Top attractions in Quito
Top places to see in Quito
Born from the ruins of an Incan city, Ecuador's capital offers both the comforts of a modern cityscape and cultural treasures of a World Heritage site. Surrounded by volcanic peaks, Quito is abundant in breathtaking natural beauty and perfect for adventurers.
1. Church of the Society of Jesus
This astouding baroque masterpiece is often claimed as Ecuador's most beautiful church. The ornate interior is guaranteed to dazzle. Admission is $4 with a guided tour.
2. Church and Convent of St. Francis
Built shortly after Quito was founded in 1534, this is one of the city's oldest churches. It's an impressive spectacle with stunning colonial design and a rich cultural history.
3. La Capilla del Hombre
Overlooking Quito is this fascinating museum and gallery of Guayasamín's life work. The building itself is one of the painter's greatest works of art and is best explored by tour.
4. El Panecillo
This impressive statue of the Virigin Mary sits atop the hill of Panecillo. Whether you climb by foot or take a taxi, you're guaranteed breathtaking views of Quito's best sights.
5. Pichincha Volcano
Take a ride on Quito Teleferico - one of the world's highest aerial lifts - to see stunning views from Pichincha's base. Try and wait for a clear morning to get the full effect.
6. Cotopaxi National Park
A beautiful natural treasure, this expansive reserve is one of Ecuador's most popular attractions. For a day trip, it's best to drive and then explore on foot. Admission is $10.
7. Cathedral of Quito
Found in the Independence Plaza, the Metropolitan Cathedral is a beautiful blend of architectural designs. Inside, view its stunning colonial art collection unrivalled in Quito.
8. Parque La Carolina
A wonderful family park packed full of things to do. Rent a kite or paddleboat in the sunshine. Or visit the park's botanic gardens and vivarium for a great display of wildlife.
9. Ciudad Mitad del Mundo
Journey to the "City at the Middle of the World" to see this stunning monument marking the equator line. It's a picture-perfect sight and also home to an Ecuadorian history museum.
Planning Your Visit
When's the best time to visit Quito?
Falling on the equator, Quito has wet and dry seasons rather than clear-cut summer and winter months. If you want a sunny visit, then June to August is best. Its busiest periods are mid-June to September and late December to early January, so book well in advance if you're planning your trip for those periods.
How many days should you stay?
There's a wealth of must-see sights, beautiful beaches and stunning natural surroundings in Quito, with plenty to do if you venture outside of the city, too. Most recommend at least three full days to see Quito's treasures, but a more well-rounded trip would benefit from a week.
Where's the best place to stay?
The most popular spot to stay is near the Mariscal. Here there are plenty of guesthouses, hostels, bars and eateries to suit any budget. However, for a taste of traditional Quito, head for the old town, home to most of the city's most treasured, ancient sites.
Good to know
- USD ($)
- Time Zone
- UTC (-05:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- Given Quito is so near the equator, year round temperatures are generally pleasant and warm. There is, however, a rainy season which lasts from December through March. Best plan your trip for June, July, or August.
Other Sightseeing Options in Quito
Want to discover all there is to do in Quito? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Quito
This was such a fun and up-close way to get to see many of the different neighborhoods in Quito, including some more traditional tourist spots as well as some spots that only locals would know. Ernesto and Nico were my guides and they were so friendly and provided a lot of background information and history. Not to mention, the food was amazing! I would recommend starting this tour on an empty stomach, as you will definitely get more than enough food. I would also suggest bringing a backpack to carry raincoat/water bottle, and wear shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. On our few hours of walking we experienced both bright sunshine and pouring rain. Ernesto did call us a car at one point so we wouldn’t have to walk in the downpour. I will definitely recommend this to my friends who are visiting Quito!
Very small group tour - we were only with one other couple (luckily they were lovely). We were able to choose what activities we wanted to do, but needed to balance against location (as they are not all close together) and what the other couple wanted to do. Lunch was fantastic but took a really long time... So we had to skip one of our planned afternoon activities. Also note the hike down to the waterfall and back up is quite strenuous and often slippery (wear proper hiking shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy).
Awesome tour and Diana was a great guide. Beautiful views of the lake and we even enjoyed a quick boat ride around the lake. A great experience for my first time visiting Quito. The hike was challenging for me bc I’m a beginner but it was definitely worth it. You can rent donkeys to take you back up to the top.
We had a wonderful day, Erica and Alberto went above and beyond to make our day enjoyable. From Mindo to the chocolate factory everything was for our benefit. Even to giving me a helping hand up some of the steeper parts.
Longer day than expected (12 hours vs. 10 in the description), but worth it! All the stops were great. Bring an extra duffle bag to fill with all the beautiful textiles from the market, you'll want to buy everything.