1. View of the city;

  2. Plaza Central;

  3. National Cathedral;

  4. Hotel Plaza Grande;

  5. Arco de la Reina;

  6. Plazo Santo Domingo;

  7. Archbishop's Palace;

  8. Compania Church;

  9. Calle Ronda Street;

  10. Presidential Palace;

  11. Great city parks;

  12. National Theatre;

  13. Banco Central;

  14. National Museum;

  15. Observatory of Quito;

  16. Cable Cart "Teleferico";

  17. Mariscal Art & Crafts Market;

  18. Curo Observation Tower;

  19. Virgin of Quito

  20. Mitad del Mundo.


In Lonely Planet's 10 best cities of the world to visit in 2016, Ecuador's capital Quito ranks number 2! Without question, America's most scenic capital is Quito, with its gorgeous colonial churches, monuments & museums, and cable carts to the top of Mount Pichincha. One of the world's first cities to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, Quito, Ecuador, has been flying under the travelers' radar for a long time. When we lived in Quito in the 1970s, we could never imagine that one day Quito would be so beautifully restored and that we would stroll through what is now Latin America's most beautiful capital. At a distance of ±10km south of the equator, Quito is located in the Andes of Ecuador, at elevations between of 2700 and 2900 masl. With a population of 2.7 million people, Quito is the second largest city, after Ecuador's harbor Guyaquil with 2.8 million inhabitants.


While Lima was the administrative center of the Spanish colonial empire in South America, Quito was the religious center with many cathedrals, churches and monasteries, most of which have survived the countless earthquakes and the general wear of the centuries. Now beautifully restored, Quito's monuments has architecturally marvelously designed plazas that are interconnected by romantic narrow streets, where people of all ages stroll unconcerned through this peaceful paradise of majestic monuments, local shops, tastefully restored and redesigned mansions that now serve as restaurants and colonial hotels.


Whenever you go to Ecuador, please do yourself a favor and take at least 2 days to fall in love with this beautifully restored city. If you like, you can take a half day's guided tour but after that, go out on your own, walk the streets, sample the restaurants, explore beautifully illuminated Quito at night and mingle with the friendly Ecuadorians who regard Quito as their cultural heritage, the place that unites their rich history with the pleasures of twenty-first century.


In 2008, Quito was highlighted in the travel section of the New York times, listing Quito as one of the 53 most interesting cities in the world for Americans to visit. Samantha Brown called Quito "Passport to Latin America" being the perfect place from where to initiate travel to discover Latin America. Since then, Quito has been highlighted in television programs of CBN and NBC, while many other magazines and newspapers have dedicated center fold sections to this previously undervalued most beautiful colonial capital of all the Americas.


For enjoying the greatest highlights of South America, many tourist combine the nature of Ecuador with the archaeological highlights of Peru, using the new airport of Quito as hub.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: C ity Map

Detailed maps of the city of Quito, capital of Ecuador. If you click on them you get a greatly enlarged maps.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Map Old Town Quito

Detailed map of Old town Quito attractions. Click on it to get the detailed map.


With many pedestrians-only streets, the colonial center should be enjoyed, sprawling from plaza to plaza and cathedral to monastery. Distances are short and restaurants abound. This little map can help you plot out a route through the many narrow beautifully restored colonial streets of Quito's "Casco viejo" as the Quitenos call old town Quito.


Top 20 Old Town Quito Attractions:

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: View of Quito from the Pichincha Cable Cart

One gets a great view of the city from the cable cart.




Plaza Central or Plaza de Republica






The Plaza Grande or de la Republica with the Government Palace, the National Cathedral (right), Hotel Plaza Grande (3 below) and the Archbishop's Palace as the eye catchers.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: National Cathedral

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Hotel Plaza Grande

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Hotel Plaza Grande on Plaza de la Republica

Hotel Plaza Grande on Plaza de la Republica, Quito, Ecuador

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Hotel Plaza Grande

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Arco de la Reina

The 4 arched Arco de la Reina.

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Santo Domingo Church

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Plaza Santo Domingo, Quito, on a public holiday

Plaza Santo Domingo is one of the most popular and the largest squares of Quito.


In the northeastern corner stands the beautiful San Francisco Cathedral. On national holidays, the plaza is packed with Quiteños enjoying their colonial capital.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Archbishop's Palace with restaurants

Restaurant "Mea Culpa", Archbishop's Palace, Quito, Ecuador

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Archbishop's Palace on Plaza Grand

Fabulous Palacio Arzobispal - Archbishop's Palace - with several great restaurants.


The Mea Culpa Restaurant has a great view on the Plaza de la Independencia and is among the best restaurants in Ecuador; a great place for a special evening out. Reserving a table is recommended. 


