Quito Ecuador

Quito Ecuador has a spring weather year round and can be visited any time of the year, making it a perfect tourist destination.

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The surrounding snow capped volcanoes add a natural touch to its beauty.

The city boasts of 40 churches, 16 convents and monasteries, 12 museums and a rich cultural heritage.

You will enjoy exploring the city, by viewing the monuments and churches and getting to know the vibrant life of the local people.

Quito city is a mix of old colonial architecture with upcoming modern complexes resulting in an old world charm of the city.

There are plenty of attractions in the form of trendy shopping malls, high quality restaurants, colonial museums, churches, historical monuments and outdoor markets.

As you enjoy your evening walking on the cobbled roads, trying to summarize the breathtaking view, you will definitely understand why Quito is a World Heritage site.

Quito Ecuador is one of the most compelling cities in the country. Nestled in a long, narrow valley in the Andes Mountains, between the the Volcano Pichincha to the west and the Machangara River Canyon to the east, Quito enjoys a spectacular natural setting.

Quito Ecuador History

The earlier inhabitants of what is today called Quito derived its name formerly from the Quitus Indians who lived and frequented the area in the pre-Inca era.

These indigenous people also intermingled with the coastal people called the Caras which helped formulate the next generation, the Shyris in 1300 AD by intermarriage who later joined the Puruhas who's descendants had many brutal battles with the Incas.

When the Spaniards arrived in the early 16th Century, Quito was already a major stronghold of the Incas under Huayna Capac and subsequently his son Rumiñahui Atahualpa.

The city was subsequently burned to the ground however, as the onslaught of the Spanish conquest to capture Quito resulted in the pride of the Incas destroying their own city even though many were captured and so there were no Inca remains to gloat over or live in.

The new colonial city of Quito was re-founded by Spanish lieutenant Sebastian de Benalcazar, Pizarro's lieutenant on December 6th, 1534 and was rebuilt at the beginning of the Panecillo hill above the old city's ruins with actual Inca stonework's in many of the new floors and walls still visible today in the church and Cathedral of San Francisco.

Quito Ecuador Weather

Quito which stands just 22 km from the equatorial line has a springtime climate with mild temperatures of around 16ºC and afternoon rainfalls mainly from October to May, as the clouds roll in covering the indigo blue skies.

There are two seasons in Quito, rainy and dry. The rainy season is called winter and the dry is considered summer.

Quito's summer lasts about 4 months, from mid June to September. The rainy season goes from October through May.

But even through this rainy season, You will enjoy enough sunny days to travel around the city, and when the sun hides, Quito has plenty to offer indoors.

The average sunlight hours in Quito range between 4.3 hours per day in March and 7.1 hours per day in July.

There are an average of 2,058 hours of sunlight per year with an average of 5.6 hours of sunlight per day.

On clear days you may also view other snowcapped volcanoes such as Cotopaxi in the far distance adding to this truly unforgettable, impressionable ambiance of a large Ecuadorian city which combines both old and new.

To the north of Quito Ecuador is located the modern sector which includes the international and national airport as well as the main embassies, businesses, banking services, restaurants, shopping centers, hotels, parks and tourist agencies.

The central and southern area in contrast houses various museums, churches, galleries, cathedrals, colonial buildings, balcony furbished homes and outdoor markets within narrow cobbled streets.

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Quito Ecuador Attractions

La Compañia de Jesus Church: is considered to be one of the best masterpieces in South America. The church's construction itself took nearly 160 years to build from 1605 to 1765.

The 7 tonne gold leaf covering the ceiling which has always been the highlight of the church is something to watch out for. It is an unmatched spectacle.

San Francisco Church: this is Quito's oldest church and monastery, built by Francisco Cantuña. This church has been in existence since the foundation of Quito in 1534.

The white washed walls, gold leaf ceiling, stained glass windows and the baroque carvings bring alive Quito's historical times. It is believed that the church's foundation lies on the palace of Huayna Capac, an Inca Emperor.

Main Square: Also called La Plaza Grande, this square became an important place in the 16th century when the Spanish built a well here for their water supply in fear of the Incas who might poison the water.

Later on, it became a buzzing entertainment and social center for Quito Ecuador citizens. The square is bordered by the Government palace on the west, City Hall in the east, Archbishop's Palace in the north and the Cathedral in the south.

