The majority of visitors to Quito stay in the new town, where there’s a huge choice of accommodation in all price ranges. The area is also lively after dark, and convenient for changing money, booking tours and sorting out laundry. Many streets are noisy, so it’s always worth asking for a back room.
Thanks to its ongoing regeneration, staying in the old town is becoming a genuine alternative, especially if you have the money to splash out on one of several new luxurious colonial conversions. Just accept that you can’t explore freely after dark beyond the central heart in the blocks around the Plaza Independencia.
Wherever you stay, it’s always best to take a taxi from your arrival point straight to your hotel and to avoid wandering the streets with your luggage. The following accommodation is marked on the maps.
The new town
Most new town accommodation is in the downtown zone of La Mariscal, with the biggest concentration on the streets around José Calama, where new hostales keep springing up all the time. There are lots of restaurants, internet cafés and a steady stream of backpackers around here too.
The old town
Accommodation in the old town can be less expensive than in the new town, though many of the cheapest places are quite unsavoury, particularly those around the bus terminal. Yet the recent smartening up of the colonial centre has seen the appearance of a new generation of luxury hotels and exclusive restaurants in refurbished historic buildings, outstripping anything the new town has to offer for antique charm with both comfort and location. Still, the old town remains behind the new town in terms of quantity and variety of services – but the reward is waking up in the very heart of things and not feeling as if you’re surrounded by hundreds of gringos.
Outskirts of Quito
If the hurly-burly of the city centre is too daunting, you could consider lodging in any of several good hotels on the outskirts of town, where you’ll have the benefits of a more peaceful and spacious setting, but still be within range to visit the city sights.