I am actually at the airport on my way back “home”! Yes, Quito is my home town. I am looking at travelers from many backgrounds; they are on their way to Quito. I wonder, what will they do when they arrive? There are many interesting openings in the city; it is the brink of 2024 and I want to update you on what you can experience in Quito, Ecuador. Here are my favourite experiences for this beautiful Andean capital.

Visit Old Town Quito

Welcome to the heart of Ecuador, where history and culture intertwine in a vibrant display of architectural beauty and rich traditions. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Town Quito is not just a destination, but an experience that will transport you back in time.

Quito Old Town

The historic center: A walk through time

As you stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of the historic center, your senses are awakened by colorful colonial buildings adorned with intricate balconies. Be sure to visit some iconic landmarks such as San Francisco Church, one of South America’s oldest religious sites, or La Compañía de Jesús Church known for its stunning gold leaf interior.

Main plazas: Hubs of activity

Around every corner awaits another charming plaza teeming with life. From Plaza Grande (Independence Square) – home to Presidential Palace and Metropolitan Cathedral – to San Francisco Square bustling with local vendors selling traditional crafts; these plazas are perfect spots for people-watching while savoring delicious Ecuadorian street food.

Daily life: Authentic experiences

In Old Town Quito, everyday life unfolds like a beautifully choreographed dance between past and present. Here locals go about their daily routines amidst centuries-old edifices; children play freely on ancient steps while elders share stories under shadowy archways – all against the backdrop of majestic Andean peaks.

If luxury travel is what you seek, then there’s no shortage here either! Consider staying at boutique hotels converted from colonial mansions or dine at upscale restaurants serving fusion cuisine. After all, part of the joy in traveling is indulging in local delights, and Old Town Quito certainly does not disappoint. From its breathtaking architecture to vibrant plazas, from authentic experiences to luxury offerings – every corner of Old Town Quito invites you for an unforgettable journey. So come, immerse yourself in this colonial gem and let it etch a lasting memory on your traveler’s heart.

Visit the Middle of the World Monument

This monument marks Latitude 0°0’0″, where you can literally stand with one foot in each hemisphere. A bucket-list moment for any avid traveler! The line that divides our planet into Northern and Southern hemispheres runs right through this spot, making it an exceptional place for photo opportunities.

Experience local culture and history

Beyond just geography, visiting this site offers insights into local culture and history. There’s a small museum within the monument that showcases various aspects of indigenous cultures from across Ecuador. From traditional costumes to ancestral customs, there’s much to learn here about Ecuador’s diverse heritage.

Culinary delights at Latitude Zero

No visit would be complete without indulging in some local cuisine! Near the monument are several restaurants serving authentic Ecuadorean dishes – perfect for foodies seeking new flavors!

Take part in hands-on workshops with artisans at Quito’s La Ronda Street

The bustling city of Quito, nestled high in the Andean foothills, is a treasure trove of experiences for discerning travelers. One such hidden gem is La Ronda Street, a charmingly historic neighborhood that offers an intimate glimpse into Ecuadorian culture and craftsmanship.

Experience handmade art and take part in the survival of traditions

As you wander through the charming cobblestone streets of La Ronda, you’ll be immersed in a world of vibrant colonial houses housing a diverse array of artisan workshops. From skilled silversmiths and candle makers to talented chocolatiers and expert hat weavers, these craftsmen welcome visitors to partake in interactive workshops, offering a one-of-a-kind chance to discover and experience centuries-old techniques up close.

A taste of traditional cuisine

Beyond its artisanal appeal, La Ronda also boasts some of the best culinary delights Quito has to offer. Whether it’s sampling local delicacies like empanadas or indulging your sweet tooth with helado de paila (traditional ice cream), foodies will be spoilt for choice here. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many quaint cafes serving canelazo – a warm spiced alcoholic beverage synonymous with Ecuadorian hospitality.

