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10 Best Things To Do in Quito

10 Best Things To Do in Quito

Meet Chloë, an adventurous intern at Rebecca Adventure Travel, sharing her insights on the perfect lazy-day experiences in Quito. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these laid-back activities offer a delightful mix of history, nature, and culture.

Take a Tour around Quito

Ascending El Panecillo

To kickstart your day in Quito, ascend El Panecillo hill for breathtaking views. Nestled in the heart of Quito, El Panecillo stands as an awe-inspiring landmark, offering panoramic views of the city. Soaring over 200 m.a.s.l., the hill holds rich pre-Columbian history and a 16th-century Virgin Mary statue, symbolizing Quito’s Catholic heritage. For a mere USD 2, climb the La Virgen de Quito statue and, weather permitting, catch glimpses of distant volcanoes. Easily accessible by bus from the Old Town, this spot is a must-visit.

Surrounding El Panecillo, a vibrant neighborhood showcases local life with artisans, musicians, and street vendors. Beyond its scenic allure, the hill transcends its role as a tourist attraction, evoking awe and wonder that resonates deeply with the human spirit. Standing at the summit, gazing over the city, one experiences a profound connection with the soul of Quito—a must-do experience for those seeking beauty and meaning.

El Panecillo Hill in Quito

The Virgin Mary statue.

Climbing at TelefériQo

This is a must-visit attraction that offers one of the most breathtaking aerial views of the Ecuadorian capital. As one of the highest aerial lifts in the world, it whisks visitors up the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano to a staggering height of about 4,100 m.a.s.l. The ride itself provides a dramatic panorama of Quito’s urban sprawl juxtaposed against the backdrop of the Andes.

At the top, adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts can indulge in hiking trails, cafes, and the allure of spotting local wildlife. On a clear day, the summit offers a glimpse of the city’s colonial architecture and the majestic Cotopaxi volcano in the distance, making for an unforgettable experience.

Teleferico Quito

TeleferiQo cable car.

Playing at Parque La Carolina

La Carolina Park stands as a colorful oasis in the heart of Quito, captivating visitors with its diverse array of recreational activities and serene green spaces. This sprawling urban park offers something for everyone, from leisurely strolls along tree-lined pathways to thrilling outdoor adventures. Highlights include expansive jogging trails, picturesque lakeside views, and lush gardens perfect for picnics or relaxation.

Families can delight in the playgrounds and sports facilities, while fitness enthusiasts can partake in outdoor workouts or yoga sessions. Cultural events and festivals often grace the park, infusing it with an energetic atmosphere. La Carolina Park truly embodies the essence of Quito’s outdoor lifestyle, inviting locals and tourists alike to revel in its natural beauty and dynamic ambiance.

Lagoon at La Carolina Park.

Lagoon at La Carolina Park.

Seeing the Old Town’s Treasures

Quito’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a captivating tapestry of history, culture, and architectural splendor. Wandering through its cobblestone streets is like stepping back in time, as colonial-era buildings and churches line every corner. Highlights include the majestic Basilica del Voto Nacional, with its awe-inspiring Gothic architecture, and the ornate Church and Convent of San Francisco, home to an impressive collection of colonial art.

Visitors can explore bustling squares like Plaza de la Independencia, where Ecuador’s independence was declared, or Plaza San Francisco, alive with dynamic markets and street performers. Quaint cafes and artisan shops beckon from every alleyway, offering a taste of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine and handmade crafts. With its rich heritage and timeless charm, Quito’s Old Town is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered by history buffs and culture enthusiasts alike.

San Francisco Church and Convent in Old Town Quito.

San Francisco Church and Convent in Old Town Quito.

Biking at Parque Metropolitano

Parque Metropolitano Guangüiltagua stands as a verdant sanctuary nestled amidst the bustling metropolis of Quito, offering respite and recreation to locals and visitors alike. As one of the city’s largest urban parks, Guangüiltagua boasts sprawling green spaces, pristine walking trails, and panoramic viewpoints that showcase the natural beauty of the Andean landscape. Nature enthusiasts can explore a variety of spaces, from dense forests to tranquil ponds, while birdwatchers delight in spotting various avian species.

