Quito is located at 9,217 feet above sea level making it the second highest capital city in the world after La Paz. Declared Cultural Patrimony of Mankind by UNESCO in 1978, the city is rich in history and much of the old colonial town is well preserved; the buildings are unchanged, and to walk down colonial Quito’s streets late at night, is to step into a bygone era. There are no modern buildings discordantly built next to centuries-old architecture and no flashing neon signs to disrupt the ambiance of the past. Quito nestles a rich treasury of religious and decorative architecture and arts: Churches, whose interiors shine of gold, display heavy wooden doors with inset grilles, red-tile roofs, whitewashed walls and fountain courtyards, offering a glimpse of 16th century life. To the north is Modern Quito, the new town with its major business buildings, offices, embassies, shopping centers, and banks. The best hotels and restaurants are found here. Avenida Amazonas is the best-known commercial street, though Avenida 10 de Agosto and Avenida 6 de Diciembre are the most important thoroughfares.
Activities in/from Quito include:
Visits to the colonial district, the largest and best preserved in Latin America
Excursions to the “Middle of the World” monument
Day trips to Indigenous Markets
Quito has a spring-like year round climate with average annual temperatures in the upper 60’s. Nights tend to be cool due to the high altitude and days are warm and sunny. The rainy season extends from November through April although precipitations generally occur in the form of light rains or drizzle.