Panting for breath after walking just 5 steps…that was our first memory of Quito as soon as we touched down at the Mariscal Sucre airport. Standing proud at 2,850 metres (9,350ft) high, tucked away in the Andes Mountains, Quito is the second-highest official capital city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. And bloody hell you certainly feel it!
Other than panting for breath every 5 minutes, Quito packs a punch for gay travellers. It’s not only a cultural gem with a really pretty Old Town to explore, it also has an impressive and vibrant gay scene. The capital city of Ecuador is also located right by the equator line from which it takes its name. Locals nickname Quito as “la mitad del mundo” or the middle of the world.
We spent half a year based in the middle of the world during our big trip to Latin America and fell in love with it. It’s an inexpensive place, extremely pretty, never too hot and never too cold. It’s also a very rewarding destination due to the variety of food to try and the variety of hot guys to meet!
We’ve bundled all our first-hand experiences from Quito into this comprehensive gay guide covering the best gay bars, clubs, hotels to stay, things to do and more.
Is Quito safe for gay travellers?
Quito is the touristic and LGBTQ capital of Ecuador – a country that legalised gay marriage in 2019 and was one of the first in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation back in 1998. The city has a very active LGBTQ community, along with quite a diverse LGBTQ scene and a popular Pride every June that has taken place almost every year since 1998.
As a gay couple, we never had any problems in any of the hotels we stayed in. We always felt welcomed and never faced any issues when asking for a double bed. The only thing we’d say about Quito, which applies to all travellers (straight or gay), there are parts of the city which are a bit dodgy, such as the Old Town in the evening after dark.