The single, old "Terminal Terrestre," which was located in Cumandá (Center of the city)has been replaced by two new terminals:
1. <b>Terminal Quitumbe</b> (located in the far south of Quito), services all the buses that go to any destination south of Quito: Basically all of the coastal provinces, all of the amazonian provinces, and all of the mountain region (sierra) provinces except two: Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located). This terminal can be reached by local buses (which often leave La Marin in Old Town) or by the Trolebus and Metro trolleys.
2. For Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located) two you need to go to <b>Terminal Carcelén</b> (located in the far north of Quito). This terminal can be reached by local buses (which you can catch at La Marin in Old Town or El Ejido in New Town) or by Ecovia,
*Some bus companies have their own terminals near La Mariscal. These include TransEsmeraldas (just past la Colon), Flota Imbabura (above El Ejido), and Reina del Camino (also above El Ejido).
There are 3 independent, 'enclose stations' systems of buses, with very few transfer stations among them. They are very inexpensive ($0.25 for a single ride). These lines follow north-south-lines down through the heart of Quito, and they have stations close to ''La Mariscal'' where most hotels are located. Take note that there is no tradition of waiting for people to disembark before people board, so this may take some getting used to. The buses are among the cleanest of South America, but still, be aware of pickpockets!
* '''El Trole''' or ''The Trolley''
For those wanting to save money and reduce their ecological impact on Ecuador, many local buses ($0.25) head south to the tourist areas. Just exit the airport and cross the main street. Buses with an "Amazonas" or "Juan Leon Mera" sign go to La Mariscal. Buses with a "La Marin" sign will leave you a few blocks away from Old Town.
Taxis and buses are everywhere and very inexpensive
* The '''railway station''' is at the south end of the old city, close to the ''El Trole'' route. The railway is very rundown and services are erratic. It's best to check with the Visitors' Bureau on the most recent timetable.
*'''La Vírgen del Panecillo'''. Adjacent to the Old City, El Panecillo is a large hill on top of which is La Virgin del Panecillo, a large statue of the 'winged' Virgin Mary. She can be seen from most points in the city. Local legend has it that she is the only virgin in Quito. Never walk up the hill, always take a taxi or a bus as the walk up can be dangerous.
*'''Mitad del Mundo'''. Just outside of Quito is where the measurements were first made that proved that the shape of the Earth is in fact an oblate spheroid. Commemorating this is a large monument that straddles the equator called '''Mitad del Mundo''' or middle of the world. Note, however, that the true equator is not at the Mitad del Mundo monument. Through the magic of GPS technology, we now know that it is only 240 meters away
*'''The Intiñan Solar Museum''' [http://museointinan.com.ec/] is right next to the Mitad del Mundo monument on the other side of the north fence. For $4 you can have a tour of this little museum. Note that they don't demonstrate the Coriolis effect [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect#Draining_in_bathtubs_and_toilets] but rather deceive you (ask for repeating the experiment on your own and they will deny it) [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWgsTOux6So&feature=related]. Other "experiments" showing effects that apparently only occur on the equator are also scam. The tour is completed by some untrue facts about indigenous cultures in Ecuador and is just straining after effect. The place looks like a total dump and is at the end of a dirt road, but for some people it is much more interesting and informative than the '''Mitad del Mundo'''. When you go to the middle of the world, you can just take a bus ($0.40) straight there, or go with a tour, or hire a taxi driver by the hour. The hourly rate should be in the $12 or less range. Buses leave from the Occidental or Av. America for $0.40 and have "Mitad del Mundo" clearly written large on the front. This is the most economical option and tours of the Intiñan Solar Museum are $4. Entry to the monument nearby is $2, but only worth it for a photo straddling the equator - which you can do at the 'real' equator nearby at Intiñan.
*'''Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus.''' In the Old City, this church is regarded by many as the most beautiful in the Americas. Partially destroyed by fire, it was restored with assistance from the Getty Foundation and other benefactors. Stunning.
