Ways to Celebrate Day of the Dead in Quito

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Though commonly associated with Mexico, the Day of the Dead is celebrated in many Central and South American countries, including Ecuador, where it’s known as Día de los Difuntos (Day of the Deceased). From traditional festive foods to graveside offerings, here’s what you can expect from Day of the Dead celebrations in the capital city of Quito. 

When to Go
Ecuador’s Day of the Dead is a national holiday when citizens pay respects to those who have passed away. The holiday takes place on November 2, which coincides with the Catholic feast of All Souls’ Day, though you’ll see evidence of the upcoming Day of the Dead festivities, such as seasonal pastries and drinks, in the weeks leading up to this date. 

Where to Go
Day of the Dead celebrations in Quito center around cemeteries, with families gathering beside the graves of loved ones. Though there are celebrations in the city center, more traditional festivities often take place in rural or indigenous communities such as Calderón and Otavalo.  

Ways to Celebrate
Most families hold vigils at the tombs of their loved ones, often adorning their graves with flower arrangements, candles, and decorative figurines made from bread dough. Head to one of Quito’s cemeteries or the cemetery in Calderón, about 30 minutes from Quito, to observe families celebrating the memory of the departed. 

In the weeks leading up to the Day of the Dead, you’ll see guagua de pan (a sweet bread roll decorated to resemble a baby or doll) and colada morada (a hot beverage made from blue or black corn flour, berries, and other fruits) for sale across Quito. Be sure to taste these festive specialties, which are as essential to Ecuador’s Day of the Dead as chocolate eggs are to Easter, or apples and honey are to Rosh Hashanah. 
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Tours & Activities (27)
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Quito City Tour Including Teleférico and Mitad del Mundo

Get a sense for the architecture, history and culture of Quito during this 9-hour trip visiting the city’s top sights. Start with an exploration of the historic city center of this Ecuadorian capital, visiting its main Basilica, Independence Plaza and many more colonial-era sites. Then take a trip aboard the Teleférico to a peak more than 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) above the city for sublime views, finishing your day at ‘Mitad del Mundo,’ a monument marking where the earth’s equator splits the world into north and south. This Quito city trip includes entrance fees at select attractions, a guide and round-trip hotel transport.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$118.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$118.00

Otavalo Indigenous Market Day Trip from Quito

Shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs at an indigenous market and enjoy gorgeous scenery during this 8-hour trip to Otavalo Market from Quito. This fascinating market features a wealth of hand-made creations produced by local Andean communities, including textiles, leather goods and more. Enjoy sublime views of the Andes Mountains and San Pablo Lake during your drive to the site before hunting for souvenirs. On your way home, you can choose to visit Cotacachi, an artisan town famous for its leather goods, or Cuicocha Lake. Your shopping and scenery trip includes a guide, entrance fees, a snack, round-trip hotel transport and an upgrade with lunch.
  • Duration: 9 hours
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US$108.00
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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US$108.00

SPECIAL OFFER

Quito Culinary Tour and Cooking Class

Unlock the taste of Quito on this culinary and gourmet walking tour of the city. Sample rich tamales and freshly made pastries. Meet renowned chefs and artisan bakers who will highlight the secrets behind some of Equador’s most popular dishes. Learn about the historic architecture as you wander from place to place, before taking a class from one of Quito’s expert chefs. This small-group experience is ideal for travelers who want to learn more about the culture, the city and the cuisine of Quito.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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US$78.00
US$104.00  US$26.00 savings
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  • Duration: 6 hours
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US$78.00
US$104.00  US$26.00 savings

Half Day Tour Old District Quito

Immerse yourself in Quito’s colonial past during this 4-hour tour of the city’s Old District and major historic sights. Explore the top attractions of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic center, including the churches of San Francisco and La Compañía, its main Basilica, Independence Plaza and government palace. You’ll also enjoy postcard-worthy views of the city from Panecillo Hill and learn about Quito’s history, food and culture from your guide. This half-day tour of Quito also covers entrance fees at La Compañía and San Francisco church and round-trip hotel transport.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$62.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$62.00

Quito Old Town Tour with Gondola Ride and Visit to the Equator

This popular private tour hits all of Quito's top attractions. Follow your expert local guide through the capital city's historic district, stand on the equator and ride on the highest gondola in South America. This full-day experience is perfect for travelers who want to gain insight and understanding into the history and culture of Quito.
  • Duration: 1 day
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US$99.00
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  • Duration: 1 day
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US$99.00

