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Top Ecuador


Travelers worldwide are drawn to Quito for its spectacular mountain setting, its colonial historical center, near-by adventure travel opportunities, international cuisine, and the gentle, generous Quite帽o culture. The city is known for being home to some of the best Spanish schools in South America; there is a great backpacker community; and, the area offers plenty of activities to help you escape from the typical tourist crowds. Don't miss out on socializing with the locals: Quite帽os tend to be relaxed, friendly and eager to make friends.

Planning a trip from Quito to other parts of Ecuador, or to neighboring South American countries, is also fairly easy. Most Quito hotels, travel agencies and tour operators can be found in the neighborhood of La Mariscal and are within a five block radius of each other. Transportation by land and air is also plentiful and generally inexpensive (depending on the time of year).

This rapidly growing capital city has a past that stretches back to before the Incas made Quito the second capital of their empire. It appears that only the mountains that cradle the city remain unchanged. The historic Old Town features colonial architecture which the Spanish constructed over the charred remains of the Inca city. Just north of Old Town, towering concrete and glass structures show off the modern structures of the business and tourist center of the city.

Quito's Neighborhoods

Divided into different neighborhoods (sectores), most tourists spend their time in La Mariscal or the area north of Parque el Ejido and south of Avenida Orellana. The Centro Hist贸rico hosts a diverse and rich colonial history with some beautiful plazas, churches, museums and pedestrian walkways. Other noteworthy neighborhoods include Gu谩pulo, La Floresta and the Northern part of Quito. The capital itself was originally contained within the limits of what is now called the Centro Hist贸rico. Today it is about 50 kilometers long from north to south (30 miles) and on average 8 kilometers (about five miles) wide east to west, hosting a population of just over two million.

Neighborhoods in Quito: Mitad del Mundo, Calder贸n, Plaza Foch, Cumbay谩, La Floresta, Pululahua Volcanic Crater, Gu谩pulo, Checa, Northern Quito, La Mariscal and Valley Of Chillos.

Other places in Ecuador: Baeza, Tumbaco, Santo Domingo de los Ts谩chilas, Esmeraldas (City), Puerto L贸pez, Guaranda, Tumbabiro, San Clemente, Canoa and Guayaquil.

12 Sep 2013

Quito Highlights

La Bas铆lica del Voto Nacional

101115A relatively new addition to the Quito skyline, and now one of its most striking landmarks, is the Basilica del Voto Nacional, or simply \"the Basilica.\" Consecrated in 1988 (though still ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

El Palacio Arzobispal (The Archbishop's Palace)

101105Opposite the cathedral in the Plaza Grande, the former Palacio Arzobispal (Archbishop鈥檚 Palace) now houses a row of shops, ranging from delicatessens to clothing stores. During the last few years, ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Palacio del Gobierno

101119The building on the northwestern side of the plaza above the row of arched, hole-in-the-wall shops, is the Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential Palace), also called Carondelet. The palace is open to ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Iglesia de la Catedral (The Cathedral)

101106On the southwestern side of the Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande) is the Iglesia de la Cathedral. It is unusual in Ecuador, in that it\'s refreshingly free of the top-to-toe decoration that ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Monasterio de San Francisco

101110The bored-looking stone chap in the northern corner of the Plaza de San Francisco is Franciscan missionary Joedco Ricke, who set to work in the Monasterio de San Francisco soon after the foundation ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Iglesia de La Merced

101117With its plain white exterior, handsome bell tower (the highest in colonial Quito) and tiled domes, the church of La Merced is a good example of the Moorish influences in Spanish architecture in the ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

San Agust铆n - Museum and Monastery

Constructed by Spanish architect Francisco Becerra in 1573 and then rebuilt after the earthquake in 1868, this beautifully designed church and monastery holds political and artistic significance to ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

La Compa帽铆a

Carved entirely out of volcanic stone, the ornate Baroque fa莽ade of this Jesuit church is probably the most exquisitely executed in Quito. From the arresting outside, walk inside and you鈥檒l be ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Iglesia San Roque

Tucked away in the bustling back streets of Quito\'s Centro Hist贸rico, among the cevicherias and traditional tiendas, sits the understated Iglesia San Roque. A white-washed colonial building first ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Iglesia de Santa B谩rbara

Three blocks from Plaza Grande, the shimmering white Iglesia de Santa B谩rbara stands out among the surrounding drab gray buildings. Although attractive enough with its stained glass windows and ...
Historical Building
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador

Restaurants in Quito: Savory Spots to Eat

Caf茅 Mosaico

Ecuador goes international at this lively restaurant and caf茅, perched high above the city, having one of the best restaurant views in Quito! Originally from New York, the owners clearly packed ...
Centro Hist贸rico, Quito, Ecuador


Offering a modern interpretation of Peruvian cuisine, this stylish restaurant is filled nightly with diplomats, oil expats and Quite帽o high society. Stand out appetizers include thinly sliced ...
Northern Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Pizzeria Anank茅

A small converted bungalow that feels more like a hipster\'s home than a restaurant, Anank茅 has a stunning view of Gu谩pulo from its upstairs outdoor patio. This artsy dive specializes in ...
Gu谩pulo, Quito, Ecuador

El Pobre Diablo

El Pobre Diablo is a well-decorated jazz bar, popular with artsy intellectuals and local bohemian types. Live music lights the place up most Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, with jazz and ...
La Floresta, Quito, Ecuador


Its hard to say which is better at Sake: the excellent Japanese cuisine or the view of Quito. A huge picture window up on a hill overlooks the city as you munch on fresh maki, sashimi, cooked ...

Study Spanish in Quito: Top Schools

Vida verde school

Learn spanish with a conscience! Vida Verde is a green-life Spanish language school offering intensive Spanish language instruction and Spanish immersion programs. The school is involved in many ...
Language School

Andean Global Studies

Andean Global Studies is a Spanish school based in Quito and offers foreign students a wide variety of programs, such as: spanish immersion, medical Spanish, and volunteering. The school facilities ...
Language School, Language School
Quito, Ecuador

Apu Inty Spanish School

105114Although there are tons of Spanish schools to choose from while staying in Quito, it is the little things that make the difference. With a variety of 鈥渆xtras,鈥 Apu Inty stands apart from the ...
Language School

Sim贸n Bol铆var Spanish School

Located just three blocks from the center of the Mariscal area, Sim贸n Bol铆var Spanish School offers a wide range of extra services such as free Internet, airport pick-up, city tours, two salsa ...
Language School
Quito, Ecuador

Amazonas Language School

102527Amazonas Language School features private or group Spanish classes for 20 to 35 hours per week. Since the school is paired up with a travel agency, students have the advantage of learning about the ...
Language School
Quito, Ecuador
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