Archbishop’s Palace, Independence Plaza
Visit Quito – Sights Nearby
Take a day trip 50 miles and descend into the rainforest. Visit the Mindo Rainforest (Mindo-Nambillo Protected Forest), Tandayapa Hummingbird Sanctuary (Cloud Forest) and/or Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve.
Take a day trip to Cotopaxi National Park. Catch a close up view of Mount Cotopaxi. It’s also visible from places around Quito. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano on Earth. For less than $100 US you can take a cab 1.5 hours each way and they will wait for you while you hike to the refugio or glacier.
Take a day trip to Otavalo Marketplace.
Tour Cotopaxi and other mountains in Ecuador’s Valley of the Volcanoes.
San Jorge Eco-Lodges and Botanical Reserves (4 lodges near Quito, bird watching, especially hummingbirds).
Street Vendor Selling Pork from Cooked Pig with Head On
The temperature in Quito is very consistent year round, because of its location on the equator. Its altitude at 9,300 feet (2,800 m) moderates the temperature. Highs are 65 F (18 C) and lows are 48F (9 C) regardless of the time of year. Precipitation is common year round, however July and August are noticeably drier. The timing for tourist visits is more dependent on their Galapagos itinerary than on the weather in Quito.
Visit Quito – Transportation
The Quito International Airport is one of the busiest airports in South America. It became operational in a new location in 2013. The new location is about 20 minutes northeast of Quito. The old airport, with the same name, was located downtown. Landing at the old airport was an adventure, because the approach was into the hillside with the downtown rising at the same time as the plane was descending.
Old Town, Quito
There is no rapid transit system in Quito, so be prepared to negotiate a reasonable fare from the airport to your destination. Several hotels also offer shuttle services. Taxis are the best method for seeing the town as well. Cabs will wait while you visit destinations such as the Teleferico or La Mitad del Mundo. Hourly rates for cabs are reasonable, but need to be negotiated in advance. Hotels can also guarantee rates for cabs that they call.