Quito, the dramatically beautiful capital of Ecuador, is perched between two mountain ranges and rests at an altitude of 9,200 feet. While it may take travelers who visit Quito a couple of days to acclimate, the city is well worth this adjustment period. Roughly divided into three parts, Quito's historic district, or 'old town' lies in the center of the city, flanked by the southern and northern districts on either side. Quito travel is particularly breathtaking now, as the city recently completed a massive renovation project that revitalized some of its grandest buildings, churches and theaters.
Things Not to Miss in Quito
• Visiting the Conjunto monumental San Francisco, which dates back to the 1570s. The church, which was devoted to Saint Francis, contains shining examples of syncretic art as well as a famous sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary treading on the devil's head
• Looking at art at Museo del Blanco Central, Quito's most renowned museum
• Wandering through the lush, verdant Botanical Gardens, located just outside the city
• Exploring Quito's 'Old Town,' which boasts an array of shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels
When to Go to Quito
While temperatures in Quito are mild year-round, those looking to travel to Quito should keep in mind that winter in the Andes starts in June, and ends in September. During this time, weather conditions are primarily cool and dry. Summer, which starts in December and ends in March, is slightly warmer and rainier.