Located up in the Andes, Quito is ideally situated and hemmed in by gorgeous mountain peaks. Both modest homes and modern apartment buildings sprawl partway up the mountains and busy streets are lined with shops and cafes.
You’ll find a warm and relaxed culture in Quito, with markets, shamanistic healers, hatmakers and a sophisticated and vibrant nightlife and culinary scene.
Old Town in Quito is a Unesco World Heritage Site, and you can spend hours exploring the architectural treasures and colonial monuments here. Instead of a sterile museum area, you’ll find that everyday life coexists alongside brilliantly restored blocks with facades from the 17th century, impressive churches full of art and picturesque plazas.
For those who want to travel through Ecuador, Quito is quite simply a must-visit .This capital city is located at 9,350 feet, making it the highest capital city on earth. While it may take a couple of days for you to get used to the altitude here, you’ll find that the cool climate is fairly consistent, meaning that dressing in layers is a good idea.
If you’re hoping to learn Spanish, Quito is a great place to learn, since the locals speak slowly and there are plenty of Spanish schools waiting for you to sign up. And if you’re the type who likes to really explore a place while you’re traveling, here are some fun things you can do in Quito:
Visit Plaza de La Independencia
Plaza grande is located in the central square of the city, surrounded by museums, administrative buildings, tourist offices and one of South America’s oldest cathedrals.
This is a great place to wander and people watch, so be sure to visit when you first arrive so you can get acquainted with the area.
This city is surrounded by volcanoes, many of them visible from the city if you’re lucky enough to get a clear day. Those who like to hike are in luck since you can climb to the top of Rucu Pichincha summit in just three hours.
If you don’t mind rubbing shoulders with fellow tourists and expats (this place is also known as Gringolandia), this trendy little neighbourhood of restaurants and bars is popular amongst both western tourists and Quitenos. If you’re looking to book a tour you’ll be in the right place since there are plenty of travel agencies located in the area so if you’re looking to book a flight on LAN Airlines you won’t be disappointed.
La Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus
Also known as the Church of the Society of Jesus, you’ll find this gorgeous church in the historic centre, just a few blocks from the main plaza. This church has an incredible gold leaf interior which will leave you gaping, and while you’ll need to pay an entrance free, it’s well worth the price to see some of the most artistic and skilled work in any of the churches in Quito.
Museo del Banco Central
This is the best museum in Quito, and the Central Bank Museum displays artefacts from all of the cultures and regions in Ecuador. You can spend hours enjoying all the classic and modern art.