QUITO - ECUADOR
ANDEAN TREASURE

QUITO IS....

FRIENDLY PEOPLE READY TO WELCOME YOU WITH OPEN ARMS AND LOCAL CHARM

CENTURIES OLD CHURCHES AND MONASTERIES

WORLD CLASS MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES

BREATHTAKING ANDEAN VOLCANOES, NATURAL LANDSCAPES AND PARKS

COLORFUL, FOLKLORIC, NATIVE AND TRADITIONAL MARKETS

EXQUISITE LOCAL & INTERNASTIONAL CUISINE

GATEWAY TO A MEGADIVERSE ECUADOR:
THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, THE AMAZONIA, CLOUD FORESTS AND THE PACIFIC COAST

LUXURY, DELUXE, BOUTIQUE, FIRST CLASS AND TOURIST SUPERIOR HOTELS

NON-STOP AND DIRECT FLIGHTS FROM USA & CANADA

And Much More …..

A COLONIAL AND MODERN MASTERPIECE IN THE ANDES

Located in the depths of a narrow valley surrounded by Andean volcanoes at 2,850 meters above sea level, the spectacular Old Quito stretches for more than 320 hectares, making it the largest and best preserved Historic Center in America.

In its architecture, in the layout of its streets, in its golden church altars, in its sculptures that reflect its colonial heritage, this city is an expression of the most intense experiences in the history of humanity: inter culturalism – the foundation of American

Quito´s historic colonial center is one of the largest and best preserved in Latin America. In addition, for its high level of conservation, Quito was named the American Capital of Culture 2011 by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals. Last but not least, for four consecutive years, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Quito has been nominated the South American Leading Destination by the World Travel Awards. These titles celebrate the value and diversity of the city, in terms of its architecture, people and culture. Quito was the first city to be declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO back in 1978.

CHURCHES & MONASTERIES - COLONIAL ERA JEWELS

Churches and Monasteries captivate for their elegance, majesty and historical past. There are many churches and monasteries worth visiting them. We will like to share information on the most prominent.

One the city´s icons is the Church “La Compañía de Jesús” which is considered the most representative of the baroque style of colonial Quito. The interior is almost entirely covered with gold leaf, and urban legends state that the very foundations are made from pure gold; we invite you to discover this treasure of the city.

The Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito
Many styles converge in the construction of the Cathedral: late Gothic in the arches, Moorish in the ceilings, Baroque in the main altar and Neoclassic at the choir. The Cathedral houses masterpieces of colonial art like the “Descent of Christ from the Cross” by Caspicara and the central painting of the Ascencion of the Virgin by Manuel Samaniego. The remains of Mariscal Sucre, a hero of Ecuador’s Independence are guarded at the Cathedral.

Church of La Compañia De Jesus
Just as the church was finished in 1766, King Carlos III of Spain decreed the expulsion of the Jesuits from the colonies in America, so the church remained closed and deteriorated until the Jesuits finally came back to Ecuador in 1862. La Compañía is a copy of the Jesuit church of Saint Ignatius in Rome, of baroque style. The church is a magnificent example of the extraordinary artistic ability of Ecuadorian artisans, which can be seen in the intricately carved altars completely covered with gold leaf, with sculptures of the Holy Trinity in the Main altar and Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis in the side altars by Legarda. This is one of the richest and most magnificent temples of South America. La Compañía was recently re-opened after an unfortunate fire occurred in 1996 while repair work was being done.

Church of San Francisco
The imposing Church and Monastery of San Francisco is reached from the plaza of the same name via a beautiful stone round staircase and atrium. The inside is mostly Baroque with a rich Moorish coffered ceiling, gold leaf altars with ornaments made of silver and mirrors. The main figure is the winged “Virgin of Quito” by Legarda. This is one of the oldest churches of the city, founded by Franciscan Priests from Belgium who founded the first schools of art, music and dance in Ecuador.

QUITO - AN ART HEAVEN

In its streets, cozy workshops are the dwellings of skilled craftsmen who resist the dizzying life pace imposed by modernity and industrialization; they are living proof that being a craftsman these days is more than just a challenge, it is a sensation. Clockmakers, hat makers, tinsmiths, goldsmiths, and wood carvers keep alive ancient techniques and share with curious visitors the secrets of these traditional trades.