* '''Explore the Old Town''' With its gorgeous mixture of colonial and republican/independence era architecture (Late 1500's to 1800's), relaxing plazas and a stunning number of churches. If you happen to be there during Christmas or Easter, you'll be amazed at the number of events, masses, and processions that bring out the crowds. You'll find craft shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels across its grid of streets.
* '''A recommended walking tour''' that could enhance your vision of the Historic Center is as follows. Take the trolley (watch your belongings) south until "Cumanda" stop. Get down, you are on Maldonado street. There you will have an impressive view of what once was the "Jerusalem" ravine, which stands between Panecillo and the core. Walk north past the trolley stop and go down a narrow stairway that brings you to La Ronda street, of Pre-columbian origins. Walk up picturesque La Ronda until you reach Av. 24 de Mayo. This boulevard was built on top of this section of Jerusalem ravine to connect the two sides of town. On Garcia Moreno Street turn north and you will arrive to the Museo de la Ciudad, which provides an easy and interactive history of Quito. Then walk on Garcia Moreno street until Sucre, which is a pedestrian street. La Compania is at the corner and if you go up Sucre street you will reach San Francisco. If you continue on Garcia Moreno you will reach the Main (independence) Square. If you go to San Francisco, then walk to La Merced and down to the Main Square. This itinerary follows a chronological and logical sequence of sites. Most people do it backwards, turning La Ronda and Museo de la Ciudad as distant points where you're usually worn out by the time you get there. In any event, the Historic Center is so vast that you need more than one visit to see it all. The recommended walk provides you with a good overview if you're short of time or want to see as much as possible on a first day.
* '''Watch''' The old men play Ecuador's version of bocce at Parque El Ejido. You can also see some serious games of Ecua-volley, the local version of volleyball, on a Saturday or Sunday.
*'''Cable Car''' There is a cable car ride up the side of Ruco Pichincha. It's called "Teleferico" in spanish. Ask your hotel about the special buses that run through the city taking people towards this destination. You can also find your own way there through taxi or bus.
*<do name="Go Mountain Biking" alt="BIKING Dutchman mountain biking tours" address="Foch E4-283" directions="corner of Amazonas, in La Mariscal" phone="(02) 2568 323" url="http://www.bikingdutchman.com" hours="9H30-17H30" price="
*'''Equinox Spanish School''': Located on Calle Yánez Pinzón N25-106 y Colón, in the Mariscal district. Equinox is the 2nd oldest school in Quito and hosts study abroad programs from universities and a very large amount of foreign students who want to learn Spanish. The prices are affordable and extremely personable.
*<do name="Green Horse Ranch" alt="" address="Quito, Ecuador" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.horseranch.de/" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">The Pululahua Crater is one of the most amazing places to ride, but chances are you will not find anything about it in your guide book. Astrid, the owner of the ranch who moved to Ecuador from Germany about 15 years ago, will pick you up in Quito and bring you to the ranch (about 45 minute drive). Rides of various lengths are available and she has a wide variety of horses ready for novices and experts. Her and her staff are incredibly friendly and everything is included in the price.</do>
*<buy name="Zapytal" alt="" address="Foch E4-298 v Av Amazonas" directions="" phone="528 757" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Hand made shoes. A wide selection in stock plus made to measure if you have 8 days to spare. A selection of correspondant (spectator shoes), riding boots and womens shoes $80</buy>
*<buy name="Guitarras Guacan" alt="" address="Chimborazo y Bahia, Quito" directions="" phone="(+593) 2-2583-475" url="www.guitarrasguacan.com" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Master Luthier Cesar Guacan's quaint guitar workshop at the base of the Virgin del Panecillo - great guitars for both professionals and budget-conscious. www.guitarrasguacan.com</buy>
*<eat name="Uncle Ho's" alt="" address="E8-40 Jose Calama y Diego de Almagro" directions="2 Blocks from Plaza Foch" phone="02 5114030" url="http://www.unclehos.com" hours="Mon - Sat, Midday til 11pm" price="$7 - $10" lat="0" long="0">Great fresh Asian food (Vietnamese & Thai) in funky surroundings with friendly service. Excellent Martinis & drink specials. Prices - Appetizers $3-4, Mains $7-10. Tofu & Veggie options, Local Ecuadorian Specialities. </eat>
