The best things to do in Quito

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is a city that is rich in culture and history. The city is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture, beautiful churches, and its location in the Andes mountains. Quito is also a great starting point for exploring the rest of Ecuador, such as the Galapagos Islands or the Amazon rainforest. Here are some of the best things to do in Quito:

Explore Old Town

Old Town, also known as El Centro Historico, is the heart of Quito’s colonial history. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed area is filled with beautiful churches, plazas, and colonial-era buildings. Visitors can take a walking tour of the area to learn more about the history and architecture of the city. Some must-see landmarks in Old Town include the Cathedral of Quito, the Church of the Society of Jesus, and the Presidential Palace.

Visit the Middle of the World

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Quito is the Mitad del Mundo, or the Middle of the World. This monument marks the location of the equator, and visitors can stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere. The monument also includes a museum that provides information about the history and science of the equator.

Take a Cable Car to the Top of Pichincha Volcano

For breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding mountains, take a cable car to the top of Pichincha volcano. The TeleferiQo cable car takes visitors to an altitude of 4,050 meters, where they can enjoy panoramic views of Quito and the Andes. On a clear day, visitors can even see the Pacific Ocean.

Visit the Pululahua Crater

Another great option for nature lovers is a visit to the Pululahua Crater, an extinct volcano located just outside of Quito. The crater is now home to a small indigenous community and is also a protected reserve. Visitors can take a guided tour of the crater, where they can learn about the local flora and fauna and also see some of the traditional farming practices of the community.

Visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional

Another must-see attraction in Quito is the Basilica del Voto Nacional. This impressive church is the largest neo-Gothic church in the Americas and is known for its intricate architecture and beautiful stained-glass windows. Visitors can take a guided tour of the church to learn more about its history and architecture.

Take a Day Trip to Otavalo

Another great option for visitors to Quito is to take a day trip to Otavalo, a small town located about two hours north of the city. Otavalo is famous for its indigenous market, where visitors can find a wide variety of traditional crafts and textiles. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the town to learn more about the indigenous culture and tradition of the area.

Visit the Quito Museum of Modern Art

For art lovers, a visit to the Quito Museum of Modern Art is a must. The museum features a wide variety of contemporary art from Ecuadorian and South American artists. The museum also regularly hosts special exhibitions and events, so be sure to check the schedule before visiting.

Take a Cooking Class

Ecuadorian cuisineis a delicious blend of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences. To truly experience the local flavors, consider taking a cooking class. Many culinary schools and cooking tour companies in Quito offer classes that teach visitors how to prepare traditional Ecuadorian dishes like ceviche, llapingachos, and hornado. You’ll learn about the local ingredients and techniques used in the Ecuadorian cooking and also have the opportunity to taste the delicious food you cooked.

Visit the Parque Metropolitano

For a break from the city, head to the Parque Metropolitano. This large urban park offers visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of Quito and enjoy some peaceful nature. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals, and visitors can also find several hiking trails and bike paths.

Take a Day Trip to the Cloud Forest

For a truly unique experience, consider taking a day trip to the cloud forest. The cloud forest is located just outside of Quito and is a lush, tropical forest that is often shrouded in mist. Visitors can take a guided tour of the forest, where they can see a wide variety of plants and animals, including monkeys, birds, and orchids.

In conclusion, Quito is a city that offers something for everyone. From its rich cultural heritage to its stunning natural beauty, visitors will find no shortage of things to do and see in this vibrant city. Whether you’re interested in history, art, nature, or food, Quito has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to explore one of South America‘s most vibrant and exciting cities.