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48 Hours in Quito

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Ecuador's high-altitude capital boasts a stunning World Heritage old town and a restaurant scene as diverse as its residents. Be sure to stroll the cobbled streets, ride a cable car (one of the highest in the world!), and experience a vibrant traditional market. At night, grab your partner and head down the emblematic La Ronda, stopping to sip a cocktail and feel the beat of live salsa.
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Palacio Hidalgo, Quito 170401, Ecuador
UNESCO got it right when it declared Quito’s historical center the world's first Cultural Heritage site. Hidden among the baroque churches, cobbled streets, and colorful markets lies a square of endless entertainment. If you find yourself in Plaza...
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Noruega E1049 y, Av. 6 de Diciembre, Quito 170505, Ecuador
What La Ronda lacks in size, it makes up in style and beauty. This street, so short you could hold your breath and run its length, bustles with bars, artisanal craft shops and ice-cream parlours. Stroll down its cobbled-stone path, restored in...
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García Moreno, Quito 170405, Ecuador
Few experiences provide cultural intoxication like exploring a city’s past. And, good news, Quito's oozes fascination. The best place to travel through the pre-Columbian era, Spanish conquest and eventual independence is a visit to the marvellous...
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Bermeo, Quito, Ecuador
Quito has some of the continent’s best examples of colonial art and architecture. Must-stops include the National Museum of Colonial Art and the Guayasamin Museum, dedicated to contemporary artist Oswaldo Guayasamin. The Manuela Saenz Museum,...
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Simon Bolivar, Quito 170401, Ecuador
I am usually an adventurous eater, but I must confess I felt a bit squeamish when Andrés Dávila, the chef at Casa Gangotena, told me he would be serving llama as part of the evening's tasting menu. I figured if I was ever going to eat llama, then...
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Quito, Ecuador
You may think local markets are merely a place to pick up a bunch of apples, bananas or, if you’re feeling exotic, a mango. Not in Quito. Alongside the kaleidoscope of fruit and veg, the city’s oldest market holds special healing powers too. Deep...
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The most iconic views of Quito feature the snow-covered peak of Cotopaxi in the background. Though a hike to its crater is on many visitors' wish list, its recent spurt of activity may deem it too unsafe for the next few months. But there’s no...
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Quito, Ecuador
Wandering a gallery is great, but nothing beats a private lesson with the artist himself. Gray-bearded and well-dressed Oswaldo Viteri, born in 1931, is as intriguing and striking as his assemblage of neo-figurative art. Thanks to Gentian Trails...
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Quito, Ecuador
For spectacular views of sprawling Quito, take a ride in the TelefériQo. This aerial lift, one of the highest in the world, takes you up the east side of Pichincha volcano, but don't worry, its active caldera is on the western side of the...