24 hours in Quito

Our top tips for how best to spend 24 hours in Quito

Now that you’ve booked your mountain bike tour in Ecuador with us you need to begin planning your travel, and your 24 hours in Quito before the start of your Andean adventure.

We always recommend that you arrive at least one day before your adventure begins to allow for any travel or luggage delays. It’s also good to acclimatise to the altitude of Quito, at 2800m above sea level, adjust to local time and recover from your journey before you start turning the pedals.

To help you make the most of your extra time in the Ecuadorian Andes, we’ve pooled our collective local knowledge to create this handy city guide for how best to spend 24 hours in Quito before you set off on your fantastic mountain bike tour in Ecuador.

24 hours in Quito: Morning

To kick off your 24 hours in Quito why not head even higher to get a view of the entire city, by taking El Teleférico, a sky tram that takes you on a 2.5km ride (10 minutes) up the flanks of Volcán Pichincha. Once you’re at the top (a mere 4100m), if you feel energetic you can take a short hike on the trails around the area.

When you arrive back down in the city, you can while away a few hours people watching and exploring the old colonial part of Quito. This is considered the best preserved Colonial town in South America and, as a result, Quito was declared the first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Afternoon

Visit la Capilla del Hombre (The Chapel of Man) art museum in Bellavista. This wonderful museum was the brainchild, and houses the most complete collection, of the work of Ecuadorian master artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín.

Guayasamín was also an avid collector, and the museum displays his outstanding collection of ceramic, bone and metal pieces.

Evening

A quick stop back at your hotel and then it’s out on the town for food and some local nightlife.

You can choose to visit two different areas of the city depending on your mood.

If you want to see more local Andean music and local food, go to La Ronda, the oldest street in Quito. If you’re looking for a more lively evening you’ll experience Quito’s nightlife at ‘La Mariscal.’ In this area you’ll find many different options for entertainment like bars, clubs, coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, cultural centres, live music shows and much more.

5 Local Phrases

‘Buenos días’; Good morning

‘Cuánto cuesta?’; How much is it?

‘Una cerveza por favor’; One beer please

‘Salud’; Literally translates as ‘health’, a common drinking toast

‘No, muchas gracias’; No, thank you

Accommodation Options

Quito has a great mix of small hotels deep in the historic city centre as well as some more modern options.

Here are a few of our favourites;

Casa Gardenia

Hotel Quito

Airport Hotel, San José de Puembo

Quito Transport Links

Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport is well-served by public and private transfer services. Here are a selection of options to take you into the heart of Quito:

Coach – Aeroservicios run a 24/7 service from the airport into the city, on modern, comfortable coaches seating up to 51 passengers. The bus station is located at the former arrivals area of the old airport, and tickets can be purchased for US$8 per person, one way, from www.aeroservicios.com.ec, or at the counter located in the new arrivals are of Mariscal Sucre airport.

Taxi – A public taxi from the airport will cost around US$25 and a private hire around US$60. Once you’re in Quito, taxis are a very inexpensive way to get around.