The capital of Ecuador, the high-altitude city of Quito, is one of our favorite cities in South America. This special place blends the old and the new, mixing one of the best-preserved colonial Old Towns in the world with a vibrant modern spirit that is unbelievably contagious.
Quito has plenty to see and do, but if you’re looking to get a true glimpse at what the city is like, here are three things that you must do.
Quito’s Old Town, which has been immaculately preserved since its days as a splendid center of activity during Ecuador’s period as a Spanish colony, is a place to get lost in. Here, you’ll never get tired of walking through 18th-century roads and visiting small shops and little restaurants.
Quito’s location in the foothills of the Andes Mountains puts it in very close proximity to high mountain peaks. The city’s aerial lift costs only $17 for a round trip ticket that takes you from the city to the Cruz Loma lookout of the Pichincha Volcano, offering spectacular views of the city and hiking experience for those with experience.
Basilica del Voto Nacional
Quito’s main cathedral is a neo-Gothic gem of architecture which was built at the end of the 19th century. The largest example of neo-Gothic architecture in the Americas, visitors can marvel at its cavernous interior or walk to the top of its towers to see panoramic views of Quito.