Everything about Quito's setting is dramatic. Located on a relatively narrow plateau high in the Ecuadorian Andes, the city is surrounded by mountains and dominated by the Pichincha volcano towering above. Quito's modern districts and newer houses creep up the mountainsides, and its main avenues are thronged with the hustle and bustle of shopping, markets and city life.
Quito's historic centre, the epicentre of the city, is filled with formidable churches, monasteries and mansions, which earned the city its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Particularly impressive are St. Augustine Convent & the Parliament Building, whose stone mural depicts the history of Ecuador. The main square is flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, Municipal Building and Archbishop's Palace. The nearby the church of San Francisco is one of the great religious buildings of the New World, Baroque influenced by Moorish style.
Quito - Travel Insights - Otavalo Market
Remote villages and colourful Indigenous markets rest among the soaring cones of snowcapped volcanoes, such as the famous town of Otavalo to the north of Quito, whose weekly Saturday market is one of the largest in Ecuador. Visitors can observe the hustle and bustle of the town as farmers and country workers flock in to sell vegetables, meat, livestock or beautifully woven or wood-carved handicrafts. The towns and people retain a distinctive identity with fascinating blends of Inca and colonial influences, and many can be visited as a day-trip from Quito.
Find your perfect Holiday from our Suggested Itineraries