Underrated Escapes: 10 Tips and Tricks for Discovering Quito, Ecuador

Underrated Escapes: 10 Tips and Tricks for Discovering Quito, Ecuador

A visit to South America isn’t complete without a stop in Quito – Ecuador’s lively and dynamic capital.  Founded on the ruins of an ancient Incan city, Quito offers a rich history, unique culture, and mouth watering food while its proximity to the surrounding volcanic peaks serves as a perfect jump off to explore the lush and diverse natural areas nearby. Often overlooked because of the big city factor, Quito is very much underrated, and EscapeHere is happy to tell you why this South American city deserves your travel consideration:

City Overview

Nestled in an Andean valley but still managing a whopping 9350 foot altitude, Quito is considered the highest official capital city in the world. On their first Quito trip, many travelers make the common mistake of leaving their warm clothes at home thinking ALL of South America is hot. Think again – high altitude means cool temperatures, with an average high of 19°C (66°F) and an average low of 10°C (50°F), so pack those layers! Close to the equator, the average temperatures don’t fluctuate much throughout the year, so the best time to visit is dry season (June – September). Once you arrive, start learning Spanish – the Spanish spoken in Quito is much clearer than the surrounding area so it is a great place to learn!

Cathedral of Quito, Ecuador

Arts and Culture

You will be surprised by the diversity and beauty that you can find in Quito. Stop by Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus – an epic religious site decked out in gold, the Guayasamin Museum featuring the famous contemporary artist, and the little non-profit pre-Columbian art museum Casa del Alabado. Pursue more art at Museo del Banco Central, perhaps Ecuador’s most renowned museum. Visit Casa de la Cultura which features local Ecuadorian art as well as live performances. Downtown Quito has been declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site with one of the best preserved historic centers in the world, so get downtown and start exploring. Join a Free Walking Tour offered 6 days a week, and take a stroll around Old Town Quito to meet some other travelers and learn from the experts.

UNESCO old town in Quito Ecuador
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