Quito is a fantastic destination for an international internship or volunteer program abroad. Not only does World Endeavors have fantastic staff on the ground in Quito that organizes fun get-togethers, soccer matches, and other events for our participants, but Quito itself offers endless entertainment and opportunity to explore and immerse yourself in the culture. You can never go wrong when going abroad to Ecuador, especially in a fantastic city like Quito.
1. Catch the view from El Panecillo
Whether you hike up, catch a taxi, or ride the hop-on-hop-off tour bus up to the top, El Panecillo offers one of the best views of the city and is definitely not to be missed. This 200-meter hill in the center of Quito allows you to view the city as a panorama, and you will get up close and personal with one of Quito’s most famous monuments, El Virgen, an iconic statue that marks this fantastic public space and that can be seen for miles.
2. Visit the Mariscal Craft Market
If you are looking for a great opportunity to practice your Spanish (and an even better place to work on your bargaining skills), look no further! This city block of artisanal stalls selling handmade goods from around Ecuador may take an entire day to comb all the way through, but in addition to crafts there are food stalls galore as well. It’s unlikely that you will come home empty-handed, as this is one of the best places to buy gifts and souvenirs for your family and friends back home.
3. Parque la Carolina
This centrally located park is a hub for everyday city life. Join in on a pick-up football game, brave the altitude and go for a run, or take a stroll through the botanical gardens! When major national sporting events are going on, such as the FIFA World Cup, a giant screen is set up in the park for all to view, and the sense of community is incredible. There are also a number of fantastic restaurants and shopping centers in the area, and it is a wonderful part of the city to spend an afternoon.
4. Tour the Ciudad Vieja
Quito is an incredible city, and it’s old town is the highlight—in fact, the entire Ciudad Vieja of Quito is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Explore the countless colonial churches and historical buildings, museums and markets, and the colorful streets that the city is known for. You can even get up close to the president’s mansion and the centers of government, something that is much farther out of reach in places like the US.
5. Pichincha and El Teleférico
Whether you’ve been at Quito’s altitude for a week or for 6, you may never be quite ready for this hike—but it is still a must-do on any visit to Quito. Take a taxi up to the base of the cable car, el Teleférico, and then ride that up Mount Pichincha, the active volcano that surrounds Quito City! Make sure you’ve packed plenty of water, and spend the rest of your afternoon hiking up the volcano and enjoying some of the best natural views you can find within a city.
6. La Mitad del Mundo
Translating to “the middle of the world,” La Mitad del Mundo is exactly what you guessed—the equator! Located only about 40 minutes outside the center of Quito, you can quite literally visit the dividing line between the northern and southern hemispheres. In fact, this famed line is the theme of a unique theme park featuring monuments, museums, and astronomical figurines. Be sure to take a photo with one foot on each side of the world!
These are only a few fantastic activities that are available in Quito, and the rest will be up to you to discover! Get started on your journey to intern or volunteer abroad in Ecuador with World Endeavors and get in contact with one of our knowledgeable advisors.
Looking for some exciting options outside of Quito? Check out our Ecuador weekend trip guide!
Posted by World Endeavors on September 21, 2016
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.