Why Quito Ecuador is a bucket list destination for young travelers

Ecuador Latitude Line

There are two things Instagram influencers love: a big following and tons of attention. They get a whole lot of this in Quito, Ecuador, a bucket list destination becoming the latest hot spot for young travelers. If you go, you’ll need to know what to do in Quito Ecuador since, let’s be honest: not a lot of people know!

Now, young influencer thrive on attention, especially if their photos have amazing backdrops. The better the backdrop in their photo, the more followers and attention they’ll receive (obviously a photo in the Maldives will garner more “likes” than Jersey City).

Quito not only provides breathtaking backdrops, it was basically built with the millennial in mind. Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is all the rage these days, and influencers and young travelers are booking trips fast. Pretty soon, you’ll see Quito on everyone’s Instagrams, not only because Quito is a bucket list destination, but because it is such a dynamic, colorful, beautiful city. Here’s why Quito Ecuador is fast becoming a bucket list destination for young travelers.

The view in Quito, Ecuador.

5 reasons to visit Quito Ecuador – and why it’s trending

1. Quito is built within hills, so you have mindblowing backdrops everywhere.

Literally anywhere you stand, you have views of the city built on the hillsides and cradled within the mountains. Quito is almost 9,000 feet high, so you’re basically on TOP of the mountains, and it’s exotic, grungy, sophisticated and amazing. We repeat: you have views EVERYWHERE (from rooftops and random streets to plazas and hilltops). What to do in Quito Ecuador? Absorb all the views.

That’s what make Quito stand out, and not a lot of people know about the views. In fact, not a lot of people stop in Quito since it doesn’t get as much press as the Galapagos. Most visitors come in for transfer, and that’s about it. It’s definitely worth spending time in. If you’re sensitive to high elevation, plan to spend just a few hours to take some Instagram-worthy photos.

This is just a normal view driving down a random street. Insanity.
This is just a normal view driving down a random street in Quito, Ecuador. Insanity.



That’s right. There is fast and free city WIFI in all the major places in Quito, whether plazas or parks, busy streets or nightlife areas.

This means you can Instagram story or upload photos on the go, rather than waiting to get to your hotel or eating up international data plans on your phone.

While Quito is quite developing, it’s nice to know it’s forward thinking when it comes to technology.

WIFI is free and public basically everywhere.

3. You are in the center of the world.

Less than 1 percent of Americans have visited literally the center of the world, according to the tour guide we had. Not only does this mean that you’ll be one of few Americans to ever visit, not many people you know will have photos of standing right on the equator.

Note: you WILL need to bring sunscreen since you’ll be outside so much.

I use IS Clinical SPF 30 because it’s easy to travel with, and it’s one of few sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and feels luxurious on my skin (you can’t see the white film on your face). I did a full review here, but you can buy it on Amazon for quick turn around if you’re leaving for a flight soon.

Now, to reiterate: Quito is RIGHT ON THE EQUATOR, and because of its location (0 degrees latitude/longitude), it’s considered the center of the world, which is so fascinating and unique. (Also: “Equator” and “Ecuador” sound familiar, right?)

There’s an actual place you can stop and take photos of yourself with one foot in the northern hemisphere and your other foot in the southern hemisphere. You will be one of very few influencers to do this until the crowds come!

Center of the world, y’all.

4. The hilltop Virgin Mary statue is your new “edgy” shot.

Instagrammers love photos hanging from the top of buildings, but that’s old news. The Virgin Mary statue (“Panecillo”) looks over the city like Christ The Redeemer in Rio, about 9,200 feet high, taller than ALL major structures in the world. It’s what to do in Quito Ecuador. Everyone does it actually!

From the top of the statue, you can take incredible selfies of you looming over the sprawling city with panoramas that frame snow-peaked mountains in the backdrop.

Behold the panorama from the top of the Virgin Mary statue.

5. Quito is cheap.

Backpackers feel like kings here because Quito is crazy cheap. In fact, Quito’s currency is the US dollar because their economy was cah-rumbling and so the dollar was a lifeline…

The most expensive hotel, Casa Gangotena (a former, centuries-old mansion next to the main cathedral), is only about $300 a night (compare this to other five-star hotels in any major city, and you’ll see it’s easy on the wallet) and four-star hotels can run you about $150-200 a night.

Need more tips on traveling for cheap? Check out my Youtube video here.

You can have a world-class meal for as little as $15, and tours are affordable, attractions are light on your wallet (like the cable car, which is only $8, compared to about $20 anywhere else in the world) and full hour massage can be as low as $30. Start packing!

Casa Gangotena can be as low as $300 a night.

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed at over 600 hotels and clocked millions of air miles. He currently lives in New York City.

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