Quito’s primary airport is the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), and is the newer version of the airport that previously served this city. Located 18km from downtown Quito, this is a convenient and modern facility that offers plenty in the way of amenities for travellers to this city. As a transiting passenger you will have access to ATMs, free WiFi, telephones, duty-free shopping, and several bars, restaurants and snack kiosks. Otherwise, you can find a first-aid service, and information desks.
There are several ways into the city, on public buses, coaches, shuttles, and taxis. You can find taxis available just outside the airport, and you can get into the city for about 25-45USD ($35-63).
There are several airline companies that fly to Quito from Australia, and these are Qantas, LATAM, American Airlines, United, Delta, American Airlines, COPA, Air New Zealand, Aeromexico, JAL, and China Airlines.
Why visit Quito?
Quito is a treasure that is found within a cradle of Andean peaks, and is perhaps Ecuador’s most beautiful city. Hovering around 3,000 metres above sea level, Quito is the highest capital in the world, and as its reputation for being a cosmopolitan city grows it is sloughing off its hidden nature. Take advantage of the excellent restaurants, hip bars, throbbing nightlife, and its impressive cultural attractions before this city hits the top 10 lists of every travel brochure going. Come to Quito, the ‘Light of America’.
Things to do in Quito
It is impossible to visit Quito without first seeing its remarkable Old Town. This a UNESCO World Heritage site, and well deserving of the title; founded on the ruins of an ancient Incan city, the bones of Quito’s old town were built in the 16th century. Tour the Baroque masterpieces of the town, such as the monasteries of Santo Domingo and San Francisco, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compania.
With the Andes on your doorstep, it would be a crime to skip some outdoor attractions. One of the most popular excursions is one to the Pichincha Volcano, which you can climb via the old fashioned way, or on a convenient cable car. The view up here is stunning, as you’ll be looking over the city at a height of 4,000 metres.
For evening attractions, head to La Mariscal, a suburb of the city known for its dance clubs. If you love to boogie, then this is where you can salsa or merengue the night away. However, don’t just head to La Mariscal at night, as this district is where many of the city’s most popular restaurants, cafes, bars, and marketplaces cluster, leaving you with plenty to do during the day too.
Best time to visit Quito
· Quito is lovely any time of the year, but keep in mind, that because of the altitude it never gets that warm. In winter you are looking at lows of around 7-9°C, and highs of about 21-22°C. If you’d prefer to visit during the warmer weather, this is between December and March, but be warned, this is also the Andean rainy season. For dry, but cool weather, head for Quito between June and September.
Arriving in Quito by plane
· Flying to Ecuador from Australia will mean one, but probably two, layovers. Expect these to be in cities like Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Santiago (SCL), and Lima (LIM).
· United States Dollar (USD).
· You do not need a visa to travel to Ecuador if you are an Australian citizen, and are intending to stay less than 90 days. To ensure that these conditions do not change, please visit the Smart Traveller web portal, and their page on Ecuador, which also has useful travel tips and safety information.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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