*<eat name="Achiote" alt="" address="Juan Rodriguez 282 y Reina Victoria" directions="La Mariscal" phone="593022501743" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with a gourmet twist!</eat>
The most popular place for drinking, food and nightlife in the Historic Center of Quito
*<sleep name="Hostal Marsella" address="Ríos N-12-139 (2035) y Espinoza (Alameda)" phone="2580 795", email="[email protected]" price="$7 per person with shared bath, $10 private">Located between New and Old Quito, just up the hill from Parque Alameda. Plenty of clean rooms with sitting areas both inside and under a new glassed-in ceiling on the rooftop (with views of the Basilica and the Panacillo/Angel.) Hot water, free wi-fi internet in the common areas, laundry service, large breakfasts ($2-$3). Door is locked 24/7 for security and the very friendly owners and staff are happy to help with directions, calling cabs, etc. Great spot away from (but within walking distance of) the much more touristy Mariscal Sucre.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Backpackers Inn" address="Juan Rodriguez E7-48 y Reina Victoria, La Mariscal" phone="02 250 9669", url="http://backpackersinn.net" email="[email protected]" price="
*<sleep name="Casa Helbling" alt="" address="General Veintimilla 531 y 6 de Diciembre, La Mariscal" directions="" phone="02 222 6013" url="http://www.casahelbling.de" checkin="" checkout="" price="Single $16, double $28, dorm $8, breakfast ~$3-7" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">An old, but well preserved, large mansion where every room is different. All are very simple and some are nicer than the others. Most are shared bathrooms and sometimes it can take a little bit longer until a Bath is free (they have 3). Also, depends on people, it can get noisy, the doors and wall are old. Full kitchen available for use; nice courtyards, roof decks, and outdoor spaces. Breakfast and laundry available, but a little bit expensive. Laundry is 3.50 for one load. Anyway there are cheap Laundry Services around (1USD per 1Kilo). German and English spoken. Free wifi and a computer for use. Friendly, relaxed staff. Quiet and tranquil, perfect for those over 30 who want to be in La Mariscal. Nice hostel but unfortuntately no Discount for Longstay! </sleep>
*<sleep name="La Casa Sol" alt="" address="Calama 127" directions="La Mariscal neighborhood. Near Av 6 de diciembre" phone="02 223 0798" url="http://www.lacasasol.com" checkin="Noon" checkout="Noon" price="$20" lat="" long="">A colorful, homey hostel in the best part of the neighborhood, close to shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Great amenities: cafe and international library, and a beautiful antique house. Nice breakfast in a sunny restaurant. Walking distance to s 'Metro Bus' station. </sleep>
*<sleep name="El Cafecito" alt="" address="Cordero 1124, La Mariscal" directions="" phone="02 223 4862" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Good location. Located in the Mariscal, short walk to bars, restaurants,
*<sleep name="La Casona de Mario" alt="" address="Andalucia 213 y Galicia, La Floresta" directions="" phone="02 254 4036" url="http://www.hosteltrail.com/lacasonademario/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Single double and triple room. All rooms have shared bathrooms and there is a set price of $12.00 per person per night</sleep>
* '''JW Marriott Hotel Quito''', Av. Orellana 1172 y Av. Amazonas, Phone: +593 2 2972000 Luxury hotel, offers spacious and luxurious rooms, along with first-class meeting facilities, a outdoor pool and garden, full-service SPA and outstanding restaurants. [http://www.marriott.com/UIODT]
* '''Hotel Quito''', Av. González Suárez N27 142, Phone: (593)2 254 4600 This hotel offers the following services:
===Between the Old and New Town===
Another scam will often have an accomplice who will provide a distraction such as pretending to sell sweets before spilling them all over you, giving their friend the chance to steal your belongings. This can't be emphasised enough: never let your belongings out of sight. If something suspicious is happening like this on a bus, just refuse to co-operate and hold your belongings close to you. Robberies of this kind are common, particularly on buses leaving Quito. It is worth considering paying $3 or $4 more for a trip on a more high-class bus as these often have additional security measures, which can prevent robberies of tourists and locals alike. On city buses, it is best to not bring a backpack. If you absolutely have to bring one, wear it on your chest, not your back.
