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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quito
—  City  —
San Francisco de Quito
Top: Historic center; Bottom left: Basílica del Voto Nacional; Bottom Middle: Palacio de Carondelet; Bottom right: "Casa Blanca" stadium.

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): Luz de América (Light of America), La ciudad de los cielos (The city of the heavens)
Quito is located in Ecuador
Quito
Location of Quito within Ecuador
Coordinates: 00°15′00″S 78°35′00″W / 0.25°S 78.5833333°W / -0.25; -78.5833333Coordinates: 00°15′00″S 78°35′00″W / 0.25°S 78.5833333°W / -0.25; -78.5833333
Country Ecuador
Province Pichincha
Canton Quito
Foundation December 6, 1534
Founder Sebastián de Belalcázar
Named for Quitu
Urban parishes
Government
 - Type Mayor and council
 - Governing body Municipality of Quito
 - Mayor Augusto Barrera
 - City council
Area approx.
 - City 324 km2 (125.1 sq mi)
 - Water 0 km2 (0 sq mi)
 - Metro 4,204 km2 (1,623.2 sq mi)
Elevation 2,850 m (9,350 ft)
Population (2001)
 - City 1,397,698
 Density 4,313.9/km2 (11,172.9/sq mi)
 Metro 1,842,201
 - Metro Density 438.2/km2 (1,134.9/sq mi)
 - Demonym Quiteño(-a)
Time zone ECT (UTC-5)
Postal code EC1701 (new format), P01 (old format)
Area code(s) (0)2
Website http://www.quito.gov.ec

San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha,[1] an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 1,397,698 according to the last census (2001), and, as estimated by the municipality, approximately 1,504,991 in 2005,[2] Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of Metropolitan District of Quito. The canton recorded a population of 1,842,201 residents in the 2001 national census. In 2008 the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.[3]

The elevation of the city's central square (Plaza de La Independencia or Plaza Grande[4]) is 2,800 m (about 9,186 ft), making Quito the second-highest administrative capital city in the world (after La Paz, Bolivia), and the highest legal capital (ahead of Sucre, also in Bolivia, and Bogotá, Colombia).

The central square of Quito is located about 25 km (15 miles) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 km (0.6 miles) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word ecuador is Spanish for equator.

Quito, along with Krakow, were the first Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.[5]

Contents

History

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Pre-Columbian

Quito's origins date back to the first millennium, when the Quitu tribe occupied the area and eventually formed a commercial center. According to Juan de Velasco's 1767 book Historia del Reino de Quito, the Quitu were conquered by the Caras tribe, who founded the Kingdom of Quito about 980 CE.

Colony

Indigenous resistance to the Spanish invasion continued during 1534, with Diego de Almagro founding Santiago de Quito (in present day Colta, near Riobamba) on August 15 of that same year, later to be renamed San Francisco de Quito on August 28. The city was later moved to its present location and was refounded on December 6, 1534 by 204 settlers led by Sebastián de Benalcázar, who captured Rumiñahui and effectively ended any organized resistance.[6] Rumiñahui was then executed on January 10, 1535. On March 14, 1541, Quito was declared a city and on February 14, 1556, was given the title Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de San Francisco de Quito ("Very Noble and Loyal City of San Francisco of Quito"). In 1563, Quito became the seat of a royal audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru with its capital in Lima (see Real Audiencia de Quito).

Main doorway to the Cathedral

The Spanish promptly established Roman Catholicism in Quito, with the first church (El Belén) built even before the city had been officially founded. In January 1535, the San Francisco Convent was constructed, the first of about 20 churches and convents built during the colonial period. The Spanish actively converted the indigenous population and used them as forced labor for construction, especially in the early colonial years. The Diocese of Quito was established in 1545 and was elevated to the Archdiocese of Quito in 1849.

