Quito and surrounding
It is a fact that most of our guests in transit to the Galapagos regret having to leave when they discover all that Quito and the surrounding countryside have to offer.
Quito is the largest colonial city in Latin America and first world heritage site designated by UNESCO, and that alone is reason to stay a few extra days. At Villa Colonna, we offer customized day tours exclusively to our guests, which allow you to explore in and around Quito with an English speaking guide and private car.
As hotel owners and knowing perfectly the region, we take the time and attention to advice you for every place you must know. No matter what the occasion, your stay must be unforgettable.
You will be enchanted by the beauty of the landscape, the lively indigenous markets and the highest active volcanoes on earth. If your travel plans include the Amazon, Galapagos or any other destination in Ecuador, we can connect you with tour companies we believe offer the same high level of service and accommodations as Villa Colonna.
If you have the chance to be in Quito on Saturday, you can’t miss the Otavalo Market. Saturday is the best day for the market, it is at its grandest, full of colors and movement. I personally know this market from when I was buying handicrafts in Latin America and passed 3 months here each year.
On the same tour, you can visit different villages, go to the Cuicocha Laguna where you can go fly fishing for trout, or you can go to see the Cayambe Volcano.
Zumbabua Market & Quilotoa Crater
The loop road to go to Zumbabua and the Quilotoa Crater is majestic, and a perfect way to soak in the landscape and the traditional Ecuadorian way of life. You will be inspired by the volcanoes, mountains, and the dance of light and clouds. For this tour, we have some secrets to make the most out of your day.
On Saturday there is also a market in Zumbabua. It is not the biggest or most famous, but for me it is the most beautiful for it’s surrounding and people. The best part is the animal market which finishes by 8:30am, so this tour departs rather early. It is also the same day as the Otavalo, difficult choice…
Alternatively, you can take this tour on a Thursday and see the Saquisili market, or on Sunday the Pujili market. Both bustling and attractive Indian markets. The hike around Quilotoa Crater takes between 4 to 6 hours, depending of your physical condition. Don’t forget it is a challenge, at an altitude of 4000 meters!
Quito and Love Quito
We love Quito. It is a wonderful city to discover; authentic and largely untouched by tourism. It has a beautiful soul.
People are very friendly. You will enjoy walking along the streets lined with old historical buildings, discovering multitudes of little shops and certainly visiting many amazing churches, museums and convents which stand as testament to the complex history of Spanish conquest.
We enjoy walking with our guests and showing them where to go, what we love and what they should not miss during their visit. If you’d like to experience a local meal eaten in the markets, or to buy some excellent cheeses produced in indigenous communities, we know just the place!
With over 1600 species of birds, Ecuador is like a paradise for passionate, or amateur, bird watchers. One to two hours outside of Quito, you will discover different bio-tropes which are home to very different species of wildlife. We are connected with one of the most famous guides and depending your physical condition we can organize different levels of tour.
Ceremonial Changing Presidential Guard
Every Monday in the Plaza Grande, the President of Ecuador appears for the Changing of the Guard. A colorful event complete with bands, horses and lots of pomp and ceremony. Villa Colonna is located very close and we encourage our guests to walk with us to discover this moment.
Volcan Antisana and Paramo
A tour to see beautiful nature and discover the Paramo with its immensely diverse wildlife. I used to go fly fishing in different places in Ecuador, this one is especially abundant with big trout.
The Antisana is also very known for bird watching. There are many different species here, and the chance to observe condors.
If you are passionate by fly fishing, you can spend one or two days trying the mountain streams and lakes around Quito. Here you can catch beautiful rainbow trout while surrounded by incredible landscape. Whether you prefer an independent outings or for a fishing guide to accompany you, we can arrange a car and driver to bring you to the best fishing areas.