Quito City in Ecuador

Quito City is a blessed location cradled in the Andes Mountains, right in the Middle of the World.

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Quito was declared Cultural Patrimony of Mankind by the UNESCO in 1978.

Quito is the Capital city of Ecuador and it has amazing landscapes, surrounded by hills and several snowcapped mountains.

Quito is also known for its treasures of Spanish Colonial Churches, paintings, sculptures and carvings.

Quito city has grown to an area of over 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres), with a population estimated at about two million. The city has grown north and south, and climbed up the foothill of the Pichincha volcano west of the city.

Quito City (Downtown)

quito city

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Quito city has also spilled over into the neighboring valleys, Los Chillos and Tumbaco, thanks to improved roadways that allow Quito to break out of its geographically imposed narrowness.

Quito Altitude: is of 2,800 meters above sea level, but don't think it is a cold city in fact during the day is warm and sunny most of the year round, it gets a bit chilly at nights though.

Quito's climate is around 53 F to 70 F (13 C to 20 C) during the day and 40 F to 50 F (8 C to 11 C) in the evenings.

Quito City Celebrations "Fiestas de Quito"

Long before the Spanish Conquistadors reached the shores of what is now Ecuador, Quito city was inhabited by Inca Indian groups. The Incas later conquered this land and Quito became the northern capital of the Inca Empire.

When the Inca Indian Atahualpa was killed in Cajamarca and the Spanish Conquistadors advanced towards Quito, the city was evacuated and set on fire.

It was on the ashes of the Inca city that Sebastian de Benalcazar founded San Francisco de Quito, on top of the few ruins left him. The founding date, December 6, 1534, is celebrated annually with the "Fiestas de Quito".

The celebration of the Spanish foundation of Quito city lasts more than a week, among parades with floats, dancing in the streets and people riding the roof of the chiva buses.

There's also the bullfight season (a tradition introduced by the Spanish), the election of the Queen of Quito and a number of cultural activities.

"The world championship of 40", a card game played only in Ecuador, is an important part of the festivity.

The Saturday before the start of the Fiestas, the Quiteños of all the different barrios, broom in hand, clean and sweep the city.

The example is set by the novices of Monastery of San Francisco who come out and sweep the traditional San Francisco Square.

The central event during this celebration are the bullfights, with the participation of more Spanish "matadors" than local ones.

During the week of festivities the city of Quito lives a Spanish Fiesta with flamenco dancers, manzanilla drinking, people wearing the typical Spanish hats to the bullfights, etc.

Afterwards, its inhabitants like to enjoy long lunches with the most famous delicacies of the Spanish cuisine to delight local and visitor palates.

Throughout the week, open sided buses called chivas, take groups of friends who climb to the roof to party, singing, dancing and drinking, accompanied by music bands.

Many chivas run along the streets of the city in this festive mood.

Quito city is a blessed spot located in the Andes Mountains at the foot of Pichincha Volcano.

It has the largest and one of the best preserved historical centers in South America, since the modern part of the city developed to the north, leaving the existing colonial treasures intact.

In the last two years, the city's government invested an important sum in renovations, which is showcased in the new brilliance of the historical core's buildings, which offer a myriad of classic architectural styles.

Best Locations to Visit in Quito

  • The Government Palace
  • The Cathedral Church
  • El Sagrario Church
  • Royal Headquarters of Lima (A Cultural Center and Wax Museum)
  • La Compañía Church
  • San Francisco Church
  • San Diego Convent
  • San Agustin Church
  • La Merced Church and Convent
  • El Panecillo (small mountain to observe Ecuador Quito)
  • Museum of Colonial Art
  • City Museum
  • Monument on the Equator (Middle of the world)

Come and celebrate with us, Quito city is waiting for you this year.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


More About Ecuador

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Best Ecuador Beaches

Main Cities in Ecuador

Economic Galapagos Trips Itineraries


If you have questions about Quito city, You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Jungle Tours or from our recommended Galapagos Island Cruises to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here


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