THE ECUADOR VIBE - The Ecuador Vibe: QUITO – PICHINCHA
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:
Casa San Marcos
Hotel Casa Gangotena
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:
Chios (Fast food but well known for their hamburgers)
Royal India (Indian food)
Hibachi (Japanese food)
Somos Ecuador (Traditional Ecuadorian food)
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 or eat. Don't worry if you do not have a bike either, there are many places to close by!
Another very popular place to visit that is recognized worldwide is "La Mitad Del Mundo" (The Middle of the World), which is located in the north part of the Metropolitan District of Quito. This exciting tourist spot shows the exact location of the equatorial line for which Ecuador is named after. You should definitely make a stop here if you’d like to stand on the line in the middle of the world!
Other emblematic places for history and tourism in Quito are the Panecillo, with the impressive statue of Our Lady of Quito and the Museum of the House of the Suffering Man (Museo de la Casa del Hombre Doliente) by the world-renowned painter Oswaldo Guayasamín. These are places that cannot be missed!
Lastly, if you are looking for a fun night out in the capital of Quito you will not be disappointed! The heart of Quito's nightlife is located in the La Mariscal sector (Plaza Foch), where you can find a wide range of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Some of the most recommended bars in Quito are:
Ecuadorians from Quito are known as “Quiteños,” and they are fueled by the ideals and morals that they have gained from the revolutions that make up their history. From the “Revolución de las Alcabalas” to the uprising of the First Cry of Independence, history has not stopped being written for the people of Quito. Today these values such as respect, solidarity, inclusion, and care for the environment have become part of the 'Quiteñidad' culture found in the heart of Quito.
The citizens of Quito today are very committed to protecting the environment and as part of this initiative they have created projects involving making products out of recycled materials and inventing more environmentally friendly processes. Since the beginning of the 21st century there have been significant developments in the capital of Quito. The population of Quito and the city itself have begun to transition from a local “serrano” mindset to that of an international one. "Quito has benefited from having a modern airport. Cosmopolitan cities base their international relations on airports," and this is how, thanks to the modern infrastructure of the capital, they have also been able to promote tourism while also creating jobs for local “Quiteños.”
It is worth noting that the people who inhabit Quito are very cordial and their kindness and respect do not go unnoticed by foreigners. They take an active role in politics and this can be seen from their participation in passionate, although civil, public demonstrations. “Quiteños” are also hard working people who strategically plan for long term goals when it comes to their jobs. Lastly, people from Quito strongly value friendship and will always make time to invest in their relationships with friends, although they are not usually spontaneous when making plans.
Adapting to a new way of life
Quito is one of the highest capitals in the world above sea level and is located in a huge valley with beautiful volcanoes on both sides. This has attracted tourists, students, businesses, artists, retirees and professionals from all corners of the world to visit and settle down here.
There are multiple neighborhoods inside and outside the city that have grown popular in recent years, each which offer diverse and different ways of living. This is the case in some neighborhoods such as La Foresta, La Carolina and Guápulo, which today have become home to many young professionals who want to be part of a vibrant urban life. We also have other sectors such as Cumbayá, Tumbaco and Puembo, which have attracted high end foreign investors. These towns provide comfortable and luxurious spaces, boasting golf courses and exclusive leisure areas while still being within close proximity to the city of Quito.
Quito is known for having something to offer for everyone, as well as providing easy access to resources such as embassies, first class medical care, well-developed transportation systems, international cuisine, and culture. Although Guayaquil and Quito are the two main commercial hubs in Ecuador, there is no denying that Quito has long been one of the most influential cities in the region because of its history, strong economy, and tourism.
Compared to other large cities in South America, Quito also remains to be one of the cheapest cities. For example, living comfortably in the city center costs less than $2,000 USD per month. This price includes rent, which ranges from $400 USD to $1,000 USD, as well as several nights of entertainment, meals and day trips. Cab rides range from $1.50 USD to $10 USD, depending on the area you are traveling to.
Food prices are also super cheap in Quito thanks in part to the abundant agriculture close by. Almost everything grows here in Ecuador itself, which makes food cheap and accessible. For example, you can easily find fresh fruits and vegetables in the markets at very affordable prices.
Business opportunities are ample in Quito and the flourishing economy makes it a great spot for investments. Many internationally growing businesses have recently opened offices here in Quito as well. Thanks to this, the city has developed the reputation of a connected, on-the-go capital in Latin America.
In this link you can watch a series of videos about the new changes to the immigration law in Ecuador and how they can affect you.
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The EcuaAssist Team
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.