Today, alongside an English speaking guide and driver, you will be taken to the picturesque Quito old town and visit some of the main attractions during the City Tour.
A guided tour to the historical centre of Quito is a must-see when visiting Ecuador (UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site).
In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to find yourself on the equatorial line, to which Ecuador owes its name.
At San Francisco Square indigenous merchants from Otavalo sell ponchos, alpaca sweaters, gloves and other textiles. Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande) is Quito’s main square. Admire the Metropolitan Cathedral with its striking sugar white tower, the former archbishop’s palace and the presidential palace. Colourful people from all over the country display Ecuador’s rich cultural melting pot of cultures.
The Jesuit church of La Compañia de Jesús was the first and best example of Latin American baroque architecture. Behind the elaborate facade, masterly carved out of volcanic rock, you probably will get overwhelmed by its ornate and completely gold-leafed interior, a fusion of Spanish, Moorish, Italian, Flemish and indigenous influences.
The pedestrian street of La Ronda is probably most authentic of the historical centre. The city guard used to end his round over here. In the 19th century bohemian artists and poets settled together, rebelling against the bourgeois class. La Ronda breathes local flavour, thanks to its workshops of traditional artisans, galleries, bars and restaurants.
The 3,016m/9,895ft high Panecillo hill offers panoramic views of Quito, its incredible location and surrounding volcanoes. The impressive statue on top is a replica of Quito’s Madonna. Distinguish the tiny, century-old centre with its tiled roofs at your feet, and farther north the downtown parks and high rises of the business district.
Next door to the equatorial complex of Ciudad Mitad del Mundo is the private Inti Ñan Solar museum (‘Path of the Sun’). It is dedicated to the ancestral worldview of various ethnic groups. Physics experiments explain gravitational effects on the equator. Try yourself balancing an egg on the head of a nail or miraculously lose your strength on the magnetic line!