Lying in the river basin of Guayllabamba on the slopes of Pichincha, a large
stratovolcano of the Andes Mountains, the large capital city
of Ecuador stretches out at 9,000 feet above sea level. This
biologically and diverse city with lush, undulating terrain
dates back to the first millennium when the Quitu tribe
occupied the area and eventually formed a commercial center.
Power passed from the Quitu to the Caras tribe, to the Incas
and finally to the Spanish in 1534. Ecuador gained
independence from Spain in 1822 and today, Quito is a stunning
Flanked by volcanoes that are visible on a clear day, Quito
is surrounded by a dramatic topography of challenging peaks
and beautiful countryside and trails for visitors to explore.
The city spans out over a long plateau benefiting from the
natural features and providing a home for over 1.3 million
people. The famous monument of the Virgin Mary on top of El
Panecillo is a famous, dramatic landmark located on a hill in
the middle west of the city. This monument is made of 7,000
pieces of aluminum and symbolizes triumph over evil.
Other exciting attractions in the city include Metropolitano, the largest
urban park in South America made up of lush Eucalyptus forests
that are good for mountain biking, walking and running.
According to UNESCO, the city possesses the largest, best
preserved historic center despite the several earthquakes it
has endured. This beautiful city center offers a plethora of
history, and fun and exciting destinations, shopping and
restaurants. Several striking churches, cathedrals and
basilicas are scattered throughout the city.
Visit this historic and culturally rich city on all of our
Ecuador and Galapagos adventures.