El Teleferico: has turned out to be Quito's major attractions since it opened in 2005. The Teleferico cable car is an excellent option to have stunning panoramic view of the Pichincha Volcano and Quito's landscape.

There are eighteen gondolas and the trip up to the mountain range lasts for only 10 minutes, but as you reach the altitude of 4,050 meters, you will be welcomed by a grand scenery with an additional bonus of coffee, snacks, and horse rides.

Once you reach there, you can easily start your hiking journey to the snow capped volcanoes. At the base of the mountain, there's an amusement park, restaurants and cafes.

Middle of the World Monument: is a piece of land where a monument is built to mark the location of the equator that passes through the country (the country is named so after this intersecting line).

Actually the equator line passes a few hundred feet away from the monument which can be traced using a GPS positioning system.

The monument houses a three storied museum which explains the culture and tradition of Ecuador's indigenous tribes.

Also nearby is located the Intiñan Solar Museum, an astronomy museum, which is worth a visit if you are interested in knowing the Coriolis Effect, etc.

Other Attractions in Quito Ecuador

  • La Catedral church
  • Church of Santo Domingo
  • Church and Convent of La Merced
  • Basilica del Voto Nacional
  • La Compania Church
  • Guapulo Church
  • San Agustin Church

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


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Adventure travel in Quito at the El Boliche Protected Recreation Area. It is a spectacular spot that allows visitors to enjoy the natural wonders of the Andean highlands.

It is located at 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Quito between the Provinces of Cotopaxi and Pichincha.

El Boliche is the smallest protected area of the country with an extension of 227 hectares (567 acres). Its natural and geographical characteristics are similar to those found in the Cotopaxi National Park

El Boliche

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The altitude varies between the 3000 and 3600 meters above sea level. The climate of the area is cold all year round with temperatures between 0 to 16 degrees Celsius (32 and 61 F).

The Cutucuchi and San Pedro Rivers irrigate the area, giving life to the ecosystems of the reserve. The flora presents typical paramo (moorlands) characteristics.

Here you can find species such as straw, blueberries, rosemary, ferns, lichens, the puma maqui shrub whose leaves resemble puma hands and others.

What stands out in the landscape are the extensive pine woods, a species that was introduced in the mid 20th Century.

Animals found in El Boliche reserve include white tailed deer, wolfs, skunks, frogs, etc. And if birdwatching is what you're looking for, then the City of Quito is a good option for this activity.

El Boliche offers you to delight your sight with many species of birds such as hummingbirds, the quail of the paramo (moorland), and the majestic Condor of the Andes Mountains.

El Boliche's particular landscape forms impressive gorges that are home to the area's wildlife and offer a spectacular recreational site for its visitors.

The natural characteristics of the area make El Boliche the perfect place for educational tourism and activities known as eco-adventures in Quito.

The activities you can enjoy in this charming Andean reserve are multiple, from trekking to the Limpiopungo lagoon and the foot of the Rumiñahui Volcano, to picnic, camping and barbecue. The camping area's facilities have fresh water and electricity.

One of the most interesting options for a real adventure travel in Quito is to visit El Boliche riding on the "Chiva Express" from Quito to the El Boliche train station.

Traveling on the roof of the "Chiva Express" along the amazing Andean landscapes is, without a doubt, a rewarding experience to get to know everything El Boliche has to offer.

The short distance from Quito makes El Boliche reserve a close-by and fascinating place that everyone can enjoy.

Ecuador Recommended Reading:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0801487218?ie=UTF8&tag=galapagosis08-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0801487218 Birds of Ecuador Field Guide For the first time, there is a full set of very useful color plates for one of the core South American countries. It is certainly a great accomplishment to have all the species pictured in color and on a more or less consistent standard. (Absolutely recommended)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1904777384?ie=UTF8&tag=galapagosis08-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1904777384 Footprint Ecuador and Galapagos From the Galapagos Islands that inspired the theory of evolution, to a valley where people live forever, from the center of the earth to the Avenue of the Volcanoes, Ecuador excites and amazes at every turn. This highly acclaimed guide is essential for all free-spirited travelers. (One of the best books I ever read about Ecuador)