Quito is one of the most beautiful, funniest, most energetic and versatile cities you will ever visit. You sometimes have those places that surprise you enormously and leave an indelible impression. In the following blog post, we will share 10 reasons why we love Quito!
# 1 The beautiful old center
Quito is known as one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Certainly, the historic district of the capital is considered to be the largest and best-preserved parts of South America. This is also apparent from the fact that it has been declared a World Heritage Site. Beautiful things are scattered throughout the city. Think of the La Compañía de Jesús, the La Plaza Grande, the Basilica del Voto Nacional or just the colored colonial houses.
Quito’s Centro Historico, or historic center, is the heart and soul of the city. The home of colorful and detailed buildings and cobbled streets with bars, restaurants, street musicians and street food. It is a pleasure to explore the city on foot. It is a large open-air museum!
# 2 The delicious food
One of the main reasons to visit Quito is food! Whether you eat in one of the fancy restaurants or order a traditional dish at a food stall on the street. You will not be disappointed. There is so much, and especially tasty, food available that you can try something new every night.
Typical dishes that you should definitely try are locro (potato soup), empanadas, envueltos (corn dough wrapped in leaves) and a fresh fruit shake! You don’t have to search for it long, because there are various traditional restaurants throughout the city.
# 3 The impressive location
Another reason why Quito is so nice is the fact that the city is not only stunningly beautiful, it is also in a bizarre location. There are few cities that are as beautiful as this city. You notice it when you take a taxi from the airport to the city where you explore the mountains like Frodo in Lord of the Rings and eventually see a city looming up. Super impressive!
For the best views of the city, you have to take the TeleferiQo. This one is not as high as the one in La Paz, but just as impressive! This is a kind of tram that takes you via the Volcan Pichincha to the top of the Cruz Loma. The top is at an altitude of 4,100 meters and you have a beautiful view of the city and surroundings. You can walk further to the Rucu Pichincha at 4,680 meters. Try to go early in the morning.
Pro tip: A ride in the TeleferiQo costs $ 4.50 pp.
# 4 You can go to the center of the world
What many people don’t know is that Quito is the only capital in the world that is so close to the sun. In addition, it is also the only city where you can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other foot in the southern hemisphere! So… if you’ve always wanted to be at the center of the earth for once, Quito is the place to be.
The Equator Line is an hour’s drive away, where the name Ecuador comes from. You will find here a large monument where French explorers have calculated the equator. Mitad del Mundo also means ‘ Middle of the World’ . It is one of the best-known points of Ecuador.
# 5 It is super cozy
Quito is a popular city. And a popular city also requires entertainment. There are various restaurants, cafés, bars and clubs in the La Mariscal, La Floresta, Guápulo and La Carolina districts. There you will find music, local and international dishes, parties and especially the unique pleasure of Quito!
It is a nice city to meet other travelers and to explore the city. Certainly in the old center, you will find a lot of nice bars where you can dance in the evening! Also one of the reasons why Quito is so popular among travelers!
# 6 It is a large open-air museum
Quito is full of locations that tell stories from both past and present. It is a large museum for which you do not have to buy a ticket, but only keep your eyes open on the street. The churches, museums, theaters can be seen everywhere, but there are also plenty of temporary and permanent exhibitions, theater pieces, films, and music performances.
Must-sees are the city museum, the El Alabado House Museum, the wax museum, the Sucre Theater, the Contemporary Art Center and the House of Music. But of course, you can also simply walk through the city and go your own way!
# 7 You can learn Spanish there
If there is a city in South America where you can learn good (and fun) Spanish then it is in Quito. There are countless language schools where you can take classes ranging from a few hours to a few months. It’s a nice way to get in touch with the locals.
If you want to learn a bit of Spanish, but do not want to take a course, you can also appeal to locals. They love it when you try to improve your Spanish with them!
# 8 It is centrally located in Ecuador
Once you land in Ecuador you immediately go to Quito. In some countries, it is then puzzling how you can best continue traveling from the capital. That is not the case in Ecuador. The country is not that big and Quito serves as a connecting point for the entire country.
Quito is the gateway to Ecuador. It is close to the Pacific coast, but also close to the Andes, the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands or various hiking tracks such as the Quilotoa Loop. Most places can all be reached within a few hours from Quito. Super easy!
# 9 You can cuddle with lamas
Why Quito? You can cuddle with lamas! That must be reason enough to visit this city. These fluff balls together with their fellow huggers the alpacas are extremely popular. Of course they don’t just walk around the city, but if you take the TeleferiQo towards the Volcan Pichincha you have a chance to meet locals with lamas. If you nicely ask if you can take a picture with the lama, they are often okay with it!