LA RONDA

During the XX century, La Ronda in the heart of the Colonial downtown was frequented by poets, musicians and artists. Some of the neighborhood houses became residential homes or meeting halls during the bohemian Quito period.

Some of the most popular songs, which grandparents and parents danced to, were composed in this neighborhood

Plaques that tell of the musicians and poets that lived and created in these houses can be found all along La Ronda street. Try to find them all!

GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS

Museums, just as convents and churches as well as art galleries, treasure hundreds of artifacts and paintings of great value, a testimony of the artistic splendor of the traditional Quito School, from a time when Quito marked art trends in America.

As the nation’s capital, Quito is a museum lover’s paradise with many museums dedicated to the history, art, and culture of Ecuador. Museums in Ecuador feature a diverse history of indigenous influence and Spanish colonization. There are so many museums that it can seem overwhelming at first to know which ones are the best to understand the country. The truth is that each will give you a unique perspective of the nation, so there is no right answer.

Quito is a cosmopolitan city that blends ancient history with modernity, as such, throughout the city you can find art galleries and museums of different styles from around the world and, of course, the most traditional of Ecuador. Here are a few options to delight your artistic spirit in Quito.

ARCHAEOLOGY MUSEUM

The Archaelogical Museum is the product of a rigorous selection from the vast collection which is the property of the Central Bank. The pieces exhibited correspond to the period between 4000 BC (the oldest piece) and 1534 (the arrival of the Spanish Conquers to Ecuador). It shows the evolution of the cultures that developed in Ecuador in pre-Columbian times. These vestiges, conceived by anonymous and skilled hands, represent the origin of the Ecuadorian nation. The study and viewing of them show us a past that is still present and the deep roots of Ecuador as a country.

For a better panoramic view of the pre-Columbian period, and to allow an encounter with our origins, visitors are guided along a chronological corridor, complemented by illustrative dioramas with artistic renditions of the daily life of the ancient cultures, and the Hall of Gold.

The Hall of Gold presents an exhaustive synthesis of the most precious legacy of magnificence and grandeur. In Ecuador as in all the pre-Colombian Andean world, the principal manifestation of power, hierarchy and wealth was the brilliance of gold and other precious metals.
On display are masks, nose pendants, rings, earrings and ornaments in gold and platinum, as well as artifacts of everyday use such as golden needles, fish hooks and depilatory tweezers.

GUAYASAMIN MUSEUM

Born in Quito, Oswaldo Guayasamín is one of Ecuador’s most important contemporary artists. His museum is found on the Bellavista hillside, a residential neighborhood just outside Quito. Guayasamín has an interesting background, while his mother was a mix of Spanish and indigenous background, his father was indigenous. He grew up very poor, in a large family of ten children. As an artist, he was critical of the social inequality in Ecuador and fought for the rights of the indigenous people.

You can see this criticism of poverty and prejudice in much of his work, he is most well-known for his piece La Edad de la Ira or The Age of Anger. To this day the site continues to promote his artwork and continue his belief in political activism. The foundation which runs the museum participates in developing the culture of the country and contributes to events and concerts.

CASA DEL ALABADO

Housed in a stolid-looking colonial era home, this privately owned museum with contemporary-style displays showcases an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artifacts. Thematically organized around subjects like shamans and the afterlife, explanations in English and Spanish (audio guides are available) explore the indigenous beliefs represented by the finely crafted ceramic pieces and jewelry.

Casa del Alabado is unique in the sense that its display is organized thematically, not chronologically. The aim of the museum is to treat objects as works of art rather than archaeological remnants. The display is distributed along 8 rooms with 8 different themes, which serve as representations of cultural aspects of ancient Ecuadorian cultures: their cosmology, their relationship with their ancestors, their religious ideas and rituals, and their relationship with their environment.

MANUELA SAENZ MUSEUM

The museum is located in Old Quito in a colonial house and here you can find her love letters with Simon Bolivar as well as paintings and other household items. Items from Bolivar can also be found here, such as his gun and silver dagger.

