Get Inspired / South America / Ecuador 2 Unforgettable Days in Quito Share on email Print this article Share on Facebook Get Inspired / South America / Ecuador 2 Unforgettable Days in Quito story by: House of Travel As a convenient gateway to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon jungle, tourists are well versed in the fact that Ecuador is a land rich in natural wonders. However, the country is more than its landscapes and animal wildlife. If you can tear yourself away from the flora and fauna you'll find cities brimming with fascinating culture, intriguing architecture and a superb restaurant scene to rival the best that the continent has to offer. Quito One of these urban centres is Quito, the highest altitude capital city in the world. Nestled 2,850 metres above sea level in the mountains of northern of Ecuador, the city is home to an array of stunning historical attractions that offer a three-dimensional snapshot of the traditional Ecuadorian way of life. You'll want to spend at least a couple days here absorbing all that the city has to offer. Here's our suggested itinerary of how to spend two days in Quito. Day One Morning Quito is famous the world over for its beautifully preserved historical heart, known by most simply as "old town," which was one of the first sites to ever be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site way back in 1978. The area is crisscrossed with a warren of narrow alleys that are just begging to be explored - from bustling plazas to time-worn churches, who knows where they may lead. Spend your first morning in the city wandering the streets and be sure to pay a visit to Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus, or Church of the Society of Jesus. This awe-inspiring building dates back to the 16th century and is today regarded as one of the best examples of Spanish baroque architecture in all of South America. Afternoon In the afternoon, take a quick 30 minute drive north of Quito and you'll find yourself in Mitad Del Mundo and torn between two worlds - or hemispheres, as the case may be. This patch of land is a popular attraction as it rests right on the equator, allowing you to set one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern. There are a number of little science experiments that show the effects of being on the equator - we're not sure how legitimate these displays are, but they're interesting and fun nonetheless. Evening It's time to refuel in style after a hard day of holidaying. When it comes to dining options in Quito you're spoilt for choice, but our favourite place for dinner has got to be Urko. This classy restaurant uses fresh local ingredients to create traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with a modern, edgy twist. The dishes come beautifully presented and are simply delicious. Day Two Morning Set your alarm clock early - you're going to the markets. Situated a couple of hours from the centre of Quito, the Otavalo markets is one of the largest and most famous bazaars in all of South America. They run seven days a week, but Saturday is undoubtedly the busiest, with hordes of vendors selling everything from arts and crafts to animals, textiles and fresh produce. Revel in the chaos and do your best to not get lost. Afternoon After the market madness, it's time to unwind back in Quito with a trip into the mind of Oswaldo Guayasamín, one of the country's most celebrated artists. At the Fundación Guayasamín Museum you'll discover a superb collection of the artist's paintings and sculptures, which are famous for the powerful sense of emotion they express. Evening Leave Quito on a high note with a visit to Calle La Ronda, a narrow street in the city's old town. By day, this sleepy lane is unremarkable, but at night La Ronda really comes to life, with a plethora of restaurants offering a variety of local and international food. After dinner, grab a cocktail at one of the nearby hole-in-the-wall bars and get your feet tapping to the live music that fills the street every night of the week. Click here for HOT South America deals. Enquire Now First name* Last name* Email* Phone How can we help? My preferred House of Travel Store* Select Outlet Auckland Albany: Auckland North Botany Junction: Auckland South Browns Bay: Auckland North Devonport: Auckland North Ellerslie: Auckland Central Hobsonville: Auckland West Howick: Auckland East Milford: Auckland North New Lynn: LynnMall Auckland West Newmarket: Auckland Central Orewa: Auckland North Parnell: Auckland Central Ponsonby: Auckland Central Remuera: Auckland Central St Heliers: Auckland East Takanini: Auckland South Takapuna: Auckland North Whangaparaoa: Auckland North Bay of Plenty Mt Maunganui Papamoa Rotorua Taupo Tauranga CBD the Crossing Canterbury Ashburton Barrington: Christchurch South Christchurch City: Christchurch Central Ferrymead: Christchurch East High Street Lanes: Christchurch Central Hornby: Christchurch West Merivale: Christchurch Central Northlands: Papanui Christchurch North Rangiora Riccarton: Christchurch Central Shirley: Christchurch North Timaru Upper Riccarton: Christchurch West Hawke's Bay / Gisborne Havelock North Jenny Nilsson: Hastings Nelson / Marlborough Blenheim Motueka Nelson Richmond Northland Kerikeri: Northland Whangarei: Northland Otago / Southland Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Lakers Gore Lakers Invercargill Oamaru Wakatipu: Queenstown Wanaka Taranaki / Manawatu Broadway: Palmerston North New Plymouth Stephen Parsons: Palmerston North Wanganui Waikato Calder & Lawson: Hamilton East Cambridge Coromandel: Whangamata Hamilton: Hamilton Central Matamata Morrinsville Taupo Te Awamutu Wellington / Wairarapa Featherston Street: Wellington City Hunter St CBD: Wellington City Johnsonville: Wellington North Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu Lower Hutt: Wellington North Masterton West Coast Greymouth Hokitika Westport I would like to receive email updates on the latest HOT holiday deals HOT Privacy Statement * required fields Similar Journeys Add or remove from Wishlist National Geographic Journeys with G adventures Read more Add or remove from Wishlist The 4 best sights in South America Read more Done this? Tell your friends about it.