QUITO is one of the most beautiful capital cities in South America. Its old town is a UNESCO Heritage site, the city views are spectacular, especially from the teleferico. Its architecture is beautiful, the people are welcoming and the food is great.
The 14,000-acre Parque Metropolitano, bordering the city’s Bellavista neighbourhood, is the largest urban park in South America. Hiking here, in the maze of forested paths, is a nature lover’s delight—the air smells of eucalyptus and pine, and from atop the eastern ridge, the views of Quito to the west, and to the east, the valley and volcanoes beyond is something you’ll not soon forget. On a clear summer day in Quito, in fact, you’ll see the snow-topped Antisana, Cotopaxi and Cayambe volcanoes looming over the city.
Covering more than 800 acres, Quito has the largest historic centre in the Americas, with an over-abundance of ancient thick-walled, tile-roofed colonial buildings, churches, museums, and more.
Climb the hill to find modern art: the home and art space devoted to Oswaldo Guayasamín can be found set atop a hill overlooking the Quito valley. It is a bizarre cube-like monument, filled with the Quechuan artist’s giant murals.
Plaza Foch, centre of the nightlife, is the favourite place to settle in with a cocktail at an outdoor cafe and do some serious people watching. It is also the place to satisfy your shopping lust for artisan gifts. If you prefer a more modern shopping experience, there are several indoor shopping malls around Parque La Carolina.