Built on the ashes of the northern Inca capital following the 1533 Spanish conquest, Ecuador's capital city brims with colonial riches. Although set in the north-central part of the country, it makes a convenient launching point for travel to anywhere in Ecuador, including the Galápagos Islands and the Amazon.Scenic Quito is ensconced in a long, narrow valley at the foot of the restless Volcán Pichincha. The elongated city measures 30 km (19 miles) from north to south, but only 4 km (2 miles) from east to west. This sprawling metropolis of 1.4 million people lies only 24 km (15 miles) south of the equator, but because of its altitude it enjoys a mild climate all year. Quiteños are fond of saying that their city gives you four seasons in one day—a statement supported by t… Read More
Quito's Old City is a maze of colonial mansions, stately churches, candlelit monasteries, and crowded cobblestone streets. Wandering the Old City's narrow lanes lined with blue-and-white houses is the highlight of any stay here. Nonetheless, after a morning in the crowded city center, an afternoon in the spacious New City—with its cafés, galleries, and shops—is a welcome change of pace.