Surrounded by the beautiful Andean mountains, Ecuador’s capital has a truly beautiful setting and is the second highest capital in the world. The historical centre of Quito is known as the old town and is a maze of colonial grandeur. Once a quite run down area of the city, it was given a boost of restoration and dilapidated buildings and churches were brought back to life in 2006 when a major rejuvenation project was completed. Despite this injection of life to the area, the vibrant indigenous character wasn’t lost and the native inhabitants still frequent here.
The city’s new town is a wonderful juxtaposition of its old neighbour with mixture of tall hotels, bland government buildings and residential high rises. This is a popular place to hang out for ‘gringos’ as it contains the colourful Mariscal Sucre with its trendy cafes, cosmopolitan restaurants, funky bars and cybercafés. Although colloquially known as gringolandia (gringo-land), the area is also frequented by quitenos (people of Quito) which allows it to hang on to its Ecuadorian charm.
Popular excursions within the city include the Casa del Alabado Museum of pre-Columbian Art, a fine collection of sculptures and artworks in the old town as well as the nearby Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus (Church of the Company of Christ).
To get you started with planning your holiday to Quito, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to South America