What I really like about Quito is that it is a city dominated by its own people. Parents with their children play and picnic on the lawns and in the parks. Tourists are present but not in overwhelming numbers.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Compania Church.

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Compania Church, Interior

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Pulpit of the Compañía de Jesus Church Quito, Capital of Ecuador: The organ of the Compañía de Jesus Church

The Compania Church is the most beautiful and oldest colonial monument of Quito and debatedly in all Latin America; its interior certainly is. It is managed by the Fundacion de la Iglesia de la Compania.


The interior of the Church is covered with gold leaf and gilded statutes and  paintings are among the best preserved early colonial arte; some of the richest in all of Latin America.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Street view Colonial Quito

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Old Town Quito, Ecuador

No Latin Americans capital has anything that comes close to the charming colonial streets of Quito.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Calle Ronda, Quito, First UNESCO World Heritage Site

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Calle Ronda, Quito, UNESCO World Heritage, Ecuador

Calle Ronda is Quito's finest historical street.


Presidential Palace

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Palacio de la Republica

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Guard, Presidential Palace

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Carondelet Palace, Plaza de la Republica

Guard, Presidential Palace, Quito, Capital Ecuador

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Gallery Presidential Palace

The Presidential Palace.


The Presidential Palace or also named after its architect, the Carondelet Palace, which dominates the Plaza Central. The portal gallery can be entered individually and it is possible to see the ceremonial guards from close by and watch the change of the guards. For excursions to the interior of the palace one needs to make reservations.


Museums in Ecuador: Banco Central / Casa de Cultura National MuseumMuseums in Ecuador: National Museum professional displays

National Museum: Professionally designed and displayed pre-Colombian history of Ecuador. Excellent bi-lingual texts!


Built in 1873, the Observatory of Quito is the oldest on the continent. Renovated in 2009, it is both a museum of historical instruments and open to the public for star gazing on cloudless nights.

Astronomical Observatory, Quito

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Ejido Park

Quito has several great parks, Like the Ejido Park which are intensively used by the Quiteños. It is great to go on a picnic in the weekend and watch families enjoy themselves and see the children play.

National Theatre.

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: National Theater

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Former Banco Centra

Historic Banco Central building, now monetary museum.


Grand views of Quito, Capital of Ecuador

Few capitals in the world border a national park. An absolute must is to take: the cable cart, or the "Teleferico" as it is called and take a hike through the paramo of the Pichincha, one of the 45 National Parks and reserves of Ecuador. Go at 8 in the morning, but by 11 it gets cloudy and without sun it is chilly to out right cold. Take a sweater and a light rain coat.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Pichincha Cable Cart

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Mountain biking from the Pichincha National Park

If you are young and don't value your bones and teeth, you ride up the cable cart and ride down your mountain bike.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Teleferico

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Mountain Station, Pichincha Cable Cart

But the majority of the passengers are families who go up to enjoy the fabulous view.


The Pichincha station where the cable cart ends. Food and drinks are available.

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Horseback riding on Pichincha

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Lamas at Pichincha National Park

At the top one can ride horseback, great for children.

Here is where you can get paramo pictures with lamas without having to town.


Quito is a great place for souvenir shopping. While you will find many small shops in Old Town Quito, the best markets are in El Ejido Park and the Mariscal art market. For details read: Art and Craft in Ecuador.


Quito, Capital of Ecuador: Virgin of Quito at the Panacillo, Ecuador

Churo in Alamedo Park

The Churo observation tower built on a supposed military observation point of the ancient Quitu people prior to colonization.

The Virgin of Quito on the Panacillo. The Panacillo also offers a great view over the entire city. Take a taxi up and walk down to enjoy the 10 Old Town Quito attractions down town.


The Mitad del Mundo in the museum park just Outside Quito, hosts the ethnographic museum inside and sports a great view over the valley.

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: The new Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport Departure Hall

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: The new Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport shopping areal

Quito, Capital of Ecuador: The new Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport VIP room

The brand new Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport now offers access to the newest and largest airplanes and the most modern arrival and departure services.


City tours are almost daily available. Our Andes Trek, Ecuador program includes the best National Parks of Ecuador in the Andes as well as the famous cultural highlights, like Quito, Cuenca and Ingapirca Please contact us for information, rates and bookings.


Cuyabeno Lodge:

Shyris Park Building, Av. de los Shyris N36-188 & Av. Naciones Unidas, Office 608, 6th floor, Quito

Phone Office: (++593) (0)(2) 292 6153

Cell (mobile) phone: (++593) (0)999 80 3395


Find it on the Quito Map Zoom in, it is a very detailed map!

Email: [email protected]