Quito (Ecuador's capital city) is located on the lower slopes of Pichincha volcano and in a valley of Andes (Andean Mountains) at elevation 9350 ft (2850 m) above sea level. Quito City (formally named San Francisco de Quito) is South America's oldest capital (founded 1534) and has population around 2,3 million (metro around 2,7 million).
Quito is the arrival (and departure) point for international cruise ship tourists embarking on Galapagos cruises. The city is served by Mariscal Sucre Airport located approx 45 min from downtown. From here, international passengers take domestic flights to Seymour Airport on Baltra Island (Galapagos). Galapagis cruise deals are usually inclusive of both flights (Quito to Baltra, and the reverse Baltra to Quito), as well as of the shore excursions offered in all ports of call along the ship's itinerary.
The native city was conquered by the Incas in 1487 and by the Spaniards in 1534. It was liberated by South American troops in 1822 in a revolt against Spanish rule. The city was Ecuador's main economic centre until early-20th century, when was displaced by Guayaquil. Quito was damaged by several earthquakes in the 19th century.
The city is laid out according to a rectangular plan with expansive central Plaza de la Independencia dominated by 16th-century cathedral, flower gardens and quiet parks. Architecture is chiefly in Spanish Baroque style. Notable buildings include Palacio de Gobierno, Palacio Arzobispal and the churches of La Compañía, Santo Domingo, San Francisco and San Agustin. The Basilica of Guapulo is perched on the edge of a ravine, and has many fine carvings and paintings. Museums in the city are well worth a visit particularly Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador.
Quito tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Quito guided city sightseeing (Legislative Palace), tour to the San Francisco Monastery, visiting La Compania Church, Oswaldo Guayasamin's Museum (Ecuadorian painter and sculptor).
- Cruise Industry
The RCG-Royal Caribbean Group's brand Celebrity Cruises announced 2023 sailings in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands. From New Year’s Eve 2022...March 12, 2021
- Cruise Industry
Walt Disney is planning its first cruises to Antarctica beginning later this year, using a chartered ship. The company also plans its first...March 6, 2021
On November 5, 2019, at ~11:30 pm, the Galapagos Islands-based cruise ship Celebrity Xpedition carrying 46 passengers ran aground on a sand bar at...November 6, 2019
- show more news