Quito Day Trips
|La Mitad del Mundo ("Middle of the World") Visit the equator
at Mitad del Mundo, north of Quito. Kids will definitely want to stand
on the equator line to straddle both northern and southern hemispheres.Take the elevator up
the Mitad del Mundo monument for a panoramic view.
|Inside the monument is the Museo Etnografico , an ethnographic museum of regional cultures of Ecuador; exhibits display clothing and house styles of the coastal, highlands and jungle peoples.
|Don't miss "Old Quito in Miniature" a museum with an intricate model of Quito. The model is lit up in daylight, then gradually changes to night time, winking and glowing in the darkness like the real city. The museum also has models of Spanish galleons and old maps.
|There is also a play area with slides and swings, shops and cafes for snacks around the monument.
|Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve Just beyond Mitad del Mundo, visit the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve. The reserve encompasses an ancient volcano, now covered with lush vegetation and farms in the crater. There is hiking through the old lava fields and fine views from the lookout (mirador) at the top.
Calderon Stop in to the village of Calderon (north of Quito) to buy bread dough figurines and Christmas ornaments. It's a cottage industry and every store has signs to come in. Ask to see how the bread dough figures are made and kids will have fun picking out souvenirs.
Zoologico Metropolitano de Quito (Guayllabamba) The zoo has a nice selection of animals of Ecuador, from the Andes, Amazon and Galapagos, including different species of monkeys, Galapagos tortoises, condors, toucans, and jaguars.
|Hot Springs Relax in the hot springs at La Merced and El Tingo in the Valle de los Chillos, less than an hour southeast from Quito.
|Take a longer day trip to Papallacta to soak in the hot springs. At Papallacta you can take a dip in the steaming hot pools with spectacular views of the snow covered peak of Antisana in the distance.
Sangolqui Visit a traditional market on Sundays, smaller market on Thursdays. The animal market is especially fun.
Hiking and horseback riding Plan a day trip to see the "cloud forests" around Quito, either on horseback or foot. The forests, with a mild climate, tropical and highlands vegetation, are "paradise" for many species of birds. North of Quito, you can explore the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, the Maquipucuna Biological Reserve, the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve, and the Bosque Protector Mindo-Nambillo. Southeast of Quito is the Bosque Protector Pasochoa.