This museum is often overlooked but can be one of the most interesting for history lovers. Manuela Sáenz was the lover of Simon Bolivar who is credited with the liberation of Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Sáenz is now known as the “Liberator of the Liberator” and is considered of the most important women in the history of South America. When Bolivar died in 1830, for political reasons she was deported to Jamaica. She moved to Paita on the coast of Peru and lived there until her death in 1856.

And many more…

MARKET EXPERIENCES

Aromas, Flavors, Colors & Traditions

The markets of Quito are a big part of the restoration project. The San Francisco market was founded 120 years ago and it is located between Rocafuerte and Chimborazo streets. Today, the market is open to visitors and it is a great opportunity to experience the customs of a traditional market, including price bargaining, interchange, and the tasting of endemic fruits, or simply delight in its colors, aromas, and flavors.

Here, we learn all about the fruit and vegetables produced in Ecuador and some culinary traditions. We also have the chance to meet and learn from one of the local herbal healers who have locales in the market. In its food court you can also savor traditional, ready to eat, Ecuadorian meals, such as mote, llapingachos, yahuarlocro, hornado, fruit juices and chicha.

NATURAL AREAS

The Metropolitan District of Quito has 33 rural regions, which are host to many different microclimates, landscapes and an amazing biodiversity; from the cloud forests on the slopes of North West Pichincha to the dry regions of Pululahua. Cloud forests, valleys, volcanoes, waterfalls, and small villages. The 33 rural parishes of the Metropolitan District of Quito contain different climatic zones due to its altitude range that varies between 500-4800 meters. With so many different ecosystems and an incredibly rich biodiversity, you will experience an astonishing array of wildlife, which includes rabbits, vicuna, speckled bears, pumas, condors, curiquigues as well as an incredible diverse flora.

Quito is recognized as one of the most biodiverse regions of Ecuador, which in turn is the most biologically diverse country in the world. Just two hours from the capital city, the range of habitats and ecosystems that can be found is truly amazing: from snow-capped Andean peaks, valleys, lakes and lagoons in the highlands, to cloud forests and tropical rainforests, hot springs, forests and even introduced pine tree and eucalyptus plantations.

In and around Quito you can chose among a wide variety of activities in a number of different natural settings: horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, trekking, canopy, rappelling, rafting … the list is endless.

QUITO AND THE SPECTACLED BEAR

The Corridor of the Bear: The Andean bear, or spectacled bear, is an iconic species of the DMQ. There are eight species of bears in the world, of which only one species lives in South America – the Andean bear, an endangered species.
The DMQ has identified about 40 spectacled bears, which live mostly on trees, hidden in the wilderness of cloud forests; however, between the months of October to December, they descend at ground level as they search for bromeliads, the base of their diet.

NATURAL HOT SPRINGS - PAPALLACTA

It is located approximately 50 kilometers from the capital, amid the Andean highlands, at 3,300 meters above sea level. The hydrothermal waters of this area originate from the nearby Cayambe and Antisana volcanoes. The temperature of the hot springs at the source varies between 30 ° and 70 ° C (86 ° to 158 ° F) and in the pools, it fluctuates between 36 ° and 40 ° C (97 ° to 104 ° F). They are sulfated waters, with a slight content of sodium, calcium, chloride and magnesium. The natural springs are odorless and clear.
Ecuador’s volcanic peaks provide an amazing backdrop to the countryside of the highlands around Quito. But in addition, Mother Nature has also gifted Ecuador with an amazing byproduct from its volcanic activity: hot springs.

QUITO OFFERS UNFORGETABLE EXPERIENCES

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS FOR YOUR PLANNED VISIT TO QUITO

EXPERIENCE QUITO AS A LOCAL – A WALKING TOUR

A day dedicated to exploring the lives, beliefs, cuisine and traditions of Old Town Quito. The tour is all about ‘living Quito like a local’, visiting shops, exploring markets, meeting local herbal healers, wandering the streets, learning skills from artisans, and enjoying a lunch of great Ecuadorian cooking.
Your guide takes us through the nearby streets, stopping to meet artisans, shopkeepers, hat makers and sweet confectioners. Explore the wonderful San Francisco Market, one of the oldest in the capital. Here, you learn all about culinary traditions, the fruit and vegetables produced throughout Ecuador and meet and learn from one of the local herbal healers in the market. We continue our walk to La Ronda, a charming cobbled street with colonial balconies and colorful geraniums. Here we met artisans in their workshops and enjoy the taste of the finest chocolate in the world!

