Quito
Meet the Locals

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Our most recommended Quito Meet the Locals

Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

1. Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

Drive south from Quito to the Quilotoa area and visit its famous lagoon. Along the way, you'll admire the beautiful Andean landscape and stop at the Shalala viewpoint. Next, you'll visit the community viewpoint and descend to the lagoon. Once there, you'll have free time to hike and explore the area. You'll return on a path that connects the lagoon to the community viewpoint. It's an intense walk, so if you're not in good shape, simply climb on a mule that will pack you back to the viewpoint. After a lunch break, you'll also stop at a Tigua craft workshop, famous for its colorful products, and visit the Toachi's Canon.

Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

2. 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.

From Quito: 4-Day Nature & Culture Tour

3. From Quito: 4-Day Nature & Culture Tour

Start your four-day Quito adventure with a visit to the Cotopaxi National Park where you can walk around Limpiopungo Lake and enjoy the scenery of one of the highest and most active volcanoes in Ecuador. The next day, explore the charming city of Baños to enjoy the famous Avenida de las Cascadas. Visit the Pailon del Diablo waterfall where you can try what’s known as the “swing at the end of the world.” The following day, get picked up by your guide and travel to Chimborazo Faunistic Reserve. Walk around and enjoy the scenery of the highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo. Spot some vicuñas. Take time for lunch before visiting Balbanera church, and then traveling south to Ingapirca, the most important archaeological complex in Ecuador, where you will learn about the Cañari and Incan cultures. Stay overnight in Cuenca, known as one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador which you can continue to explore the next day with a visit to the historic center, and Cajas National Park or Gualaceo and Chordeleg.

Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

4. Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

Start your Quito night tour in the northern part of the city and travel through the most important commercial areas where most of the hotels are located. Explore aboard a replica of the trams used in the city in the last century. Head to the historic center to gaze at the illuminated churches and main tourist attractions. Discover some of the city's unique landscapes (tickets not included). Then, continue to Mirador del Panecillo (entrance included) for a beautiful view of colonial and modern day Quito. During the tour, you will get to know the people who live in this city better, and begin to recognize their way of speaking and thinking. During your visit to the city, your guide will tell you all about the historic urban legends that are a part of the traditional and cultural heritage of the people of Quito.

Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito

5. Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito

Depart Quito and journey towards the Guayllabamba valley to see the Quitsato Sundial in La Mitad Del Mundo, built to share the astronomical knowledge of the pre-Hispanic cultures of the region. Pass over the line of the equator and continue towards the largest indigenous market in South America. Shop for souvenir textiles and traditional crafts at the Mercado de Ponchos, where the locals sell tagua nut jewelry, fake shrunken heads, hand-painted trays, spices, spools of wool and other interesting items under mushroom-shaped umbrellas. Get back to nature at the Peguche waterfall, popular with the locals who go there to take a sacred bath on the eve of Inti Raymi. Continue towards the caldera lake of Cuicocha in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve (excluding holidays) and get stunning views of the Cotacachi Volcano before driving back to Quito.

From Quito : 2-Day Mindo Excursion with Lodging

6. From Quito : 2-Day Mindo 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: Street Food Essentials

7. Quito: Street Food Essentials

Begin your experience in Quito's main flea market, a hidden gem even for locals. Eat some of the best traditional dishes while understanding a classic working environment full of antiques and small treasures. Continue around the Basilica of the National Vow towards the eateries surrounding one of the oldest and most significant public schools, where most of the student's movements take place. Make your third stop in one of the busiest political areas, where the amount and quality of the eateries are beyond the imagination. Walk around beautiful street art toward the main park in downtown Quito, and get a glimpse of everyday life, national sports, and some of the most representative street eateries in town. As your first bites digest, stroll to the most mind-blowing stop to savor the most delicious culinary scene in the country: seafood from Manabí (famous for its inventive, resourceful, and truly unique food). Then, continue your pleasant walk and find your way to one of the favorite markets in town, a gastronomic paradise showcasing the natural abundance of Ecuador. Finish the journey with quality hand-made chocolate, the icing on the cake of Quito's top flavors. You can choose to take a regular shared or private walking tour, with or without pickup and drop-off.

