If you’re traveling in and out of South America, you might find yourself in Quito, Ecuador for the day. If you want to make the most of your time in this eclectic latino city, here are some of the adventures I got up to and the best way to see the whole city at one time!
Ride the TeleferiQo
The TeleferiQo is a great way to spend time , whether you’re traveling solo or with company. Simply grab an Uber (they’re much cheaper) and tell them to take you to TeleferiQo Quito. This will cost around $7 depending on where you’re coming from. The great thing about Ecuador is that the US Dollar is one of their official currencies so you don’t have to worry about money exchange.
Once you’re there, admission for adults is $8.5, $7 for under 18, and $6.5 for elders. It’s well worth the cost because after a short wait, you are flying high over the city in a transparent gondola. Even though the ride is definitely a highlight of the trip, when you arrive, you will find the view of Quito mesmerizing – it’s one of the few places where you can see six snowcapped volcanoes hovering just beyond the city.
The TeleferiQo ferries you up to the base of the Pichincha Volcano, 14,000 ft above sea level. Once you arrive, there are six different routes you can choose from based on how strenuous of a hike you’re looking for. What’s more, if you have two hours to kill, you can rent horses and be led by a guide who will explain the history of the area. We decided to take the horse route to cover more ground and honestly, because it’s simply more romantic! Between breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the opportunity to go horse back riding, this was definitely our favorite part of the trip!
Pro Tip: Make sure you bring a jacket and snacks because it can get chilly when you're up so high and unfortunately, there are no places to eat once you arrive.
Mitad del Mundo
If you’re not up for the altitude, then there’s another achievement awaiting you – Ecuador happens to have the claim to fame for being the middle of the world! Mitad del Mundo is a museum park that proudly displays a 30-meter monument commemorating the 18th Century Franco-Spanish Geodesic Mission which calculated the approximate location of the Ecuador.
The park is full of fascinating history about the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and there are buildings full of science experiments to try at the middle of the world (which way does the water spin going down a drain?) There are also plenty of restaurants full of local cuisine including guinea pig or as they like to call it “cuy.” The park is a great way to spend a few hours between the artisanal beer museum, planetarium, train station, art gallery, and architectural displays. You can experience all of this for $5 per adult and $2.5 for children.
Of course, after you have your full day of fun, it can be noted that the actual middle of the world is located two and a half blocks away. Oops!
Find out more here: http://www.mitaddelmundo.com/es/
And finally, what’s life without food? I’ll give two quick suggestions – one local and one my personal favorite.
My husband and I absolutely loved this place! The environment was sleek, the fish was fresh, and the chef was creative with his in-house specials. Although it’s a little on the pricy-side, we more than satisfied our sushi cravings!
If you’re looking for local cuisine, my suggestion would be trying “locro de papa.” This is a traditional soup consisting of potatoes and cheese with avocado on top. It’s delicious! If soup isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other options on the street Garcia Moreno, which is close to the main plaza. This street is packed full of hole-in-the-wall Ecuadorian restaurants if you’re feeling adventurous.
Pro Tip: Wherever you're traveling in South America, you can always ask the closest police man what their favorite menu is, and you can't go wrong!
There’s always an adventure to be had in Quito, whether it’s checking out the events of El Ejido park, taking in the street art, or checking out the night life in Plaza Foch.