Quito, Ecuador is a city teeming with natural beauty and cultural richness. From exploring its centuries-old architecture to taking part in its dynamic nightlife, these varied attractions provide an unforgettable experience to every traveler.
Take the spectacular views of the breathtaking views from the many observation points across the city. Dance through the night in one of the numerous vibrant restaurants or nightspots, and engage in unique activities indigenous to the city. Quito is the perfect destination for travelers looking for an authentic cultural experience. Here's a list of the 10 best attractions it has to offer.
Visiting the Middle of the World Monument, a tourist attraction built in 1982 to divide the northern and southern hemispheres, is unquestionably one of the must-do activities in Quito. Examine the approximately 40,075-kilometer equatorial line that divides the hemisphere.
Exploit seeing the transcending 30-meter-high landmark that celebrates this amazing site and visit the little exhibition hall which features the nearby, rich legacy. Visit one of the few places in the world where, in addition to other peculiarities, the water flows in a different direction and things and people weigh slightly less because of the gravitational pull.
Known as the largest neo-Gothic basilica in America, the Basilica of the National Vow was designed by French architect Emilio Tarlier as a religious symbol to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The Basilica is said to have been inspired by the Cathedral of Burgos in Spain and Notre Dame in Paris.
Admire the Basilica's carvings of local animals, such as the armadillo, dolphins, and the famous Galapagos tortoises, as well as saints and angels. Step inside to take in the stunning bronze sculptures and the 98-foot-tall stained glass windows that shine light into the church's interior from the pews. Take the elevator to the eleventh floor for the best city views, including mountain ranges and the historic city center.
The TelefériQo to Pichincha Volcano rises approximately 3,117 to 3,945 meters into the sky and is 16 minutes west of Quito's historic downtown. It's a cable car that takes people to the top of the mountain and gives them amazing views that keep getting better and wider. Visitors can ascend the TeléferiQo in about ten minutes using the cable car.
If you're up for it, you can climb the Pichincha Volcano at the end of the journey. If you want to participate in this activity, give yourself a few days to get used to the high altitude.
The Museum of the City is an extensive collection of Quito's heritage, from the city's historical past to everyday life and the locals' experience living there. One of Quito's earliest structures, built-in 1565 as a Spanish hospital, is where the museum is housed.
Today, guests get the vivid experience to gain everything from the pre-Colombian period to the Spanish victory, verifiable realities, and legends, As you read about the building's years of historical significance inside the museum, take in the beautiful courtyard in the middle of the building as well.
Take a historic stroll through Quito's iconic and beautiful downtown, where you'll learn about the incredible history of the city, hear interesting legends, and enjoy the beautiful sights from the comfort of a trolley.
Enter the picturesque neighborhoods, take in the colonial-era architecture and neo-Gothic churches, and learn from a local's perspective what Quito looks like every day. You might also make a few stops on the trolley to get drinks, ice cream, and snacks so you can enjoy the stories told on board even more.
See the animals at the Quito Zoo and learn about the stories behind some of the animals that are kept there by zoologists under their watchful care. Explore the variety of animals on the nature trails inside the museum, including tapirs, monkeys, turtles, lions, hawks, and more.
Make your way to the forest, look for the piercing eyes of the owls on the trees, and visit the zoo for a day or night safari and experience a life unlike any other. Although some of the animals in the zoo have been rehabilitated to return to the wild, others have remained under the care of zoologists at the zoo.
The Church of the Society of Jesus is a religious space that is commonly referred to by locals as "La Compaia." It is an example of Spanish Baroque architecture. Visitors will notice some Arabic influence in the design and geometric shapes infused with ornate Baroque influence when they take a closer look. The church, which was built in 1722, took close to 160 years to complete, from the large central nave to the gold details, wood carvings, and stunning symmetry.
Cotopaxi National Park is 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of Quito's center. Limpiopungo Lake and the snow-capped and still-active Cotopaxi volcano can be found in Cotopaxi National Park. Prepare yourself to see amazing animals like condors, weasels, hawks, and the local plants and trees.
There are a variety of fun activities to participate in on what is referred to as "the Avenue of the Volcanoes" because of the numerous volcanoes in the area, such as hiking, volcano biking, and climbing the Cotopaxi volcano. Due to the local Chagra tradition, horseback riding is another enjoyable activity; consequently, tours are offered to appreciate the park's beauty at a slower pace on horseback.
The history of El Panecillo can be traced back to the Incas when it was a popular spot for sunbathers to gather. Later, the Spanish built a fort there because of its incredible visibility. The Panecillo is a 200-meter-tall hill located 28 minutes south of Quito's center. You can get amazing 360-degree views of Quito and shop for souvenirs nearby.
Built-in 1976, the towering Virgin of the Panecillo is a sculpture made of aluminum. The Virgin's wings and the stars on her head, which represent the Biblical "Woman of the Apocalypse," set it apart from other sculptures.
The Antisana National Park is part of the Andes and is full of opportunities to connect with nature and escape Quito's bustle. Despite the fact that there are so many other national parks to choose from, Antisana National Park is often considered to be one of the least visited.
However, a trip to this national park is not one to be missed for its incredible condor viewing, impressive volcano views, and virtually unspoiled natural topography. On a condor-watching expedition, you might want to bring good binoculars in case you want to see up to 100 wild condors and more than 418 different bird species flying around Antisana National Park.
On a guided hike, witness the destruction that the Antisana volcano has caused, as well as the majestic volcano itself that dominates the landscape.
Quito is an extraordinary city that offers an amazing experience for adventurous travelers. From exploring its rich life, including its unique nightlife, the city has something for everyone. Enjoy its spectacular views from the numerous observation points or learn the traditional art of weaving with one of its many local artisans. Wander the streets admiring its centuries-old architecture. With this list of the top places in Quito, your adventure will be one to remember.