"A city among volcanoes" Top 5 Page for this destination Quito by toonsarah
Quito Travel Guide: 1,073 reviews and 2,916 photos
We spent four nights here at the start of our trip to Ecuador, a couple more between tours to various places in the north, and two more at the end of the trip. I grew to really like the city, and especially the contrast between its traffic-filled, somewhat manic newer areas and the colonial quarter at its heart.
The old colonial quarter is near Quito’s centre, at the foot of the small hill known as El Panecillo , from where the Virgin of Quito watches over the city. The modern city stretches both north and south from here, with the northern part being more affluent and containing the museums, shops, hotels, bars and restaurants most likely to attract visitors. Most choose to stay here, but we opted for a hotel in the colonial old town, which, though lacking the vibrant nightlife of the Mariscal district to its north, had a charm that appealed to us much more.
We spent most of our time here in the city’s colonial heart, which was one of the first two places in the world to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (the other was Krakow in Poland). We visited many of its churches, people-watched in its attractive plazas, wandered its streets and ate in its restaurants at night.
But we did venture further afield at times. We were lucky enough to have friends in the city, or rather, the parents of a London friend, who had offered to spend time with us and introduce us to some parts of the city that they especially thought we would like. So with Betty and Marcello we enjoyed the views from El Panecillo, visited the Basilica and the Fundacion Guayasamin, shopped in the market and toured some of the outlying districts.
We also had some tours outside the city including a day trip to Otavalo, famous for its market and to the Mitad del Mundo monument which marks the line of the Equator; an overnight tour to Cotapaxi and Quilotoa, and another overnight stay at the lovely Termes de Papallacta.
But each time when we returned to our base in Quito, we felt we were coming home, and that for me is a sign of the city’s warm personality and rather special character. A place I am very glad to have visited.
I have linked these tips in an order that made sense to me (!), loosely based on moving in concentric circles out from the colonial heart of the city to its newer parts and beyond. So please start your tour with me with an overview of the city.
- In a nutshell:A city that will grow on you
Perhaps the main thing that made Quito seem special to me is its unusual situation in a cleft between the Andean... more travel advice
Quito’s location in the middle of a mountain range has a big impact on its climate. For one thing, you may be almost on... more travel advice
- Great base in the colonial centre
- See All A simple breakfast
- See All Plaza de la Independencia
- See All Fairtraded souvenirs
toonsarah's Related Pages
Quito Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Quito - Capital of Ecuador"
- "b1bob does Quito big time"
- "A city among volcanoes"
- "Thinking of South American Cities? Think Quito"
- "¡Bienvenidos a Quito!"
- "Connected with nature at the middle of the earth"
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- Things to Do in Quito
- Hotels in Quito
- Transportation in Quito
- Nightlife in Quito
- Restaurants in Quito
- Shopping in Quito
- Warnings and Dangers in Quito
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