In 1809, after nearly 300 years of Spanish colonization, Quito was a city of about 10,000 inhabitants. On August 10, 1809, a movement was started in Quito that aimed for political independence from Spain. On that date, a plan for government was established that placed Juan Pío Montúfar as president with various other prominent figures in other positions of government. However, this initial movement was ultimately defeated on August 2, 1810, when Imperial troops came from Lima, Peru, and killed the leaders of the uprising along with about 200 inhabitants of the city. A chain of conflicts concluded on May 24, 1822, when Antonio José de Sucre, under the command of Simón Bolívar, led troops into the Battle of Pichincha. Their victory marked the independence of Quito and the surrounding areas.

Gran Colombia

Just days after the Battle of Pichincha, on May 24, 1822, the leaders of the city proclaimed their independence and allowed the city to be annexed to the Republic of Gran Colombia. Simón Bolívar went to Quito on June 16, 1822, and was present at the signing of the Colombian Constitution on June 24, 1822. When the Gran Colombia dissolved in 1830, Quito became the capital of the newly formed Republic of Ecuador.

Republican Era

In 1833, members of the Society of Free Inhabitants of Quito were assassinated by the government after they conspired against it, and on March 6, 1845, the Marcist Revolution began. Later, in 1875, the country's president, Gabriel García Moreno, was assassinated in Quito. Two years later, in 1877, Archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was killed by poisoning while he was giving mass.[citation needed]

In 1882, insurgents arose against the regime of dictator Ignacio de Veintemilla. However, this did not end the violence that was occurring throughout the country. On July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the Battle of Guayaquil, and later, after more conflict, became the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895. Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe. When he returned to Ecuador in 1912 and attempted a return to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912; thrown in prison; and assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison. His body was dragged through the streets of Quito to a city park, where it was burned.[citation needed]

In 1932, the Four Days' War broke out. This was a civil war that followed the election of Neptalí Bonifaz and the subsequent realization that he carried a Peruvian passport. Workers at a major textile factory went on strike in 1934, and similar unrest continues to the present day. On February 12, 1949, a realistic broadcast of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds led to citywide panic and the deaths of more than twenty people who died in fires set by mobs.[7]

In recent years, Quito has been the focal point of large demonstrations that led to the ousting of presidents Abdalá Bucaram (February 5, 1997), Jamil Mahuad (January 21, 2000), and Lucio Gutiérrez (April 20, 2005).[citation needed]

Geography

Quito is located in the northern highlands of Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin. The city has been built on a long plateau lying on the east flanks of the Pichincha volcano. The valley of Guayllabamba River where Quito lies is flanked by volcanoes, some of them snow-capped, that can be visible from the city on a clear day. Some of the volcanoes on the Central Cordillera (Royal Cordillera), east of Quito, surrounding the Guayllabamba valley are Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Antisana, and Cayambe. Some of the volcanoes of the Western Cordillera, to the west of the Guayllabamba valley, are Illiniza, Atacazo, Pichincha, and Pululahua (which has the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve).

The 18,874 foot (5,753 m) stratovolcano Cotopaxi, seen from Quito's northern suburbs in July

Nearby volcanoes

Quito's closest volcano is Pichincha, looming over the western side of the city. Quito is also the only capital in the world to be directly menaced by an active volcano. Pichincha volcano has several summits, among them Rucu Pichincha at 4700 metres above sea level and Guagua Pichincha at 4794 metres. Guagua Pichincha is active and being monitored by volcanologists at the geophysical institute of the national polytechnic university. The largest eruption occurred in 1660 when more than 10 inches (25 cm) of ash covered the city.[8] There were three minor eruptions in the 1800s. The latest eruption was recorded on August 23, 2006, when a few puffs of smoke and a large amount of ash were deposited on the city. Although not devastating, the eruption caused significant disruption of activities, including closing of the international airport. It is unlikely that any serious activity will occur in the near future, and the topography of the volcano is such that, even if a major eruption were to occur, lava flows would head into the almost-unpopulated areas west of the volcano, sparing Quito, which lies to the east.

