Quito is Ecuador’s capital city high in the Andes Mountains, but it’s also rich in Incan and missionary history. It’s built on the foundation of an ancient Incan city, has plenty of 16th and 17th century buildings, and a thriving Mariscal with bars, cafes, restaurants, and hotels. This is the travellers section, and if you’re keen to meet other backpackers, this is where to seek out a hostel. You can also visit the equator while in Quito. A small village north of the city holds the honour as “La Mitad del Mundo,” or “the middle of the world.” You can get here by bus.
Ecuador straddles the equator, but Quito can be quite cold due to its location at nearly two miles above sea level. It lies near the Pichincha, an active volcano in the Andes mountains. It is also the first (with Krakow, Poland) UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation means that its one of the least-altered/best-preserved city centres. The first known mentions of the city are in the 16th century, which tells us that the city has been inhabited since the 10th century, but the present location wasn’t settled until the 16th. Quito, like most other South American cities, was at times an Incan city and a Spanish civilisation. There is a lot of missionary history here as well.
Hostel accommodation in Quito is prevalent; it all comes down to what you are doing and where you want to stay. The best area for travellers is the Mariscal, but if you are in town only in transit, you may find staying near the airport or bus station to be better for you. Hostels in Quito cater to everyone. The word sounds the same in Spanish (“hostal”) so you’ll have no problems asking a tourist kiosk for one!
Quito is a great city to explore, with a ton of museums, great nightlife, exciting culture, and more. Do not miss the Basilica del Voto Nacional - once the oldest and largest basilica in the Americas.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Quito hostels. Welcome.