The capital is one of the colonial wonders of South America.

Quito’s Spanish heart, a UNESCO world heritage site, is it’s old town with its cobbled streets, whitewashed Spanish churches and plazas that have been painstakingly restored. At over 2,850m (nearly 9,000 feet) above sea level, Quito has a permanently spring-like climate and is dwarfed by snow-capped mountains.

It is worth devoting at least a day to see the excellent museums or wander along the narrow streets and sunny plazas. Sitting quietly having a coffee and people watching is always fun in the old town.

For a spectacular half day trip we recommend taking the cable-car up Pichincha volcano. The 40 minute ride is a thrilling experience and ends with stunning views over the city. When reaching the top our local guides can take you on horse riding or guided hikes higher up the volcano (even to the summit)

Many new atmospheric hotels have sprung up such as the Casa Aliso or Patio del Andaluz and the cuisine is surprisingly cosmopolitan with local nuances.

The second oldest South American city

When to go: All year round

"Thank you for all your help and care in arranging this most memorable adventure for us"

J Black

"The trip exceeded all our expectactions we've travelled to many countries over the years"

A Tennant

"The guides were very knowledgeable and very good company"

N. Pickering

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