Quito, Ecuador’s delightful capital, is located in a narrow Andean valley at a lofty altitude of 9,350 feet. The Spanish conquistadors who arrived in the 1500s built magnificent cathedrals, created grand cobblestoned courtyards and trained the local Incan tribes in such crafts as woodcarving and gilding. The result is a city of churches, courtyards and beautifully intricate decoration. including thousands of roses, whose growth and export represent a $500 million industry. Visitors can expect to experience the very special combination of Andean and Amazonian art and culture in dozens of museums, shops, churches and performances.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…in colonial and Art Deco majesty in Casa Gangotena
  • Experience…a walking tour of the Old City led by a local historian
  • Splurge…on a Panama hat from Homero Ortega
  • Eat…passion fruit, coriander seed and orange blossom sorbet at Lua
  • DrinkCasa Gangotena‘s Agua Fresca, made from rose water and lemon verbena
  • Savor…that Ecuador uses the U.S. dollar and is in the same time zone as New York
  • VisitLa Compañía de Jesús, often considered the most beautiful church in South America
  • Shop…for scarves and mittens made from baby alpaca wool at Tianguez
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations, expert guides, special access and itineraries

Lay of the Land

Ecuador’s capital of Quito sits in a valley between the Andes and the Pichincha volcano. The Old Town sits in the south and the New Town, or Mariscal, is in the north. The new airport is located to the north of the city.

Entry Requirements: The Ecuadorian government requires that all travelers entering the country carry proof of private health insurance coverage during their entire stay in mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos. If the traveler cannot provide proof of said insurance, Ecuadorian immigration officers can deny entrance to the country.

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Beyond… Quito

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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