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Quito Culture & history

Our most recommended Quito Culture & history

Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

1. Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

Begin by a visit to one of South America's best preserved historic city centers. Go to the Basilica del Voto Nacional Church, where you can climb up its high domes. Move towards the Panecillo viewpoint, an iconic place in the city, renowned for its beauty and giant statue of the Winged Virgin - here you can admire a beautiful landscape of both colonial and modern Quito (entrance to churches not included). Continue on to the traditional La Ronda neighborhood. In this romantic setting you can find workshops where you can learn from a group of authentic artisans how their work is done. See historic trades that keep alive the cultural traditions of this charming city. Stop at Zona Rosa for approximately an hour and a half to have some free time for lunch (not included). You will then go to the Middle of the World City, where you can see the monument that divides the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. Entrance to the Middle of the World complex is included ,where you can enjoy experiences that defy the laws of physics and occur only in this part of the world. NOTE: On Sunday, this tour operates in an inverted way, first you visit the Middle of the World and then you have the city tour.

Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

2. Cotopaxi National Park Full-Day Tour from Quito

Visit Cotopaxi National Park in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains. The park is home to the active Cotopaxi volcano that towers 19,642 feet above sea level. When you reach the park your naturalist guide will show you the exceptional variety of flora and fauna. Hike to the Limpiopungo lagoon, located on the slopes of the volcano. Stop at the lagoon for a short rest to take in the landscapes and the spectacular views of the volcano. Continue the hike to the Jose Ribas shelter and experience the environment at almost 16,000 feet above sea level.

Quito: Full-Day Ciudad Mitad del Mundo Tour

3. Quito: Full-Day Ciudad Mitad del Mundo Tour

Board the Quito Tour Bus on Avenida Naciones Unidas in the heart of Quito, and then depart the city in the early afternoon. Journey to the Geobotanical Reserve of the Pululahua Crater at the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo complex. Visit the new Beer Museum, see a miniature model that celebrates the architectural beauty of the Historic Center of Quito and more. Finally, you will visit the Agave Museum where you will have a tasting of this ancestral drink. Return to the start point in the evening.

Quito: Private City Tour & Intiñam Museum Visit w/ Transfer

4. Quito: Private City Tour & Intiñam Museum Visit w/ Transfer

Your tour guide will pick you up at 8:30 a.m. from your hotel, due to the viewpoint of the volcano Pululahua, one of the two inhabited craters in the world. This volcanic complex consists of a main boiler, a central volcano with two craters and the remains of a third party, and several volcanic domes within the caldera located on the edge and outside of it. Then we head to the Intiñan Museum, geographically located at 0 degrees, 0 minutes and 0 seconds, that marks the division between northern and southern hemispheres as established by the French Geodesic Mission in the eighteenth century, you will see beautiful displays of different ethnic groups in Ecuador, plus the story of their lifestyles, explained by a specialist tour guide! This is an opportunity to be photographed with both of your feet on the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time! On the way back to Quito, you will see from the road the Equatorial Monument. In the afternoon you go to the colonial town of Quito, officially considered the first world cultural heritage site (UNESCO 1978). During your walk, you will pass through the Independence Square, scenery of many dramatic battles of revolution in the history of the Republic of Ecuador. And you will have the opportunity to visit the Cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace, the Church of the Society of Jesus of Quito, summit of the Latin America Baroque style, the charming neighbourhood of La Ronda, and the Church and Convent of San Francisco, built in 1540. Finally you will enjoy a spectacular view of the city from "El Panecillo" hill. Then you will be back in your hotel approximately at 3:30 p.m. End of your first fantastic experience in Quito!

From Quito : 2-Day Mindo Private Excursion with Lodging

5. From Quito : 2-Day Mindo Private Excursion with Lodging

Discover the evergreen wilderness and spectacular natural diversity of the Andes’ western slope. Day 1: Depart Quito in the early morning and visit El Pahuma Orchid Reserve for a 1-hour hike to the waterfalls. Stop off at the Alambi Reserve to take photos inside the hummingbird garden. Enjoy lunch in Mindo, and take advantage of free time in the afternoon to explore the city on your own. Spend the night at a hotel in Mindo. Day 2: Wake up to a relaxing breakfast at the hotel before you start your day. Choose from a variety of activities to participate in at your own expense, including river tubing, ziplining, rappelling, or visiting the butterfly farm. Return to Quito at the end of the day.

Quito: City Highlights and Food Walking Tour

6. Quito: City Highlights and Food Walking Tour

Explore Quito, the oldest capital in South America, from all of its angles. Get to know the main historical plazas, buildings, churches and parks. Admire downtown's colonial architecture with its mix of 19th century and modern style buildings. Get away from the main sites and explore lesser-known gems, like the main flea market in town, where you'll understand another side of every day local life. Eat at a top street food stop, and explore one of the main markets. Finish the journey sampling some of the best chocolate and coffee from the hands of a top chocolatier.

