Most Popular Things to Do in Quito

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is a vibrant and historic destination that offers a wealth of attractions and activities for travelers. With its stunning colonial architecture, rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking natural landscapes, Quito.

Explore the Historic Center:

No visit to Quito would be complete without exploring its UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center. Known as the “Old Town” or “Centro Histórico,” this area is brimming with colonial-era buildings, picturesque plazas, and magnificent churches. Start your journey at the Plaza de la Independencia, the main square, and visit the iconic Presidential Palace. Don’t miss the stunning Cathedral of Quito, the Church of the Society of Jesus, and the San Francisco Church, each showcasing remarkable architectural beauty.

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Ascend the TeleferiQo:

For breathtaking panoramic views of Quito and its surrounding landscapes, take a trip on the TeleferiQo. This cable car ride will transport you to the top of Cruz Loma, a mountain overlooking the city. Once at the summit, you can hike further up to the Pichincha Volcano, or simply enjoy the mesmerizing views and capture stunning photographs.

Discover the Middle of the World:

Quito is famously located near the equator, and visiting the “Middle of the World” is a fascinating experience. Head to the Intiñan Museum, where you can straddle the Northern and Southern Hemispheres simultaneously. Explore interactive exhibits that showcase the unique properties of being on the equator and learn about the indigenous cultures that have thrived in this region for centuries.

Visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional:

A striking symbol of Quito’s architecture, the Basilica del Voto Nacional is a must-visit for its grandeur and unique features. Marvel at its Gothic-inspired design, intricate stone carvings, and gargoyles. For the adventurous, climb the towers and be rewarded with spectacular views of the city. Take a moment to admire the impressive stained glass windows and intricate mosaics inside the basilica.

Immerse Yourself in the Arts at La Ronda:

Quito’s La Ronda is a charming, narrow street known for its artistic ambiance. Stroll through its cobblestone lanes lined with colorful houses, art galleries, craft shops, and cafés. You can watch local artisans at work, purchase handmade souvenirs, or even try your hand at creating your own masterpiece at a painting workshop.

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Explore the Museums:

Quito is home to numerous museums that offer insights into Ecuador’s rich history and culture. The Museo de la Ciudad provides a comprehensive overview of Quito’s evolution, while the Museo de la Casa del Alabado showcases pre-Columbian art and artifacts. Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Museo Guayasamín, dedicated to the works of Ecuador’s most renowned painter, Oswaldo Guayasamín.

Taste the Local Cuisine:

No visit to Quito is complete without indulging in its gastronomic delights. Sample traditional Ecuadorian dishes such as ceviche, llapingachos (potato pancakes), and hornado (roast pork). Explore the bustling Mercado Central, where you can savor local fruits, street food, and freshly brewed coffee. For a unique culinary experience, consider taking a cooking class to learn how to prepare traditional Ecuadorian recipes and immerse yourself in the flavors of the region.

Explore the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve:

Located just outside of Quito, the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve is a unique attraction worth visiting. This volcanic crater, considered one of the few inhabited calderas in the world, is home to lush vegetation, diverse wildlife, and local communities. Hike through the reserve’s trails, enjoy breathtaking views of the crater, and learn about its geological significance.

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Take a Day Trip to Otavalo:

For a memorable excursion from Quito, venture to the town of Otavalo, known for its vibrant indigenous market. The Otavalo Market is famous for its textiles, crafts, and traditional clothing. Explore the colorful stalls, interact with local artisans, and purchase authentic souvenirs. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness traditional Andean music and dance performances in the main square.

Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in Mindo:

If you’re a nature lover and adventure seeker, a trip to Mindo is a must. Located a short distance from Quito, Mindo is a cloud forest paradise offering a wide range of activities. Embark on exhilarating zipline adventures through the treetops, go tubing along pristine rivers, or hike to breathtaking waterfalls. Mindo is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 400 species of birds residing in the area.

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