Quito is the capital of Ecuador, as well as the second largest city in the country, surrounded by the striking Andes Mountains (at an altitude of 2,580 meters). When you are taking a cruise from Quito, you might consider spending some time in the historic city before you depart. Quito is brimming with local markets, artisans, restaurants, bars, and an “Old Town” with colonial architecture, churches, and history (also a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Located nearby is Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (which translates to "Middle of the World City," which is home to a monument that marks the exact location of the Equator.
Avalon Waterways and Tauck offer cruises that depart from Quito. Avalon's 18-guest chartered river ship, Treasure of Galapagos features 7- and 11-night Galapagos Island and Amazon cruises. A great time to take a cruise from Quito is between December and January, as well as from April to May. While the weather in Quito can be unpredictable for the most part, these two times are when you can count on the most sunshine (although you may experience short periods of rain in the afternoon).
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The following cruise destinations can be visited on a cruise that includes Quito, Ecuador. Select a destination to view the upcoming cruises that are available:
The following cruise lines offer cruises sailing to Quito, Ecuador. Select a cruise line to view the upcoming cruises that visit Quito, Ecuador:
Becoming more and more popular, a river cruise is an immerse and destination-focused vacation experience, on a small and luxurious vessel.
River cruises sail through the inland waterways of some of the world's most interesting vacation destinations (i.e. Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America), and provide their guests with a greater opportunity to spend time visiting more unique ports of call than a traditional cruise typically would.
Because the destination is the star of a river cruise, (typically guided) shore excursions are included at no additional charge by many River cruise lines. There are usually many interesting lectures given during the cruise, by experts on the history and culture of the region being visited.
Among the famous rivers that one may take a river cruise on are the Rhine, Mississippi, Seine, Danube, Mekong, Nile, Yangtze, Amazon and Douro.
These cruise lines enhance what mainstream cruise lines typically offer, by providing their guests with higher quality service and cuisine, along with more spacious public spaces and accommodations.
Depending on the cruise line, the ships in this class range in size from small to very large.
These cruise lines appeal to a more discerning traveler, and are typically more expensive than mainstream cruise lines, but more affordable than the luxury lines.
These cruise lines offer a truly unique vacation experience, with a wide range of possible amenities and itineraries. Some are expedition cruise lines, others have sailing yachts or are coastal ships.
On these types of cruise lines, there's usually a focus on a specific destination or theme. Itineraries are usually very destination intensive, aided by the fact that they're able to reach many ports of call that larger ships can't.
Expedition cruise lines are a great fit for adventure-seeking travelers, featuring exciting destinations like the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica, and the Norwegian coast. During the cruise, there will usually be plenty of interesting lectures given by experts on the destination being visited. Often, shore excursions are included in the cost of the cruise. In fact, some of these cruise lines have all-inclusive pricing. There's a definite focus on the ship's surrounding scenery, as well as opportunities to view wildlife in their natural habitat. Small, but comfortable, ships are commonplace here, with anywhere from basic to very luxurious public spaces, cuisine, and accommodations (depending on the cruise line and ship).
Sailing Yachts, sail-assisted motor ships, offer a really unique vacation experience. Accommodations and cuisine on these intimate vessels can be anywhere from good to fantastic, depending on the cruise line. Destinations offered by these cruise lines may include the Caribbean, Europe, Panama Canal, Tahiti, and Costa Rica.
These are just a few of the more popular tourist attractions in Quito, along with a brief description:
♦ Old Town
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito’s Old Town is a fabulous way to spend time in the city. Among the major points of interest are La Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus, (a church with an interior made of gold), Basilica del Voto Nacional (where you can go to the top of the towers for amazing views of the city), Plaza de San Francisco, and Plaza Grande.
If you’re craving to witness the most breathtaking views in Quito, pay a visit to Teleferiqo, an aerial cable car that transports you to the top of Cruz Loma, where you can experience the most stunning views of the surrounding area. Once you’re at the top, you can choose to just admire the views and return to the ground, or continue to hike up Rucu Pichincha for a real challenge (it is advised not to hike alone, for safety reasons). Since the top of Cruz Loma and above can get chilly, you might consider bringing a sweatshirt along for the ride.
♦ Quito’s La Ronda
Located in Quito’s historic neighborhood, La Ronda is a can’t miss if you’re spending time in the city before or after your cruise! When you visit this area, you can soak in Spanish culture by admiring the surrounding architecture, which is reminiscent of Andalusian influences. Today, you can discover La Ronda’s artistic roots in its numerous museums, art galleries, artisan shops, and local restaurants. With such a romantic vibe, it’s a perfect attraction for couples or honeymooners.
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