Experience Old Town Quito with an Insider's Tour

Experience Old Town Quito with an Insider's Tour
The day-tour is co-designed with a grassroots NGO organization, the San Roque Heritage Guardians, and local resident guides to help understand the people who live in the largest and best-restored historical centre in the Americas.

A decade-long investment to regenerate Quito’s rich historic centre has restored its cobblestone plazas and gleaming church interiors, opening up previously run-down areas of the Old Town. Quito’s fame has grown in leaps and bounds of late, posing the city as much more than just a stopover en route to the fabled Galápagos Islands.

Accompanied by a local resident and Metropolitan Touring guide, travelers are picked up from their hotel in Quito for a “life-seeing” walking tour, visiting local businesses such as the seamstress who makes the clothes for dozens of baby Jesuses, the local milliner and his shop of multifarious and multi-coloured hats, the café serving traditional Ecuadorian filter coffee, shops selling natural remedies and “agua de vida” infusions, sculptors, and traditional sweet-makers.

On Calle Rocafuerte, travellers explore the San Francisco Market, one of the oldest in the capital. It’s the perfect venue for guests to discover Ecuador’s incredibly rich variety of fruits and vegetables and meet women who perform the “limpia” or Andean energy equilibrium treatment, with bunches of nettles, herbs and flowers.

There’s also time to wander down to the emblematic street La Ronda, where local artisans can be visited – including a chocolatier – as well as key sights such as the Plaza Grande main square and the stunning gold-leaf bedecked La Compañía de Jesús church.

Ecuadorian cooking will be sampled at the Casa Gangotena hotel. Overlooking Plaza San Francisco, the three-story restored historic mansion is the finest boutique address in the vibrant heart of the first UNESCO World Heritage Site city and the ideal spot for a sophisticated meal to break up the day.

A guided visit to the excellent Casa del Alabado Archaeological Museum is part of the hands-on exploration. The museum houses a fantastic collection of pieces dating back some 5,000 years, arrayed beautifully within a restored 17th-century colonial mansion.

Either at the beginning or at the end of the day, guests will be taken uphill to one of the city’s numerous vantage points, in order to appreciate the Ecuadorian capital’s stunning Andean setting from above.

The rate for the Live Quito Like a Local full-day tour includes the private tour with guide and driver, daily in Quito (minus Sundays), including lunch.

For more information on booking Live Quito Like a Local walking tour through Metropolitan Touring, please call 888-572-0166 or visit www.metropolitan-touring.com