Often travelers visit Quito as a quick one-day stopover on the way to the Galapagos. Quito historic center is recognized as having the best-preserved, least altered historic center in all of Latin America. There’s so much to do in Quito, I’m sure you’ll be happy if you build in a few extra days. This is a fantastic guide to Quito!!! Enter your dates here to check Community Hostel rates & availability on HostelWorld. Pointing out differences you noticed will surely help other travelers and we’ll definitely make some upcoming edits to this post to reflect this. It’s a soup made with three of our favorite local ingredients: potato, cheese, and avocado! But it still rains then too. Locro de papa is commonly found throughout Quito. With great reviews and a great value, this is certainly a place to consider staying in Quito. This quaint pedestrian walkway slices right through Quito Old Town. We found many in the ‘Casas de Deportes’ sports stores around the Centro Historico, many near the Santo Domingo bus stop/plaza, although we’ve seen some more stores elsewhere as well. I really like to keep these guides up-to-date, based on reader feedback and changing conditions. This distinctly Ecuadorian beverage is made from hot cinnamon-sugar water that’s usually flavored with local fruit, most commonly naranjilla. Definitely make sure that climbing this rickety route is on your list of things to do in Quito. It can be approached by bus, taxi, or tour. There’s no better way to wash down Quito’s street food than the city’s delicious craft beer. Love your info. Other flights from the US to Quito can cost upwards of $1,000. I had no idea there was so many interesting things to do in Quito, because like you mention, most people I know who have been tend to just do an overnight before moving on. But it becomes a steep and strenuous climb in parts. Go here to get excellent views of Quito down below. Just realize that modern GPS technology shows that the monument was actually erected about 230 meters south of the actual equator. Pay upon returning the bike, based upon the time used, rounded to the nearest half-hour. Location: It’s a 40-60 minute drive from central Quito to Mitad del Mundo, found here on Google Maps. Quito’s Old Town acts as a show-stealer within Ecuador’s capital city. Wow, great information on this site! Enjoy beautiful Quito! Perhaps the most unique thing to do in the Quito Basilica is to have a  beer in this church! • This Otavalo Tour on GetYourGuide includes all of those locations and is the least expensive Otavalo day tour we’ve found. There’s also a rock scramble towards the Rucu Pichincha summit. I have one question about the Sunday bike days – do we have to rent bikes to go on the roads or can we get them elsewhere? While some businesses in Quito do accept credit card, most don’t. El Panecillo translates to the “The Little Bread Loaf.” This hill in the middle of the city separates North and South Quito. See Google Map location. So we set off on a rural adventure to find out. There are dozens of museums all throughout Quito. Hours: 10:30-12:30 The expansive Museo de Arte Moderna (Modern Art Museum) features canvases by... Mouthwatering and stomach-enlarging sundaes, as well as several dozen varieties of sweet and savory crepes, waffles, salads and more conventional vegetarian, meat and seafood dishes, are on the menu at this South... © 2020 Lonely Planet. Best travel article ever! That pork is boiled in spiced-up water until it evaporates, when the pork is then fried in its own fat. But the lower oxygen levels at this altitude make it a more difficult trek up the volcanic terrain. Friday-Monday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Personally, Mindo is one of our favorite places in Ecuador. In Quito’s parks, visitors can be greeted by hummingbirds in the fresh air amongst a forest of trees. We have one and it really came in handy a few times when we realized we were out of bottled water at night after all the stores were closed. Depending on weather conditions at the time, there’s a chance of snow towards the Cotopaxi base camp. Now advanced reservations are required. All in the name of research, we visited over a dozen craft breweries in Quito. This metropolis in the mountains is full of culture and is even a UNESCO world heritage site. Direct flights can be found from Atlanta, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. Cost: Free (tip-based) Here are a few favorite local Quito dishes we recommend to try: This is a creamy and hearty soup that’s quite popular throughout the Ecuadorian Andes. And then everyone in the plaza gets a chance to wave to the President of Ecuador. For the best photos, visit Itchimbia during the morning. It’s largely the same recommendations, but some logistics had changed and a few new things in Quito we discovered had popped up. Have a great trip! • Best for non-bikers: For a Cotopaxi day tour that spends more time on the mountain and without mountain biking, this highly-rated tour is the best option. The incredible values are very common. or festivals. Otovalo has some nice Falls around it too, such a Peguche. It also boasts the largest free skatepark that we’ve seen anywhere in the world.  