Historical Quito and The Equatorial Monument

Explore Quito’s UNESCO-listed historic center and visit the famous Equator Line on this full-day tour from Quito. Admire landmarks such as the Basilica del Voto Nacional and the San Fransisco Monastery on a walking tour of Quito; take in the views from the Mirador del Panecillo viewpoint; then walk along the Equator Line at the Mitad del Mundo. Hotel pickup and drop-off is included.
  • Duration: 9 hours
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US$34.00
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  • Duration: 9 hours
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US$34.00

SPECIAL OFFER

Old Town Quito Sightseeing and Food Walking Tour

Discover the rich culture and history of Old Town Quito on this 4-hour guided walking tour. Hear the stories and legends behind the Ecuadorian capital’s most iconic landmarks that you visit, including Independence Plaza, Government Palace, the Independence Monument, and the Archbishop’s palace. On this tour, you don’t just sightsee — try your hand at making traditional chocolate, too. Plus top off this fantastic day with a stop at an old-school ice cream shop, and sample delightful flavors.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$59.25
US$79.00  US$19.75 savings
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$59.25
US$79.00  US$19.75 savings

Quito City Sightseeing and Middle of the World Monument

Enjoy a sampling of the natural, cultural and historical sights found around Quito during this comprehensive full-day tour. Take in gorgeous hilltop views of the city from Panecillo Hill and San Juan Mirador. You’ll also explore Quito’s historic city center by visiting several of its churches and colonial-era buildings. After lunch experience life on both sides of the earth’s equator at the Middle of the World monument before finishing your day with the amazing landscapes of Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve. Your comprehensive Quito trip also includes a guide, some site entrance fees and an optional private tour upgrade.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$105.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$105.00

Foodies Evening Walking Tour of Quito's Old Town

Walk through Quito with a food-loving guide to learn about its culinary traditions and culture. This evening tour lets you see the Colonial District neighborhood preparing for its evening meal and taste local specialities, with the option to purchase a full meal. Your guide will shed light on Quito and Ecuador's food, culinary history, and traditions as you walk.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$32.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$32.00

Otavalo Marketplace with Optional Lunch

Take a road trip through Ecuador’s incredible landscapes on this Quito shopping tour. Stop en route to snap photos of stunning scenery as you make your way to Otavalo Market, where you will experience local shopping at its finest. Barter for handicrafts, interact with city-dwellers and walk away with handicrafts, produce and house wares from one of Quito’s most popular markets.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$45.00
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  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$45.00

Otavalo Market and Laguna Cuicocha Full-Day Tour from Quito

Discover indigenous arts and local markets during this cultural tour of Otavalo Market and Laguna Cuicocha from Quito. Escape the city and journey into Ecuador's more rural hillsides as you follow your guide through some of the area's top cultural attractions.
  • Duration: 10 hours
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US$61.00
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  • Duration: 10 hours
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US$61.00

Quito City Tour Hop-On Hop-Off

Tour the capital city of Quito at your leisure with this popular hop-on hop-off bus tour. Enjoy hassle-free double-decker transportation through narrow city streets as you make your way to numerous city attractions and landmarks. Choose to get off at any of the 11 stops and make the most of your time in Quito.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$15.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$15.00

Jacchigua Performance Including Transportation from Quito

Get to know Ecuador's folklore and cultural heritage with this ticket to the Ecuadorian National Folklore Ballet's Jacchigua performance. Sit back and watch as 90 performers play out choreography that is widely considered a living museum to Ecuadorian heritage, including historical costumes and artifacts from the Andes. Round-trip shuttle service from northern and central Quito makes for a convenient door-to-door tour.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$50.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$50.00

Jacchigua Show Including Dinner

Spend a memorable night out in Quito with dinner and a performance of the renowned ‘Jacchigua’ show presented by the Ecuadorean National Folkloric Ballet. Savor a meal of haute Andean cuisine and a welcome drink before taking your seats for a brilliant display of traditional music, dancing, and costumes featuring more than 90 talented performers and special effects. Hotel pickup and drop-off makes it a safe and stress-free nightlife experience.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$85.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$85.00

Quito's Top Attractions Pass

See the best of Quito with this Top Attractions Pass that grants unlimited access to five of the city's top sites. Save 20 percent on entrances when you purchase this pass--and skip the lines upon arrival! It's the best way to see Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World), Capilla del Hombre and Museu de la Ciudad y El Carmen Alto, plus other popular landmarks. Whether it's your first time in Quito, or you're a seasoned traveler in Ecuador, this tour is not to be missed!
  • Duration: 180 days
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US$45.60
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  • Duration: 180 days
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US$45.60

