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Ecuador & Galapagos Islands: Quito

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Quito has long been a city of two halves. Occupying a highland valley at 2,850m and flanked by volcanoes, the setting of its historic centre and adjoining modern quarters is breathtaking. The formerly dark and run-down colonial heart has been magnificently restored. Cobbled lanes and whitewashed façades, scrubbed up churches and renovated theatres now gleam and echo with the sounds of the everyday life of its traditional inhabitants. Beyond are the skyscrapers and broad avenues of the contemporary commercial city, La Mariscal, with flashy shops, offices and restaurants, where busy young workers flock to the many bars and nightclubs.

Our holidays to Quito

View all holidays
Ecuadorian Andes

Active Ecuador: Andean hikes and Cotopaxi volcano

Private journey

9 days from £3,262pp

Galápagos Island

Value Galapagos and Peru

Private journey

13 days from £4,069pp

Machu Picchu

Luxury Peru and Galapagos: Machu Picchu and the Enchanted Islands

Private journey

15 days from £8,180pp

Blue Footed Boobies

Signature Ecuador and Galapagos: Volcanoes to the ocean

Private journey

16 days from £6,283pp

Things to do in Quito

Quito building

Walking tour of colonial Quito

Biker

Mountain bike down Cotopaxi volcano


Mountain biker

Mountain bike to Mindo cloud forest

tren crucero

Ride Ecuador's rails from Quito to the coast

Our insider tips for Quito

Isabelle

Isabelle Mazille

Drinking in the views over the city from the top of El Panecillo, the hill topped with a watchful statue of the Virgin Mary.
David

David Nichols

Gazing round the interior of the baroque church San Francisco, admiring its golden altar and intricately carved wooden choir stalls and ceiling.
Kathryn

Kathryn Glover

Visiting the Mitad del Mundo, middle of the world, on the equator (approximately). It’s a bit corny but you can stand with one foot in either hemisphere, and have your photo taken.
Margot

Margot Chard

Strolling through the streets of the old town, popping into little shops and markets, happening across street musicians and peanut sellers.

What our experts say

If you are lucky enough to be in Quito on a Saturday, look out for the free cultural events that are organised in the city each weekend. On the other hand, if you're there mid-week, you may be able to catch the weekly multicultural dance showcase at the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, performed by the Ballet Folclórico Nacional Jacchigua each Wednesday.

Isabelle

Isabelle Mazille

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