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Set in an Andean valley with the verdant Pichincha volcano rising to the west, Quito is the capital of Ecuador.

From the scenic hill of El Panecillo, the Virgin of Quito spreads her silver wings and watches over the fine colonial buildings of the old town, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its chaotic narrow streets, lined with colonial churches, monasteries and mansions, radiate outwards from attractive plazas.

Exploring on foot

El Palacio de Gobierno, Plaza Grande, QuitoRecently spruced up, this part of the city tempts the visitor with its abundance of history at every turn and a walking tour here is a must. The city’s newer area has less to entice the visitor but more to entertain them, as it is here that you will find the majority of the shops, cafés and restaurants.

From Quito you can travel an hour north by road to visit the geographic characteristic that gives the country its name, the Equator. It is marked by a monument and museum, and offers the opportunity to stand with one foot in each hemisphere.

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who's been there
Audley Travel specialist Ryan

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Quito by contacting one of our Ecuador specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Quito

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Quito, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Quito

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Quito

    Our expert guides to exploring Quito

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Quito, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Quito at its best.

    • Ecuador's wildlife beyond the Galapagos: the Amazon and cloudforest
      Monkey in the Amazon, Ecuador

      Ecuador's wildlife beyond the Galapagos: the Amazon and cloudforest

      Ecuador's wildlife beyond the Galapagos: the Amazon and cloudforest

      While Scott from our Latin America team believes that the Galapagos are fundamental to any amateur naturalist’s trip to Ecuador, he’d also encourage you to consider exploring the mainland’s Amazon and cloudforest regions as part of your Ecuador wildlife tour.

      9 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Quito

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Quito. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    Ideas for experiencing Quito

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Quito, and which use the best local guides.

    • Quito City Tour
      The Old Town of Quito.

      Quito City Tour

      Quito City Tour

      Visit downtown Quito to relish in this urban jewel and its treasures of art and architecture. Quito’s colonial quarter, the largest and best preserved of South America, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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    • Cotopaxi National Park
      Cotopaxi National Park, Ecuador

      Cotopaxi National Park

      Cotopaxi National Park

      Travel south out of Quito to an area dubbed by the 19th century German explorer Von Humboldt as the "Avenue of the Volcanoes". Cotopaxi National Park is at the heart of this area and is deservedly Ecuador's most-visited mainland national park.

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