Top attractions 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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- 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.
Things to Do in Quito
Top Attractions in Quito
Cities in Ecuador
Other Sightseeing Options in Quito
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What people are saying about Quito
After some initial confusion with the tour operator (Latin Adventures) over pick up times the tour went ahead as planned and was a great experience. Our guide spoke excellent English (which was great as our Spanish is very limited) and was very knowledgeable about the site and it's surrounding area. She ensured we toured the "actual" equator line exhibition with an English speaking group and then took us to another sub exhibition to learn about chocolate making starting with the bean. This part of the tour would be particularly interesting for those interested in earth sciences though the group guide's gory description of how indigenous head hunters cleaned and displayed their victims heads could have be more tastefully done. She then escorted us around the "original" equator line park, explained the significance of various statues before accompanying us into the monument itself to help us understand the various displays contained within it. A great afternoon out 1hr from Quito.
This is a great tour with something for everyone. There were 6 in our group, 4 x "30 somethings" and my friend and I at 60+ 1st stop was a Hummingbird sanctuary where we got "up close and personal" with these beautiful birds as they visited the feeders. Then it was into the Cloud Forest proper. The "30 somethings" opted for high octane activities like zip lining 100m above ground and repelling down a 30m waterfall (bring waterproof bag, towel, swimsuits, wet shoes & a change of clothes inc. footwear) My friend and I opted for the lower intensity activities. A 3 minute cable car ride across a 500m deep ravine accessed a 2 mile hike along well maintained trails through the cloud forest and across a roaring torrent beside a 15m high waterfall, before continuing on to a butterfly farm and orchid nursery to admire the beauty of the insects and plants. The guide and driver were really knowledgeable and helpful and did a great job accommodating our very varied interests and abilities.
I booked this tour for my first day in Quito (might want to acclimate to the altitude at least a day first). I could only go that day. I have had previous altitude issues so I purchased oxygen canisters in advance. I cannot say enough about what a great Guide Fernando was and Nixon was a great driver too. We picked up Paulina as a park Guide and she led us up the zig-zag route to the refuge lodge. The change in elevation from there is about 1200 ft and the route is just less than a mile. Fernando stayed right with me encouraging me and assuring me I could do it. I did, but his encouragement made the difference. We saw a llama wandering around, wild horses and a variety of bird life. Take this trip- it was awesome!!
This experience is so fun with many options to choose from, tons of flexibility, and an expert guide. Diego, Andrea, and Gabriel were an incredible guide team. Zip-lining gave us incredible views and we got to do way more routes than we anticipated for such a good price. Then we did a coffee agricultural tour that involved everything from picking the coffee cherry and processing it all the way to drinking it fresh. We got to do a chair lift with more amazing views and ended at a very nice restaurant that also sold tasty Mindo chocolate. Diego was very knowledgeable and accommodating, Andrea captured all our best moments, and Gabriel got us everywhere very safely. Would highly recommend, very good deal.
Tour guide was very knowledgeable and interesting. The tour around at the equator was equally enjoyable and well worth the extra $4. The trolley dropped us at the hotel we were staying at instead of making us walk from the Holiday Inn which was supper awesome too.