Activity in other nearby volcanoes also can affect the city. In November 2002, after an eruption in the volcano Reventador, the city was showered with a layer of fine ash particles to a depth of several centimeters.[9]

Climate

Under the Köppen climate classification, Quito has a Subtropical highland climate. Because of its elevation and its proximity to the equator, Quito has a fairly constant cool climate, with spring-like weather year-round. The average temperature at noon is 19°C (66°F) with a normal night-time low of 10°C (50°F).[10] The annual average temperature is 15°C (64°F).[11] The city experiences only two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season, June through September (4 months), is referred to as summer; the wet season, October through May (8 months), is referred to as winter.

Climate data for Quito
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
19
(66)
20
(68)
19
(66)
19
(66)
18
(64)
19
(66)
Average low °C (°F) 10
(50)
10
(50)
9
(48.7)
9
(48.2)
9
(48.6)
10
(50)
10
(50.8)
11
(51.5)
11
(51.4)
10
(50.7)
10
(50)
10
(50)
10
(50.1)
Precipitation cm (inches) 11
(4)
12
(5)
15
(6)
20
(8)
17
(7)
12
(5)
4
(2)
2
(1)
2
(1)
7
(3)
12
(5)
10
(4)
120
(47)
Source: Weatherbase[12] 2007

Demographics

Population

This is population figure for the city proper as determined by the last census conducted in 2001. The number does not reflect the population of the whole canton, which also includes the surrounding rural parishes (parish seats and their surroundings), which are separate from the city.

Topographical zones

Quito is divided into three areas, separated by hills:

  1. Central: houses the colonial old city.
  2. Southern: is mainly industrial and residential, and a working-class housing area.
  3. Northern: is the modern Quito, with high-rise buildings, shopping centers, the financial district, and upper-class residential areas and some working-class housing areas. It is the location of Mariscal Sucre International Airport.[13]

Economy

TAME, an airline of Ecuador, has its headquarters in Quito.[14]

Politics

Governance

Quito is governed by a mayor and a 15-member city council. The mayor is elected to a four-year term and can be re-elected. The position also doubles as Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Quito (the canton).

Recent mayors
Start End Name Political party
1940 1944 Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño
1956 1960 Carlos Andrade Marín
1960 1968 Julio Moreno Espinoza
1968 1972 Jaime del Castillo Álvarez
1972 1980 Sixto Durán Ballén PSC
1980 1984 Álvaro Pérez PLRE
1984 1988 Gustavo Herdoíza
1988 1992 Rodrigo Paz Delgado DP
1992 1998 Jamil Mahuad DP
1998 2000 Roque Sevilla DP
2000 2009 Paco Moncayo Gallegos ID
2009 Andrés Vallejo Arcos
2009 Augusto Barrera Guarderas Alianza PAIS

Urban parishes

In Ecuador, cantons are subdivided into parishes. These subdivisions are called parishes because they were originally used by the Catholic Church, but, along with the secularization and liberalization of the Ecuadorian state, the political parishes were spun off the ones used by the church. Parishes are called urban if they are within the boundaries of the seat (capital) of their corresponding canton, and rural if they are outside of those boundaries. Inside Quito (the city proper), the way in which the city is subdivided into urban parishes depends on the organizations which use those parishes (e.g., the municipality, the electoral tribunals, the postal service, the Ecuadorian statistics institute). The urban parishes of different types are not necessarily coterminous nor the same in number or name.

Municipal/administrative urban parishes (cabildos)

As of 2008, the municipality of Quito divided the city into 32 urban parishes. These parishes, which are used by the municipality for administrative purposes, are also known as cabildos[15] since 2001. Since the times of the Metropolitan District of Quito, parishes of this type are also grouped into larger divisions known as municipal zones (zonas municipales). These parishes are as follows:

Urban parishes of the Metropolitan District of Quito
  1. Argelia, La
  2. Belisario Quevedo
  3. Carcelén
  4. Centro Histórico
  5. Chilibulo
  6. Chillogallo
  7. Chimbacalle
  8. Cochapamba
  9. Comité del Pueblo
  10. Condado, El
  11. Concepción, La
  12. Cotocollao
  13. Ecuatoriana, La
  14. Ferroviaria, La
  15. Guamaní
  16. Inca, El
  17. Iñaquito
  18. Itchimbía
  19. Jipijapa
  20. Kennedy
  21. Libertad, La
  22. Magdalena
  23. Mariscal Sucre
  24. Mena, La
  25. Ponceano
  26. Puengasí
  27. Quitumbe
  28. Rumipamba
  29. San Juan
  30. San Bartolo
  31. Solanda
  32. Turubamba

Electoral urban parishes (CNE/TEP)

Rep. del Salvador Avenue Skyline Quito.

Electoral urban parishes are used by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) (until the 2008 Ecuadorian constitution known as Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE)) and by the Tribunal Electoral de Pichincha (TEP) in order to distribute vote ballots and count electoral votes. Unlike rural parishes, urban parishes do not have and do not elect a junta parroquial (parochial committee/junta). Within each of these parishes, there are one or more schools in which elections take place, typically on Sundays. As of the 2008 Ecuadorian referendum, there were 19 urban parishes of this type, as follows:[16]

  1. Alfaro
  2. Benalcázar
  3. Chaupicruz
  4. Chillogallo
  5. Cotocollao
  6. El Salvador
  7. González Suárez
  8. Guápulo
  9. La Floresta
  10. La Libertad
  11. La Magdalena
  12. La Vicentina
  13. San Blas
  14. San Marcos
  15. San Roque
  16. San Sebastián
  17. Santa Barbara
  18. Santa Prisca
  19. Villa Flora

Later in 2008, the relatively small González Suárez parish was removed from the list,[17] prior to the 2009 elections.

Ecclesiastical parishes

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quito divides the city into 167 parishes, which are grouped into 17 zones.[18]

Transportation

Ground transport

Road transport

Public road transport

The MetrobusQ network, also known as "Red Integrada de Transporte Público", is the bus rapid transit system running in Quito, and it goes through the city from south to north. It's divided into three sections—the green line (the central trolleybus, known as El Trole), the red line (the north-east Ecovía), and the blue line (the north-west Corredor Central). In addition to the bus rapid transit system, there are many buses running in the city. The buses have both a name and a number, and they have a fixed route. Taxi cabs are all yellow, and they have meters that show the fare. There are nearly 8,800 registered taxicabs.[19]

Private road transport

Although public transportation is the primary form of travel in the city, including fleets of taxis that constantly cruise the roadways, the use of private vehicles has increased substantially during the past decade.[20]

Because of growing road congestion in many areas, there are plans to construct a light rail system, which would replace the northern portion of the Trole.[21] It is hoped to begin construction in 2010.

Roads, avenues and streets

Because Quito is about 40 km (24.85 miles) long and 5 km (3.1 miles) at its widest, most of the important avenues of the city extend from north to south. The two main motorways that go from the northern part of the city to the southern are Avenue Oriental (Corridor Periférico Oriental) on the eastern hills that border the city, and Avenue Occidental on the western side of the city on the Pichincha volcano. The street 10 de Agosto also runs north to south through most of the city, running down the middle of it. Because of the hills and the city's curved shape, a grid pattern is extremely difficult to imply. The historic centre of the city is based on a grid pattern, despite the hills, with the streets Venezuela, Chile, García Moreno, and Guayaquil being the most important.

Some of the most important avenues in Quito are:

  • Avenue Río Amazonas
  • Avenue de la Prensa
  • Avenue 6 de Diciembre
  • Avenue de los Shyris
  • Avenue Naciones Unidas
  • Avenue 10 de Agosto
  • Avenue Diego de Vazques
  • Avenue Eloy Alfaro
  • Avenue de la República
  • Avenue República del Salvador
  • Avenue América
  • Avenue Patria
  • Avenue Francisco de Orellana
  • Avenue General Rumiñahui
  • Avenue Interoceánica
  • Avenue González Suárez
  • Avenue Real Audiencia
  • Avenue Galo Plaza
  • Avenue El Inca
  • Avenue Napo
  • Avenue Vicente Maldonado

Railroad transport

There is a railroad that goes through the southern part of Quito and passes through the Estación de Chimbacalle. It is managed by the Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos (EFE). This form of transport is nowadays used mostly for tourism.