Cherusker Cerveceria: Cherusker goes for a German flair and it’s their German styles that shine the brightest. It can be a magical place to visit when the weather cooperates. Capped by green-and-gold domes, La Compañía de Jesús is Quito’s most ornate church and a standout among the baroque splendors of the Old Town. Additionally, Mindo may have some of the best value adventure activities we’ve seen anywhere in the world! We were only really in Quito for a day and a half (we went to Canar, Banos, and Otavalo) and it was very rainy, but the Centro Historico was beautiful! But we’ve found two inexpensive tours (even cheaper than a taxi) to help maximize your Quito budget: So the Ciclopaseo can be one of the best things to do in Quito on Sundays. We feel very lucky to travel through such a beautiful country Hoping that you’ll get to experience it too! Quito is such an amazing city with loads to keep one busy, definitely deserves more than just a stopover. (More on the latter in section #12 of this Quito travel guide!). Quito Old Town delivers not only cultural significance. I love this. New Town enjoys a location with more modern conveniences. Guayaquil is near the coast with a warm and tropical vibe. But the atmosphere and quality helps to justify it. Most cost $30-$50, so can be a bit pricey. The free (tip-based) walking tour hits all the most notable places in La Floresta, led by a passionate and knowledgable street artist. Thank you very much for this great guide. In Galapagos, we’ve seen mask & snorkel sets being sold closer to $100 (yikes!) The pulse of Quito’s rich history radiates through the … It can be like walking through an outdoor art museum! Some of them turned out to be pretty interesting concerts or exhibition openings (involving free food and drink!) Location: The museums are perched on a hill in New Town, in the Bellavista neighborhood, exact location found here on Google Maps. This blog shares our discoveries & aims to inspire your next trip while maximizing your travel budget! It makes me want to go back to Quito. That’s when it seems all of Quito comes here for some outdoor fun. It brings passengers up to an altitude of about 4,000 meters (about 2.5 miles high). Lodge La Luna is very popular and often books full. At night, some of the clubs will charge a modest cover but include a drink. Hours: 8:00 am – 2:00 pm Cost: $3 per hour or $12 for the day. What a winderdul article so helpful thank you very much for your work and passion. New York City also tends to have competitive rates to Quito, with a layover is involved. We are going to Quito in March for a week. This boutique hotel offers all the modern conveniences amongst gorgeous antiques and old-world charm. Plan Your Trip to Quito Ecuador! It’s said to resemble the Las Halles market in Paris, and as such, has served as a market itself. Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús. So if flying from Europe, it can be worth considering flying to Madrid first, then onward to Quito. Recomiendo siempre a mis pasajeros Arbnb que la visiten y así aprovechen mejor su estadía en Quito. So La Ronda makes for a particularly inviting setting in Quito to stop in for a drink. Use bottled water only. We were absolutely amazed with the amount of activities and sights to keep us busy, there’s certainly no shortage of things to do . At $8, it’s a bit pricey for this soup. On Saturdays, there’s also an animal market. It’s a great way to calm your nerves after the climb, while also taking in those sweet Quito vistas. Our best Quito park suggestion is: Parque Carolina. It’s supposedly more difficult since both hemispheres are tugging at you. Come prepared. It’s a healthy climb up the many flights of stairs on the eastern side of Quito’s Old Town to reach the area known as Itchimbía. Patchy snow can even be encountered along the way. Top Things to Do in Quito You Can't Miss Quito, a UNESCO city and the capital city of Ecuador has lots to offer. I loved all your links and videos. If we were to splurge in Quito, this would be our #1 choice. But you can also try Vista Hermosa and Pideme La Luna. Job well done, thanks again. Official Website: Mitad del Mundo. It’s one of the largest cities in the world to lie right next to the equator. There are many flight routes from US to Quito. Yet we have found the Ecovia, in particular, to get regularly packed with everyone pressed up against each other and we’ve even had friends living in Quito who’ve gotten pickpocketed in those conditions. And particularly so for art-lovers. Tours also visit San Pablo Lake viewpoint, the town of Cotacache, and Laguna Cuicocha crater lake. This shared tour only departs on Monday and Fridays. It’s all in a grand effort to help travelers make the most of a visit here. It can all be a little nerve-wracking for those with even the slightest fear of heights.  Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city. It can be worth it to spend a few extra quarters to take an Uber or taxi, which both have reasonable rates. Acceptable collateral is ID, passport, and even your mobile phone. Hours: Go up this hill during the day. Quito to Cotopaxi Train: There is a tourist train that runs from Quito to Cotopaxi. Come with small change as you’ll otherwise have a very difficult time breaking a hundo spot. There’s also now a thrilling swing for adventurous souls to fly right over Quito! Tendremos que volver para capturar una foto del presidente Moreno. For those who are particularly prone to altitude sickness, consider taking this natural medication. During the weekday 4-7 happy hour pints are $3. Probably cheap unknown brands so we can’t vouch for the quality though. Thank you for the post. It’s a half-day diversion on the northern outskirts of the capital. The standard of artisan coffee has been on an upward trajectory in Quito and Isveglio is at the forefront of the movement. We understand of course that many of your readers are probably coming straight from North America/Europe for only a short vacation so maybe Uber/taxi is just easier to deal with and much cheaper than back home, but we would like to advocate for buses a little because it’s much more environmentally friendly (less carbon footprint per passenger). Although it’s a very large city, there are two main areas most Quito visitors stay in: So which should you choose? ⌚ Length of visit: It’s a 45-minute tour. Canelazo tends to be quite sweet, with lots of panela (raw sugar) added. The old town is one of the best preserved and protected colonial centers in all of South America, featuring museums, cathedrals and parks. With all the people up against you and further threats of pickpockets, you may want to reconsider taking the $0.25 ride during busy times. Some Quito brewpubs are within close proximity of each other to walk. Hey Pedro, thanks for the comment. Thank you for this – your time is appreciated. Thankfully there’s a great street art walking tour of La Floresta. Quito got its name from the indigenous tribe of the … There’s also more of a nightlife scene around Plaza Foch compared to Old Town. Looking forward to the next one. If you want to admire an iconic statue and see a panoramic view of Quinto city, and its surrounding volcanoes, then climb up to El Panecillo, a steep hill in Quito’s southern Old Town, named for its resemblance to a loaf of bread. Once in Mindo the tour gives passengers options to hike, zipline, swim in waterfalls, do the chocolate tour, and visit the butterfly garden. If in Quito on a Monday, it’s highly recommended to squeeze this procession into your Quito itinerary. It was really fun! We stayed in a modern one-bedroom furnished Airbnb apartment for as low as $400 for the month (28 days) including utilities. All Keep very vigilant, particularly in crowded places frequented by tourists. 3) Bike rental for Ciclopaseo: We actually didn’t find any bike rentals at Plaza Grande and were told by the Tourist Info Office that there aren’t any in the Centro Historico (unless you made some sort of advance reservation or something). Perhaps most notable for travelers, within Parque Carolina there’s the really well-done Quito Botanical Gardens. The many things to do listed within this detailed Quito travel guide have been carefully curated after doing several months of on-the-ground research in the city, reviewing Quito’s best attractions and activities. Best in New Town: Color House: For those wanting to stay in Quito New Town on a budget, this cheap and cheerful hostel may be the best option in the area. For longer stays in Quito, Airbnb can be a great option to have the conveniences of a kitchen, laundry, etc. Thanks again for such an easy and detailed guide!! Your email address will not be published. It’s $12.50, not including admission, which adds $9 for both equator attractions. I have heard great things about this city, but I can see there is even more to do than I had heard of. Aguardiente (sugarcane alcohol) is added to give canelazo its kick. It tends to be much more expensive in Quito compared to US prices. It’s $50, but that pricing is only available when there are 3 or more people. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in December. "From here you can take the day-long hike up to Rucu Pichincha, which is a hike I'd recommend if you have 6 hours and are acclimated to the elevation." While Saturday and Wednesday are best, it is possible to visit the craft market any day of the week. From the... 3. What looks like picturesque green foothills are actually high-altitude alpine volcanoes! Be forewarned the train only goes to view Cotopaxi, which may be obscured by clouds. There are a few 3 & 4-star hotels with excellent reviews, yet with prices at only around $50 per night! There are loads of things to do in Quito. Great suggestions! Thank you for sharing your experience in such a remarkable way! Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine is given a contemporary twist at this sophisticated new restaurant. It’s a deal at only $25, including lots of nibbles. There is a museum for just about every interest in Quito, whether that’s art, culture, history, religion, and more. At night, it’s more of a party atmosphere. Anyhow, thanks again so much for all the feedback. Cost: Free Enjoy exploring Ecuador, you’ve picked an excellent country to kick off your travels! Although each of these suggestions can most certainly be accomplished by day trips, those who have time should consider doing some of them as overnight excursions. Fabulous write up. 5 beers on tap. Also, do you happen to have restaurant recommendations apart from the amazing markets? 