"Viva Quito!" Quito by acemj
Quito Travel Guide: 1,111 reviews and 3,068 photos
I'm not sure why Quito (and really Ecuador as a whole) doesn't get the accolades of some of the other famous cities in South America. Peru has Lima and Chile has Santiago. Argentina has Buenos Aires and Brazil has Rio de Janeiro. But what about Quito? It doesn't really register on the minds of most travelers outside of South America. After visiting, I still don't know why.
At over 2800 meters, Quito is a city perched nearly on top and in the center of the world. The former keeps the city pleasantly cool, while the latter keeps it from the long and icy winters of other famous high cities such as Denver, Colorado. The approach by air into Quito is somewhat treacherous, but if you are fortunate enough to arrive on a clear day, it will be easy to see why it's been such a popular location since well before the Spanish colonized it and left an unmistakable mark on the architecture and culture of the city. The snow-capped mountains and forest-covered slopes surrounding the city provide a stunning backdrop for this quickly developing South American jewel.
Quito is the second largest city in Ecuador behind the bigger or more economically significant Guayaquil, however, Quito is the capital and is the more historically important and culturally alive of the two rival cities. The Old Town core is an amazing grid of cobbled streets, beautiful churches and Colonial charm. A few kilometers to the north, the more modern side of Quito reveals a forward thinking, youthful mindset, hip restaurants and a thumping nightlife scene, all of which conspire to attract an ever-increasing number of visitors from all over the world that decide to spend more than just one night before venturing off to the Galapagos Islands.
The highlight of my trip to Quito was meeting Catalina, who lives in nearby Cumbaya. Her hospitality and enthusiasm for Quito made my visit much more enjoyable and memorable and I will always be grateful to her for that.
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acemj's Related Pages
Quito Travel Guide
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