7 Fun Things to do in Quito, Ecuador

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Quito Ecuador

Quito is Ecuador’s capital city and is very much worth spending a few days exploring.

There are many things to do in Quito, and we enjoyed it more than we expected to (especially since we arrived after spending several days on long bus rides and in sketchy motels near the border).

1. Take a Free Walking Tour of Quito

Quito Ecuador

We took a walking tour of Quito and were able to explore the old town as well as many important buildings and plazas.

2. Meet a ShamanArtifacts in the Shaman's office

One highlight of the free walking tour is stopping in a Shaman’s office.

We got to sip Chicha, a fermented drink made from yucca roots with supposed healing powers. It tasted… a bit like yeast mixed with white wine. Not terrible, but I probably wouldn’t make a habit of drinking the stuff.

3. Shop at the local markets

Quito Ecuador

Ever city in Ecuador (and around the whole of South America for that matter) has a local market where vendors sell produce and artisan goods.

For a truly special market, head to the nearby town of Otavalo, which is known for hosting Ecuador’s largest market. Here, you can find textiles and other artisan goods, making it the best place to buy locally made goods as souvenirs.

4. Marvel at the architecture

Quito EcuadorQuito is full of stunning examples of Spanish colonial architecture. Wander the streets and appreciate the archways, the churches and the beautiful facades.

Quito Ecuador

5. Refresh with a fresh jugo

I can't get enough of the exotic juices in South America!

While inQuito, start your day with a fresh juice. There are all sorts of fruits to choose – from the normal suspects to some that you’ve likely never heard of. MY advice is to go for the latter and try something new!

6. See out the best views of the city

Quito Ecuador
View from our hostelView from our hostel

As you walk through town, seek out some of the higher viewpoints or even go up inside a taller building to get a great view over the city.

7. Take the Teleferico (Cable Car)

Teleferico Cable Car Quito Ecuador

During one of our days in Quito, we took the Teleferico (cable car) up the mountain with our Dutch friends to get a view of… the clouds.

Teleferico Cable Car Quito Ecuador

Eventually the thick clouds parted a bit and we were able to see the city below. At 4,100 meters above sea level, breathing was difficult making our hike incredibly hard.

We made it!

We had to stop every few minutes to catch our breath, but eventually made it to a beautiful lookout point which kind of made up for the grueling hike.

Comments (8) on “7 Fun Things to do in Quito, Ecuador

  1. Alexander M. says:

    Hi guys! Love this Quito post. We also did a walking tour of the historic area and were just amazed by the colonial buildings. They are much better maintained than the ones in La Candelaria in Bogotá. We didn’t get a chance to make it up on the Teleferico but we will just have to do that when we go back!

  2. michellebowen1@live.com says:

    Hi Katie and Ben! My fiance and I are backpacking through South America for an undefined amount of time and we love using your blog! We have been in Colombia for 2wks (Bogota, Medellin & Cartagena) and are about to spend 1-wk making our way down to Armenia where we have a 2-wk work exchange at a coffee farm.

    I see you spent over 1 month in Ecuador. We have 3 weeks maximum to spend in Ecuador, including a 10-day trip to the Galapagos (which your blog inspired us to do). After reading your blog on busing, I’m thinking of spending 1 of those 3 wks busing from Armenia to Quito, with a brief stop in Cali since we haven’t been.

    How much do you recommend spending in Quito and in Ecuador in general? Do you think we should just fly from Colombia and skip Cali and the bussing experience?

  3. ursula.stadelman@gmail.com says:

    I went for the first time on trips with the Gulliver Expeditions agency. I really was not disappointed! They helped me realize my dream of climbing the summit of Cotopaxi volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. The team was able to give me valuable advice and pre-training for the climb.

    I then decide to trust them again by going to Peru with them because they also have another agency in Peru! I am currently on the road to Machu Picchu!

    I recommend without hesitation the agency Gulliver Expeditions (https://gulliver.com.ec/) if you want to discover Ecuador, Galapagos or Peru with confidence!

  4. rhondaswanson@gmail.com says:

    Heading to Quito and Galapagos in a few months. Question about Quito; How do you find the shaman place you mentioned? Also, what were your MUST do things there? We only have a few days. As for Galapagos, do you recommend booking tours in advance or just doing it once we arrive? We are doing it same as you did…DIY and on a backpacker budget. Thanks! Great blog

    • ktdieder@gmail.com says:

      Hey Rhonda, Thanks for commenting! While in Quito, we did a free walking tour and the shaman place was a stop on the tour. There is an old street called La Ronda which is nice to see and the Basílica del Voto Nacional is stunning. You can also take the cable car (Teleferico) up the mountain to the overview of the city.

      As for the Galapagos, we’d recommend booking tours once you arrive. Look at the reviews online to find the good companies, but then book once you get there. That way to you can shop around and find the best deal from the best company.

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