2) Guard Change: We were told by our walking tour guide that this happens 8am most Mondays, except the first Monday of the month, when it’s at 11am. Check availability and details. There are some great views from the Quilotoa Crater rim. Parque Carolina also holds more than just futbol fields, playgrounds, and running tracks. The soup is completed by being topped with freshly sliced avocado – yum! A $5-$10 tip per person is suggested. I hope that you’ll be able to make it back to South America and add Quito to your itinerary , What a fantastic article! To reach the summit of Cotopaxi, it takes a grueling overnight ascent that is occasionally off-limits due to heightened volcanic activity. Location: Easily accessed from Quito Old Town and mapped here. Gothic churches are often defined by their gargoyles. Attending some random event is one of our favourite things to do. Location: Meeting point is at the Swissotel. Thanks so much for taking the time for your thoughtful response and feedback. Find the best local sights, things to do & tours recommended by Quito locals. And it’s yet another free thing to do in Quito. That’s known as the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City). After ascending many steps midway up one of the Basilica’s towers, visitors can walk directly atop the enclosed church roof on a wooden plank walkway. Hope that helps and have an awesome trip to Quito!! Some more are: Exit, Room Escape Ecuador and Reto Eureka. So glad to hear this Quito travel guide is proving helpful! Hope you had a great time in Quito! Explore Quito like a local. Take a taxi or Uber, which should cost about $3-$5 each way if coming from somewhere central in Quito. Often a taxi driver will turn on his meter upon you entering the cab. Or a fiesta. This occurs all within an ultra-scenic 18-minute cable car ride. The 10 Best Things to Do in Quito Ecuador 1. If you do have issues with the high altitude in Quito, maybe don’t do this one during your first few days. Reservations: By email: ucultural@presidencia.gob.ec 5) We found the bus travel in Quito to be relatively safe, not that uncomfortable (we only had a crowded bus a couple of times and most other times we could find a seat), very economical for budget/backpack travelers (.25 for most buses), and definitely more ecological than taking cars around all the time. This holds particularly true in Old Town and in crowded public transport. Thanks for the comment! More detail on how to get to the equator zone follows. The Best Things to Do in Quito. If he does, go with it. On the south side of Old Town, perched high on the hill overlooking Quito, is El Panecillo, one of the city's top attractions. Hotel Yumbo Imperial: You can’t beat the location, smack in the middle of the historic center just two blocks form Plaza Grande. The Botanical Garden of Quito is a space dedicated to environmental education and the conservation of floristic resources in the inter-Andean region of Ecuador. The main equator monument, Mitad del Mundo, is located on a different highway than the road to Otavalo. I’d imagine that it would give you enough time to shop. A marching band parades through. Greeting the President may be one of the most unique free things to do in Quito. Onto the galapagos islands blog next! We have reviews of the best places to see in Quito. Consider paying the taxi to wait or to return (particularly so on a weekday), as taxis are not frequent here. Least Expensive Mindo Tour: The most economical day tour to Mindo we’ve seen advertised online is this highly-rated Mindo Full-Day Tour. Empanadas de viento are most commonly found in La Ronda. ), there are many many waterfalls all around there. $5.50 half-liters. Cost: Free. So we hope this Best Things to Do in Quito Travel Guide proves helpful to anyone planning a trip to this great South American capital. We plan to trip to Ecuador. Before exiting the other tower in the Basilica, walk up the spiral staircase to reach the Basilica’s somewhat hidden café. ⌚ Length of visit: Minimum of 1 hour. 3 Monjes: La Floresta staple with some particularly strong and tasty brews. And by the way, this will be my first travel so I’m excited haha! Each of those locations regularly have airfare to Quito under $250 each way. Enter the dates for your trip to get a quick estimate. The sun in Quito is no joke. A day trip from Quito to Cotopaxi is a must-do excursion for any travelers who enjoy adventure. Hope you have an excellent time exploring all the magic of the Galapagos that awaits you! You can flights these cheap flights from Madrid to Quito using three different airlines that serve this route: Iberia, Air Europa, and Plus Ultra Lineas Aereas. It’s close enough. Cost: Free This is known as the Quilotoa Loop. There’s a nonstop JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Quito that we’ve even seen priced less than $100 each way! From Otavalo, it’s a $15 taxi to Lagunas de Mojanda, each way. Thanks so much for dropping by with the comment to let us know. Thank you. Otavalo Day Tour from Quito: It’s well-worth considering a day tour. Of course, pack all of your regular travel gear that you’d pack for any international trip. Keep belongings close in these instances. I have some notes I will post about somethings that have changed in the past 12 months, just finished a great visit with my husband. It’s a big market but most of the handicrafts are clustered together in one area. In the last day or two, we actually just did a big major update to this guide for 2019. We already bought ours in Costa Rica as we thought we couldn’t find any cheap ones in Quito and we are traveling for a while so we can’t get them from the U.S. shipped to us. 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