Day 1 Quito
Drive north to visit "El mirador de Guápulo" (view point), from where you can admire its church and Quito's nearby valleys. You'll visit Quito's colonial center - one of the world's cultural heritage sites, where you can see many historical buildings; including churches, museums and monuments. Visit the Basilica del Voto Nacional or Iglesia de Compania cathedrals, or test your bargaining skills in the local artisan markets. Opt to take a drive north to get a great view of the city from above, or spend your time in Calle La Ronda. Customize your time to see the sites around that most interest you. Visit artisan markets, test your bargaining skills for local weavings See some of the best ideas below or add in an Aerial Tram tour or a visit to La Mitad del Mundo with more time. This tour is approximately 3 hours, and options are listed below.
Cathedrals and Churches: Quito is home to some amazing churches and cathedrals that are well worth visiting. Basilica del Voto Nacional is the largest gothic Basilica in all the Americas and can be seen from most areas in the city. The unique gargoyles are sure to catch your eye. Iglesia de Compania is another that should not be missed. The interior of the church is covered with amazing, intricate carvings, all of which are plated in gold!
Museums: There are enough museums to fill a week’s worth of time in Quito! Here are a few favorites: Guayasamin Museum: Home to a splendid exhibit of pre-Columbian, colonial and contemporary art from the private collection of one of Ecuador's most famous artists - Oswaldo Guayasamin. Central Banks Museum: A great place to discover more about this regions origin, evolution and history through Ecuadorian art. Vivarium: This is a museum of reptiles and amphibians, where you will see and learn about live snakes, turtles, frogs and more from all over the country. A great choice for children! Yaku Water Museum: Another great choice for children! This museum teaches you all about water through hands-on activities and experiments. A great way to learn all about the world around you while having a lot of fun!
Markets: There are lots of little artisan markets scattered throughout the city. Test your bargaining skills as you browse the stalls for local artwork, weavings, jewelry and more!
Calle La Ronda: Located in the heart of Old Town, this walking street is one of the oldest and most historic streets in all of Quito. For a great taste of Ecuadorian culture, stroll this street and browse the art galleries, small shops and restaurants that line it. To better immerse yourself in the culture, you can take part in one of the craft workshops where you learn how to make traditional crafts, or try your hand at one of the traditional games the locals are playing.
Stunning Views: Drive north to visit "El mirador de Guápulo" (view point), from where you can admire its church and Quito's nearby valleys. Continue to El Panecillo - the small, rounded hill which dominates the old town. From its summit you'll see marvelous views of the whole city stretching out below, as well as magnificent views of the surrounding volcanoes.
La Mitad del Mundo: Visit the center of the world at Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) where you can learn about fascinating phenomena that exists on the equator and stand with one foot in each hemisphere!
Aerial Tram: Drive to the base of Pinchincha Volcano where you will board the aerial tram that will take you to the top of the volcano. From here you can enjoy spectacular views of Quito and the entire valley. Spend the early afternoon walking through the volcanic highlands with your guide. Additional cost of $3.