Air transport

File:Aeropuerto Mariscal Sucre.jpg
Mariscal Sucre Airport runway.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport (IATA airport code: UIO) serves as the city's principal airport for passenger travel and freight. Its runway is 3120 metres long and is capable of handling many types of large aircraft. The main terminal is located on Avenue Amazonas. The airport is located 10 kilometres north of the city's centre, within driving distance to the main business center. Because of tall buildings and fog at night, landing from the south is not as easy as at many other airports. Its domestic flights go to Guayaquil, Cuenca, Lago Agrio, Coca, Tarapoa, Esmeraldas, Manta, Portoviejo, Macas, Tulcán, and many others. Flights to the Galápagos Islands are reached via Guayaquil. Several international airlines have offices in Quito; most of them are around Avenue Amazonas. The airport provides international connections to Madrid, Amsterdam, New York, Atlanta, Houston, Miami, Bogotá, Medellín, Cali, Lima, Santiago, Panama City, San José, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and many others. The construction of a new airport in the rural parish of Tababela, in the adjacent valley outside the city limits, began in 2006 and will be finished by 2010. The Mariscal Sucre International Airport will then become a big park.

Points of interest

The official travel information site, run by the Municipality Quito Visitors' Bureau, is www.quito.com.ec .

Historic centre

City of Quito*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

File:Quito Centro.jpg
State Party  Ecuador
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference 2
Region** Latin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription 1978  (2nd Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

According to UNESCO, Quito has the largest, best-preserved, and least-altered historic centre (320 hectares) in Latin America,[22] despite several earthquakes. It was the first city that was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage List, in 1978.[22] Some of the churches are:

El Panecillo

Virgin of El Panecillo

El Panecillo is a hill located in the middle west of the city at an altitude of about 9,895 ft (3,016 m) above sea level. A monument to the Virgin Mary is located on top of El Panecillo and is visible from most of the city of Quito. In 1976, the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates to build a 134.5 ft (41 m)–tall aluminum monument of a madonna, which was assembled on a high pedestal on the top of Panecillo. Made of approximately 7,000 pieces of aluminum, the monument was inaugurated on March 28, 1976, by the 11th archbishop of Quito, Cardinal Pablo Muñoz Vega.

The figure stands on top of a globe, standing on top of a chained snake , symbolizing her triumph over evil (classic madonna iconography). What is not so traditional, however, is her wings. The monument was inspired by the famous "Virgen de Quito" (Quito's Madonna), also known as "the dancer" sculpted by Bernardo de Legarda in 1734, which now decorates the main altar at the Church of St. Francisco. This madonna represents a turning point of the Quito School of Art (one of the most renowned of the Americas) because it shows a figure with great movement (practically dancing), which is in contrast to the traditional static madonnas produced during the 18th century.

La Mariscal

La Mariscal Sucre in Quito has earned the nickname "Gringolandia" because of its popularity with western tourists. While lacking in major tourist attractions, it is home to a number of clubs, bars and restaurants that cater to visitors. There are also many travel agents that specialize in western travel.[23]

Parks

Metropolitano

Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua[24] is the largest urban park in South America at 1,376 acres (5.5 km²) (as reference, New York's Central Park is 843 acres (341 ha). The park is located in northern Quito, on the hill of Bellavista behind Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa. The park is suited for mountain biking, walking, and running. Most of it is eucalyptus forest with trails, but there also are numerous sculptures on display. The park has four sites that can be used for picnics or barbecues, and the eastern section has a view of Cotopaxi, Antisana, and the Guayllabamba river basin.

La Carolina

File:Quitoparquecarolina1.jpg
Southern end of La Carolina.

