Quito, the capital of Ecuador has an elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level, making it the highest capital city in the world. This and the fact that the region was home for numerous indigenous cultures even before the Inca empire made me want to stop there. During my travels through South America I stopped there for 2 days and that was enough to put up this ‘one day guide’.
Wake up and have breakfast with the amazing view from Cotopaxi Hostel.
Get a taxi
Yes, a taxi! In Quito there a lot of taxi drivers that are also certified tour guides. They drive you around, speak English and explain you all you want to know about the main spots while explaining the culture and history.
Stop at Pululahua Volcano
Pululahua volcano is inactive and has a large crater full of fertile soil. This is why it is one of only 2 inhabited volcanic calderas in the world and the only one cultivated by the inhabitants. It was declared a Geobotanical Reserve in 1966.
Explore Mitad del Mundo – Middle of the World City to get to know more about the ‘equator line’
Learn more about Ecuador’s indigenous cultures at Intiñan Solar Museum
One of the things that was most impressive for me was to hear about the Jivaroan tribes and the shrunken heads. These tribes were famous for their head-hunting raids and then shrunking the heads by cutting the skull vertically and removing the skull and jaw bone. After that they would boil them with hot rocks and reduce it in size with this method, sewing the lips afterwards.
Do some shopping in the Old City
Stroll around the ancient Plaza Grande and be amazed by the colonial architecture and heritage. I had a lovely time shopping for some traditional pieces of art from Ecuador.
Get the Teleferico to watch the sunset from above
I watched the sunset in Quito from 4100 meters and it was beautiful! The gondola takes you up in about 10 minutes and it’s possible to have an amazing view from the town for 8.50$. Up there it’s possible to eat in one the restaurants and do some shopping. A tip for a next trip: getting to explore Pichincha Volcano which is possible to do once you get up there!
Eat a meat feast for a very low price in one of the traditional Steakhouses in Quito.
I can tell you I struggled to finish!
More stories from South America coming soon! ❤️
Tell me your experiences, I would love to know more about your travels!