The air is thin and the nights get cold, but Quito pulses after the sun goes down with plenty of discotecas and salsatecas. At the peñas (clubs where Andean musicians perform), you can listen to traditional Ecuadoran music. Bars usually open in the late afternoon, while dance clubs don't get going until 10 pm. By law, everything shuts down by 2 am. Cover charges can be as much as $10.
Quito's arts scene has grown significantly in the last few years, too. The free monthly English-language magazine This Is Ecuador, the free monthly English-language newspaper Ecuador Reporter, and the free Spanish-language monthly magazine Quito Cultura, each available in many hotels and restaurants, are good for a look at what's going on around town (and around the country).
Evening crowds throng the streets of La Mariscal, where you'll find the greatest selection of nightlife, but the high tourist quotient attracts a number of thieves, too. Watch your things, your drinks, and yourself, and take a taxi, even if you're only going a few blocks. Bars and restaurants are happy to call one to take you back to your hotel.