Private Day Tour: Quito Historical Center, Equator Line and Pululahua Crater

Maximise your time in Quito with a private full-day tour that checks off three of the capital’s most popular attractions. Take in the highlights of the UNESCO-listed historic center, walk along the Equator Line at the Intiñan museum; then marvel at the views from the Pululahua crater. Tour includes lunch, hotel pickup, and all activities.
  • Duration: 1 day
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US$79.94
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  • Duration: 1 day
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US$79.94

Quito by Night with Optional Dinner

Discover the luminous enchantment of Quito at night with an evening tour of the city’s historic, UNESCO-listed heart. Ride past illuminated churches and colonial monuments on a replica of a vintage trolley car while a local guide shares backgrounds and legends of the Ecuadorian capital. Soak up panoramic views of the sparkling city from the hilltop viewpoint at Mirador del Panecillo, and end the evening with an optional dinner at a recommended local restaurant.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$15.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$15.00

Jacchigua Show in Quito

See the show that’s honored as part of the living cultural heritage of Ecuador with tickets to ‘Jacchigua,’ a permanent production of the country’s National Folkloric Ballet. Take a multi-sensory tour through the history, culture, and music of the Andes as 90 performers take the stage in a colorful display of traditional dance, costumes, and rhythms. The top-rated extravaganza makes a memorable night out in Quito for all ages.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.00
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.00

Otavalo Tour with Quito Tour Bus

See the best of Northern Ecuador on this Otavalo bus tour from Quito. Check out the indigenous markets with your professional guide, take a boat tour in Cuicocha Lake and see the stunning Penuche waterfall. You'll see the Quitsato Solar Clock, visit the equator, sample biscotti pastry and even stop at the home of a famous Ecuadorian musician. This tour includes all the must-see stops and is perfect for first time visitors and those who have traveled Ecuador but still want to see more.
  • Duration: 11 hours
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US$60.50
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  • Duration: 11 hours
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US$60.50

Half Day Quito City Tour

Enjoy the best of Quito on this 3-hour guided sightseeing tour. Navigate the narrow city streets that wind through colonial and contemporary Quito. Make stops at Independence Plaza and the Presidential Palace. Check out the impressive views from one of the world’s highest capital cities and gain insider knowledge about the culture and history of this Ecuadorian city.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$15.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$15.00

Private Tour of Historic Quito, Ecuador and Mitad del Mundo

Cover historic Quito and nearby Mitad del Mundo in one day on foot and by car. Visit Quito's Basilica, one of the largest neo-Gothic churches in the Americas, Independence Square, gold-covered La Compañia Church, San Francisco Square, and the historic architecture, cafes, and shops of cobblestoned La Ronda Street. Drive up Panecillo Hill to see the 18th-century sculpture of the Virgen of Quito, then continue to the geographic center of the world at Mitad del Mundo.
  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$60.00
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  • Duration: 7 hours
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US$60.00

Cultural Tour of Quito Including Artisan Chocolate Tasting

Explore Quito’s cultural highlights and Andean flavors on a half-day sightseeing and tasting tour. Stroll through the cobblestone streets and plazas of the city’s atmospheric Guápulo neighborhood, and visit one of Ecuador’s artistic treasures at a museum dedicated to painter and sculptor Oswaldo Guayasamín. Indulge your taste buds with an artisan chocolate tasting in Plaza Foch and a cup of Quito’s favorite local beverage at a local bohemian café.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$79.00
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$79.00

Otavalo, Cuicocha Lake and Cayambe Shared Day Tour from Quito

Discover Ecuador's vibrant cultural heritage, natural wonders, and Andean villages on this full-day tour from Quito. Admire traditional handicrafts at the legendary Otavalo Market, tour the Cayambe biscuit factory, visit the leather capital of Cotacachi, and marvel at Cuicocha Crater Lake. Lunch is included.
  • Duration: 1 day
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US$66.04
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  • Duration: 1 day
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US$66.04

Ecuadorian Folkloric Ballet

Enjoy three hours of culture and entertainment during a performance by the renowned National Folkloric Jacchigua Ballet. Experience the true theatrical heritage of this dance form as 90 talented individuals take to the stage for dance and music, wearing colorful ponchos, shawls, hats and skirts. Relax into prime seats at the National Theater in Quito and watch as the story of Ecuador’s people is told through ancestral traditions from Andean regions of the country. 
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$109.00
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  • Duration: 3 hours
From
US$109.00


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