Musical evenings to remember

In addition to cultural immersion through craftwork and cuisine, evenings at La Ronda come alive with music as troubadours fill the air with melodies from times gone by. Be sure not miss out on peñas – live music venues offering folkloric performances that are a testament to Quito’s rich musical heritage.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, food lover or simply looking for unique experiences in Ecuador, La Ronda Street is the perfect blend of culture and charm. So why wait? Book your Ecuador tour with Voyagers Travel Company today and immerse yourself in this vibrant slice of Quito life!

Go birdwatching in the Mindo Cloudforest

If you’re looking for a nature-filled escape just outside of Quito, Mindo is the perfect destination to immerse yourself in the beauty of the cloud forest. Nestled in the Andean Mountains, Mindo offers a haven for both budget travelers and luxury seekers, drawing visitors with its abundance of adventure activities and unique biodiversity. From exploring cloud forest trails to encountering diverse flora and fauna, Mindo promises an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts.

The hummingbird garden: A symphony of colors

One highlight that should not be missed is the hummingbird garden at one of Mindo’s eco-lodges. Here, dozens of these iridescent creatures flit around feeding stations creating a symphony of colors that are simply mesmerizing to watch.

Nature walks and night tours: More than just birds!

Birdwatching aside, there are also numerous trails winding through the dense foliage offering stunning views and encounters with other wildlife like butterflies and orchids. For those feeling adventurous, night tours provide unique opportunities to spot nocturnal birds and animals amidst their natural habitat.

Plan your visit today, immerse yourself in Mother Nature’s splendor at Mindo Quito Ecuador – it promises to be a memorable journey into South America’s rich biodiversity.

Note: Remember when exploring any natural environment; respect local rules designed to preserve these fragile ecosystems for future generations.

Take a day trip from Quito to Baños and soak in the thermal waters

Experience the ultimate relaxation in Baños, Ecuador, with a rejuvenating day trip to its renowned hot springs. Nestled in the heart of the Andes, Baños offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Immerse yourself in the therapeutic mineral-rich waters, surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery. 

Experience the thermal baths

Upon reaching Baños, your first stop should be at one of the many thermal baths in town. These natural hot springs are heated by Tungurahua volcano itself! Immerse yourself into these healing waters believed to have therapeutic properties due to their mineral content.

Savor local cuisine

No visit would be complete without tasting local delicacies. Indulge in traditional meals like llapingachos (stuffed potato patties) or cuy (guinea pig), which are surefire ways of experiencing authentic Ecuadorian flavors.

Eat dessert under the Cathedral by the main plaza

The tradition begins with choosing your flavor from one of the many artisanal ice-cream vendors lining the plaza. Whether you’re craving something traditional like chocolate or vanilla, or the exotic blackberry or Naranjilla for adventurous palates.

An unforgettable experience

Sitting down on one of the charming benches that dot this historic square, you’ll find yourself surrounded by Quito’s grandeur. To your right stands the majestic Carondelet Palace; to your left looms large The Metropolitan Cathedral; behind you rises El Panecillo hill with its iconic Virgin Mary statue.

Cultural immersion through food

As you savor each bite under Quito’s sunny sky, take time to observe life unfolding around you – locals going about their day-to-day activities intermingling with tourists soaking up Ecuadorian culture. This simple act transforms into an immersive experience connecting foodies directly to Ecuador’s culinary heritage and cultural fabric.

Book yourself a trip to the Galapagos Islands from Quito

Embark on an extraordinary journey to the Galapagos Islands, where nature’s wonders await. From its pristine, largely untouched paradise to its rich marine life and compelling history, the Galapagos archipelago promises an unparalleled experience of nature at its most raw and beautiful. Whether you’re snorkeling with hammerhead sharks, diving in crystal-clear waters, or marveling at the island’s volcanic landscape, the Galapagos Islands offer a deep connection with nature’s untamed beauty.

A journey through biodiversity

The Galapagos boasts unparalleled biodiversity. Encounter giant tortoises roaming freely in their natural habitat or witness the playful antics of sea lions along sandy shores. For bird enthusiasts, spotting blue-footed boobies or flightless cormorants is sure to be a highlight.

