In the last decade or so, Quito has emerged as one of South America’s most exciting capitals. Of course, much of what is appealing about the city of two million has been there all along. The historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has dozens of colonial churches, convents and monasteries and an atmosphere that will take you back in time. Other elements, however, are recent additions, including designer and boutique hotels and new restaurants that take advantage of all the culinary resources close at hand: from fish caught each morning in the Pacific to exotic fruits from the Amazon.
Located at 9,350 feet, the city may take your breath away in more ways than one. To adjust to altitude, we recommend a ride on the Teleferico cable car or a walk in La Carolina Park to admire the unusual flora that thrives here. To get your bearings, we recommend a stop at the Mitad del Mundo monument to the north of the city. As you stand at the top of the equator, you can contemplate your plan to see the four worlds of Ecuador.