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Quito Elevation: Altitude, Highest Places & More

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, situated high up in the Andean mountains is the second highest capital city in the world. Quito elevation is 2850m.


Quito, the capital of Ecuador, commonly known as «Carita de Dios». It is a city that encompasses a great variety of tourist attractions, high mountains, majestic volcanoes and impressive architecture. La Ronda, La Catedral, El Panecillo, San Francisco, La Basílica del Voto Nacional and La Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, are some of the places that the capital offers to visitors. 

Quito is one of the main destinations to discover in the world. World Travel Awards (2)and international media with recognitions such as Iberoamerican Capital of Culture, Leading Destination of South America, finalist in the Seven Wonderful Cities of the World contest and more awards, make it a place on the bucket list. 



Ecuador is a rich and diverse cultural country. It is considered an important cultural center in South America. The country is multi ethnic, 72% of the population is of mestizo origin. Ecuador’s culture is the result of its long and rich history, including a mixture of indigenous practices along with European colonial influence. 

When traveling through Ecuador, especially in Quito and Cuenca, the architecture alone is enough to marvel at. Another place not to be missed is the town of Otavalo, north of Quito, a symbol of art. This place has one of the largest indigenous markets in South America, where travelers can find beautiful weavings, tapestries, leatherwork, woodwork and magnificent jewelry.


It was one of the first cities in the world to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. Quito, a colonial city that allows visitors to stroll through its colonial streets admiring the architecture and composition. 

The heart of the city, the Historic Center of Quito, considered one of the best preserved Old Towns in Latin America. This place is a real treasure chest of art, churches, and museums. In other words, a tour full of stories, legends and tales. 

Quito, in addition to its cultural heritage, has a great gastronomic richness that includes a wide variety of dishes. Some dishes are as old as the city itself; others brought from other regions of the world, making a fusion of stories, customs and flavors. 

The Hornado, the locro, the fritada, sandwiches of pernil, llapingacho, empanadas, the famous Rosero drink; are some of the delicious dishes that you can taste when visiting Quito. 


The entire city of Quito is built along hillsides and peaks at 2,850 mt – 9,350.4 ft above sea level, second only to La Paz, the capital of Bolivia, which is 3 650 mt – 1 1976 ft above sea level.

Being a high altitude city, the views of the attractions are spectacular and breathtaking, framed by snow capped mountains and volcanic peaks. But the main advantage of High Quito Elevation is that it enjoys a good climate during most of the year. 

Yes, just as you are thinking, the views from up there are breathtaking. Here is a list of some of Quito’s highest attractions.

  • El corazón 4.790 m
  • Guagua Pichincha 4.784 m
  • Rucu Pichincha 4.698 
  • Rumiñahui 4.722 m
  • Volcán Pichincha  4.050 m


Quito is the ideal place for mountain lovers, with Andean peaks, volcanoes and majestic mountain views. But often the inconvenience for tourists is the high altitude, which causes the well-known «altitude sickness».

In Quito, Ecuador, altitude sickness is common, known locally as “soroche.” The symptoms of altitude sickness begin around 8,000 feet (2000m) plus, and Quito sits at approximately 9,000 feet (3000m). The usual symptoms of altitude sickness are: A mild headache, shortness of breath during physical exertion, less appetite, insomnia, exhaustion, dizziness or nausea. 

The good news is that altitude sickness in Quito is not so common and is usually to have mild symptoms. In the case of having them, they last from 24 hours to 48 hours. 


When going to higher altitudes, this pressure decreases and less oxygen levels are available. This is how air pressure causes altitude sickness.

Your body needs time to adjust to the change in pressure. When you travel to a place at a higher altitude than you’re used to.

To help you prepare for your visit, we have listed here the best tips to prevent altitude sickness.

  • Rest a lot- Upon your first arrival in the city, you should avoid overexertion or strenuous exercise, at least at the beginning of your trip. In addition, it is important to rest and sleep well to start your days recharged with energy.
  • Travel early.- We recommend arriving 1 or 2 days before the start of your tour or program, as this will allow for a healthy body, adjust  acclimatization to the city and recharge your batteries. 
  • Keep well hydrated.- You should drinking plenty of at least 2-3 liters of water  per day. Dehydration aggravates high altitude illness, so it is important to stay well hydrated at all times. 
  • Altitude medication.- Travel with medications or natural remedies just in case you need them.
  • Avoid alcohol.- Excessive alcohol consumption can cause dehydration and worsen the symptoms of altitude sickness. It is advisable not to drink in large quantities during your stay.


The altitude of Quito Ecuador causes sunburn. Don’t forget that the country is located in the middle of the world! So use a hat, UV protected sunglasses and high SPF factor sun cream applied several times each day during your visit to the capital.


Ecuador is a high snow capped mountains and majestic volcanoes destination that will surprise you with their high altitude.

Some of the most highest tourist attractions are for example:

  • Cotopaxi  volcano (5,897m)
  • Cayambe (5,790m)
  • Antisana (5,758m)
  • El Altar (5,319m)
  • Sangay (5,260m) 

Chimborazo (6,263m) This majestic volcano is considered the highest volcano and mountain in Ecuador and the farthest point from the center of the earth.

Quito waiting for you! Come and live the experience of knowing one of the most beautiful cities, with great cultural diversity and with wonderful tourist attractions.  A city with a high altitude but most visitors notice little or no effect of altitude sickness. So don’t worry

Follow the tips from our Quito elevation blog and enjoy your trip.

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