Luxury cruising with Voyagers Travel Company

There are several cruise companies that offer luxury cruises around these enchanted islands. Vessels provide all comforts while ensuring an intimate experience with nature – perfect for those who appreciate both wilderness and opulence.

Culinary delights on board

We understand that foodies want more than just visual feasts; they crave gastronomic adventures too! Onboard our cruises, enjoy exquisite meals prepared by skilled chefs using fresh local ingredients – definitely one for your culinary bucket list!

Have a party night at Plaza Foch in the Quito New Town area

Experience the vibrant nightlife around Plaza Foch in Quito, where lively bars, dance clubs, and traditional music venues come alive. Join the merry crowds, savor local beverages, and dance the night away in this bustling entertainment district

Savor exquisite cuisine

As a foodie, your palate will be thrilled by the diverse culinary offerings available around Plaza Foch. From traditional Ecuadorean dishes like ceviche and empanadas to international fare such as sushi or Italian cuisine, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on trying local delicacies from one of many restaurants surrounding Plaza Foch.

Dance the night away

The party truly begins when night falls over Plaza Foch. Its numerous clubs play everything from Latin beats to electronic music ensuring that you can dance until dawn if you so desire. For those who prefer live music performances over DJs spinning tracks, venues like Strawberry Fields Forever Bar & Restaurant, regularly feature talented local bands.

Luxury meets local culture

Your luxury travel experience doesn’t have to end once you leave your hotel room – it extends into every aspect of your visit including nights spent at Plaza Foch. You’ll find upscale bars and lounges that serve premium cocktails, providing a touch of elegance to your evening. Yet, the local culture is not lost in this sophistication – you’ll still see locals enjoying their evenings out, adding an authentic flavor to your Quito nightlife experience.

Whether you’re seeking mouth-watering food, energetic dance floors, or simply a place to soak up the atmosphere with a cocktail in hand; Plaza Foch delivers. This lively square encapsulates the spirit of Quito’s new town area and offers an unforgettable night out for any luxury traveler.

Shop for souvenirs at local artisan markets

The Quito artisan market, just behind the Hilton Colon is one such place where you can immerse yourself into a world full of colors and textures. From hand-woven textiles to intricate jewelry pieces, pottery to leather goods – this market offers an abundance of locally crafted items perfect for keepsakes or gifts.

Otavalo market from QuitoOtavalo market from Quito

Otavalo Market: A cultural excursion

If your curiosity isn’t satiated by just one market visit then consider venturing out on a day trip from Quito to the famed Otavalo Market. Known as South America’s largest indigenous market, Otavalo provides not only exceptional shopping opportunities but also a chance to interact with locals and learn about their traditions firsthand.

To make your day trip even more memorable combine it with an adventurous hike around Cuicocha Lake, nestled inside a sunken volcanic crater. The trail offers stunning views of the lake’s turquoise waters and surrounding landscapes, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers.

Cuicocha lake Andes Ecuador 3 hours from QuitoCuicocha lake Andes Ecuador 3 hours from Quito

Whether you’re seeking authentic Ecuadorian crafts or simply want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Quito’s artisan markets offer a unique shopping experience that goes beyond mere retail therapy. So go ahead and add these must-visit spots to your itinerary!

Unwind in one of Quito’s City Parks

Walking in the parks of Quito city offers a delightful escape into nature within the urban landscape. From the tranquil Parque La Carolina to the historic Parque El Ejido, these green oases provide a serene retreat for locals and visitors alike. Enjoy leisurely strolls, picnics, and cultural events amidst lush gardens and vibrant flora. 

La Carolina Park

La Carolina Park, located in the heart of Quito, is a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. The park features botanical gardens with exotic plants and flowers, paddle boat rentals on its man-made lake, as well as paths perfect for jogging or leisurely strolls.

