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Time crunch must do/see/eat in Quito?

A friend and I are spending 2 days in Quito in late November/early December before and after a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Any tips for must see, must do activities? Any food recommendations? Any other travel tips? Thanks!

6 Answers

top answer by
Eric from Wheat Ridge

I would second the Basilica del Voto Nacional.  I don't do well with heights, but the view at the top was well worth the climb and was my favorite site in the city.  If you like biking, mountain biking on Cotopaxi volcano is amazing - beautiful, but chilly, at the top, and the ride down was a blast.  I combined this with a visit to Quilotoa, a very remote, but beautiful lake.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilica del Voto Nacional (attraction)
  2. Cotopaxi (attraction)
  3. Quilotoa (attraction)
3 thanks

answered first by
Scott from Fort Collins

Hello Melissa!  I would recommend either a taxi ride up to Panecillo to for views of the Virgin Mary statue and great, sweeping views over Quito.  Stop in to the restaurant, just below the statue, for a cocktail.  The food was OK, but the drink, and views were a nice experience.  If the weather cooperates, take the Teleferico cable car.  Unfortunately there was a low cloud deck, so we were unable to do this on our trip.  I would definitely spend at least a half day in Old Quito and take in the San Francisco Church, and some of the shops in and around the square.  There is a fantastic shop just to the right of Iglesia de San Francisco with lots of Ecuadorian hand made crafts.  It's kind of cave/maze like and is really enjoyable to walk through.  We found a few items for purchase there that we really enjoy.  If you want to take a day trip, Otavalo Market is a good choice.  By far the best meal we had was at Zazu.  I would also suggest a stroll through El Ejido Park, where there should be numerous local vendors out selling their wares.  Have a great time there and enjoy the Galapagos.  One of my favorite travel experiences.  Hope that helps and safe travels!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Panecillo (attraction)
  2. Quito (city)
  3. Teleferico (attraction)
  4. San Francisco Church (attraction)
  5. Otavalo Market (restaurant)
  6. Zazu (restaurant)
  7. El Ejido Park (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

I will agree with all that my husband wrote and strongly urge you to head to the top of El Panecillo-the statue was stunning and the view was excellent and the little market at the top was great for picking up some gifts to bring back home.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. El Panecillo (attraction)
2 thanks

answered by

I would go to the top of Basilica del Voto Nacional. I would also highly recommend going up Teleferico (cable car that takes you above the treeline and offers great views of the city with some light hiking at the top).

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilica del Voto Nacional (attraction)
  2. Teleferico (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Melissa from Chicago

Hey everyone...thank so much for your tips on Quito. I was there about 4 weeks ago and loved it. We climbed to the top of the Basilica del Voto Nacional, took a taxi to El Panecillo, toured the churches of the Historic Center of Quito, and took a day trip to Laguna Quilotoa while we were there. We also found a very fun karaoke bar our last night, but I don't remember the name of it :) We spent most of the trip in the Galapagos...which was AMAZING! One of the most special places I have ever been. Happy 2015 travels to all!!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilica del Voto Nacional (attraction)
  2. El Panecillo (attraction)
  3. Historic Center of Quito (attraction)
  4. Laguna Quilotoa (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Ryan from Canmore

For me the best thing to do in Quito was to leave Quito. A day trip to the Quilotoa Crater was one of the best days I had in Ecuador. It is a pretty unique and spectacular sight, and there are lots of good tour operators out of Quito.

I spent a week in Quito and although there are some cool sights I think the best thing around there is Quilotoa.

If I had to pick one thing to do in Quito it is to go to the Basilica del Voto Nacional. You can climb all the way up onto the roof and then up onto the church towers and get a great view of the city as well as scare yourself with the height and somewhat sketchy looking construction!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Quilotoa (attraction)
  2. Basilica del Voto Nacional (attraction)
1 thanks

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