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Quito

Culture & history

Our most recommended Quito Culture & History

Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

1. Historic City of Quito and The Middle of the World

Begin by a visit to one of South America's best preserved historic city centers. Go to the Basilica del Voto Nacional Church, where you can climb up its high domes. Move towards the Panecillo viewpoint, an iconic place in the city, renowned for its beauty and giant statue of the Winged Virgin - here you can admire a beautiful landscape of both colonial and modern Quito (entrance to churches not included). Continue on to the traditional La Ronda neighborhood. In this romantic setting you can find workshops where you can learn from a group of authentic artisans how their work is done. See historic trades that keep alive the cultural traditions of this charming city. Stop at Zona Rosa for approximately an hour and a half to have some free time for lunch (not included). You will then go to the Middle of the World City, where you can see the monument that divides the northern and southern hemispheres of the planet. Entrance to the Middle of the World complex is included ,where you can enjoy experiences that defy the laws of physics and occur only in this part of the world. NOTE: On Sunday, this tour operates in an inverted way, first you visit the Middle of the World and then you have the city tour.

Quito: 2.5-Hour City Bus Tour

2. Quito: 2.5-Hour City Bus Tour

Embark on a fun and relaxing tour experience as you explore Quito on a double-decker bus. See more of the city in less time, visit famous locations and enjoy informative commentary from an audio guide along the way. The itinerary includes the highlights of Quito, including its historic city center, the largest in South America. Stop at Panecillo Hill, and enjoy panoramic views from the most important lookout in Quito. Enjoy a memorable ride through the city and take great photos from the top of the bus.

Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

3. Quilotoa Lagoon: Full-Day Tour from Quito

Drive south from Quito to the Quilotoa area and visit its famous lagoon. Along the way, you'll admire the beautiful Andean landscape and stop at the Shalala viewpoint. Next, you'll visit the community viewpoint and descend to the lagoon. Once there, you'll have free time to hike and explore the area. You'll return on a path that connects the lagoon to the community viewpoint. It's an intense walk, so if you're not in good shape, simply climb on a mule that will pack you back to the viewpoint. After a lunch break, you'll also stop at a Tigua craft workshop, famous for its colorful products, and visit the Toachi's Canon.

Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito

4. Otavalo and Imbabura Sightseeing Tour from Quito

Depart Quito and journey towards the Guayllabamba valley to see the Quitsato Sundial in La Mitad Del Mundo, built to share the astronomical knowledge of the pre-Hispanic cultures of the region. Pass over the line of the equator and continue towards the largest indigenous market in South America. Shop for souvenir textiles and traditional crafts at the Mercado de Ponchos, where the locals sell tagua nut jewelry, fake shrunken heads, hand-painted trays, spices, spools of wool and other interesting items under mushroom-shaped umbrellas. Get back to nature at the Peguche waterfall, popular with the locals who go there to take a sacred bath on the eve of Inti Raymi. Continue towards the caldera lake of Cuicocha in the Cotacachi-Cayapas Reserve (excluding holidays) and get stunning views of the Cotacachi Volcano before driving back to Quito.

Quito: Middle of the World Tour with Tickets

5. Quito: Middle of the World Tour with Tickets

Begin your 3-hour tour in the northern part of Quito and head up to the middle of the city. This is where you will find the monument that stands on the line that divides the northern and the southern hemispheres. The Equatorial Monument was built during the 17th century when the precise dividing line between the hemispheres was defined by a French expeditionary team.

Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

6. Quito: Urban Legends of Quito by Night

Start your Quito night tour in the northern part of the city and travel through the most important commercial areas where most of the hotels are located. Explore aboard a replica of the trams used in the city in the last century. Head to the historic center to gaze at the illuminated churches and main tourist attractions. Discover some of the city's unique landscapes (tickets not included). Then, continue to Mirador del Panecillo (entrance included) for a beautiful view of colonial and modern day Quito. During the tour, you will get to know the people who live in this city better, and begin to recognize their way of speaking and thinking. During your visit to the city, your guide will tell you all about the historic urban legends that are a part of the traditional and cultural heritage of the people of Quito.

