Quito is Ecuador’s capital and second largest city and was originally founded in 1534 by the Spanish. It is known for having some of the finest examples of colonial and post-colonial architecture in South America, despite the damage suffered in the 1917 earthquake, and its brilliantly preserved historic city center was one of the first to be chosen as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stay in hotels that were once the homes of Ecuador’s most prominent families, restored to reflect the grandeur of bygone eras. Looking out over the historic city center from the roof of Casa Gangotena, you’ll be swept away in the romance of a city lights and sparking cupolas.
Explore the city for a a few days, visiting the artisans and culture-makers of Ecuador, a country that brings its history with it into the present. Known for its chocolate and textiles, you will find every expression of these trademark goods from classic to more experimental tastes.
While in Quito, you can also take the opportunity to investigate the incredible local historical sites and churches, explore the beautiful local parks, visit the nearby “Middle of the World” monument and Quito Zoo, or trek in the surrounding ecological reserves, wildlife refuges, or national parks.
Once you’ve experienced the many layers of this capital city, you’re perfectly positioned to strike out into the rest of the continent. Quito is a fantastic base from which to explore western South America. It provides easy access to the surrounding Andes Mountains, in addition to having daily flights to the Galápagos Islands. An easy flight from the United States, it makes a perfect port of entry for an extended Ecuadorean holiday, or a multi-country exploration.
Peruse some of our suggested itineraries and properties, and let your Ker & Downey travel expert help you create a custom Ecuadorian itinerary to experience the beauty of Quito.