Isabelle Mazille, Journey Latin America's Product Manager for the Andean regions shares her top tips on how best to spend 48 hours in Quito. 

Explore the colonial centre

Quito, Ecuador

Begin with a walking tour of the colonial centre, including the Plaza de la Independencia, bordered by the Cathedral and the Archbishop and Government Palaces. Just a block to the west is the 17th century church of La Compañia de Jesus, an Aladdin's cave of intricately carved gold so ornate it all but overwhelms the senses, and a few paces onwards again you'll find one of the first great religious buildings in the New World, the 16th century plaza and monastery of San Francisco.

Don't miss a peek into the Casa Del Alabado (just off Plaza San Francisco), home to a great new museum of pre-Columbian art.

Explore the San Francisco market, one of the oldest in the capital. From the market walk downhill to the emblematic street of La Ronda, considered one of the flagship regeneration projects in the city.

Next, wander northeast to the Basilica del Voto Nacional, most famous for its very quirky gargoyles.

To end your sightseeing tour with some amazing views, jump in a taxi and wind your way up to the Virgin of Quito, which enjoys a wonderful vantage point overlooking the cobbled streets and tiled roofs of the historic centre.

If you're there mid-week, you may be able to catch the weekly multicultural dance showcase at the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, performed by the Ballet Folclórico Nacional Jacchigua each Wednesday.

Centre of the World

Quito's big geographic claim to fame is its proximity to the Equator, so while in the area a visit to the 'Middle of the World', is a must. The monument lies a about a 25 minute drive. Admittedly, it is the photograph that every tourist will take home with them from Quito, but there is something strangely thrilling about standing with one foot in the southern hemisphere and the other in the northern hemisphere.

Food and Drink


Dine in the popular Theatrum, a great restaurant in the refined surroundings of a former theatre. The restaurant overlooks the main square in the heart of the colonial centre.

Visit the fantastic Rumiloma, which is located at the foot of Pichincha, an active volcano! It's a 15-minute drive from the centre, passing through areas not usually seen by tourists. Getting to the restaurant is all part of the experience, with very steep, unpaved roads to negotiate for the last two kilometres, and then just when you think the surprises are over you'll discover a cuisine you would have never imagined to find in Ecuador. I recommend the degustation menu, although any of the gourmet options on offer is bound to be a treat.

Make sure you try a warming canelazo drink and look out for the traditional soup called 'locros de guallabamba' in a traditional café and soak up Quito's blend of indigenous and Spanish influences.

Air France

Getting there:

From 14 May, Air France will offer 3 flights a week to Quito's international airport via Paris. Flying to most major cities in Latin America, Air France is one of our preferred partners.

See the map below for their comprehensive flight network

Air France destinations

Tailor-made holidays

Flexible, custom-made holidays to Latin America created to match your exact requirements: our tailor-made itineraries are as unique as the clients for whom they are designed.

Design my trip


Your edit for Latin American inspiration

Our exciting range of articles on Latin America explore everything from iconic destinations and lesser-known cultural gems to delicious traditional recipes. You’ll also find exclusive travel tips, first-hand client reviews and the chance to get your personal questions answered by our travel experts.

View Extraordinary Inspiration
  • BRA_ImAGraziaGirl


    I’m a Grazia Girl by Nic Kynaston

    Learn more
  • cus-perac002-perar001-peru-cusco-free

    Ask the Expert

    What’s appropriate footwear for walking the Inca Trail?

    Learn more
  • COS_CostaRicaHoneymoon_Free

    Ask the Expert

    What are the benefits of travelling with an ATOL protected company?

    Learn more

Real Latin America Experts

  • Kathryn Rhodes
    Kathryn Rhodes - Travel Consultant

    Kathryn backpacked across Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru before joining us. She has a degree in Philosophy and French and is a keen netball player.

  • Hannah Waterhouse
    Hannah Waterhouse - Travel Consultant

    Hannah had an early introduction to Latin America when her family moved to Ecuador and she returned to study in Buenos Aires for a year before backpacking across the continent.

  • Ben Line
    Ben Line - Travel Consultant

    Ben fell in love with Latin America on a six month backpacking trip from Colombia to Mexico in 1995. Since then he has explored most of South America, including living in Peru for a year. He is now Manager of the Tailor-made Department.

  • Paul Winrow Giffen
    Paul Winrow-Giffin - Travel Consultant

    After graduating in Computer Science, Paul spent seven months travelling from Colombia to Argentina and came home hooked on Latin America.

  • Mary Anne Nelson
    Mary Anne Nelson - Travel Consultant

    Born in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, Mary’s insider knowledge and dry sense of humour make her a highly valued member of the Tailor-made team.

  • Chris Rendell Dunn
    Chris Rendell-Dunn - Travel Consultant

    Anglo-Peruvian Chris grew up in Lima and spent much of his adult life in between London and Cusco as a tour leader, before settling permanently in our Sales team.

Meet the team