La Carolina[25] is a 165.5-acre (670,000 m²) park in the centre of the Quito main business area, bordered by the avenues Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República. This park started from the expropriation of the farm La Carolina in 1939. The modern design of the park was made by the Dirección Metropolitana de Planificación Territorial (DMPT). Pope John Paul II headed a great mass in the park during his visit to Ecuador in 1985. A giant cross has been built in this place.

Quiteños gather at La Carolina mostly on weekends to play soccer, basketball, and ecua-volley (an Ecuadorian variation of volleyball with less emphasis on spiking, which allows more of a throw). Some of the other activities are aerobics, kite flying, running, snacking, and people watching. The southern part of the park has a small pond where paddle boats can be rented and a skatepark for bicyclists and skateboarders. Artists are known to perform on weekends at the park. In the western part of the park, visitors will find the Quito Exhibition Center[26] with different exhibits every month, the Quito botanical gardens,[27] and a Vivarium.

La Carolina more or less resembles New York City's Central Park, since both La Carolina and Central Park are surrounded by tall buildings in relation to the area of both parks.

El Ejido

El Ejido[28] is the third-largest park of Quito (after Metropolitan and La Carolina), and it divides the old part of the city from the modern one. This park is known for handicrafts available for sale every Saturday and Sunday, with all pricing subject to negotiation (that is, haggling). Local painters sell copies of paintings by Oswaldo Guayasamín [3], Eduardo Kingman, and Gonzalo Endara Crow. Otavaleños sell traditional sweaters, ponchos, carpets, and jewelry.

La Alameda

The long triangular La Alameda is located at the beginning of street Guayaquil, where the historic centre begins. It has an impressive monument of Simón Bolivar at the apex. There are several other interesting monuments in this park. In the centre of the park is the Quito Observatory, which was opened by President García Moreno in 1873 and is the oldest observatory in Latin America. It is used for both meteorology and astronomy. At the north end of the park are two ornamental lakes, where rowboats can be rented.

TeleferiQo

TeleferiQo.

The Aerial tramway Station at Cruz Loma (part of the Pichincha mountain complex at about 13,123 ft (4,000 m). Since July 2005, Quito has had an aerial tramway, known as the "Telefériqo", from the city centre to the hill known as Cruz Loma on the east side of the Pichincha volcano. The ride takes visitors to an altitude of about 13,400 ft (more than 4,100 m) where they find a number of restaurants, coffee shops, and a variety of stores. There are also trails for hiking and areas where pictures can be taken of Quito. Because of the increased altitude and the wind on the mountain, it is considerably cooler.

Besides the aerial tramway to Cruz Loma, the Telefériqo as a whole is a visitor centre that includes an amusement park (Vulqano Park), fine-dining restaurants, Go Karts, Paint Ball, shopping malls, an extensive food court, and other attractions.

Outside the city

The monument at La Mitad del Mundo

La Mitad del Mundo[29] (the middle of the world) is a small village administered by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, 22 mi (35 km) north of Quito. The village features a large monument, built on the site where the equator was thought to have crossed in the early 1980s. There is also a museum that contains a model of Quito, a planetarium, various exhibits, several restaurants, an open arena that is occasionally used for folkloric-dance performances, and a small chapel where couples can marry with one spouse standing in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern. It has since been determined, with the use of Global Positioning System technology, that the actual equator is some 240 meters north of the monument area.

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, located a few miles northwest from La Mitad del Mundo, contains the Pululahua volcano, whose caldera (crater) is visible from a spot easily accessible by car. It is believed to be one of only a few in the world with human inhabitants.

Quito Zoo,[30] located near the rural parish of Guayllabamba, about 12 mi (20 km) outside Quito, has the biggest collection of native fauna in Ecuador, including several kinds of animals that are sometimes targeted in Ecuador in the illegal fur trade.

