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How To Speak Quiteño

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If you have travelled to a country with a different language than yours before, you know how handy it is to know a couple of words in the foreign language.

Ecuador’s official language is Spanish, and there are more than 30 native languages still spoken throughout the country.

Quito has its own dialect of Spanish and we thought you might want to know one or two things before you arrive in our beautiful city. People in Quito are usually very amiable, and even though English is spoken in most restaurants and hotels, speaking a bit of Spanish will still give you a taste of our culture.

Here are a couple of “phrases” you will hear a lot while in Quito or the Andes:


This is the short term for "good morning." It is common to hear someone entering a store to call the attention of the vendor. "Buenas" is a nice opening to a conversation!

"Cuanto es?"

The colloquial way to ask, "How much is it?" The correct way to use it is once you have picked up the items you want to buy in a store and you come to the register to pay, then you say, "Cuanto es?"




This word comes from the indigenous Kichwa language, still spoken in some towns in the Andes. It means "kid, boy or girl." Moms in Quito usually refer to their sons or daughters as guaguas.


When you have been looking for something or waiting for someone, this is the perfect way to express your happiness!


By Ecuador & Galapagos Insiders
By Ecuador & Galapagos Insiders
Ecuador & Galapagos Insiders is a leading travel company based in Ecuador and run by local tour guides and travel specialists, we are happy to provide expert and free trip planning advice, no commitment fee involved.
Ecuador and Galapagos Insiders