Quito Travel Guide

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

Quito Things to Do

See all 444 Things to Do in Quito
  • Colonial Quito

    We wanted to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU! Our travel was beautiful, a bride's absolute dream, all because of Edwin´s hard work. At the beginning we have had some problems with the arrival transfer nobody was there.- That was annoying, as it was the first time we were in Quito, then for the next day we could contact a guy who helped us...

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  • Mitad del Mundo

    3.5 out of 5 stars

    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

    4 out of 5 stars

    El Panecillo is quite close to the city center so easy to get to. Don't go walking though! That's not so safe. The most special thing about going up here for me is that I finally had a good overview of the city including the south part which I had never seen before. If you are lucky and the sky is totally clear you can see the Cayambe and the...

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Quito Hotels

See all 136 Hotels in Quito

Quito Restaurants

See all 167 Restaurants in Quito
  • Smart uptown choice

    On our second day out with Betty and Marcello we again planned to have lunch together. Last time we had treated them; this time they wanted to return the favour and bought us to this smart-looking restaurant on a busy street in modern Quito, Avenida 12 de Octubre. In appearance it is the antithesis of cosy Mama Clorinda, being a large open dining...

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  • El Cafeto

    El Cafeto is a small café on Chile, not far from where I stayed. They serve breakfast, snacks like sandwiches and humitas, cakes and different coffee and tea. The coffee they serve is made by organic Ecuadorian beans. When I visited in June I came here a few times to rest from all sight seeing . This is what I paid in June 2011:White chocolate cake...

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  • Tianguez

    Tianguez is a café/restaurant with a good location on Plaza San Francisco. It is situated in the stone arches below the Monastery of San Francisco. I came here because I wanted to sit outside to eat and from the tables at the outdoor area there is a good view over the plaza and what is going on there. The first time I was here I ordered a coca-cola...

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Quito Nightlife

See all 40 Nightlife in Quito
  • There is more than La Foch!

    The most famous area to go have a drink a to party is La Foch/La Mariscal. This is also the place where most tourists go, but it is not the only place! There are a lot of cool small bars to have a beer or a canelazo or even to do a dance. Here are some examples: Boca Abierta - An alternative place where there's sometimes live music. It's a nice...

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  • 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 Transportation

  • From Quito to Secret Garden Cotopaxi

    Secret Garden is a popular hostel in Quito, but they have also got a hostel on the foothills of Vulcán Pasochoa, with a view towards Vulcán Cotopaxi. To go there by public transportation would be a little tricky and it would also include some walking. Therefore it is very good that Secret Garden in Quito organize transport to their hostel near...

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  • Taxi to and from the new airport in...

    Update 2014:The price for a taxi from the airport to Centro Histórico was still $26 if you pay in cash to the driver on arrival. I had problems with my bank card and could not withdraw money with it. Luckily I could use it at the airport to pay for the taxi. When paying with the bank card (master card) I paid $27.15. The taxi to Centro Histórico...

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  • Bus to and from the new airport in Quito

    Update August 2014:I had checkout time at the hotel at 11 and my plane (KLM) was not leaving until later in the afternoon so I had plenty of time and there was no need to take a taxi directly from the hotel to the airport. Instead I took a taxi from old town to the old airport, from where the airport buses leave. The taxi took around half an hour...

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Quito Shopping

See all 45 Shopping in Quito
  • Otavalo market

    The Otavalo market, especially on Saturday, is bustling with local people selling all kinds of crafts, clothing, and jewelry. Although the goods start becoming repetitive (now where did I see that scarf???), you could spend hours here looking at all of the colorful goods for sale. We didn't buy much, a few scarves made from alpaca wool, a couple of...

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  • 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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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

  • Altitude

    Quito is located at 9,350 feet, the highest official capital in the world (Sucre is listed as the official capital of Bolivia, not La Paz which has a higher altitude than Quito) . If you find yourself a little shorter of breath than normal, it's not unusual. Drink lots of water, try aspirin if you get a headache, take a midday nap. My sinuses...

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  • Aggressively apply common sense

    I had a great time in Quito and had traveled through a variety of the economically diverse areas of the city and outskirts. At the time I cannot say that I applied the advice I am giving you now, only that I was lucky in my experience to only have had one encounter with a mugging myself, though I heard a quite a few more than expected from other...

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  • Crime

    I read a lot of reports of crime before I left, if I believed all of the reports I wouldn't have left my hotel room! While its something to be aware of, not only in Quito but in all large cities, it shouldn't stop you from visiting the city and feeling comfortable walking around on your own. Our guide, who is a local, mentioned pickpockets several...

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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 Rucu Pichinch

    Rucu Pichinca (4696m) is one of the main summits on Volcán Pichincha (the other is Guagua Pichincha 4794m). It is the peak closest to Quito and it is not difficult to climb. I had read that there had been robberies along the trail so I asked at the Tourist Office in Quito how the safety was at the moment. They told me it was safe now, especially on...

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  • 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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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

See all 60 Favorites in Quito
  • Money matters

    The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador, when you get change back you may get some Ecuadorian coins or you may get back Sacagawea US dollar coins that most Americans don't recognize since they are not widely used in the US. I brought a lot of cash with me, enough to pay for everything on my trip except for my hotel which I used a credit...

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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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