Quito: Historic Day and Night Tour

7. Quito: Historic Day and Night Tour

During the course of this tour, you'll get to know the people and places of Quito, as your guide explains to you the cultural heritage of the city. You'll travel in a historic tram, similar to those that could be found in Quito in the 20th century. Firstly, you'll visit the historic centre of Quito, one of the largest and best-preserved sites in South America. Then, make your way to the Basilica del Voto Nacional Church, making a brief stop during which you'll be able to climb it's high domes. Following this, you'll head to the Panecillo viewpoint, an iconic place in the city where a statue of the Winged Virgin is located. Take some time to admire the beautiful landscape of Quito. Then, you'll continue to the Plaza de San Francisco, a place full of history. The historical and political centre of the city is to be found at the Plaza Grande, which is surrounded by innumerable attractions including the Cathedral, the Palace of Government, the Archbishop's Palace and the La Compañía church. This part of the tour will finish in the traditional La Ronda neighbourhood, in whose romantic setting you can find workshops and learn from local artisans. Find out how their works are created and gain an insight into the trades of yesteryear, which keep alive the cultural traditions of this charming city.  Urban Legends of Quito at night: The nighttime tour will begin in the northern part of the city. You'll get to visit the more commercial areas, where you can find most of Quito's hotels and nightlife. Then, you'll head to the historic centre to admire the churches and historic buildings illuminated at night. The tour will continue to Mirador del Panecillo, where you can take in stunning views of Quito. At the end of the tour, you may wish to go to one of the local nightlife spots or to one of the recommended restaurants or simply return to your hotel.

Quito: Cable Car Ride and Private City Tour

8. Quito: Cable Car Ride and Private City Tour

See Quito from above on this cable car and guided tour. Travel to Cruz Loma viewpoint, explore Quito with a guide, and learn about Quito's history. Meet your guide at your hotel and head to Pichincha volcano. Take the cable car to the top and admire the view from Cruz Loma. See an unforgettable view of Quito and the snow-capped volcanoes Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Cayambe. After returning to the base of the mountain, begin your guided tour of Quito, the first World Cultural Heritage Site created. Before your tour, enjoy some time to have a coffee or a small lunch with recommendations from your local guide. Head to Independence Square, the scene of many dramatic revolutionary battles throughout Ecuador's history. Walk past the Presidential Palace, Cathedral, Archbishop's Palace, and Church of the Secret Society of Jesus of Quito. Stroll through the charming La Ronda neighborhood and marvel at the ancient Church and Convent of San Francisco. Hop into a car and drive to the top of El Panecillo and see the tallest aluminum statue in the world, the winged Virgin Mary of Quito.

Old District Quito City: Private Walking Tour

9. Old District Quito City: Private Walking Tour

Meet your guide at Plaza de San Blas located in the Old Town to begin your cultural tour into the city’s historical heart. Experience the sights, smells, and flavors of this sky-high capital as the day comes to life. Start this 4-hour adventure on the cobblestone streets of the city to visit: the Mercado Central, a vibrant and colorful market to immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere; follow your guide past stalls bursting with exotic fruits and fresh vegetables and discover sizzling local dishes. You will also visit the Independence Plaza, home to the Independence Monument, Government Palace, and the Archbishop’s Palace. Stop to absorb the colonial charm of the La Compañía de Jesús, a Jesuit church boasting an elaborate façade made entirely out of volcanic stone, and an interior rich in gold leaf. Next, adventure to the legendary San Francisco Catholic Church to explore convents and a monastery, then walk down through Rocafuerte Street, which in the Seventeen Century was known as “the long Street to the hill”. Explore La Ronda, one of the most picturesque cobblestone streets in Old District of Quito. Following your guide’s recommendations and try flavors that you’re not likely to find back home — like colaciones, empanadas etc... Enjoy a shot of "Canelazo" using your newly learned phrases to greet locals or stop in a chocolatería to taste and have a full explanation of the whole process of making chocolate. Your guide is happy to provide assistance in getting back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 110 reviews

This tour includes the historic city of Quito and the middle of the world so take into account that the stops are quick. This was a great choice for me since I was spending only just a day in Quito but if you like taking a lot of pictures or just doing the tour in a slow pace I'd recommend (if it's possible) to make each tour separately. As I said, because of time, this tour was a great fit for me and also Andrés, the tour guide did a really good job.

Mauricio the Guide he’s so kindness and take care of all the people at any moment! Amazon experience that I really loved..! Please don’t miss this opportunity.

Tour war super. Irene als Tourguide war toll. Sind bis zum Basecamp des Cotopaxi hochgelaufen.

I had a great time! Our guide Andrea was very knowledgeable and her English was very good.

Unique experience and worth the money to learn, explore, and adventure in the mountains.