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Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is situated at 10,000 ft, and is breath taking in more ways than one. You might expect extremely hot weather due to its location 22 miles from the Equator. But because of its high altitude, temperatures feel spring-like all year round. Two seasons - one wet (termed "winter" for convenience) and one dry - mean Quito is a destination you can enjoy all year round.

Quito is capital of the province of Pichincha. The city is circled by snow-capped peaks, lush forested hills and a fertile valley, great for exploration. Some of the mountains are volcanic; one of which threatened to erupt on a daily basis during the latter part of 1999 but something the Quiteños have been living with for centuries.

Built with historic foundations of an Incan city, the Ecuadorian capital is known for its colonial centre. The city oozing with architecture from 16th and 17th century with famous art filled baroque churches “Church and Convent of St Francis” and “Compañia de Jesus” are two of the most famous. The Plaza de la Independencia a perfect spot to sit and soak it all in. The cultural heritage of Quito was recognised by being the first city in the world to be declared World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO in 1978.

Places like San Francisco Market should not be missed with over 125 food stands, this is a bubbling centre of the city. At its food court you can taste traditional dishes like hominy, yahuarlocro (potato soup), as well as the famous "chica de jora" (corn beer chicha). For those wanting a sweeter experience discover chocolate tasting with one of our expert guides, or relax at one of the many cafés taking in the sights and sounds.

Due to Quito’s location you can get the best of both worlds with culture and nature with a day trip north of Quito, to the Mitad del Mundo allows you to straddle both hemispheres, visit the pre-Inca site of Rumicucho and the volcanic crater of Pululahua. Those wanting stunning views may wish to head to the heights of Pichincha Volcano, either by gondola or for the heartier by foot.

Providing an opportunity for a glimpse into the Ecuadorian and Andean people, Quito is more than an overnight stop, needing a couple of days to experience this South American capital.

Heading further afield into Ecuador depths there are fantastic haciendas and hotels you can visit in the surrounding areas of Cotopaxi and Otavalo. In the Galapagos Islands you can board a ship or stay on land discovering Darwin’s laboratory.


Useful info

Best time to be there

The Galapagos are best from April to August - not too warm and plenty of animals in their breeding seasons.

Fly to

Quito - LAN Airlines, daily via Madrid flying time 13 hours

time difference

GMT -5 hours

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area
 


Best time to be there

June to September is the best time to enjoy the Andes whilst the Galapagos are best from April to August - not too warm and plenty of animals in their breeding seasons.

Fly to

Quito - LAN Airlines, daily via Madrid

flying time

13 hours

time difference

GMT -5 hours

Visas

Not required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate required if arriving from an infected area



Holidays Click to change

Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:

Quito’s Reserves

Nights: 3 | from £880pp

Take time on the outskirts of this amazing city hiking volcanos and jumping into cloud forests and discovering species that are unique to this amazing... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

Diversity of Quito

Nights: 3 | from £565pp

Discover this UNESCO world capital of Ecuador, exploring the Old Town, Baroque Churches, botanical Gardens and the sur-rounding areas, including the centre... Find out more

Holiday type: Tailor-made

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

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Showing 1-2 of 2.

Below are some of our suggested places to stay:

Casa Gangotena

Spanish chroniclers told of grand Inca palaces built around the Plaza San Francisco in Quito's historic quarter. This part of the city was once a huge... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Family Holidays

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

Mashpi Lodge

Mashpi is a new, luxury lodge set within a 1,200 hectare private reserve, part of a biodiversity 'hotspot' known as the Tumbez-Choco-Darien, particularly... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

Plaza Grande

The Plaza Grande represents the first luxury hotel to be located in Quito's old colonial district, also known as the 'Reliquary of American Art' and a... Find out more

Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge

Call 01242 547 701 Enquire

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Showing 1-4 of 4.(View all)

Graeme, Charlie, Melissa, Dave, Kerry and Kelly are experts in designing the perfect holiday in Latin America to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of our hotels and resorts featured in our portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout the region, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.

Read about our lastest experiences in Latin America and the Caribbean in our Travel Blog pages.

To find out more about our Latin America team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 701 or enquire online

 

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Guest Testimonial

As far as the naturalist guides in the Galapagos are concerned, they were all excellent, each with their own distinctive characters and styles of presentation.I would give special praise to Martin and Rulli (first week) and Karina (second week). Their knowledge and enthusiasm were outstanding and they were particularly conscious and caring of members of the group who needed a little extra time walking or a little extra help. The ship's crew were all lovely and friendly but I would particularly mention Edison (barman/waiter) and Darcy (panga driver) both of whom went the extra mile in providing their respective services.

- JB, London


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