Ecuador’s capital is a fascinating destination and should definitely be included in your plans. Quito’s Historic Center, varied restaurants and bars, art and music scene and history lend themselves to fun days of urban exploring.
Its church-filled Old Town is a pleasure to explore by foot while its modern neighbourhoods and cultural life can prove equally engaging.
We can help arrange accommodation and activities that highlight both the capital’s heritage and present.
Below are some our suggested experiences in Quito. We can help plan your itinerary according to your interests.
PLAZA DE LA INDEPENDENCIA
The Plaza de la Independencia is the capital’s beating heart, hemmed by imposing buildings with a statue to liberty in its centre. It makes a charming place to people-watch and learn about the city and the country’s tumultuous history.
IGLESIA DE LA COMPAÑÍA DE JESÚS
La Compañía de Jesús’s spacious interior is covered tip-to-toe in tonnes of gold leaf; the symmetric design combined with indigenous elements bring a distinct grandeur to the building, regarded as a high-point of Baroque Art on the continent.
PLAZA DE SAN FRANCISCO
The church of San Francisco stretches the length of its plaza, one of the oldest in South America. The foundations of Incan palaces lie beneath the church. Its interior patios are wonderfully peaceful and the ceiling of its choir sublime.
CHAPEL OF MAN ART TOUR
During his lifetime, artist Oswaldo Guayasamin’s work achieved international acclaim. The Chapel of Man is one of his crowning achievements, a symmetrical stone pyramid perched high on a hill overlooking Quito’s valleys. Stunning story-high murals hang in its galleries, stark tributes to the people of Latin America.
Explore a traditional Ecuadorian food market as your guide shows you the exotic fruits and vegetables of the country. Stalls piled high with produce, flowers, fish and meat with local merchants eager to sell you their wares.
Our foodie tour takes you into a local restaurant’s kitchen for a cooking class. As the class progresses, a chef shows you how to prepare a classic Ecuadorian meal using locally-sourced ingredients. After the meal is prepared, sit down and enjoy a home-made lunch.
A trip out to the “Middle of the World” to straddle the Equator and learn about the intriguing physics of our planet as well as about Ecuadorian peoples and cultures.
TELEFERICO CABLE CAR RIDE
Take a ride on the cable car on the Pichincha Volcano’s eastern flanks, up to an amazing (and breath-taking) 4,000 metres above sea level. On clear days, you’ll able to spot a number of snow-capped peaks.
Itchimbia Park is the local’s favorite; a paved path overlooking the city loops through lakes, athletic fields, picnic areas, and concert pavilions.
LA BASILICA DEL VOTO NACIONAL
Designed to emulate the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Basilica began construction in 1886 and was consecrated in 1988. If you look towards the roof, Galapagos animals replace traditional gargoyles. It has a fine viewpoint with sweeping vistas.
Don’t forget our exclusive chocolate-tasting experience with Toak chocolate. Read more
Our Quito extensions include airport transfers to and from a hotel of your choice in the capital. We recommend Casa Gangotena in the historic center for its elegant rooms and facilities, first class service, and gourmet cuisine. We also can find other hotels that work with your itinerary and needs.
Located bang in the heart of Quito’s told town (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Casa Gangotena is perfectly positioned to explore the lively streets of the capital’s colonial quarter. With San Francisco church on its doorstep, and many other spectacular churches, plazas and museums within a short walking distance, Casa Gangotena is ideal for visitors who may only have an afternoon and morning to explore the historic center, and who want to maximize their time there.
As a member of Relais & Chateaux, Casa Gangotena prides itself on a high level of comfort and service; and it is widely considered as the best luxury hotel in Quito. Its restaurant is headed by Chef Emilio Dalmau , who likes to channel happiness through his cooking. Inspired by many of Ecuador’s native ingredients such as quinoa, seafood and chocolate, he has developed his own take on Ecuadorian cuisine, and one which reflects the country’s past, present and future.
Contact our team for other options in the Old Town or close to the airport if you need a stopover before continuing on to the Galapagos or back home.
A few of our
THE Place to Stay on Santa Cruz Island We spent four nights of our Ecuador trip at Galapagos Safari Camp and, taking into consideration a culmination of factors,... read more
WONDERFUL STAY AT GALAPAGOS SAFARI CAMP My husband and I just returned from a wonderful 4 night/5 day trip to the Galapagos Safari Lodge. How... read more
Surpassed our expectations! I can't praise Sebastien and the team at GSC highly enough for looking after us during our 6 night stay... read more