Welcome to Ecuador! Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to our joining hotel. The first day of your tour is simply an arrival day with no pre-organised activities. In order to allow time to relax and see some of the sights you may wish to add pre tour accommodation. On arrival please ask at the reception for information on when the pre departure meeting will be held.
At 2,850 metres above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital city in the world after La Paz. It was founded in 1534 by the Spanish and was originally an Inca stronghold. As the headquarters of the recently formed Union of South American Nations (which was modelled on the European Union) Quito is also considered the capital of South American integration. It is situated in a hollow at the base of the live Volcano Pichincha and the whole length of the city can be seen from atop Panecillo Hill where the enormous Statue of the Virgin of Quito stands. The city has two main sections – the old and the new. The new is the main commercial area with lots of good restaurants and bars, whereas the old city is the colonial area in the centre, with steep calles (cobblestone streets), busy plazas and indigenous markets. The Equatorial Monument is just 23 kilometres north of the city, and also houses an excellent museum that displays clothing, other wares and photos of the varied and colourful Ecuadorian people.