly and having a good time and not a sign of trouble. If drinking and dancing with hundreds of others doing the...

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  • Pretty much what you'd expect

    I know its pretty corny going to an Irish in somewhere like Ecuador. However this was my 1st of the trip in S America and I've found this sort of things a useful starting point to get the feel of a place as there will always be English speakers in the clientele (my Spanish is improving but its still at a pretty rubbish standard).This bar is on...

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  • Quito by night

    Other reviewers have commented that Mariscal is the nightlife hub in Quito. That doesn't seem to have changed. I was there at the weekend and it was very lively. The centre of it all is the small square at the junction of Reina Victoria and Foch. There is though plenty happening in the surrounding streets. Things seem to rock until around 3 am.My...

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Quito Transportation

  • From Quito to Galapagos Islands

    Update 2013: Before going to Galapagos Islands in 2013 I had seen the cheapest flights on TAME and Aerogal, but they did not accept payment over Internet with foreign bankcards (I have heard that at least TAME does now). LAN had return tickets for $400 (June/July) on their website but I didn’t know if it was a ticket I could change or not. In the...

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  • From Quito To Baños and back

    When leaving the hotel in Centro Historico in Quito I stopped a taxi on the street. The taxi driver said that he wanted to have $10 for going to Terminal Quitumbe, but I said I wanted to go with taxi-meter and he accepted that. It took just over half an hour to go from Centro Historico to Terminal Quitiumbe and it was $5.55 (July 2013). At Terminal...

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  • To Quito from Papallacta

    I left Hostería Pampallacta Termales at 8:40 and walked down to the main road. Luckily there were not a lot of barking dogs along the way, as it had been the evening before. It took 20 minutes to walk to the main road and I had thought that I probably had to wait quite long for a passing bus, but luckily a bus was standing at the bus stop when I...

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Quito Shopping

See all 44 Shopping in Quito
  • Mariscal Sucre

    Mariscal Sucre, also known as either New Town or Gringolandia is the area of town with tourist hotels, restaurants and shops. I am very glad I stayed in the old town but the best souvenir shopping was here by far.

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  • Centro Comercial Granada, and Chile

    Opposite La Merced is Centro Comercial Granada, a shopping centre with lots of stalls, mostly selling clothes. I had forgotten my black tank top at home and wanted a new one so I had a look around. In one of the stalls there was a green tank top hanging on the wall so I asked the woman if she had a black one as well. She didn’t have a black tank...

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  • Chocolate

    Ecuador is a large producer of cacao, but much of the cacao is sold to big companies in other countries. However, there is also production of high quality chocolate within the country from cooperatives and small producers, some are both organic and fair trade certified. The most common cacao bean is the Arriba bean. When I was in Ecuador I tried...

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Quito Local Customs

  • Dia Nacional de Cultura

    The last day in Quito I walked past the Ministry of Culture and I saw that there were some events going on there and they were advertising for “Dia Nacional de Cultura 9 Agosto”. I went inside and had a look at an art exhibition. On the second floor there were also some artisans working and demonstrating their job. Just round the corner of the...

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  • Inti Raymi celebrations

    The Inti Raymi festival is a festival celebrating the summer solstice and harvest. It is especially celebrated in the northern highlands and I had hoped to see some celebrations while I visited Quito in June 2012. I had read in one of the newspapers that there was going to be Inti Raymi celebrations on Plaza San Francisco on Sunday 24th of June. At...

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  • Exhibitions in the streets and plazas

    At several squares in Quito, both when I visited in 2011 and in 2012, there were exhibitions with large photos of people and places in Ecuador, which were nice to stop and have a look at. Along Avenida Naciones Unidas there was also an exhibition with different sculptures.

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Quito Warnings and Dangers

  • Crack addicted gangsters want it all

    I have my fair share of experience with Latin American violence, having lived as a gringo in some of the most dangerous places like Caracas, Venezuela and San Pedro Soula, Hondouras. I wear a suit to work most of the time and don't like to sit in taxis, Inching through traffic when I could be enjoying an nice walk. Basically I don't usually take...

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  • Quito is safe, when you are not a...

    i was in quito for 3 months and i really had a great time. i experienced 2 or 3 unsafe situations but never ever anything bad happened. i think i know why! first of all i am not a typical tourist. i saw a lot of foreign people in quito and i realized that most of them have a strange style. they even would look strange with their outfits in their...

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  • Careful on the Trolebus in Quito

    Spent a month in Quito and had a great time. Used the Trolebus daily which is a great way to get around the city for only 25 cents. Only incident was last Saturday in the late morning which is the busiest time of the week. My wife and I made the mistake of standing by the door of the bus which is the "squeeze zone" of more people getting on the bus...

