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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Quito

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Quito each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (national)

February – March: Carnaval (national)

Forty days before Easter, the carnival rings in the beginning of celebrations, everywhere in Central America and in most South American countries. 4 days on, various shops are closed for business and the crowds gather in the streets, with various traditional and colourful parades, music performances and cultural events.

April 19: Holy Week (Viernes Santo - national)

Important celebration throughout the Andes, and especially in Ecuador, where the majority of the population is Christian. Large processions parade in the streets. On Good Friday, families gather for a meal that includes a Fanesca, a traditional soup that contains no less than 12 sorts of seeds (green peas, barley, peanuts, beans, broad beans…), each representing one of Christ's Apostles.

May 1: Labour Day (Día del Trabajo - national)

August 10: Independence Day (national)

National holiday celebrating the Independence of Ecuador since 1830. Parades, military marches and cultural events take place all over the country.

November 2: Día de Difuntos (national)

All Souls' Day and the Day of the Dead still remain significant holidays in Ecuador. Families gather to pay tribute to the departed and decorate their tombs at the cemetery with wreaths of flowers. Women prepare traditional dishes and popular songs echo through the streets.

December 25: Christmas (national)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Quito

The climate in Quito is subtropical and hot, with no dry season. Though temperatures are pleasant and sunshine important all year round, you should also expect some rainfall. Summer months (June to September) are therefore nicer and preferable.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 9/48 23/73 98/3.8 Not the best period to go
February 9/48 23/73 111/4.8 Not the best period to go
March 9/48 23/73 141/5.5 Not the best period to go
April 9/48 22/71 174/6.8 Not the best period to go
May 9/48 22/71 136/5.3 Not the best period to go
June 8/46 23/73 42/1.6 Good period to go Good period to go
July 8/46 23/73 19/0.7 Good period to go Good period to go
August 8/46 24/75 30/1.2 Good period to go Good period to go
September 8/46 24/75 68/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
October 9/48 23/73 111/4.8 Not the best period to go
November 8/46 23/73 96/3.7 Not the best period to go
December 9/48 23/73 78/3.1 Not the best period to go
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Mariscal Sucre International Airport

The airport is located about 18 kilometres (11 miles) east of Quito, in the city of Tababela.

    • 1 terminal:
      • Terminal 1

Getting from the airport to Quito and back:
  • By car
    • The north of Quito can be reached via Ruta Collas y Panamericana motorway in about 30 minutes, and the south via Ruta Viva motorway in about 45 minutes.
    • o Two large parking lots are available:
      • Main parking facility is located near the arrivals. Drop-off and first 15 minutes are free, then USD 2 per hour, maximum USD 7 per day. Ticket to retrieve at the kiosk located in the arrivals hall.
      • Secondary parking facility located near the Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel. USD 5 per day, including free shuttle to your terminal (you have to reserve beforehand by calling +593 (0)2 395 8000).
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By bus
    • Public buses connect the airport to the city centre. You will have to be patient, as stops can be quite lengthy. But for USD 2 per ticket, it is by far the less costly option.
  • By express bus
    • The Aeroservicios company offers express bus transfers from Quito's airport to the city centre, with a shorter travel time of 45 minutes. Service available 24/7. A one-way ticket costs USD 8.
  • By taxi
    • Taxi ranks are available outside the airport. A ride to the city centre takes about 45 minutes and costs around USD 35.
  • Services
    • Boutiques, bars, restaurants and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available at the airport.
  • Telephone: +593 (0)2 395 4200
  • Website: www.aeropuertoquito.aero/en/

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GETTING AROUND Quito

The Ecuadorian capital is well connected with public transportation. It is safe, efficient and fast to get around the city using buses, trains and taxis. Take your pick!

Car

Driving around Quito can be challenging, with dense traffic and one-way streets. Parking facilities are available around town (USD 2 per hour). All-night parking costs around USD 12.

Bus

Buses are particularly popular in Quito. The network is dense and efficient, with three different kinds of buses being operated from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.: one trolleybus and two lines (Ecovia and Metrobus), operated by the same company (MetrobusQ). Lines are not numbered, only start and end stops being displayed; however, the lines never cross, and they each run on one of the north-south main streets. USD 0.25 per trip.

Taxi

Taxis are plentiful, useful and rather inexpensive to get around Quito. They are yellow and easily recognizable. A fare in the city centre costs between USD 2 and 5, and a one-hour ride costs USD 8. Always make sure the driver starts the meter off when you get in.