Adventure seekers can embark on challenging hikes or mountain biking trails, immersing themselves in the park’s rugged terrain and incredible vistas. Families can enjoy picnics, playgrounds, and outdoor activities, fostering a sense of community and connection with nature. With its blend of tranquility and adventure, Parque Guanguiltagua offers a true escape from the urban hustle and bustle, inviting visitors to unwind, recharge, and reconnect with the natural world.

Quito's Metropolitan Park.

Quito’s Metropolitan Park.

Shopping on La Ronda Street

This charming cobblestone street tucked away in Quito’s historic Old Town exudes the essence of colonial-era Ecuador. Stepping onto this narrow road feels like entering a living museum, where centuries-old architecture and traditional craftsmanship blend seamlessly with dynamic cultural experiences. Visitors are transported back in time as they meander through this picturesque enclave, lined with colorful buildings housing artisan workshops, galleries, and boutiques.

The sound of live music and the aroma of local delicacies fill the air, enticing passersby to linger and soak in the lively ambiance. La Ronda’s rich history is visible at every turn, with landmarks like the Casa de la Ronda providing a glimpse into Quito’s storied past. As night falls, the street comes alive with the rhythm of salsa and the clinking of glasses in cozy taverns and restaurants. With its blend of history, culture, and nightlife, La Ronda offers a truly enchanting experience that captures the heart and soul of Quito’s Old Town.

La Ronda street in downtown Quito.

La Ronda Street.

Admiring Guápulo Viewpoint

Perched atop the verdant hills overlooking Quito, the viewpoint offers visitors a captivating panorama of the city’s urban landscape and the majestic Andes mountains beyond. This hidden gem provides a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. As visitors ascend the viewpoint, they are greeted by sweeping views that stretch as far as the eye can see, dotted with the iconic red-tiled roofs of colonial-era buildings and the towering spires of historic churches.

Coupled with the crisp mountain air, the serenity of the natural surroundings makes for a peaceful spot. At sunset, the sky comes alive with deep hues of orange and pink, casting a warm glow over the city below. Guápulo Viewpoint is not only a feast for the eyes, but also a place of reflection and contemplation. Visitors get to pause and appreciate the beauty of Ecuador’s capital city from a truly unique vantage point.

Guápulo neighborhood in Quito

View of Guápulo.

Exploring Mitad del Mundo

This cultural and geographical landmark holds immense significance in Ecuadorian history. Located just north of Quito, it marks the spot where the equator divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Visitors to this iconic site can stand with one foot in each hemisphere, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to straddle the line between two worlds. The centerpiece of the complex is the Middle of the World Monument, a towering structure that marks the equatorial line.

Middle of the World Monument

Middle of the World Monument.

Surrounding the monument are a variety of attractions, including museums, exhibitions, and cultural displays. These offer insight into Ecuador’s rich indigenous heritage and scientific contributions. Beyond the historical significance, the Mitad del Mundo is a great place to spot the snow-capped peaks of the Andes in the surrounding countryside. Whether exploring the interactive exhibits or simply marveling at the wonder of standing at the center of the Earth, Mitad del Mundo will capture your imagination and leave a lasting impression.

Food Tasting at La Floresta Neighborhood

La Floresta immediately captivates you with the artsy and bohemian ambiance that defines this district. Meandering through the colorful streets, the local galleries and striking street art at every corner showcase the rich creativity and cultural depth of the neighborhood. The food stations provide perfect stops for soaking in the atmosphere while enjoying the unique flavors. The experience is not just a walk but a journey through the heart of Quito’s artistic soul within a community where art and daily life intertwine seamlessly.

La Floresta Food Park

La Floresta Food Park.

Walking Around Itchimbia Cultural Complex

Conclude a leisurely day with a visit to the Itchimbia Cultural Complex, a cornerstone of Quito’s rich cultural scene. Nestled atop the scenic Itchimbia hill, the complex comes alive with art exhibitions, concerts, and a variety of other events. Explore the diverse offerings, from contemporary art installations to live musical performances. The panoramic views of Quito provide a stunning backdrop. This visit is the perfect culmination to a day spent discovering the artistic and cultural wealth of Quito.

Itchimbia Park's Crystal Palace.

Itchimbia Park’s Crystal Palace.

Chloë’s guide offers a diverse range of experiences, ensuring your lazy day in Quito is filled with relaxation, culture, and the city’s unique charm. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying nature, or soaking up the arts, Quito has something for every lazy adventurer.

Enjoy a tour of Quito!

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