Quito: Full-Day Ciudad Mitad del Mundo Tour

7. Quito: Full-Day Ciudad Mitad del Mundo Tour

Board the Quito Tour Bus on Avenida Naciones Unidas in the heart of Quito, and then depart the city in the early afternoon. Journey to the Geobotanical Reserve of the Pululahua Crater at the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo complex. Visit the new Beer Museum, see a miniature model that celebrates the architectural beauty of the Historic Center of Quito and more. Finally, you will visit the Agave Museum where you will have a tasting of this ancestral drink. Return to the start point in the evening.

Quito: City Sightseeing Guided Night Walking Tour

8. Quito: City Sightseeing Guided Night Walking Tour

This excursion takes from two and a half to three hours. Your tour guide will pick you up from your hotel at 7:00 p.m. to start a short evening drive along Quito's most interesting sites, like The Church and Square of San Blas, founded in 1568; the Sucre Theatre, an exceptional building of the 19th century; the Convent of El Carmen Bajo and many other architectonic jewels! You will do a wonderful full walk along the main streets, plus quick stops in the most beautiful spots of Quito's colonial town, in order to see the incredible structures, buildings, monasteries, churches and squares lighted up by the moonlight and splendid colours! This is the best and safest opportunity to enjoy the lovely atmosphere of Quito at night. It is also possible to visit the charming neighbourhood of La Ronda where we can try one the most famous home-made-cocktails of the sierra region called “Canelazo”, which is a mixture of a hot cinnamon tea, passion fruit juice and a few drops of a safe local “moon shine”. After your unforgettable walk, you will drive up to the top of "El Panecillo" hill, which is located at 3.200 meters above sea level (10,000 ft), to appreciate the beautiful contrast of colourful lights on the squares and avenues, distributed in the irregular topography of the city. On the way back to the hotel you will stop in front of the Basilica de Quito, an extraordinary church built with neo-gothic style! You will be back in your hotel approximately at 9:30 p.m.

Quito: Guided Street Art Tour with local drinks

9. Quito: Guided Street Art Tour with local drinks

Join us on an off-the-beaten-path walking tour with a focus on urban artistic expression. Start with an Andean agave drink and walk through one of the coolest neighborhoods in Quito, spotting all kinds of street art. Pick up insights into the context, techniques, and meaning of these wonderful multi-style pieces that make Quito one of Latin America's best spots for street art lovers. Finish the afternoon with a drink in a bar with famous for its breathtaking view of the valley, while enjoying one of the most traditional alcoholic drinks in the city.

Quito: City Highlights and Food Walking Tour

10. Quito: City Highlights and Food Walking Tour

Explore Quito, the oldest capital in South America, from all of its angles. Get to know the main historical plazas, buildings, churches and parks. Admire downtown's colonial architecture with its mix of 19th century and modern style buildings. Get away from the main sites and explore lesser-known gems, like the main flea market in town, where you'll understand another side of every day local life. Eat at a top street food stop, and explore one of the main markets. Finish the journey sampling some of the best chocolate and coffee from the hands of a top chocolatier.

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What people are saying about Quito

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 110 reviews

Wonderful experience and an awesome guide! Took care of making sure all questions were answered in both English and Spanish. Seeing the city is the best way with no crowds, so you get to really enjoy the sites. Highly recommend this trip.

Do not hesitate to take this tour! We had an incredible time and were able to see the majority of the tourist spots in Quito all in one day. Bring your walking shoes and prepare to be in awe by the end of the day!

This was a good full-day tour of downtown Quito and the Mitad del Mundo. We learned a lot obout the city and the country.

Nice and illustrative tour. The guide was very patient and interacted quite well with all the passengers.

It was relaxed. Interesting stops, love the waterfall and all the stuff you could buy. Thanks.