With its incredible biodiversity, cosmopolitan capital city, and gorgeous landscapes, it’s impossible to run out of sites to visit in Ecuador, says Ecuador Country Manager Maggie Bjorklund. Quito, at 9,200 feet above sea level, is the highest constitutional capital in the world. Read on for some of the top sites to explore when visiting Quito, the Light of America.
While on your Global Volunteers adventure in service in Ecuador, you can take your free time to explore Quito and the countryside. Nestled high in the Andes Mountains, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. Due to its very well-preserved colonial center, it was the first city ever to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll fall in love with Quito’s Old Town with its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, neo-gothic Basilica, colonial balconies, and outdoor cafés. You and your teammates stay in the contemporary part of Quito, close to beautiful parks and more modern conveniences. Quito is surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes that, as Ecuadorians commonly say, are vain and so can often be seen. Beautiful Cayambe Volcano can be seen from Quito:
On the weekends, you can explore the countryside on day trips an hour or two outside of Quito. You can visit volcanic hot springs, Cotopaxi National Park, Mindo cloud forest, Otavalo indigenous market, Cuicocha Lagoon, and a town famous for its leather products, just to name a few. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet and so if nature and wildlife is your thing, you will never be bored here. Ecuador is also one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Latin America with over 20 different nationalities in a country about the size of Colorado. You can learn about Ecuadorian culture, heritage, and language while volunteering in Ecuador. Take a look at these gorgeous photos of this little country in South America that holds so much beauty!
If you enjoyed these pictures of Quito, you’ll love these of some of its youngest inhabitants. Cuteness alert!