Welcome from Ms. Cristina Rivadeneira

General Manager of Quito Turismo

Welcome to Quito, the first city in the world to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, and in 2011 it was declared the American Capital of Culture.

When you arrive in the capital of Ecuador, you will be able to discover the traditions, legends and culture of one of the largest and best preserved historic centres in Latin America, which is home to unmissable sites such as the Basilica del Voto Nacional, the largest neo-Gothic building in the Americas; the Church of La Compañía, the most important Baroque temple in the region; the Convent of San Francisco, the largest architectural complex on the continent; the Virgin of El Panecillo, the tallest statue in aluminium in the world; among other wonders.

On the other hand, the modern area of the city, where comfortable and welcoming hotels are located, has a wide cultural agenda and experiences for local, national and foreign tourists to enjoy the city from places like the Monument to the Middle of the World or the TelefériQo de Quito.

You can also opt for the biodiversity offered by the Andean Chocó, declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, with activities such as bird watching, ecotourism, cycling, adventure sports, hiking and more that will allow you to escape from routine.

In addition, during your visit you can enjoy the knowledge and flavours of Quito's gastronomy, a fusion of traditional recipes with avant-garde cuisine that will surely conquer your palate; or enjoy drinks that have gained international recognition such as craft beer or agave liquor.

The Capital of the Centre of the World awaits you with open doors and thanks you for your visit to this cosmopolitan, traditional and avant-garde destination with a wide range of cultural, natural, adventure, leisure and biodiversity options that will lead you to discover why your story begins in Quito.

Cristina Rivadeneira

General Manager of Quito Turismo


The Capital of the Centre of the World

Quito is a city located in the heart of the Andes, surrounded by fabulous landscapes and prodigious mountains dominated by an imposing nature. The city is full of history, legends and unique experiences that conquer national and foreign visitors.

On 8 September 1978, UNESCO declared Quito as the first World Heritage Site, for its cultural and historical values and for having one of the highest densities of historic centres in Latin America.

The Historic Centre of Quito covers an area of 320 hectares and is home to 32 museums, 24 churches, 6 chapels, 7 convents, 6 monasteries, 13 squares and other places of interest that jealously guard their history and traditions.

One of the emblematic places of the Historic Centre is the Plaza Grande, where on August 10th, 1809 the First Cry of Independence of the whole continent took place, a fact for which Quito is known as the 'Light of America'.

That libertarian flame lit by Eugenio Espejo in 1792 with the publication of Primicias de la Cultura de Quito was fed with the blood of the heroes assassinated on 2 August 1810 and became the Battle of Pichincha in 1822, which granted independence to the territory now known as Ecuador.

And it is precisely in the Historic Centre where you can find these heritage sites that tell the story of the liberation process, which this year celebrates its bicentenary. Among them are the Metropolitan Cultural Centre, which was the place where the printing press of Quito's first newspaper operated and which carried Espejo's ideas; the Museum of the City, which was the San Juan de Dios Hospital, where heroine women like Manuela Espejo learned about the ideals of freedom that came from France.

There is also the house of Manuela Cañizares where on August 9th 1809 the conspirators met to overthrow the president of the Royal Court of Quito, Count Ruiz de Castilla; the Chapter House of the Convent of San Agustín where the Sovereign Junta, presided by Juan Pío Montúfar, was formed; the Alberto Mena Caamaño Wax Museum, which recreates the massacre of the heroes of independence; and the Temple of the Homeland, where the liberation army, led by Marshal Antonio José Sucre, was formed; the Alberto Mena Caamaño Wax Museum, which recreates the massacre of the heroes of independence; and the Temple of the Homeland, the place where the liberating army, led by Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, fought the final battle to grant independence to Quito.

For this reason, the Historic Centre is an obligatory stop for local, national and foreign tourists who want to get to know the magic and charm of the Capital of the Centre of the World.

Another iconic place in Quito is the Monumento a la Mitad del Mundo, a cultural landmark that highlights the exact location of the Equatorial Line, the meeting point of the earth and the sky, of the sun and the stars, of the Four Worlds of Ecuador.

In this sector you can also visit archaeological sites such as the Inti Ñan or Camino del Sol Museum, the Catequilla hill, the Pucará de Rumicucho and other places of interest. In addition, the area is home to the Casa del Agave Museum, which offers an experimental tour of the process of extraction and elaboration of the well-known "Chaguarmishki", an ancestral spirit drink, similar to tequila.

La Mitad del Mundo is also the entrance to the northwest of Quito where the Andean Chocó is located, one of the richest ecosystems on the planet in terms of biodiversity, and home to the seventh Biosphere Reserve recognised by UNESCO in 2018. This area also has the 'Andean Bear Ecological Corridor' for being the sanctuary and home to approximately 100 spectacled bears living in their natural habitat.

In the Andean Chocó you can go hiking, bird watching, and observe orchids, bromeliads, ferns and other species of flora in places such as the Verdecocha, Yanacocha, Pahuma, Santa Lucía, Pululahua and Bellavista reserves.

In the area is the community of Yunguilla where community tourism and learning in the production of jams with native fruits of the area, making cheese, yoghurt and handicrafts from recycled paper, management of natural resources through reforestation, cultivation and management of orchids for the market, among others, are carried out. It is also a place where you can enjoy experiential tourism with a traditional gastronomic experience and shared accommodation options with the families of the community.

Another rural area with a wide range of tourism options is the Antisana National Park, which is home to moorlands and eastern Andean forests. Volcanic activity, the passage and retreat of glaciers and evolution have created impressive landscapes and diverse wildlife.

Mirroring the volcano is the Laguna de la Mica, from where part of the city water for the southern part of Quito comes from. Apart from the lagoon, there are marshlands and moorland areas where you can see white-tailed deer, wild rabbits, a diversity of birds and the majestic Andean condor.

Ecuador never ceases to surprise those who discover our food for the first time, and Quito is the ideal place not only to try the excellent gastronomy of Quito, but also to discover the flavours of different typical dishes of the country.

Excellent products, good seasoning, unique recipes and so much to discover and savour... Quito is a delight! Lunchtime is sacred in the home of a Quiteño, and one dish is not enough. The mixture of ancestral knowledge and flavours with innovative and avant-garde proposals present dishes such as locro quiteño, cevichochocho, corn and beans with cheese, empanadas de viento or morocho, cuy, fritada, hornado, tripa mishki, fanesca, colada morada, guaguas de pan and more delicacies.

Thanks to this culinary richness, Quito will be present at the world's most important gastronomic congress 'Madrid Fusion', where it will present a wide range of Quito's cuisine.

Finally, Quito is consolidating itself as one of the main options in the region for the development of international events, with an offer that has more than 50 venues available, with a large capacity for this purpose; 16 halls in hotels throughout the city; 14 metropolitan parks with more than 2,000 hectares of natural scenery; rural areas with outdoor spaces; 3 convention centres: Quito Exhibition Centre, Quorum and the Quito Metropolitan Convention Centre, the largest and most modern in the country.

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