EXPLORING QUITO’S CULTURAL HERITAGE

Explore the city’s ancient pre-Columbian origins, its foundation, the Colonial and Republican periods. An immersion into its architecture, art, cuisine, religiousness and music.
Quito’s cultural heritage is a blend of Amerindian ancestry and Spanish influence. This walking tour is a chronologic narrative of the history of Quito, since its very beginnings –with the first Pre-Columbian inhabitants– civilizations which formed the ethnic cultural background of Ecuador centuries before the Inca Empire. Stroll along downtown Quito, founded by the Spanish on the ruins of an Inca settlement, the best preserved Colonial historic center in Latin America.

SCENIC TOUR OF QUITO & ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

This relaxing walking tour starts in the heart of colonial – the Independence Plaza, flanked by the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building and the Archbishop’s Palace. Visit the temple of La Compañía de Jesús, the Monastery of San Francisco, one the of great religious buildings of the New World. The city tour ends at a lookout point with a great view of Quito. Then, relive the history of Ecuador’s most ancient cultures at the Archaeology Museum, one of the finest archaeological and gold artifact collections in the Americas. There are over 1800 pieces arranged in chronological corridors with explanatory panels and dioramas.

QUITO BY NIGHT

Quito is splendid in the evening when illumination adds a special drama and mystery to its baroque architecture. Drive into the old Colonial city for a sight of the romantic plazas and past the impressive public and religious buildings. Then, to one of the hills surrounding the city for a panorama of twinkling lights covering the valley below. End the evening with a delightful dinner at one of the finest selected restaurants of the city.

THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD

Only 45 minutes from Quito is located the Middle of the World, where visitors take the classic photograph of themselves walking on the equatorial line. Located 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) above sea level in the Andes mountains, the city is the world’s closest capital to the sun—and also the only one where you can simultaneously stand with one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere. Visitors can experience the unique energy found at “the middle of the world” while walking the equatorial line, at Latitude 0°0’0’’, drawn nearly three centuries ago by the pioneering astronomers and geographers of the famed French Geodesic Mission.

TULIPE – ANCIENT SUN CULTURE

The ancient inhabitants of Ecuador, right on the Earth’s equator, had the unique opportunity to observe the sky at its greatest. Being at the Middle of the World, and up in the mountains, they had an excellent natural location for astronomical observations, an entire panorama of the celestial heavens. Guests can now visit Tulipe, one of these ancient sites for astronomical and solar observations, in a kind of pilgrimage to this sacred place, a spiritual, mystical encounter with nature, the unique energetic sites and ceremonial practices of pre-Hispanic societies and their relation to the Solar Cultures.

JOURNEY TO THE SOURCE OF THE CHOCOLATE

This special itinerary invites visitors to experience the finest chocolate combined with exploring the immense biodiversity around and nearby Quito. Did you know that Ecuador’s Amazon region was recently confirmed to be the birthplace of the cacao tree – not Central America!
An ideal sample itinerary requires 2 days and includes bird watching, a visit to one of the cacao farms, overnight at a rainforest lodge and a relaxing stop at the Papallacta Thermal Springs.

For additional information and reservations contact us at (800) 666 8687 – (305) 436 0933 – Email: mar@gttours.com

logo

CONTACT US AT GT TOURS
TOLL FREE NUMBERS: (800) 666 8687 – (866) 496 9600
TELEPHONE: 305.436.0933 – FAX: 305.436.0843
EMAIL: mar@gttours.com
7270 NW 12TH Street – Suite 740, Miami, Florida 33126
© Copyright , Gttours.com, 2017

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843

Send us a Message

ENQUIRE NOW

We will be happy to answer your questions or comments.

G T TOURS OFFICES:

Plantation, Florida  
13494 NW 7th Street
Plantation, Florida 33325

Miami, Florida 
9930 SW 142 Street
Miami, Florida 33176

Toll Free USA & Canada:
(800) 666 8687
Local Number: 
(305) 436 0933 
Fax:     
(305 436 0843