The capital of Ecuador is arguably the most beautiful cities in South America. Located at 2,850 m above sea level and only 22 km south of the Equator line it has a gorgeous spring weather in a spectacular setting. The views of Quito are dominated by mountains, with snow-capped volcanoes standing guard in the distance.
From the architectural point of view, this city retains a lot of colonial treasures, and more recent construction of buildings has been strictly controlled in the Old City since 1978, when it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. There are a lot of red-tiled white houses and colonial churches and there are no flashing neon lights that disturb the atmosphere of the past. The northern part is new, with modern offices, embassies, shopping centers and the headquarters of the major airlines.
Among the attractions of the city we find the monastery of San Francisco (XVI century), the oldest church in Ecuador, the austere cathedral called “La Ronda”, the May 24th Street, a well-preserved colonial road and The hill “Biscuit”, a hill with fabulous views of the old town, where stands the statue of the Virgin of Quito, which is more than thirty feet high.
In Quito there are various interesting museums, colonial churches amazing squares, and an Indian open-air market at the foot of this part of the population.
The bustling Amazonas Avenue, the pride of modern Quito, is a good place to sit on the terrace of a cafe and watch the world passing by. It will be particularly interesting for the animal lovers visiting the Vivarium which is located in the area called Reina Victoria, in the new city: It is a museum dedicated to the exhibition and study of reptiles and amphibians of Ecuador. To the delight of herpetologists, this museum hosts several live specimens, such as iguanas, turtles, frogs, boa constrictors and the snake velvet, one of the most poisonous snakes of the continent.
The cheapest hotels are in the outskirts of Santo Domingo and La Ronda, while the best facilities with average prices are located in the new city.
Passengers must walk cautiously in the markets, bus stations and in tourist areas because the thefts are common. It is relatively risky to attend places like El Panecillo, The Tejar, the of San Sebastian Parish, Cristobal Colon avenue, and the areas where you can see the monuments to the Mariscal Sucre and Gonzalez Suarez, especially at night.