Having opened not long ago, Marsical Sucre International Airport serves an average of 220 flights daily, making it one of the busiest airports in Ecuador. The old airport was previously located near the city centre, making it difficult for pilots to make landings. This newly opened airport is now located 18km from the ciy centre.
How to get around
There are a few ways to get to the city. AeroServicios coach service departs from the airport every 30 minutes. It operates 24/7 and a trip costs about NZD9. The journey takes around 100 minutes.
For a cheaper option, take public buses. Each trip costs less than NZD3. Some hotels offer free shuttle services to and from the airport. Check if your hotel provides such services. You may also wish to cab to the city. Alternatively, car-rental services are available.
Taxis are a cheap way to get around Quito, with fares starting around NZD1. It is advisable to have exact change unless you are feeling generous and would like to tip the driver. You may also rent cars but if you are only travelling within the city, taxis are a cheaper and more convenient option.
Ecuador Freedom Bike rental offers bike, scooter and motorcycle rentals. Quito has a cycle path for bike riders. There are bus systems in Quito: El Trole, Metrobus and Ecovia. These bus services have green, blue and red coloured stations respectively. It costs lesser than a dollar for single rides and the buses run through the north-south lines through Quito.
What to see and do
At 2800m above sea level, Quito is the highest recorded city in the world. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most places of attraction are not close to the airport and require at least 45 minutes of travelling. Nevertheless, these places of interest are located near one another in the city centre. If you are in transit and have a few hours to spare, explore this charming city!
One of Quito’s noteworthy landmarks is in La Compañía de Jesús. This intricately designed ornate church was built in the 16th century and took 163 years to complete. Located nearby is Plaza San Francisco, featuring El Monasterio de San Francisco (Church and Monastery of St. Francis). It is the oldest church in American continent and dons a baroque design infused with indigenous Quito heritage.
Stroll over to La Ronda, touted as one of the most romantic places in the city. Dine at cafes or restaurants there and shop for souvenirs.
Visit Old Town, a 16th century colonial town. There stands the central square, also known as Plaza de la Independencia. Many festivals and events take place here. You can also see the Carondelet Palace, the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador and the Bascilica Gothic Cathedral.
For a richer understanding of Latin American culture, head to Capilla Del Hombre. This chapel not only provides a splendid view of the city, but also houses a collection of Latin American art.
If time permits, enjoy a 50 minutes stroll over to the eucalyptus forest in Parque Metropolitano.
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Airports near Quito
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