A Guide to Quito

A Guide to Quito

I am beyond excited to be writing this post. This is my first time ever in South America and I can't think of a better place to start this incredible adventure. By the time I publish this post, our adventure will have drawn to a close, and I will somehow attempt to capture the magic of Quito in one blog post.

Quito is Ecuador's bustling capital city, sitting 2850 metres above sea level - we're still unsure if it's the surreal feeling of being in South America that's making us lightheaded or simply the altitude 😉

The city is bustling - a vibrant, music-filled, modern and delightful city that offers a rich history and busy beautiful streets surrounded on all sides by the Andes Mountains.


Flying to Quito

Flights land at Quito International Airport; my parents arrived from San Francisco via El Salvador and Colombia with Avianca and I flew on a direct flight from Amsterdam (with a flight there from Munich) with KLM, one of the few European airlines who does this route direct. From the airport, taxis into downtown Quito are a flat rate of $25 USD no matter where you're going, or there is an airport shuttle for $8 USD.

jana meerman quito airplane view 2
jana meerman quito airplane view 2

Where to Stay in Quito

We stayed in two different hotels in Quito, both in the old town making them in walking distance of everything we wanted to see while based here. We spent four nights at Casa Alquimia, a delightful boutique hotel right next to Calle La Ronda, one of Quito's most well-known streets, and then after returning from our magical and once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galápagos, we spent our final three nights at Old Town Quito Suites, a bit closer into the centre of town.

Whatever you're after - whether luxury or budget - Quito has it. We did a walking tour that started at the Community Hostel and, if I was ever backpacking through here, would happily stay there.

Casa Alquimia

jana meerman old town quito suites ecuador

Old Town Quito Suites


Where to Find Vegan Food in Quito

There are some delicious places in Quito that offer vegan options! We were so pleased to find such yummy food and, as is the way in South America, at super cheap prices. I had so many $1 empanadas 😉

I recommend La Negra Mala on Calle La Ronda, which is a family run local Ecuadorian place, and Govinda Gopal Restaurante Vegetariano, a fully vegetarian/vegan spot in the heart of the old town near the Basilico. The Mercado Central is a popular local place for fresh fruit and veg, plus a big food court upstairs serving up local delicacies.

jana meerman quito ecuador (17)

Govinda Gopal

jana meerman quito ecuador (17)

Mercado Central


Things to See in Quito

1. Calle La Ronda

In the heart of Quito's Old Town, you can find the most popular street in the city - Calle La Ronda. Here, there are plenty of restaurants, handicraft and souvenir shops and live music can often be found.

jana meerman quito ecuador (15)

2. Virgin of the Panecillo

Built in the 70s, this dominating winged angel statue of the Virgin Mary looks down over the city of Quito and is a great spot for sunset. Taxi rides are about $3 USD to the top.

jana meerman quito ecuador (13)

3. Church of the Society of Jesus

Quito is home to many stunning churches, but the Church of the Society of Jesus is by far one of its most opulent and beautiful and a quiet place to step in out of the heat.

4. Plaza Grande

The heart of the Old Town, the Plaza Grande is lined with important religious and political buildings, plus plenty of restaurants, souvenir shops and always live music.

jana meerman quito ecuador (6)
jana meerman quito ecuador (6)

5. Iglesia Católica San Francisco

Another monumental and important religious building is the majestic Iglesia Católica San Francisco, a large baroque church with ornate interiors and art work.

jana meerman quito ecuador (9)
jana meerman quito ecuador (9)

6. Basílica del Voto Nacional

Perhaps the most famous icon of Quito, the 19th century Basílica del Voto Nacional rises above the skyline and offers both a breathtaking interior and the chance to climb all the way up its towers for views across the city.

jana meerman quito ecuador (19)
jana meerman quito ecuador (19)
jana meerman quito ecuador (19)
jana meerman quito ecuador (19)
jana meerman quito ecuador (19)
jana meerman quito ecuador (19)

The view of a very rainy Quito from the tower

7. Streets of Quito

The best thing to do in any new city is simply to wander the colourful, pretty streets and find endearing corners to photograph and awe at - luckily, Quito has many of these! My favourite thing to do in a new city is to take a walking tour to get an idea of the lay of the land and find some of the best spots in town. I don't recommend the one I did (way too focused on food), but if you Google "Free Walking Tour Quito" you'll find lots of great options!

jana meerman quito ecuador (4)
jana meerman quito ecuador (4)
jana meerman quito ecuador (4)
jana meerman quito ecuador (4)

CHECK OUT MY VLOG OF TRAVELING TO ECUADOR HERE!


CHECK OUT MY VLOG OF QUITO HERE!


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