15 Things to Do in Quito, Ecuador: Exploring the Enchanting Capital


CurioWhisper - 15 Things to Do in Quito, Ecuador Exploring the Enchanting Capital
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Welcome to Quito, the captivating capital of Ecuador! Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, this city offers a perfect blend of historical charm and natural beauty. Whether you're a history enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or a nature lover, Quito has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore 15 exciting things to do in Quito, ensuring that your visit to this enchanting city becomes an unforgettable experience.

1. Wander Through the Historic Center 

Step back in time as you stroll through Quito's historic center, also known as the Old Town. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to beautifully preserved colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant squares. Lose yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of this charming neighborhood.

2. Visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional 

Marvel at the grandeur of the Basilica del Voto Nacional, one of the largest neo-Gothic churches in the Americas. Climb to the top of its towers for breathtaking panoramic views of Quito. Don't miss the chance to explore the church's intricate interior and admire its stunning stained glass windows.

3. Explore the TelefériQo 

Take a ride on the TelefériQo, Quito's cable car system that ascends to the slopes of Pichincha Volcano. Enjoy spectacular views of the city as you reach an altitude of over 4,000 meters. Once at the top, embark on a hike to further explore the natural wonders of this picturesque region.

4. Discover the Mitad del Mundo 

Stand at the middle of the world at the Mitad del Mundo monument, located just outside Quito. This monument marks the equator, and you can straddle both the northern and southern hemispheres with one foot on each side. Visit the Intiñan Museum nearby to learn more about the fascinating science behind this unique geographical location.

5. Visit the Church and Convent of San Francisco 

Immerse yourself in the religious history of Quito by visiting the Church and Convent of San Francisco. This impressive complex showcases stunning colonial architecture and houses an extensive collection of religious art. Take a guided tour to fully appreciate the stories and legends associated with this iconic landmark.

6. Experience the Vibrant Mercado Central 

Indulge in a sensory feast at the Mercado Central, Quito's bustling central market. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you navigate through stalls brimming with fresh produce, local crafts, and traditional delicacies. Don't forget to sample some mouthwatering Ecuadorian dishes, such as ceviche and empanadas.

7. Hike to the Top of El Panecillo 

Embark on a hike up El Panecillo, a prominent hill overlooking Quito. At the summit, you'll find the iconic Virgen del Panecillo statue, an emblematic symbol of the city. Enjoy panoramic views of Quito's sprawling landscape and learn about the legends surrounding this majestic monument.

8. Explore the Mindo Cloud Forest 

Venture outside of Quito and discover the enchanting Mindo Cloud Forest. This biodiverse paradise is a haven for nature lovers, offering opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, and even zip-lining through the lush canopy. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of this pristine ecosystem and reconnect with nature.

9. Admire the Art at the Guayasamín Museum 

Delve into the world of renowned Ecuadorian artist Oswaldo Guayasamín at his namesake museum. Marvel at his powerful and emotive artworks that depict the struggles and resilience of the Latin American people. The museum's stunning architecture and serene gardens provide the perfect backdrop for this artistic journey.

10. Visit the La Ronda Neighborhood 

Step into Quito's bohemian soul as you explore the La Ronda neighborhood. This picturesque street is lined with colorful colonial houses, lively cafés, and artisanal shops. Immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture, indulge in traditional snacks, and even catch a live music performance or a dance show.

11. Take a Day Trip to Cotopaxi National Park 

Embark on an adventure to Cotopaxi National Park, home to one of the world's highest active volcanoes. Marvel at the awe-inspiring landscapes as you hike through scenic trails, spot unique wildlife, and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Don't forget to capture some memorable photographs against the backdrop of this majestic natural wonder.

12. Discover the City's Street Art 

Quito's streets are adorned with vibrant murals and captivating street art. Take a self-guided tour or join a street art walking tour to explore this urban art scene. Discover the stories and messages behind each mural, which often reflect the city's history, culture, and social issues.

13. Sample Ecuadorian Chocolate 

Indulge your sweet tooth and treat yourself to Ecuadorian chocolate, known for its exceptional quality. Visit a local chocolate shop or take a chocolate-making workshop to learn about the process from bean to bar. Delight in the rich flavors and aromatic notes that make Ecuadorian chocolate a true culinary delight.

14. Explore the City's Parks and Plazas 

Take a leisurely stroll through Quito's parks and plazas, which offer serene oases amidst the bustling city. Visit Parque La Carolina, Parque El Ejido, or Parque Itchimbía to unwind, enjoy a picnic, or engage in outdoor activities. These green spaces provide a refreshing escape and a chance to appreciate Quito's natural beauty.

15. Savor Traditional Ecuadorian Cuisine 

Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure by sampling traditional Ecuadorian cuisine. From hearty soups like locro de papa to mouthwatering grilled meats like cuy (guinea pig), Ecuadorian dishes are sure to tantalize your senses. Visit local restaurants or street food stalls to experience the authentic flavors of this gastronomic delight.


Quito, Ecuador's charismatic capital, offers a myriad of experiences that cater to every traveler's desires. From exploring its rich history to immersing oneself in breathtaking natural landscapes, Quito never fails to captivate visitors. Whether you're wandering through its cobblestone streets or savoring its delectable cuisine, the city's enchanting charm will leave a lasting impression. Plan your trip to Quito today and embark on an unforgettable journey filled with beauty, culture, and adventure.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the best time to visit Quito?

The best time to visit Quito is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to September. These months offer pleasant weather and fewer rain showers, making it ideal for outdooractivities and exploring the city.

2. How do I get to Quito?

Quito is served by the Mariscal Sucre International Airport, which receives flights from major cities around the world. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or a shuttle service to reach the city center.

3. Is Quito safe for tourists?

Quito is generally considered safe for tourists, but it's always advisable to take precautions and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid displaying valuable items, be cautious in crowded areas, and use reliable transportation options.

4. Are there any day trips from Quito?

Yes, there are several day trips you can take from Quito. Some popular options include visiting the Otavalo Market, exploring the Quilotoa Crater Lake, or taking a trip to the Papallacta Hot Springs. These excursions allow you to experience the diverse natural beauty surrounding Quito.

5. Can I drink tap water in Quito?

It is recommended to drink bottled or filtered water in Quito to avoid any potential stomach discomfort. Most hotels and restaurants provide safe drinking water, and bottled water is readily available throughout the city.

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