Quito, Ecuador’s capital, sits high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 2,850m. Constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city,

it’s known for its well-preserved colonial center, rich with 16th- and 17th-century churches and other structures blending European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, in the Plaza Grande square, and ultra-ornate Compañia de Jesús Jesuit church.

Arguably the most famous attraction in Quito is Mitad del Mundo, a complex that was built around the spot where the equator (allegedly) is located about 15 miles from the center of Quito. 

Yes, it’s kitschy and very Disneyland-esque, but it’s also good fun. Climb up the monument through floors with rudimentary displays of culture from various regions in Ecuador.

 On the roof deck, look down on folks taking goofy photos below, then join them to straddle the line in the ground that marks the equator (equator, Ecuador, get it?)

Volunteering with dog related organizations is a wonderful way to help out while you visit this country.

Check out the following links for detailed information to make a difference locally! 

Use Google Translate for the entire website if needed.  

  1. Terranimal
  2. Volunteer Basecamp

DIsclaimerBarks Abroad has not vetted, endorses, nor guarantee these organizations or their work.

Contact us if you know of another organization to be added to this list.

La Floresta is Quito’s hip, bohemian neighborhood chock full of coffee shops, independent movie theaters, locally owned restaurants, and art boutiques. It’s home to artists, writers, universities, and students.

This is the perfect area for foodies as it’s the local’s favorite ‘hood for eating. There are all kinds of restaurants including a new food truck park.

It’s also the best place in Quito to try street food. Every night the main plaza fills with street food carts local specialties. There’s even a farmer’s market every Friday.

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International flights arrive and depart from Quito’s Mariscal Sucre Airport and Guayaquil’s Simon Bolivar Airport. American, Delta, and United fly there.

Flights fluctuate on international and trans-continental flights, but roughly stay about the same whether you are flying to Quito or Guayaquil. 

If heading to the Galapagos Islands, it is often cheaper to fly direct to Guayaquil.

Quito is quite a sprawling city and it doesn’t have the best public transportation system. There are lots of public buses and taxis as well as Uber. 

It’s relatively easy to get around to all the best parts of the city but you’ll want to stay in an area that suits your travel style to save time and money.

There are only a few areas that are good for travelers as safety is still a concern in some parts of the city.

1. Old Town – Where to Stay in Quito for the First Time

2. La Ronda Neighborhood – Where to stay in Quito on a Budget

3. La Mariscal Neighborhood – Where to Stay in Quito for Nightlife