Quito, Ecuador 2 Day Travel Tips
Updated: Aug 25
Hola and bienvenidos to my Quito, Ecuador blog! Quito is the closest capital city to the sun and sits at 9,350 ft. I didn't have any expectations for this trip as I didn't know much about Quito and after visiting I can definitely say that Quito doesn't get near as much credit as it should. There's so much culture this city has to offer. Our second night in Quito was quite the experience. We were awoken by an 8.0 magnitude earthquake. Being a former Californian, I've gone through my fair share of earthquakes but this, I couldn't even compare. The entire room must have been shaking for at least a good minute. Not to mention, we were on the 7th floor. Luckily, I'm a light sleeper and jumped out of bed. My husband on the other hand, had I not woken him up, would have slept through the entire thing. Thank goodness there wasn't any aftershocks. Oh, did I mention Quito is on the ring of fire? Earthquakes are nothing new to them as they happen often. Despite the earthquake, I had a great time in Quito.
Transportation: Airport to Accommodation
We arrived late in the evening and didn't want to deal with public transpiration. We grabbed a cab which was only 20 USD and took about 40-50 min to reach our hotel. There are several cab stalls to choose from as you leave the baggage claim.
Inner City: Uber
This will be the cheapest option to get around Quito. If you're unable to find a wifi hot spot the cabs are fairly cheap compared to if you were to hail one from the States. The day we had traveled to Mitad del Mundo we were able to hire a cab for the day. We had a few cabs sitting in front of our hotel and we were able negotiate with one of the drivers for a fixed rate of 40 USD.
Foch Square- This area is known for their bars and restaurants. It's where the locals and tourists come to party. We had stayed in this area (because I didn't do my research) and it didn't quiet down until 0200. We had booked the Park Inn by Radisson. Cost per night was about 60 USD. The hotel was fantastic and I got to practice my Spanish with their security guard. He was quite friendly and was so interested in our excursions. Foch Square is a short walking distance to Mercado Artesanal. This is where you'll want to do all of your shopping.
Historic District-This area is busy with tourists. However, it's not noisy in the evening from those partying like in Foch Square. The plus side from staying in this area is that all of the famous churches/cathedrals are near here. Otherwise, I didn't see many restaurants to choose from.
Looking back, if I had to choose between the two locations, I would still go with Foch Square due to the abundance of restaurants to choose from.
Things to do/See:
Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World): 1hr drive from Foch Square. Cost: 5 USD http://www.mitaddelmundo.com/en-us/
Historic District: 20-25 min from Foch Square
TeleferiQo: 15-20 min from Foch Square Cost: 8.50 USD There's so much to do at the top: Ride the swing overlooking Quito, horseback riding and there are several hiking trails to choose from. https://teleferico.com.ec/
The Basilica del Voto Nacional: Located in the historic district
The Church and Monastery of San Francisco: Located in the historic district. You can have a tour and go to the top of the church for a scenic view the historic district.
The Church of la Campania de Jesus: Located in the historic district.
Mercado Artesanal: Located in Foch Square. Best for souvenir shopping.
Food and Drinks:
Locro de Papa (Potato and cheese soup): This is the traditional soup of Quito
Canelazo: This drink is served warm and at 15k ft it was a nice treat. I had this at the food hut near the horses at the top of TeleferiQo.
Hot chocolate with cheese: Trust me, this is so good.