15 Dec Top 6 Things To Do in Quito
Quito is the capital of Ecuador, located on the equator in South America. Imagine standing on the world’s highest point of the equator! Quito is 2,850 meters (9,350 ft) above sea level. This city has a lot to give, everything from UNESCO heritage sites to colourful textile markets. After living here for almost two years I have put together the top 6 things to do in Quito:
Take the Teleferiqo
Enjoy the fresh air at an altitude of 4000 meters! If you take the cable cart “Teleferiqo” in the morning from 9 am you will most likely get an amazing view of the whole city, including several volcanoes. You can do the hike up to the volcano Ruco Pichincha of an altitude of almost 4700 meters. Don’t walk without a guide, you can get lost! Don’t forget to dress for the hike, you need good shoes, warm clothes, sunglasses and don’t forget to you cover yourself with sunscreen. The sun is incredibly strong in the middle of the world. Entry is $8 to take the cable cart. You also need to bring a valid ID. Quick tip: Hold on to your ticket while you are up there. You will need it to get on the cart back down.
If you are lucky you will be able to spot beautiful wildlife like the bird Curiquingue.
Visit the UNESCO Heritage listed Old Town
Experience outstanding Colonial churches, museums and monuments in the Old Town in Quito. Most of the places are within a walking distance. You can start with La Basílica del Voto Nacional, where you can climb to the top and enjoy the beautiful Basílica and the view of the rest of the old town. Entry for the churches in Old Town may vary from $0 to $5. A short 10-minute walking distance from Basílica you can see Carondelet Palace (the Presidential Palace) and if you go there on a Monday morning 11 am you can see the change of guards.
Close to the Palace is the most magnificent church you will see in Quito; Iglesia la Compañia de Jesus. The Church has a very interesting history and is made out of volcanic stone. If you look south you will see the Virgen del Panecillo, it is upon a hill which you can even walk to or get by taxi. The same day you can visit the picturesque area in the old town called La Ronda. La Ronda is safe and has many cosy cafes and restaurants. If you are lucky, you might see a traditional show.
Related: Top Tips for Travelling in Quito
Stand with one foot on each hemisphere
You simply haven’t been to Quito if you haven’t standed with one foot on the northern hemisphere and the other on the south hemisphere. About 45 minutes north of the city center is the Middle of the world monument (Mitad Del Mundo). Entry to the monument is $3. Around the monument you can find small souvenir shops, traditional food and two lamas you can take selfies with! If you are there on a weekend it is traditional shows.
Do your souvenir shopping at Mercado Artesanal
Looking for colourful souvenirs? Mercado Artesanal is the place! If you don’t have extra time to visit the huge handcraft market in Otavalo, Mercado Artesanal is the best alternative. Mercado Artesanal is placed in La Mariscal area. It is a cheaper alternative than Otavalo. Here you get a chance use your haggling skills. You can get some really good and unique deals, everything from colourful shoes, bags, scarfs and jewellery.
Related: Top Tips for Travelling in Quito
Enjoy La Carolina Park with locals on a Sunday
La Carolina is the most lively place you can be on a Sunday. Families, musicians and sports enthusiasts enjoy everything this park has to give for free. You can see lots of food stands, playgrounds and even an abandoned aeroplane! If you are not able to be there on a Sunday, any day is good as well. La Carolina was renovated I the beginning of 2016 and is very safe to walk around even late at night.
Eat dinner at Café Mosaico
This beautiful café is placed in the Old Town and is known for its beautiful view of Panecillo. If you are travelling with your pet, feel free to bring it! They can get their own meal.
Have you been to Quito, Ecuador? Is it anything you missed from this article? Write a comment below.
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