The first was to discover the geographical peculiarities of a country like Ecuador, conditioned by its location in the middle of the world, crossed by the equatorial line.
Also with the special feeling of being at 2,800 meters of altitude during your stay in Quito, in the Andes mountain range.
But, above all, the main attraction of the trip was to know the great cultural heritage that is concentrated in the historic center of Quito.
Quito, World Heritage
It is the center of the colonial epoch of greater dimensions of Latin America and the one that is preserved in a better state.
In Quito there are several examples of Baroque Quito churches , some with very sumptuous interior decorations.
This is the reason why in 1978 the city of Quito was the first place in the world to be declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. together with the Polish city of Krakow .
And to all this we must add the attractions of the surroundings of Quito , with beautiful natural enclaves and exotic places.
What to see in Quito
As an incentive to encourage you to travel to Quito , here I will leave you 20 images that summarize the attractive places you will find on this trip.
El Panecillo viewpoint
The best way to start your visit to Quito is, without a doubt, to go up to the Panecillo viewpoint , where one of the icons of the city is found, the great silver statue of the Winged Virgin .
From the viewpoint of Cerro del Panecillo you will have spectacular panoramic views , not only of the historic center of Quito, but also of the most modern zone of the city that extends to the north,
From there you can also see the popular neighborhoods that are lost sight of by the slopes of the mountains that surround the Ecuadorian capital.
Walk through the historic center
The main part of your visit should focus on a walk through the historic center of Quito .
There you will find most of the monumental heritage of Quito and you will also be able to experience the great atmosphere of this city
Church of the company
Known as the great Jewel of America , when you enter the interior of the church of the Company you will not be disappointed.
Its impressive baroque decoration that covers with gold leaf all its walls and ceilings is a reflection of the importance that during the colonial era had the Company of Jesus in this area of America.
Church of San Francisco
The church of San Francisco is another of the great temples of the city, which is located in the other great square of the historic center of the city, also called San Francisco .
Completed in record time in 1620, and run by the Franciscans, at present it seems to be the church most loved by the people of Quito.
Other churches of Quito
Did you know that only in the historic center of Quito there are up to 60 churches and religious institutions?
Apart from the two mentioned above, I am going to indicate more churches that are worth visiting .
Of course, the Cathedral of Quito , one of the oldest temples in South America, and which you find in the aforementioned Plaza Grande .
Next to it is the church of the Sagrario , which in its day was a chapel of the aforementioned cathedral, and whose interior is decorated in Renaissance style.
And, in addition, the Basilica , a great temple of neo-Gothic style finished building in … 1988.
Although it may squeak in comparison with the colonial architectural style of Quito, it is worth visiting the Basilica of Quito especially to climb the towers from where you have panoramic views in the opposite direction of the viewpoint of Panecillo .
Craftsmen in Ronda street
Seeing the objects that artisans elaborate following the practice of ancient crafts is one of the attractions of a trip to Quito.
Many of them are concentrated in the recovered street of Ronda , on the south side of the historic center.
There you can taste artisan chocolates or see artistic objects of gold, iron, or wood, or even antique toys made in tinplate.
Recently recovered for tourism, in this street you also find a great atmosphere , especially on weekends, because in addition to the shops of craftsmen, there are several restaurants and bars with live music.
Traditions in Quito
In other areas of the center you can find other places where curious traditions of Quito and Ecuador still exist , such as the herb that heals evils with herbs and massages.
You will also see the retouchers of saints , who dedicate themselves to arranging the figures of saints that Quito has in their homes.
Or the stores of saints’ clothes to personalize those figures so venerated by the people of Quito.
In your visit to Quito and its surroundings you can also see the tradition of making snacks , typical Quito sweets that combine peanuts, water, sugar and lemon, or the preparation of popular paila ice creams .
Or even the manufacture of Andean musical instruments .
Half of the world
To feel that you really are in the middle of Ecuador, from Quito you can get close to the monument of the Middle of the World located in a tourist site that emulates a Spanish town.
There you can make the typical photo crossing the equatorial line and visit an interpretation center where you will know the curious effects that occur in this area of the Earth where the latitude is 0-0′-0”.
Otavalo indigenous market
It is highly recommended that you make your stay in Quito coincide with a Saturday so that you can get to know the nearby Otavalo craft market at its peak .
On Saturdays, in addition to the artisan market in the Plaza de Ponchos , which is open every day, you can visit the early and very curious animal fair , as well as the food market.
It is the largest indigenous market in South America , and in your walk through Otavalo and its different markets you can see the indigenous community of the Otavaleños with their typical and colorful costumes.
Train of Freedom
Another experience that you can experience in the surroundings of Quito is to ride the tourist train that joins the small town of Ibarra with the town of Salinas , which is known as the Freedom Train .
This is one of the railway stretches recovered by Tren de Ecuador for tourist use, which ends in the small village of Salinas.
Inhabited by an Afro-Ecuadorian community descended from black slaves from Africa, during the visit of Salinas you will be able to deepen in the knowledge of what its arrival to this area of Ecuador meant with extensive plantations of sugarcane.
Inti Llacta Reserve
In the surroundings of Quito you will find a wide variety of landscapes , from the driest, to areas of more lush forests and jungle.
In the Inti Llacta reserve you can enjoy the landscapes of the Cloud Forest, its incredible leafiness, and you can do adventure activities in canopy circuits , while you can see a great diversity of fauna and flora.
In my recent trip to Quito, I discovered the economic importance that the plantation of roses has acquired for Ecuador , taking advantage of its geographical situation.
In the visit of the Hacienda the Company of Jesus , in addition to seeing a house of French neoclassical style, you can deepen in the knowledge of the floral industry that is being developed in that country.
Boutique hotels in Quito
Of course on your trip to Quito you have the option of staying in hotels with charm , such as the La Casona de la Ronda Boutique Hotel , where I stayed, or even in very luxurious hotels such as Casa Gangotena or Hotel Plaza Grande .
And in the surroundings of Quito you also find charming haciendas where to stay.
Gastronomy of Quito
Also your trip to Quito will allow you to discover the specialties of Ecuadorian cuisine , which is characterized by the use of native products and natural seasonings.
In a country where potatoes and fruit juices are the national food and drink, Quito offers its own gastronomic creations.