Every second Sunday Quito closes a 10km route to traffic and thousands of recreational cyclists take to the streets. Cyclists - you can hire bikes and helmets to join in this fun event for all the family.
Equinoccio y Queseras del Medio, Quito
593 2 3226502
Many people use Quito as a brief stop-off on their way to the jungle, or to the Galapagos. However, it is worth thinking of staying a bit longer. One possiblity is to stay a few weeks to do a full immersion course in Spanish. There are many schools in the city, who can provide one to one tuition at a very reasonable price.
If you are staying longer, you might also want to explore the possibility of taking an apartment - there are many options for apartments to rent in the Old Town, the Mariscal and Guapulo Village.
Of course you can have a great time whilst staying in the city - there are a good selection of theatres, clubs, bars and restaurants to visit, and a nightime walk around the old town is a must, and on Sundays there is a very good sale of artwork at Parc El Ejido.
more about staying in Quito at www.my-Quito.com
If you have an afternoon to spare, why not take a walk down to the historic village of Guapulo.
Take a taxi to the Camino de Orellana, just next to the Hotel Quito - five minutes from the Mariscal.
At the top of the winding round down to the village you will find a small bar, Mirador de Guapulo, where you can enjoy a light lunch with typical Ecuadorean platters, whilst looking out over the fabulous view of Guapulo and its historic church.
From here you can either follow the cobbled street down the hill or take the short cut through the small park in front of the bar. Wear good shoes as the road is steep. On the way down you will see a range of interesting old buildings.
The area has a bohemian atmosphere and is home to many artists. At the bottom sits the beautiful Sancturia de Guapulo, Quito's oldest colonial church, facing onto a small square. In front of the church is a statue of Fransisco de Orellana, the Conquistador who sailed the length of the Amazon to the Atlantic Ocean in 1542. There is a small taxi rank opposite the church, where you can get a ride back up to the city.
Taxi to Hotel Quito and then by foot.
Quito's latest attraction, the Teleferiqo is so new that it doesn't yet feature in many guidebooks. Starting from the base of the Pichincha Volcano the small cable cars will transport you to nearly 14,000 feet where you can truly look out on the roof of the world. Allow a good time to do the trip, as the are queues in the day (you can circumvent them by paying a higher rate), and many things to see and do at the entertainment complex at the base.
At the top there is a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and you can walk on up to the crater of the volcano. Just remember that it is very high (you will be breathless and need to have acclimatised to Quito's altitude first) and despite Quito being on the equator, the altitude means it can be quite cold - bring a warm jumper and jacket.
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