When traveling to the Galápagos Islands you will either fly directly to Quito or Guayaquil for a layover before traveling on to the islands. Quito formerly known as San Francisco de Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was built in the 16th century. Quito has the best preserved historic center in all of Latin America. Architectural examples of the Baroque school of Quito can be seen at the monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, Church of La Compañía and the Jesuit College of La Compañía. Also of importance is the monument and museum noting the equator location that is known as La Mitad del Mundo or the middle of the world.
After arriving in Quito, you’ll need accommodations for the night or several nights before heading to the Galápagos Islands or returning from the islands. The hotels listed below in no order are a small sample of the hotels available in the historical, colonial center of Quito.
Casa Gangotena is located on Plaza San Francisco in the heart of the colonial center that combines history, style, and old world service. After a fire, the historic three story mansion was rebuilt in 1924 by the Gangotena family. Guests at the Casa Gangotena, have panoramic views of the majestic mountains from the third floor terrace. The mansion is a few blocks from the gold-laden Jesuit church of La Compañía de Jesús, City Museum, Plaza Santo Domingo, the Presidential Palace, and Quito’s old town and historic quarters.
Illa Hotel Boutique is located about five minutes from the Plaza Grande in the parish of San Marcos. The Illa Boutique has 10 rooms in a renovated colonial mansion. The San Marcos area has been traditionally home to many artists, writers, and musicians for many years.
Patio Andaluz Hotel Boutique is centrally located a short distance from the Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia. The boutique hotel is a colonial-style former home from the late 16th century with exquisite interiors. The interior of the Patio Andaluz has large arches and interior patios. It is a short walk from the Church and Plaza de San Francisco and the Church of La Compañía. The Patio Andaluz’s largest restaurant, “El Rincón de Cantuña” located inside the main patio offers a menu of Ecuadorian and Spanish cuisine with local wines from the renowned Cava area.
Hotel Plaza Grande was built for Francisco Pizarro during the 16th century and later became the first luxury hotel in Quito. The Plaza Grande is located in the Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia has impressive views of the Government Palace, the Cathedral Church, and the City Hall Panecillo Hill area.
The Rumi Loma Hacienda has five luxury suites that are decorated in a colonial look with mix of antiquities, art, and collections from Ecuador and around the World.
Guayaquil, officially known as Santiago de Guayaguil, is the main port for Ecuador. Guayaquil is the capital of the Guayas province. Accommodations in the coastal community of Guayaquil are listed below.
Hotel del Parque is an elegant 44 guest room and suites hotel with over two floors furnished with Ecuadorian antiques and modern furnishings. The boutique hotel located in Guayaquil’s Parque Histórico, is a restored 19th century home dating back to 1891.
The repurposed church bell tower on the property serves as the boutique hotel’s spa has been restored. The property sits within a tropical oasis of palm leaves and exotic flowers near the Daule River. You may even wake up to the sounds of parrots and spider monkeys from the nearby treetops.
The Wyndham Guayaquil Hotel is a few steps away from the historic Santa Ana Hill and the famous Lighthouse, Faro Cerro Santa Ana. The Wyndham provides visitors with easy access to Las Peñas, the World Trade Center, the Simon Bolivar Convention Center and the Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport (GYE) .
The Malecon 2000, Guayaquil’s boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River, is a short distance from the Wyndham Guayaquil. The amenities of the Wyndham include a rooftop pool, spa, and fitness center with a view of the nearby oceanfront.
These are some of the places to consider while staying in Ecuador before or after transferring to the Galápagos Islands. You can enjoy the beautiful culture and sights of the country. If you venture to Quito or Guayaquil be sure to tell us what you think. Are you planning on visiting the Galapagos islands? Check out our other posts on visiting the islands and Galápagos Islands, Ecuador: Getting There. And to help plan for accommodations, check out where to stay.
If you have any questions for us, be sure to leave a message in the comments below.