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Quito, Ecuador

Quito & Northern Highlands

Capital culture, high in the Andes

Introduction

Perched high in the Andes, Quito, pairs a UNESCO World Heritage old town with a wealth of superb restaurants and museums. To the north in a region of volcano-framed valleys, you'll find the traditional highland town of Otavalo, a focal point for indigenous handicrafts, made by artisans then sold at colourful weekend markets.

Quito

The historic quarter of Ecuador's capital is a treasure chest of Spanish-colonial architecture framing a maze of cobblestone streets and picturesque squares. Grand churches, filled with precious art, pierce an otherwise low-rise skyline, which is itself punctuated by a ring of towering Andean peaks. If this is your arrival point, as it will be for most visitors, you'll be flying in to an altitude of almost 3,000 metres above sea level, so take time to acclimatise before heading out to explore. 


Northern Highlands

Just to the north of Quito is a world of green valleys and towering volcanoes. Nestled amid this spectacular landscape is Otavalo, whose mainly indigenous population has turned the town into a centre for traditional arts and crafts. The weekend market – housed in a building designed by 1970s Dutch architect Tonny Zwolo – is an extraordinarily colourful affair, where everything from textiles to jewellery to musical instruments are sold by local artisans dressed from head to toe in the traditional clothing. Combine a visit here with a tour to the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo – Ecuador's Equator Monument.


 

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Special offers in Quito & Northern Highlands

Silver Galápagos

Ecuador Train and Galápagos Voyage on Silversea

16-day fly, rail and cruise from £9,140 pp incl. flights

Exclusive
offer

Exclusive tailor-made fly, rail and cruise holiday
Book by: 31 December 2019

Combining two unique experiences – a mountain rail journey through the Andes and an island-hopping, luxury cruise through the Galápagos – this is your chance to see the natural wonders of Ecuador in style. Spot marine iguanas on snorkel trips before returning to all-inclusive fine dining.

Top itineraries in Quito & Northern Highlands

Tren Crucero, Ecuador

Ecuador by Train & Galápagos Islands stay

13-day tailor-made rail & stay journey from £4,880 pp incl. flights

Explore some of Ecuador's most impressive landscapes aboard the award-winning Tren Crucero (Cruise Train) as you travel through the high Andes to the coastal city of Guayaquil.

Pinnacle Rock, Bartolome Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Mashpi Lodge & the Galápagos Islands

12-day itinerary from £5,995 pp incl. flights

Combine the history of Quito and the unique biodiversity of the Amazon with perhaps the ultimate in wildlife-watching experiences – a luxury Galápagos cruise.

Isabela Island

Quito, Otavalo & Galápagos Island Hopping‬‬

12-day tailor-made journey from £5,265 pp incl. flights

This tailor-made tour is a comprehensive appreciation of the Galápagos’ alien natural world, taking in its spectacular scenery and philosophy-inspiring wildlife on a range of guided excursions. You’ll also have time to explore Ecuador’s colonial heritage and indigenous culture.

Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

Grand Tour of Ecuador & The Galapagos

17-day tailor-made journey from £7,915 pp incl. flights

Straddling the equator, mainland Ecuador boasts colonial cities, beautiful haciendas, towering volcanoes and green and steamy jungles. Combined with the incredible beauty and diversity of nature that can only be found on the Galapagos, it's a truly compelling destination.

Top places to stay in Quito & Northern Highlands

Terrace, Casa Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador

Casa Gangotena, Quito

Historic hotel

Forming part of Quito's cultural inventory, Casa Gangotena is a historic hotel situated on Plaza San Francisco – Quito's main square, once home to several Inca temples.

Quito & Northern Highlands articles

Seal in the Galápagos

Just back from Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands

Galapagos specialist Janet Welsh recently visited the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador's capital, Quito. Read her review of both for some honest insight into the accommodation, facilities and overall experience, as well as her advice for anybody thinking about going to visit.

Meet our Quito & Northern Highlands experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0692

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0692 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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