The city of Quito has just launched what is certainly their greatest tourism initiative in recent years, perhaps ever. It is one that has been long overdue: City bus tours.
And for a couple of hundred dollars those with a sense of adventure can always rent a chiva - the party vehicles that traditionally crowd the streets of Quito during the city's fiestas in early December.
Walking tours have also been part of the general sight-seeing menu, offered by municipal tourism police officers as well as private organizations. What has been missing, though, is a genuine effort by the city to combine the best of all offerings and give it to citizens and visitors alike at a fair price. They have now made their amends.
The Quito Tour Bus is a double decker bus that runs a three-hour route through Quito making eleven stops at some of the principal attractions of the city between Naciones Unidas Boulevard and the Panecillo hillside.
And there is not just one bus, but three, which means one passes by each stop every hour. So, if you wish to get off and walk a bit or do a little shopping, you can catch the next one sixty minutes later. Never have tourists had the option to see Quito in such a convenient, comfortable, and economical manner. The cost for a day pass is $12 and can be used between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
The double decker buses seat 80 people and with an open air second deck they are more reminiscent of London red buses and less like the chivas of Ecuador.
Chivas have their place, to be sure, but riding atop the Quito Bus is legal and much more secure. And with its affordable price the Quito Bus Tour takes the best and removes the worst from traditional tours in Ecuador's capital city.
QUITO TOUR BUS
- 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Seven days a week
- $12 adults, $6 children
A. El Quinde Shop, Palacio Municipal (Venezuela & Espejo)
B. Botanical Garden, La Carolina Park
C. Galeria Ecuador Gourmet (Reina Victoria N24-263 & Lizardo Garcia)
D. On the bus
Quito Bus Tour Stops
1. Naciones Unidas Boulevard.
2. Botanical Garden2
3. Mariscal District- Av. Amazonas & Calama
4. El Ejido Park - Av. Amazonas & Av. Patria at Hotel Hilton Colón
5. Contemporary Art Center, San Juan Neighborhood
6. La Basílica Church, Matovelle Street
7. La Compañía Church, Amador Comercial Cente
8. Panecillo Hillside
9. Ave. 24 de mayo, Venezuela y Loja Streets
10. Plaza Grande (Independence Plaza)
11. García Moreno Park, Vargas Street.