Finally, several neighborhoods located to the very north and south of the city are infamous among locals for having gang/delinquent trouble. "La Bota" to the north is specially notorious as it even locals try to avoid passing through it as much as possible.
Travelers in Quito are likely to be approached at some point or another by con artists or persons with "sob stories". Ignore such persons and be wary of anyone asking for money under any pretext, including children begging. If you feel charitable, Ecuador has lots of legitimate charities you can support.
Avoid associating at all with the drug trade in Ecuador. Ecuador has strict laws against possession, transportation and use of illegal drugs and foreigners caught transporting drugs at the airports have been sentenced to long prison terms. Unfortunately, any foreigner with a "alternative" or "hippie" appearance (such as men with long hair) may be assumed by some Ecuadorians to be looking for drugs. If you are approached about drugs in any context, it safe to assume the person approaching you is up to no good.
One exception is use of entheogens by indigenous people. Interest in ayahuasca is prompting increasing numbers of Americans and Europeans to travel to
All Ecuadorian citizens and visitors are required to carry ID at all times. If your stay in Ecuador is for a few months or longer, sooner or later, you will encounter a roadside police check and be requested to show ID. You can show your passport; however, carrying your passport around all the time is not advised due to the risk of loss
If you are the victim of a crime it is suggested you report it to the Ecuadorian National Police (by law, you must report within 72 hours of the incident), as well as to your home country embassy and to the South American Explorers Club.
To the North, all tourists should visit the province of [[Imbabura]], which has beautiful lakes such as Yaguarcocha and San Pablo. Hikers and mountain climbers can also ask for adventures in Cayambe National Park, home of the 3rd largest volcano in Ecuador. It's inactive. For tourists who want to shop a bit, they should take notice of the town of [[Otavalo]], it's indian market is famous worldwide for the quality and variety of products on sale. Don't forget to haggle for your preferred price!
To the North West of Quito lies the region of Mindo, a subtropical rainforest paradise, full of rivers, majestic waterfalls, unique wildlife and more. The region is home to a variety of animal wildlife sanctuaries, and is famous locally and internationally because of its beauty. At a slightly higher altitude to [[Mindo]] is the Cloudforest. The variety of plants, birds and butterflies is wonderful. The guides carry good quality binoculars to help you spot some of the many varieties of birds. After each guided walk you can return to the lodge for meals. Near the main buildings there are many hummingbird feeders which attract many of the energetic and luminous birds. Accommodation is simple but very clean and pleasant with balconies from which you get beautiful views into the forest. You can visit the butterfly and humming bird farm too for about $3. The staff will show you around and explain to you in Spanish the life cycle of the butterflies (very worthwhile!) Landslides are known to occur on the roads to and from Mindo. Traffic can be held up for hours if this occurs. Trout (trucha in Spanish) is a specialty of Mindo and a dish of this should cost around $6. To get to Mindo from Quito, catch a taxi to Ofelia bus station ($5-6) and at the North bus terminal buy a ticket to Mindo for $2.50. The frequency of these buses differs between weekdays and weekends and travel guide times may be out of date. The earliest bus on a weekday is at 8am (13th April 2010). The bus trip is around 2 hours in length.