Parque Metropolitano

The expansive Parque Metropolitano offers stunning views over the city and beyond to Cotopaxi volcano on clear days. It also has picnic areas ideal for family gatherings or romantic lunches al fresco style.

Itchimbia Park

Sitting atop a hill overlooking Old Town Quito is Itchimbia Park. Besides offering panoramic views of the historic district’s rooftops along with impressive mountain vistas, it hosts cultural events throughout the year such as art exhibitions and music concerts.

Each of these parks provides a unique perspective on Quito’s vibrant city life and rich natural beauty. So, whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful retreat amidst your urban adventures, make sure to include at least one of these city parks in your travel itinerary!

Take on the path of ancient explorers and overland to the Amazon basin

Whether you choose to embark on this voyage for a day or several days, it promises experiences as rich and diverse as its ecosystem.

A journey like no other

This isn’t just any road trip; it’s an exploration through time and nature. As you leave behind urban landscapes and ascend over misty Andean peaks before descending into lush jungle terrain, every turn offers breathtaking vistas that make even seasoned travelers reach for their cameras.

Discovering hidden gems

In addition to stunning scenery, there are countless opportunities along the way to immerse yourself in local culture. Visit traditional markets teeming with vibrant fruits unknown outside South America. Sample unique dishes like maito – fish wrapped in banana leaves – cooked by indigenous communities who have called these forests home for centuries.

Luxury amidst wilderness

Your experience doesn’t have compromise luxury either! There are plenty high-end eco-lodges tucked away amidst this wilderness which offer world-class hospitality. From luxury treehouse lodges that let you sleep among the treetops to floating hotels on the Amazon river, your stay in the jungle can be as comfortable as it is exciting.

So pack your sense of adventure and prepare for an unforgettable journey from Quito into the heart of the Amazon basin. It’s a trip that not only connects you with nature but also takes you back in time, retracing steps taken by explorers who changed our understanding of this world forever.

Exploring the Charm of San Marcos Neighborhood, Quito Ecuador

If you’re an avid traveler looking for a unique blend of history, culture and gastronomy in South America, then San Marcos neighborhood in Quito is your go-to destination. This vibrant quarter brims with colonial charm, artistic flair and culinary delights that make it a must-visit spot on any Ecuador tour.

San Marcos neighborhood QuitoSan Marcos neighborhood Quito

The artisan galleries: A haven for art lovers

Sprinkled throughout this quaint district are numerous artisan galleries where local artists showcase their talent. As you stroll down the cobbled streets lined with pastel-colored houses adorned with wrought iron balconies, don’t miss out on visiting places like Valentin Alejandro’s Antiquarium and Gallery, renowned for its restoration of old artifacts and turning them into art pieces from all over Ecuador.

Museums galore: Dive into history

In addition to its bustling arts scene, San Marcos also boasts several museums steeped in rich history. The most notable among them is perhaps the water color museum located right at the heart of Junin Street – arguably one of Quito’s most famous streets due to its historic significance and architectural beauty.

Culinary delights await you!

No trip to San Marcos would be complete without indulging in some mouth-watering local cuisine! From traditional eateries serving up classic Ecuadorean dishes such as hornado or caldo de patas (cow hoof soop), to upscale restaurants offering gourmet interpretations of regional favorites – there’s something here for every foodie. For instance, consider dining at INES, a restaurant that serves up a delightful fusion of Ecuadorian and international cuisine in an elegant setting.

Wrap it up, book your flight and explore the capital of Ecuador

I hope to have inspired a few of you. See you in Quito soon!

Marcel Perkins

Marcel Perkins is CEO at Latin Trails where he is involved in all areas of the business. He is passionate about nature and the culture of Ecuador and Peru. Latin Trails has become one of the leading luxury tour operators in South America. Offering high quality incoming services in Ecuador and Peru, it is specialized in offering luxury travel experiences on a tailormade basis for FITs and small groups. The company operates its own fleet of yachts in the Galapagos Islands: the Galapagos Sea Star Journey and the Galapagos Seaman Journey catamaran.

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