Quito, originally known as San Francisco de Quito or the Metropolitan District of Quito, is the capital of the Republic of Ecuador and belongs to the Province of Pichincha. It is also the oldest and second tallest capital in South America. It is also the most populated city in Ecuador as of 2018 with 2 million inhabitants in the urban area, and approximately 3 million in the entire Metropolitan Area.

Quito is located high in the slopes of the Andes at 2,850 meters (9350ft). It was built on the foundations of an ancient Inca city and is famous for its well-preserved colonial center, with several churches from the 16th and 17th centuries and other structures mixing European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, in the Plaza Grande, and the highly decorated Jesuit church of the Society of Jesus.

How to get there:

There are a few different transportation options to get to Quito. These include personal vehicles, taxis, planes, or buses. The distance from Quito to Guayaquil is 262 miles (421.4 km) and takes around 7.5 hours by car or 8 hours by bus along route E491. If you decide to take a flight from Quito to Guayaquil the flight duration is around 50 minutes to an hour.

Between Quito and Manta there is a distance of 247 miles (397 km) along route E20 and E38 which takes around 6 hours by car or 7-8 hours by bus. A plane ride from Manta to Quito takes approximately 40 minutes.

Where to stay:

Since Quito is the capital of Ecuador, it offers many renowned hotels to choose from for your stay. The most recommended hotels in terms of architecture, comfort, and service are as follows:

  1. Casa San Marcos

  2. Swissotel Quito

  3. Mamá Cuchara

  4. Hotel Casa Gangotena

  5. Le Parc Hotel-Beyond Stars

Where to eat:

There are a variety of places that offer an incredible culinary experience in Quito but the most recommended restaurants in the capital are:

  1. Chios (Fast food but well known for their hamburgers)

  2. Royal India (Indian food)

  3. Hibachi (Japanese food)

  4. Somos Ecuador (Traditional Ecuadorian food)

  5. De La Llama (Latina/Fusion)

What to do:

Quito offers many fun and exciting, indoor and outdoor activities. The experience of climbing the Quito Cable Car is an unforgettable activity that you should not miss! The cable car is located near the Rucu Pichincha volcano where it ascends from the Motriz platform at 3,117 meters above sea level, to Cruz Loma at 3,947 meters above sea level, which makes it one of the highest cable cars in the world. This fun-filled activity is located at the ‘Teleferico’ in Quito. Once you make it to the top, you can also go horseback riding. We advise wearing warm clothes as it can get chilly due to the high altitude. For lovers of walks and hiking, this is an excellent option that offers wonderful scenery along the way as well.

If you would like to do something on the water you can also take a relaxing boat ride in La Alameda park, one of the oldest and most popular outdoor areas in the city. There are pedal boats to rent on the water along with other fun water activities!

If you are interested in learning more about the history of Quito, we recommend the historical walk of the Seven Crosses, through the historic center of Quito. The historic center of Quito is full of history and many old legends as well! The tour takes you along Garcia Moreno street where you can see colonial stone crosses outside the churches, convents, cathedrals and museums. During the walk you will surely appreciate the beauty of the buildings and learn the history behind them. If you need to take a short break, you are welcome to stay in one of the squares or enter a church and marvel at the colonial art. But don’t forget your camera, this activity is ideal for taking great pictures!

One of the most common activities in Quito is cycling, perhaps because of all the wonderful places to cycle around the city. One of the most well known routes is known as the Chaquiñán, which runs between Cumbayá and Puembo where an ancient railroad used to be. The whole route takes about an hour and a half and is suitable for all ages and levels. There are several exits along the way, as well as stops to hydrate