Quito Is the Pearl in Ecuador’s Oyster

Carondelet Palace, office and house of the Presidents of Ecuador.
The central square across from the Presidential palace in Quito, Ecuador.
The central square across from the Presidential palace in Quito, Ecuador.

Quito, Ecuador, is a UNESCO World Heritage city, and one of the highest capitals in the world, at 9350 elevation, only second to La Paz, Bolivia.  The beautiful city is built right on top of a former Inkan city, and you can see influences from many cultures who have dominated over the centuries, including Moorish, European and indigenous.

It’s amazing to stroll this city because there are so many preserved antiquities and dramatic buildings.  One element of traveling in Ecuador that makes it much easier for Americans is that the currency is the US dollar!  So you don’t have to change any money, you can use greenbacks.

Carondelet Palace, office and house of the Presidents of Ecuador.
Carondelet Palace, office and house of the Presidents of Ecuador.

The other element that makes getting around anywhere in Ecuador easy is that taxis are so cheap. You can take a long, long taxi ride, from one side of the city to the other, and pay the man $3 or $4. Easy peasy.

Quito is located about 16 miles south of the equator, and there is a museum and monument about this being the center of the Earth. Additionally, Quito is pretty much in the dead center in Ecuador.

La Mariscal

This neighborhood is the city’s entertainment center.  There are a large number of hotels and inns, travel agencies, language and dance schools, stores, bars, and discothèques that travelers and locals enjoying visiting.

The Plaza Foch is considered the zona rosa of the city. It has various night clubs and bars and has a great nighttime vibe. Plaza Foch is busiest on Thursday-Saturday nights, and tourists from all over the world enjoy the bustling nightlife.

La Ronda street, one of the most popular areas to go out in Quito.
La Ronda street, one of the most popular areas to go out in Quito.

Visitors to Quito also like to take in the sites of the well-preserved city center and the dramatic open square, and also to see the ornate Basilica del Voto Nacional and the Church of La Compañía de Jesús

Church of La Compañía de Jesús in Quito, Ecuador.
Church of La Compañía de Jesús in Quito, Ecuador. Max Hartshorne photos

Find hotels in Quito, Ecuador, and use your Bonwi Points to extend your trip!

 

 

Quito, Ecuador: Attractions and Hotels in the Capital of Ecuador

In Quito, a ski lift takes locals and visitors up the steep sides of the mountains.
In Quito, a ski lift called TeleferiQo takes locals and visitors up the steep sides of the mountains.
In Quito, a ski lift called TeleferiQo takes locals and visitors up the steep sides of the mountains.

If you ask a random person on the street where Quito is, they may give you a confused look rather than the right answer. But the capital of Ecuador, while sort of an under-the-radar destination, actually has plenty of reasons to be a well-known vacation spot. Incredible museums, contemporary cuisine, and scenic views assist in putting Quito on the map.

The Museo Nacional in Quito showcases a monumental collection of Ecuadorian art from many different time periods. This museum is home to ceramic pieces dating all the way back to 12,000 B.C., tons of cultural artifacts from a variety of different peoples, and plenty other Ecuadorian masterpieces. However, the Museo Nacional is currently undergoing construction and is planned to reopen in late 2017. In the meantime, check out the Museo Guayasamin.

The legendary painter known as Oswaldo Guayasamin is immortalized in his former home, now called the Museo Guayasamin. Housing many of Guayasamin’s own pieces, as well as his collection of various artifacts from the pre-Columbian era, and his collection of religious artwork, the Museo Guayasamin highlights the many influences that Hispanic culture and history had on Guyasamin while celebrating the artistic genius of the Ecuadorian painter.

For under $10, you can ride the TeleferiQo, a sky tram in Quito that gives passengers a chance to see Quito’s glorious mountainous landscape. The TeleferiQo travels to the very top of Cruz Loma via the side of Volcan Pichincha. The scenery doesn’t have to stop after the sky tram ride as passengers can choose to hike to Rucu Pichincha’s summit once they have reached the top of Cruz Loma. Riding the TeleferiQo is truly a fantastic way to see Quito’s incredible views!

Multiple great eateries make up Quito’s unique food scene. Dios No Muere is attached to a 400-year-old monastery, contains many options for the hungry carnivore, and also offers local microbrews and organic Ecuadorian coffee.

For sundaes, multiple varieties of crepes and waffles, espresso drinks, and great vegetarian, meat, and seafood dishes come to one of the many Crepes & Waffles restaurants in Quito.

Zazu, while a little bit pricey, offers fully prepared meat and seafood dishes while maintaining an inviting and ambient setting.

Whether your tasting Quito’s food, experiencing Quito’s views, exploring Quito’s museums, or all the above, consider staying in one of these fabulous hotels.  Find Quito Hotels at Bonwi, and use Bonwi points to get free stays!