Presentation of the destination
Officially named San Francisco de Quito, the capital of Ecuador is a clever mix of historical heritage and industrial progress. It was one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Cities and thanks to its extremely well preserved and restored historic center, with a wide variety of monuments, whether they are religious buildings, squares or museums ... In the center of Quito is a well-known museum known as the Mitad del Mundo, literally the Middle of the World. This ancient city of Inca has survived the ages without betraying its origins, while benefiting from the Spanish culture of the conquistadors, which attracts every year more tourists and allows the municipality of undertake work to improve its infrastructure. Dive into the world of the Incas, walk the royal palaces, dance to the sound of Latin music, the heart of the world opens your arms.
Points of interests / things to see
Quito has the distinction of being the highest capital in the world. Situated at more than 2800 meters, it is surrounded by the mountains of the Guayllabamba Basin, as well as an impressive chain of volcanoes, some of which are still active. You are in the region of the mountain range of the Andes. On a clear day, you can admire the snow-capped summits of the Cotopaxi or Antisana mountains. The volcano closest to the city is named Pichincha. On several occasions, he woke up and his last eruption was in 1999. The last one was minor, but the city was covered with a thin layer of ashes.
The first traces of human life date back to 900 BC. Quito is located at altitude and in the valley of the river Guayllabamba, it was already at the time a platform of commercial exchanges. Here lived the Inca tribes and their emperor Huayna Capac made it his place of residence. The city as it can be visited today was founded by the Conquistadors at the end of the so-called "native" revolutions around 1530. The name "Quito" comes from "Quitus", name of the Indian ethnicity that preceded the Spaniards. The latter renamed it San Francisco de Quito. Being Christian, they invest the city and build many churches, chapels and rebÃ ¢ tir the city according to a new architecture: colonial architecture. They of course used the native people as labor and converted them to Catholicism. For the last ten years, tourism has made significant progress in the city. , the historic center is restored and rejuvenated. There is a proliferation of bars and restaurants ... The international airport, the bus lines, the renovated roads and the metro lines make Quito a dynamic and modern metropolis.
Welcome to one of the world's best-preserved historic centers and perhaps the biggest! Here the architecture mixes subtly with nature, green spaces and parks adjoin the squares, markets and palaces. In the center you will find an impressive concentration of buildings of all kinds and number of places. These last were the places of rendezvous of political and social events, today one rests there, drinks a glass there or listens a concert. You will not necessarily pass San Francisco Square. Around this place are scattered the church, the convent, with their two steeples so representative of the architecture of the seventeenth century. Do not forget, however, that the Inca market was here at the origin. A heritage so rich must have been exposed and highlighted, so follow the guide among the one of the museums of the city. Ecuador is committed to safeguarding its heritage and showcasing local artists. Museum of modern art or religious art in the Nacional Bank, retrospective of the artist Fray Pedro or Camilo Egas in their respective museums, all periods and styles will be discovered. Those who would like to gather or enjoy the peace of the churches will not be left out! Small and large churches are scattered in the city, from the monumental Basilica del Vote Nacional nè-Gothic to the Metropolitan Catedra without forgetting or of course the unmissable San Francisco church, and its convent which is the oldest recorded.
The neighborhood La Mariscal deserved a few lines for him alone. It is the heart of the city, the meeting place of artists, the youngest and the oldest, tourists and dancers. We do not even advise you to look for it, La Mariscal will come naturally to you. The best restaurants are there, as well as the most fashionable bars. In the morning, families drop off children in one of the neighborhood's schools, in the daytime they jostle in the shops, and in the evening they look for a place to sleep, where to dance. For those who would like to find more information about the region, travel agencies are there and offer tour operator or guide services to the day.
In a Latin country where everything moves at full speed, a little rest lying under a tree is not a luxury. You will find in Quito green on every corner! In the city center, Alameda Park will offer you a magnificent panorama of the basilica and the Pichincha volcano. We flank between the sculptures and we will admire the astronomical observatory. A little further back, the Guanquiltagua Park will delight cyclists, it is at altitude so the air is fresh and pleasant. A little south of the city, on Rumichaca Avenue, the whole family will lie in Las Cuadras Park, which is one of the city's strong points in ecology. The fauna and flora are lush. The park has two streams maintained in their natural state. This is a real little paradise in the heart of the capital.
You are in one of the corners of the planet that offers the greatest biodiversity. Young and old alike will enjoy the incredible walks the region has to offer. The most courageous will want to go out to attack one of the surrounding volcanoes. Get up at the first light of the day and try to climb Cotopaxi with the help of a guide. Hiking trails make it quite accessible. Do not forget that Quito overlooks a valley, in which flows a river. You will be able to follow the "water route", which will take you an hour away from the city and you will go up the course of Cayambe Coca, to the waterfall San Rafaele.
The Ecuadorian cuisine is a complete, rich and tasty cuisine. It consists of an extraordinary array of fruits, vegetables and cereals such as but, cassava as well as the famous quinoa, native to the region. The typical dishes of the region are the unforgettable pollo à la brasa, braised chicken, seco de gallina, a chicken fire pot accompanied by rice. We advise you to taste the famous cuy, inca recipe based on guinea pig. Fish lovers will enjoy a delicious ceviche of seafood and fish. Restaurants have proliferated in the last few years, whether establishments offering local cuisine or international brands. So you can eat your French breakfast if you like it! The Frid Bananas, restaurant located near the Mariscal, will enchant you with its warm atmosphere and its varied menu, at prices very accessible. A calamari ceviche and a succulent avocado soup are served here. As for the drink, the most widespread is beer. We swear by her to Quito. If you regret not having a local alcohol, do not worry! Most bars in the city will offer "el spirituo del ecuador", an alcohol with a bitter almond taste that will surprise you. However, eat it in moderation. In the evening, the Mariscal is a good place to go out. Here, there will be something for all tastes. The altitude makes this atmosphere a little less hot than in other Latin cities. So put on your beautiful dress or your beautiful costume and let yourself be carried away by the rhythms of salsa. The Transmission Bar, near the Mariscal, offers concerts, DJsets. You will admire the stars from the terrace and listen to the Ecuadorian laughs until the end of the night!
You want to bring back with you a little Ecuadorian memory? The city is full of shops, there are local crafts, silks, leather goods, antiques as well as fruit trees and coffee. Tourists will be directed primarily to the Mariscal or El Ejido markets. In the historic center, go for a walk in one of the ancestral craft shops. They seem not to have had a wrinkle since the pre-imperial era. The Quinde Gift Shop is a tourist's paradise with a suitcase to fill with gifts! It is a merry mingling of modernity and authenticity. Many traders here practice fair trade, and travelers will also find services such as tourist offices, bus tickets ... You will finally have the option mall. In Inaquito Mall, there are shops, cinemas, theater and a wide variety of restaurants.
Rooms for rent, romantic hotels or vacation rentals, all the options are available to you in order to spend a pleasant stay. In the city center, the establishments for all budgets multiply, and by leaving you a little of the city you will be able to merge calm and warm welcome in a hacienda of quality. You will be offered tours of the region. We recommend La Alegria, a mix of idleness and exploration.
Vacation rentals in Quito (Pichincha)
How to get there ?
The newly built Mariscal Sucre International Airport was inaugurated in February 2013. It is located 18 kilometers from the city and will eventually become a metropolitan park. A shuttle service is available to reach the city. You can reach Ecuador by JosÃ © Joaquin international airport of Olmedo de Guayaquil.Â The country uses rail transport only for the transport of goods, however, it has a good network of roads.
Hotels in Quito (Pichincha)