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Quito & the Equator

Why visit Quito?

Named from the Quitus tribe who lived here in the pre-Colombian era, Quito was subsequently the capital of the Incas’ northern empire before Spanish conquistadors took over in 1534. It is now a World Cultural Heritage Site, which has preserved the superb colonial architecture, but there is also a modern side to the city, offering an experience of present-day Ecuadorian city life.
Reasons to visit Quito include: 

  • Visit the Cathedral, home to the tomb of Quito’s liberator, Field Marshal Antonio Jose de Sucre, and to the superb 18th century tableau The Holy Shroud. 
  • Explore the charming Plaza da Independencia. This is the city’s main square and the neoclassical Government Palace lines one side. 
  • Wander the streets of Amazonas and others, and simply enjoy the vast array of shops and restaurants and cafes.  
  • Head up El Panecillo. '˜The bread roll' is a rounded hill with marvelous views of the city and surrounding countryside.  
  • Cross the Equator! This imaginary line (after which Ecuador is named) is just 25km north of Quito. 

When to go to Quito

Quito is at an altitude of 2800m and, since it is only 25km south of the Equator, it mostly has very pleasant days and cool nights all year-round.
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Quito & the Equator accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT -5 hours

Flight time:

There is an international airport at Quito and at Guayaquil. KLM and Iberia have routes via Europe to both cities. The flying time is about 14 hours. It is also possible to fly via America.

Language: Spanish is Ecuador's official language.


Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.


There are no compulsory vaccinations, except yellow fever if visiting the rainforest. Malaria prophylactics are also recommended in the rainforest.



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