Similar like the whole country, even its capital boasts of a huge variety of attractions. Quito, officially known as San Francisco de Quito, was the first city in the world which was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. After your visit you will agree that this classification is definitely justifiable.
Ecuador’s capital is located 15 kilometers south of the equator line in the northern Andean highlands. With an evaluation of 2,850 meters (9,350 ft) it is the second highest capital in the world, and after Guayaquil it is the second biggest city in the country. Currently, there are approximately 2,400,000 inhabitants living in an area of 324 km2 (125,1 sq mi).
Due to the combination of the location near the equator and the high altitude, Quito has a mild spring like climate all year around. During the day the average temperature is around 21C (70F), which normally falls to an average of 8C (46 F) during the night. Only two seasons are recognizable in the city – the dry season with mainly sunshine, which lasts from June to September and the wet season with blue skies in the mornings and frequently light showers in the afternoons from October to May.
In and around Quito, the possibilities of cultural experience, entertainment, nature, and relaxation are almost endless.
One must-do is the old town, also known as historical Centre. Here you can find one of Quito’s unique treasures, its majestic churches and convents which demonstrate the mixture of Spanish and Indian culture. By wandering the narrow streets you will also be able to see gorgeous colonial architecture, and having a coffee at one of the impressive Plazas will give you the chance to take in the atmosphere of daily life in Latin America.
Those how are looking for art and culture will get their money’s worth by visiting Quito’s interesting museums, arts and crafts markets, and traditional festivals.
In contrast to the historical South, the northern part of the city offers modern life style in its entirety, with the neighborhood “La Mariscal” leading the way. It is the place for young and old to meet, eat out, have a drink, chat, flirt, shop and dance - simply to have fun. The streets are dominated by restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as hostels, Spanish schools and tourism agencies. Here Ecuadorians and foreigners celebrate together. Shopping malls and cinemas are other option of entertainment.
Quito’s parks and its closeness to the mountains make it possible to breathe in some fresh air and become active. Since 2009, every Sunday the event “Ciclopaseo” dominates a length of over 30 km of Quito’s streets. They are then closed for buses and cars to enable sports friends to cruse the capital on their bikes.
In addition, there are great opportunities to escape the fast pace of life in the city by taking a trip to attractions in the near surroundings. Just to name a few - you shouldn’t miss the Teleferiqo, a cable car in the west of Quito, that takes you to an evaluation of 4050 meters where you can either start your hike to the peak of Rucu Pichincha, visit a restaurant, do some shopping or just enjoy the impressive view on the city. Other options are a trip to the Cotopaxi National park for trekking or biking, a visit at the well known traditional market of Otavalo, experiencing nature in the cloud forest of Mindo, and many more. You need help on planning one of these tours? – stop by at our travel agency to get more information!
Besides being worthy a long stay itself, at the same time, the capital is the perfect spot to start to explore the other absolutely worth visiting regions in Ecuador. This combination makes it to the ideal touristic destination.