Quito City Tour: Historic Old Town and Equator Monument

Tour/Activity in Quito, Ecuador

About this activity

Quito's colonial old town and the Equator Monument

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As early as 1978, UNESCO declared Quito's Old Town as the first city in the world to be a World Heritage Site. Quito is famous for having the largest intact, undamaged and well integrated colonial city in South America. The unique city abounds with colonial townhouses, as well as countless churches and monasteries. The deep-rooted influence of the Catholic Church is still visible today.

Begin your tour in the heart of the colonial old town on the Plaza de la Independencia, also called Plaza Grande. Here you can watch the bustle of the locals, visit the presidential palace and stroll through the many small streets. Continue to Plaza San Francisco and the pompous La Compañia church, built in 1605 by the Order of the Jesuits. Then you drive up to Panecillo (the Spanish word for 'bread roll') for a panoramic view of the city. On a clear day, you can see four volcanoes watching over the city from here: Cotopaxi, Antisana, Cayambe and Pichincha.

Later you will drive to the Monument to the Equator, Mitad del Mundo, at 0° latitude. Here you can stand with one leg on the northern hemisphere and the other on the southern hemisphere.

On the private city tour, you will finish your trip with a visit to the interactive Intiñan Museum, where you can join in many experiments. Can you balance an egg on a nail on the equator line? Does the flow direction of the water change when you stand on different sides of the line? The museum also provides an overview of the different cultures and indigenous peoples of Ecuador.

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