Ecuador Cities

Ecuador Cities is a guide to some of the best cities to visit as a tourist in Ecuador. From the capital in the Andes, Quito, the colonial jewel that is Cuenca down to the coastal city of Guayaquil, we will share some information on the very best Ecuador Cities.

Quito

Quito is the capital of this small country and as far as Ecuador Cities go, it is certainly one of the most interesting. Set in the foothills of the Andes, you can definitely feel the altitude have an effect on your body as simple things like walking up stairs can take your breath away. One thing that definitely will take your breath away is a trip in the Quito Teleferico. This is a cable car that provides you with panoramic views across the city, which is sprawling across the valley beneath you. It is also a good opportunity to really get an understanding for the size of the city, which at 2.5 million inhabitants is not the biggest in Ecuador but it is spread out, making the views at night particularly impressive.

Quito also has an excellent nightlife when compared with other Ecuador Cities. The Mariscal District is the area with the largest amount of bars and is, perhaps understandably, the area where the most tourists flock to. It is great to go with a lot of people from your hostel but it is advisable to remain in a group rather than go on your own as it can become a bit unsafe if you end up lost on your own in the early hours of the morning...this is the same as most other areas in the world.

View from inside the Cathedral in Quito
View from inside the Cathedral in Quito

Other attractions that Quito can offer as one of the featured Ecuador Cities include going to watch the local team play football. Liga de Quito where the champions of South America back in 2008 and play their matches in the Estadio de Liga Deportiva Universitaria, also known as La Casa Blanca. Getting tickets here can be tricky so it is best to ask in your hostel when you arrive and they will be able to help you out.

Quito is also a good place to base yourself for trips to places like Otavalo market, which can be seen on our Ecuador Tourist Attractions page.

Saftey in Quito is a concern often raised when talking about Ecuador Cities. To be perfectly honest, as in all other cities in South America you will no doubt speak to people that have had unpleasant experiences. We found that it is best to walk in groups and to take taxis at night – even if only travelling a small distance. It is also important to pay particular attention to your belongings when using the bus terminal as this is always a place where pick-pocketing and petty thefts take place.

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is the largest of the Ecuador Cities with an estimated population of around 4 million and is built primarily around the port, which is the biggest and busiest in Ecuador.

It seems to be used by tourists primarily as a transport hub as most buses crossing the Peru/Ecuador border end up there and it is also very easy to reach almost anywhere in the country from the huge bus terminal in the city. It is also important to note that all the flights going to the Galapagos Islands either start or go via Guayaquil, so it is an excellent place to base yourself for round country trips.

One thing that is very interesting about Guayaquil is that in Parque Bolivar it is highly likely that you find yourself face to face with a large iguana. There are loads of them in this park and it is well worth having a walk around if you are interested in wildlife but not interested in forking out the money to head to the Galapagos!

Cuenca

As far as Ecuador Cities go, you cannot get much more beautiful than the colonial masterpiece that is Cuenca. It is set in the southern highlands of the Andes, close to Quito, and is a visually stunning city. It is far smaller than Quito and Guayaquil but they beauty of it makes Cuenca very popular with young Ecuadorians and travellers alike and it is well worth a visit.