Plaza de San Francisco, Old Town Quito, Ecuador


South America’s second highest capital is sprawled along the slopes of the surrounding mountains at an elevation of 9,350 feet.

The traffic is constricting the city and the best place to avoid frustrating delays is to base yourself in the old town. A stroll through the old town reveals an intricate maze of narrow cobblestone streets flanked with colonial mansions and ornate churches, the splendour of which has earned Quito UNESCO World Heritage status.

Historic Buildings, Quito, Ecuador
Historic Buildings, Quito, Ecuador

A little more about Quito

Highlights of the historical centre include Plaza Grande (Independence Square), La Compania Jesuit Church, and La Ronda, all encapsulated in a scenic vista from the top of Panecillo Hill crowned by the guardianship of the winged Virgin of Quito.

In spite of the traffic, Quito remains a good staging point from which to explore the neighbouring countryside and sights, such as Otavalo market, the cloud forest and some wonderful haciendas.


What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

Middle of the World Monument, Quito, Ecuador

Stand at the Equator

View the monument that marks where explorers calculated the equator, and receive a science lesson where eggs stand on end and water spins in both directions.

La Virgin del Panecillo, Quito, Ecuador

Visit the Virgin of El Panecillo

Hike to the landmark statue, which is said to bless everything that it overlooks, to learn its history and take in expansive views of the city.

Teleférico cable car, Quito, Ecuador

Travel the Sky Rail

Take a ride on the Teleférico, a sky rail that soars from Vulgano Park to the dormant Pichincha Volcano.

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Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Rachael Tallents

Adventure, discovery and my curiosity for people and the natural world is what drives my love of travelling.  I am grateful for my parents’ desire to explore, and from an early age my eyes were open to diverse landscapes, cultures, and underwater worlds.

For the last 16 years, I have worked for a leading luxury tour operator designing incredible journeys for discerning clients and travelled to some magical places. I am excited to have joined Steppes Travel, and to be working for a company with such strong ethical and sustainable values.

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Paul Bird

From quaint Andean villages and colourful markets to staggering volcanic landscapes and the Amazon Rainforest, Paul has explored the length and breadth of Ecuador.

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John Faithfull

John rode the railways of Ecuador on the carriage roof before it was outlawed, but still recommends a jaunt along the Devil’s Nose – an engineering marvel that can still be enjoyed from inside a carriage.

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Roxy Dukes

I love to squeeze as much out of my day as possible. An outdoors fanatic, I love to delve into harsh environments having summited numerous mountains and trail running into the unknown whenever I get the chance – whether at home or overseas. Funnily enough, it didn’t start like that. It took a few years for the burning fire of adventure to truly take light with my eyes opened by the adventures travel could afford.

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