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Quito Tourist Traps

  • Quito and maybe all of Ecuador

    Is it just me or do others have the same feeling?I have traveled a good deal. I have found some countries that encourage tourists. Some countries welcome tourist. Ecuador, and especially Quito, it seems to me, tolerate tourists. Have you ever seen a capital city that almost closes down on every Saturday? And does close on every Sunday? Can you...

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  • "Great Tours" only in name

    Ecuador is firmly in the grip of the tourist trade or more accurately more and more Ecuadorians are trying to grasp naive tourist souls by the throat. Well, another way to put it is that these entrepreneurial fellows might have insisted on a more elaborate Christmas gift. The company called Great Tours and located in the middle of backpacker/gringo...

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  • Ejido Park.

    Well, this is not a tourist trap is just a recommendation. You can get very good prices in this small market, lots of stalls with handicrafts, and if you´re lucky you will see local people dancing andean music.The best prices i saw in Quito. At the end of Amazonas avenue and Patria street.

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Quito What to Pack

  • Digital Camera

    Don't forget your camera. If you take photos by the dozen like I did, it will be cost-effective to pop for a digital camera. Mine is a Canon Power Shot A-400. Bring an extra memory card if you're really keen on photography. To make sure you don't lose all your memories even if your camera gets lost or stolen, try and find a place where you can...

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  • Budget your money daily

    In order not to risk losing all your money, budget an amount per day and stow the rest in a place you know to be safe. When shopping at local markets, take denominations of $1, $5 or no more than $10 because they likely wouldn't be able to make change for larger amounts. In one case at the Otavalo market, I even had trouble finding change for a...

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  • Go in the fall, dress in layers

    In the fall, it can go as low as 10°C (50°), but it can go as high as 25°C (77°) and there is that (nearly) inevitable afternoon rain at that time of year. The best option is to dress in layers. For the most part, I packed short sleeve shirts together with a light windbreaker and a heavier jacket. Look at the weather report before you plan your...

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Quito Off The Beaten Path

  • Hiking in Pasochoa

    Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa is situated 30 km southeast of Quito. It is a protected forest reserve established in 1982. Here you can find one of few remaining original Andean forests. Pasochoa is situated in the collapsed crater and on the slopes of Volcan Pasochoa. The reserve stretches from an elevation of 2700m to the summit of Volcan...

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  • Excursion to El Mitad del Mundo & Inti...

    On the afternoon of our visit to Otavalo we went, again with Jose Luiz, to visit El Mitad del Mundo – the Middle of the World. This is the name given to both a monument and the area immediately around it. The monument was erected to mark the line of the equator, but rather than cause confusion, as “Ecuador” means “Equator” in Spanish, it was given...

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  • Excursion to Otavalo

    A visit to Otavalo market must be one of the most popular of day trips from Quito. It can be done on local buses, through a tour booked in the city, or with a private guide as we did. To be honest, when planning our Ecuador trip, a visit here wasn’t one of my top priorities and with relatively little time in Quito I had considered giving it a miss...

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Quito Sports & Outdoors

  • Ciclopaseo

    Every Sunday many streets in Quito are closed for motor vehicles and only open to bicycles and people on foot. You can cycle from Parque de los Recuerdos in the north to Parque Las Cuadras in the south along the closed roads, a distance of about 30km. The bicycle route goes along Avenida Amazonas, past Parque Carolina, Parque El Ejido and Parque...

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  • Horseriding on Pichincha

    One of the features of the tourist sites on Pichincha is a small herd of horses on which tourists can take rides all the way up to the crater of the mountain. There are several Ecuadorian guides who take tourists on horse back up the narrow track and also around the various lower reaches of the peak, where there are small buildings and churches....

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  • Hiking Pichincha

    Hiking up Pichincha is no small feat. I am a very active young man (I row on a daily basis, do not smoke or drink and eat a very balanced diet) and yet the combination of the cold, the sun, the thin air and the incline meant that I was often drenched in sweat from the hike up and, a couple of times, short on breath. It can take about 3 to 4 hours...

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Quito Favorites

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  • Snow capped volcanoes

    When the weather is clear you can see several snow capped volcanoes from different places in Quito. It can be a very impressive sight. In the first photo it is Volcán Cayambe that is seen from the towers of Basilica del Voto Nacional. Also Volcán Cotopaxi can often be seen. When I first saw Cotopaxi I had already been in Quito for six days and was...

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  • An overview of the city

    Perhaps the main thing that made Quito seem special to me is its unusual situation in a cleft between the Andean volcanoes. This has resulted in the city developing in an unusually thin and long shape – only 5 km at its widest east-west point, but about 40 km from north to south. It is also unusually high – at 2,800 metres above sea level, the...

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  • The weather in Quito

    Quito’s location in the middle of a mountain range has a big impact on its climate. For one thing, you may be almost on the Equator, but at this altitude you can’t expect tropical heat. Instead, temperatures are pretty comfortable for city sightseeing, ranging from an average high of 19 degrees to lows around 9 degrees. These temperatures are...

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Map of Quito

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