You will have the opportunity to meet a lot of places with our SCOPE team and your host.
Our Local Social Program ranges from mountain hikes to dancing nights.
Guarding the historic streets of Quito’s Old Town, “The Virgin of El Panecillo” is one of Quito’s most recognizable landmarks. Fron there, you will experience one of the most amazing views of the city.
- Stroll through the Old Town
Quito’s chief attraction is the Old Town, which is considered to be one of the best-preserved colonial centres in Latin America and merits a full day’s exploration. Architectural highlights include the churches of La Compañia, San Agustín and San Francisco, and the Basilica del Voto Nacional (the Basilica of the National Vow), which you can climb. Its narrow ladders are not for the faint-hearted, but you’re rewarded with 360-degree views of the city. Keep an eye out for the Basilica’s enchanting gargoyles, which are inspired by animals indigenous to Ecuador, including blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises.
La Ronda is a quaint cobbled street that is ideal for a sedate daytime stroll, but it reveals its true charms at night, when musicians, performers and street vendors take over. The street was restored in 2006, and its colonial houses are now occupied by galleries, cafes, bars and artisan craft shops. On a chilly Quito evening, La Ronda is also the perfect place to sip a canezalo, an Andean hot toddy containing cinnamon and aguardiente (a spirit made from sugarcane).
A trip to the equator at Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) can be done in a morning or afternoon and, although a little tacky, is worth it just for the obligatory photo opportunity. At the Museo Intiñan you can have a go at a number of wacky experiments to prove you’re on the true equator, like checking to see whether water flows clockwise or anticlockwise or being able to balance an egg on the head of a nail. All nonsense of course, and slightly let down by the fact that modern GPS measurements show that the true equator is actually located around 240 metres north of the line drawn at Mitad del Mundo. Still, straddling an imaginary line doesn't look quite as good in pictures.
This impressive cable car whisks you from Quito up to the dormant volcano of Pichincha. Because of the altitude, the trip is literally breath-taking, and at the top you may want to sample some of the pay-as-you-go oxygen or a traditional coca tea, which is said to help with altitude sickness. It’s best to visit Pichincha in the morning: by afternoon the clouds can obscure the fantastic views of the Andes. If you’re feeling particularly energetic and are well acclimatised, you might try hiking to the rim of the crater but remember to come equipped with warm clothing and sun block.
- Visit La Capilla del Hombre
This secular chapel (‘The Chapel of Man’) was the vision of Oswaldo Guayasamín, Ecuador’s best-known contemporary artist, who sadly passed away before its completion in 2002. It is a monument to the struggles of mankind throughout the ages and houses Guayasamín’s extensive collection of pre-Columbian ceramics and sculptures alongside thousands of his own powerful works, many portraying social injustice in Latin America. A guided tour is a must to get the most from this moving experience.
Cotopaxi is the second highest mountain in our country, and the world´s thirth highest active volcano. It is located 50 km away from the capital. You can climb up to the shelter, drink some hot chocolate and rest in this majestic volcano.
- Lago San Pablo and Mercado Artesanal de Otavalo
Lago San Pablo is located in Otavalo, it sits at the base of the volcano Imbabura, it is approximately 2 hours away from Quito, one of the most visited and larges lakes in Ecuador. Once you are there you can rent Kayaks of go on boat trips! You also have a town markets close to the lake, where you can by many beautiful crafts. The sellers offer handicrafts of all kinds, but it is the textile stalls with their bright colors and eye-popping patterns that really stand out, so make sure to leave some room in your luggage. Whether you buy a poncho or a Panama hat, the only rule is to haggle: you can be sure that the first price is not the best!
Located 20 minutes away from Quito, this adventure park of 5 hectares offers activities like; canopy, buggy ride, trekking, rapel, paintball, horse ride, Tarzan Swing, high ropes. Best option to de-stress and have lots of fun!