Where is Quito Ecuador located? In this post, you’ll learn the altitude, longitude, and latitude of Quito Ecuador, along with some other helpful location-based facts.
Read more about living in Ecuador.
Because of its location high in Ecuador’s Andes Mountains, travelers frequently ask about Quito’s altitude, longitude, and latitude. First, let’s talk about the latitude of Quito Ecuador.
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Latitude of Quito Ecuador
Ecuador gets its name from its latitude location. The English word equator is translated “ecuador” in Spanish.
What is latitude? Latitude refers to imaginary horizontal lines drawn around the globe. Lines of latitude indicate the distance of a location north or south of the equator (an imaginary line halfway between the North and South Pole).
- DMS: 0° 12′ 33.12″ S
- Decimal: -0.2092
Latitude is measured in degrees (°), 180°. The North and South Poles are at 90°N and -90°S, respectively.
Degrees latitude can be broken down into 60 minutes (‘), and each minute divided into 60 seconds (“). Fractions of a second, indicated with a decimal point, can be used for even more accuracy.
Positive values are locations north of the equator and negative numbers are locations south of the equator. The equator is at 0° latitude.
If you’ve heard that Quito is on the equator you may be wondering why the latitude of Quito is not 0°0‘0’’. The equator line is not located in the center of Quito, it’s located north of the city. The latitude -0.2092 indicates where the city of Quito is located south of the equator.
Longitude of Quito Ecuador
What is longitude? Longitude refers to imaginary vertical lines drawn around the globe.
Lines of longitude indicate the distance of a location east or west of the prime meridian (an imaginary line running north to south through Greenwich, England). Longitude is also measured in the degrees(°), 360°.
- DMS: 78° 29′ 54.96″ W
- Decimal: -78.4986
As with latitude, longitude degrees can be broken down into 60 minutes, 60 seconds, and fractions of a second.
Greenwich England is located at 0° longitude. Everything east of Greenwich receives a degree of longitude east, up to 180°, and everything west receives a degree west, up to 180°.
This means that Quito is located just over 78° west of Greenwich England.
Read more about travel in Ecuador.
Quito Ecuador Coordinates
Putting the longitude and latitude together gives us these coordinates for Quito Ecuador.
Coordinates for Quito Ecuador:
- DMS: 0° 12′ 33.12″ S, 78° 29′ 54.96″ W
- Decimal: -0.2092, -78.4986
Altitude of Quito Ecuador
Elevation of land is measured in feet (meters) above sea level. This is an approximation because sea-level changes depending on tides and other factors. It can also be measured by GPS which is based on an ellipsoid.
Quito is located at about 9,350 feet (2,850 meters) above sea level
People traveling to Quito from lower elevations can experience mild symptoms of altitude sickness. Signs of altitude sickness usually start at 6,600 feet above sea level. And although Quito is almost 3000 feet above this level, most travelers don’t experience major problems.
Altitude or Elevation? It seems that travelers generally refer to the height of Quito as being at a certain altitude. And these words seem to be used interchangeably. But do they mean the same thing? From what I can tell, here’s the difference:
- Altitude: vertical distance between an object and the local surface of the Earth.
- Elevation: vertical distance between the local surface of the Earth and global sea level.
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So while the words don’t mean the same thing, when referring to a city or place – it is generally understood that both words refer to the height above sea level.
Dealing with Altitude Sickness in Quito, Ecuador
Mild altitude sickness symptoms may include dizziness, a headache, problems sleeping, stomach illness, and fatigue. These symptoms usually only last a day or two.
It helps to drink lots of water (bottled/purified) and avoid exertion. Other symptoms can include nose bleeds and high altitude gas. Embarrassing. Here’s one way to deal with gas while traveling.
As you make your travel plans schedule a couple of days to relax before planning hiking or other high-energy activities. It may also help to eat light meals until your body adjusts to the elevation.
That being said, you may not experience any symptoms of altitude sickness. It really depends on each individual and what elevation you are traveling from.
The elevation of Quito also means cool mornings and evenings, so pack a sweater and light jacket. If you’ll be traveling to higher elevations around Quito, you’ll want even warmer clothing.
More reading: Guide to Ecuador’s 18 Largest Cities
Have you been to Quito? What attractions/activities would you recommend to fellow travelers? Please share by commenting on this post.