Bicycle

BiciQuito is a free bike rental system. 25 stations are scattered across town, near the most touristic areas (museums, malls, banks…) and accessible from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sign on www.biciquito.gob.ec to obtain a rental card.

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Visitor information

Main tourist office in Quito

Offers practical information and useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

  • Address: Palacio Municipal – Plaza Grande, at the corner of Venezuela s/n y Espejo, Quito
  • Telephone: +593 (0)2 257 2445
  • Website: quitotravel.ec/en

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Ecuador is the US Dollar (USD).

1 € = 1,11 $

1 $ = 0,90 €

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Quito counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.

Vaccinations

Booster doses of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, yellow fever, hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines are recommended to enter Ecuador. For more information, contact the Air France Vaccination Centre:

Pour plus d'informations, contactez votre centre de vaccinations internationales Air France :

  • Address: 38, quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris
  • Website: www.vaccinations-airfrance.fr
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00
  • To make a vaccination appointment:
    • online: (click here)
    • call the centre at +33 (0)1 43 17 22 00

Eau

Tap water is not safe to drink. Favour bottled mineral water instead.

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Formalités Administratives

Entry requirements for Ecuador

As a French citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Ecuador for a stay of less than three months, provided you are in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after your date of entry. You may also apply for a 1-2-month visa extension while in the country, directly from immigration services.

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Quito and Ecuador, be sure to check with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/ecuador

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Contacts Utiles

Embassy and consulate of Ecuador in France:

French Embassy in Ecuador:

  • Address: Calle General Leonidas Plaza, N19-09 y Patria, Quito
  • Telephone: +593 (0)2 294 3800
  • Website: https://ec.ambafrance.org/

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Essential phrases

Here are a few useful phrases in Spanish for your stay in Quito:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: ¡ Buenos días ! (morning) / ¡ Buenas tardes ! (afternoon) Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>¡ Buenos días ! (morning) / ¡ Buenas tardes ! (afternoon)</em>

Good evening: Buenas noches Good evening: <em>Buenas noches</em>

Goodbye: Adiós Goodbye: <em>Adiós</em>

Yes: Yes: <em>Sí</em>

No: No No: <em>No</em>

No, thank you: No, gracias No, thank you: <em>No, gracias</em>

Thank you very much: Muchas gracias Thank you very much: <em>Muchas gracias</em>

Please: Por favor Please: <em>Por favor</em>

I don't understand: No entiendo I don't understand: <em>No entiendo</em>

Could you repeat ?: ¿ Puede repetir ? Could you repeat ?: <em>¿ Puede repetir ?</em>

What time is it ?: ¿ Qué hora es ? What time is it ?: <em>¿ Qué hora es ?</em>

Sorry: Disculpe (to say sorry)
Excuse me: Con permiso (to get past) / ¡ Por favor ! (to get attention). Sorry: <em>Disculpe (to say sorry)</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Con permiso (to get past) / ¡ Por favor ! (to get attention).</em>

Airport: Aeropuerto Airport: <em>Aeropuerto</em>

Train station: Estación de trenes Train station: <em>Estación de trenes</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hotel Hotel: <em>Hotel</em>

Hospital: Hospital Hospital: <em>Hospital</em>

Bank: Banco Bank: <em>Banco</em>

Telephone: Teléfono Telephone: <em>Teléfono</em>

I'm (…): Yo soy (…) I'm (…): <em>Yo soy (…)</em>

I'm looking for (…): Estoy buscando (…) I'm looking for (…): <em>Estoy buscando (…)</em>

How much is (…)?: ¿ Cuál es el precio de (…) ? /¿ Cuánto es ? How much is (…)?: <em>¿ Cuál es el precio de (…) ? /¿ Cuánto es ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: ¿ Tiene (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>¿ Tiene (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: ¿ Dónde puedo encontrar (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>¿ Dónde puedo encontrar (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: ¿ Dónde puedo comprar (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>¿ Dónde puedo comprar (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Quisiera (…). I'd like (…): <em>Quisiera (…).</em>

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Good to know

+593
+ phone number (without 0)
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Paris
No daylight savings time

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
120 V / 60 HZ

Tipping
Service is not always included in the price: if it is not, this must be indicated on the menu. So count an extra 10 to 15% for service. It is also appropriate to leave a small tip to the hotel's baggage handler.