Pre-Incan sites and aromatic Ecuadorian markets
At 10,000 feet above sea level, Quito and its surrounds take the breath away in more ways than one. This was the first city in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it doesn’t take long to understand why.
Though close to the equator, Quito enjoys a mild, spring-like climate throughout the year. These pleasant temperatures allow for idyllic strolls around the city’s historic colonial centre. Here you’ll find a lively cafe culture and well-preserved examples of 16th and 17th-century architecture. Explore its baroque churches filled with artworks. Relax in its historic Plaza de la Independencia. Stop to take a chocolate-tasting workshop. Head into to the aromatic San Francisco Market. Food is a major obsession in Quito and its surrounds: it’s only polite to have a bowl of fresh potato soup (yahuarlocro) or knock back a corn beer.
We can arrange a guided tour of the pre-Inca site of Rumicucho. Or take the gondola up to the Pichincha volcano for some extraordinary mountain views from the summit. Over in the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, it’s possible to place your feet in both hemispheres at the same time. When you are ready to jump, Quito is a fantastic springboard for exploring the surrounding areas of Cotopaxi and Otavalo. It’s also a fantastic springboard for your Galápagos adventure.