Trip Plan Details
recommended GuayaquilWhen we went to Quito, we had a recommendation to visit Guayaquil, so we tried out and LoVeD...Guayaquil is a beautiful city right on the coast of Ecuador, surrounded by rivers and beautiful beaches ... read moreless than an hour drive we loved their seafood and the fresh crabs offers in many of the restaurants on the city. Now let me tell you about the non stop Night life that was really fun, and we couldn't even finish half of what's available on the fall we will go back for a week..!! Thanks guysRecommended for:Carlos Pulley
Try Guayaquil is so much fun and a lot to do. We did and loved...the touristic area is very impressive and the malecon 2000 is awesome, we loved the double decker tour buses and the cruise on the Morgan is outstanding across the Guayas river..!!
- El Panecillo Hill and MomumentCostado del Centro Histórico, Quito Ecuadorrecommended El Panecillo Hill and MomumentQuito's version of the Statue of Liberty - only it's a winged Virgin Mary rather than an incarnation of Egyptian Isis. Although I've spent years living in Quito, I actually only visited the statue ... read moreonce - on my first visit. It's a one-time kind of place - fantastic vistas of Quito and her surrounding volcanoes, but once you've seen it, you've seen it... The more special thing about El Panecillo is that you can see it from many places throughout the city. It's a great landmark, waypoint and reminder of the special place you are in.Recommended for:Arlo Hemphill
Here's an interesting point to tag onto your trip if you do go down to see the Iglesia San Francisco. The Panecillo Hill is only another 5-10 min taxi ride up the hill from there, so you can tag it onto a day tour of the colonial sector. The views up here are breathtaking, so I'd make this a priority if you have favorable weather. Otherwise, it's more of lookout point than anything to really "visit" for a long period of time, which is why I recommend it as a "tag on" rather than a destination in itself....
recommended El Pobre DiabloProbably the coolest live music and dining venue in all of Ecuador. The decor is a hip Andean funk fusion, which is reflected in the excellent food. Live music is a regularity here, featuring ... read moreinternational bands as well as the best of Quito's local scene.Recommended for:TrendstersArlo Hemphill
Here's a recommendation for dinner and lively evening entertainment while in Quito. The place is really cool in a hip, Bohemian way...
- La Mitad del MundoAutopista Manuel Córdoba Galarza, Quito, Ecuadorrecommended La Mitad del MundoWant to have your picture taken with one leg in each hemisphere (north/south)? This is the place to do it! Several miles north of Quito lies this monument to the equator, on the equator. And in a ... read morecountry named for the equatorial line that bisects it, it seems more than an appropriate stopover. Although a bit of a tourist attraction, there is a rather nice anthropological museum here and its a good chance to grab some indigenous crafts and try the local cuisine. A number of nearby restaurants serve "cuy", a traditional Ecuadorian dish better known to English speakers as grilled guinea pig...Recommended for:Arlo Hemphill
Although this is one of Quito's most well-known features, I would only recommend visiting here on a one-day trip if straddling the equator is what you desire to do more than anything else. Otherwise, it's a good drive north of the city, so takes most of the day to visit. With only one day to spend, you'll largely miss out on seeing the city itself. However, it's a unique photo opportunity for sure, so I do recommend visiting if you have a few days to spend in Quito. Other than the actual Equator line, there are some touristy shops and restaurants (the likes of which you can also find in Quito) and a pretty nice anthropological museum, but again you can see very similar or even better exhibits at the Casa Cultura and Museo Metropolitano downtown...
- San Francisco ChurchPlaza San Francisco, Quito Canton, Ecuadorrecommended San Francisco ChurchThis is one of my favorite places to visit in Quito. For lack of a better word, it is "amazing". I've never been a big fan of touring old churches, but this one stands alone. It is immense, imposing ... read moreand carries this strange aura of mystery and hidden secrets. It is also still an operating church, popular with old Quito's poor indigenous community, which only adds another level of cultural immersion to a visit here. One of the oldest churches in all of the Americas, the history here is off the charts. When walking around inside, be sure to keep an eye out for the various (usually locked/barred) concealed entrances into the rumored old Quito catacombs. Another great aspect of this church is it's central location in the historic part of town. Have a cab drop you off here and then walk to other nearby plazas, churches, convents, the Presidential palace and some pretty nice museums. There is even an interesting archeological/cultural museum and shop right in the sub-level of this church itself. This is a Quito "must-see".Recommended for:History BuffsArlo Hemphill
One of the best spots to visit on a short trip to Quito is the immense San Francisco church in Quito's old colonial district. It's only a short taxi ride from most hotels downtown and is central to many of Quito's other historical points of interest. For that reason, I recommend taking a taxi to the plaza in front of the church, and then wandering around from there to nearby museums, other churches and the Presidential Palace. The church itself is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere and very impressive in terms of scale and architectural detail. This part of town is also home to many of Quito's marginalized indigenous, so it can be a bit heartbreaking, but also much more of a cultural experience than you'll find anywhere else in the city.