Otavalo: Small Group Market Tour from Quito

8. Otavalo: Small Group Market Tour from Quito

Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Quito, and then journey by private vehicle towards the lively indigenous bazaar of Otavalo Market. Make brief stops at the village of Guayabamba and get an amazing view of San Pablo Lake and the surrounding landscape. Try some of the local biscochos (cookies) typical of the region along the way. Visit a weaving workshop in Peguche to learn about the handmade artisanal products and clothes typical of the region. Get back on the road to arrive at Otavalo Market and join the locals who come to sell their wares at the most spectacular market in Latin America. Buy unique souvenirs or just watch the hustle and bustle of the market vendors. Stop for lunch in the village of Cotacachi before making your way to the beautiful crater lake of Cuicocha at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano. Return to Quito at the end of a day full of activities and get dropped off at your hotel.

Quito: Equator Line and Hidden Gems Tour with Beer Tasting

9. Quito: Equator Line and Hidden Gems Tour with Beer Tasting

Your tour guide will pick you up at 9:00 a.m. from your hotel, in order to drive you towards the north west of Quito to head the famous Intiñan Museum, geographically located at 0 degrees, 0 minutes and 0 seconds, that marks the division between the northern and southern hemispheres as established by the French Geodesic Mission in the Eighteenth Century. You will admire beautiful displays of different ethnic groups in Ecuador, plus the story of their lifestyles, explained by a specialist tour guide! This is the opportunity to be photographed with both of your feet on the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time! After this memorable and fantastic experience in the museum, you will drive to the “Mitad del Mundo” complex, that is located at the San Antonio parish of Quito. The grounds contain the Ethnographic Museum, a museum about the indigenous ethnography of Ecuador. The 30-meter-tall monument, built between 1979 and 1982, was constructed to mark the point where the equator passes through the country in the geodetic datum in use in Ecuador at that time. A line down the centre of the east-facing staircase and across the plaza, was meant to mark the equator and countless tourists over the years have had their pictures taken straddling this line. Then we drive straight to a hidden farm, where you will learn all about the organic products that the local people grow in their backyards, such as coffee, bananas, tangerines, lemons, oranges, etc. While we are walking through the little crops, we will have one of the best opportunities to practice photography, from an extremely short distance, of about 20 species of Hummingbirds, 6 species of Tannagers, 2 species of Quetzals, toucans, flower piercers, and much more! After this memorable experience, you'll have time to relax and enjoy a craft beer tasting at a local brewery. You will finish this fantastic adventure at 4:00 p.m!

Quito: Old Town and Middle of the World Tour.

10. Quito: Old Town and Middle of the World Tour.

From your hotel, the tour starts with a visit to the old town visiting Plaza Grande, and La Compañia de Jesús, San Francisco and La Basilica Churches. You then continue onto Panecillo Hill, a magnificent viewpoint overlooking the city. Leaving the old town, head to the cable car Teleférico, traveling to 4,200 meters above sea level to view all of Quito. Following a 45-minute drive, you will find yourself in the middle of the world, visiting the equator line monument and Intiñan museum. Another 45-minute will have you back at your hotel. The tour itinerary is very flexible and lunch could be provided in either the middle of the world or in the old town.

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What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 18 reviews

We had a super day out with guide Ibeth and driver Jorge. Ibeth led us through Quito old town on May Day with grace and charm while police were mustering all around against possible demonstrations later in the day—just an amazing experience! She quickly recognized the pace we needed to set, our needs and met any requests immediately, while Jorge negotiated traffic, drop offs and pick ups with great skill. Because of the holiday we made some changes to our day, and enjoyed an absolutely delicious lunch overlooking the middle of the world monument and followed up at the nearby museum and national park. The day was enjoyable from beginning to end —and Ibeth was both knowledgeable and personable. Excellent value for money!

I enjoyed the experience from being picked up at my hotel to being toured around the city. Although I’m not a fan of chocolate I even tried the chocolate during the tasting session it was a great experience overall and the tour guide was very aware of how we were feeling based on the elevation.

Ernesto was absolutely terrific! The tour was informative, enjoyable, and the stops for lunch and a chocolate tasting gave us a glimpse into authentic Quito. (For an extra special bonus, ask Ernesto to take you to “Güero Güey”, the absolute best taqueria in town!)

It was a great experience of one day trip for city tour and middle of the world in Quito. The guide Ana is very knowledgeable for history, culture, even food. I learned a lot and enjoyed the activities.

We had a good tour our guide was very informative and the two tours cover most of the interesting places in Quito.