Some of the other nearby natural attractions are:

Education

Universities

According to the National Council for Higher Education of Ecuador (CONESUP), these are the universities founded before the year 2006 in or around Quito:[31]

University Foundation Date
Universidad Central del Ecuador 18/03/1826
Escuela Politécnica Nacional 27/08/1869
Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador 04/11/1946
Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales 20/06/1972
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencia Sociales 16/12/1974
Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial 18/02/1986
Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar 27/01/1992
Universidad Internacional SEK 30/06/1993
Universidad San Francisco de Quito 25/10/1988
Escuela Politecnica Javeriana del Ecuador 29/11/1995
Universidad de las Americas 29/11/1995
Universidad Internacional del Ecuador 30/08/1996
Universidad Tecnológica America 20/08/1997
Universidad Del Pacifico: Escuela de Negocios - Ecuador 18/12/1997
Universidad Autonoma de Quito 07/07/1999
Universidad Cristiana Latinoamericana 31/03/2000
Universidad Tecnologica Israel 16/11/1999
Universidad de Especialidade Turisticas 31/03/2000
Universidad Alfredo Perez Guerro 15/01/2001
Universitas Equatorialis 24/12/2002
Universidad de los Hemisferios 20/05/2004
Universidad Intercultural de las Nacionalidades y Puebloes Indigenas Amawtay Wasi 05/08/2004
Universidad Iberoamericana del Ecuador 30/12/2005
Universidad Og Mandino 17/11/2005

Museums

For a full listing of Museums, see the Quito Visitors' Bureau's page

Museo de la Ciudad - A museum dedicated to the history of Quito. Located just east of the Plaza de Santo Domingo.[32]

Museo Casa de Sucre - This museum is dedicated to life of Mariscal José Antonio de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian independence. The museum is located in his old home. The ground floor has an array of weapons and military relics, many of which belonged to Sucre himself. The second floor has been restored to what it might have looked like in Sucre's time.[33]

Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador - This art museum houses 5 displays. Each one covers a different time period, ranging from prehistory to modern Ecuador.[34]

Sports

Professional football teams

Quito is the home city of six prominent football clubs in Ecuador. Domestically, the city's top three club (El Nacional, Deportivo Quito and LDU Quito) have won a combined 26 national championships, which accounts for over half of all championships won.

The teams in Ecuador's First Division (Serie A and Serie B) are:

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Quito is twinned with:

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Volcán Guagua Pichincha, Instituto Geofísico, http://www.igepn.edu.ec/VOLCANES/PICHINCHA/general.html, retrieved 2008-08-01  (Spanish)
  2. ^ Metropolitan District of Quito population projection, Directorate of Territorial Planning and Public Services, http://www4.quito.gov.ec/mapas/indicadores/proyeccion_zonal_archivos/sheet001.htm, retrieved 2008-08-01  (Spanish)
  3. ^ Security Watch: South American unity, International Relations and Security Network, http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=19022, retrieved 2008-08-01 
  4. ^ Plaza Grande, Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito, http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=228&category_id=&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=113, retrieved 2008-08-01  (Spanish)
  5. ^ UNESCO World Heritage List|http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/2
  6. ^ ( – Scholar search) City, Quito Distrito Metropolitano, http://www.quito.gov.ec/ciudad/c_ciudad2.htm, retrieved 2008-08-02  (Spanish)
  7. ^ Brown, Robert J. (2004), Manipulating the Ether, McFarland, pp. 251–252, ISBN 0786420669 
  8. ^ Naumova, En; Yepes, H; Griffiths, Jk; Sempértegui, F; Khurana, G; Jagai, Js; Játiva, E; Estrella, B (Jul 2007), "Guagua Pichincha", Environmental health : a global access science source (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service) 6: 21, doi:10.1186/1476-069X-6-21, PMID 17650330, PMC 1947976, http://www.osei.noaa.gov/guagua.html, retrieved 2008-08-02 
  9. ^ Le Pennec, J-L. et al. (2006), "Characteristics and impacts of recent ash falls produced by Tungurahua and El Reventador volcanoes, Ecuador", Fourth Conference, Cities on Volcanoes, http://www.igepn.edu.ec/PUBLICACIONES/2006/LePennec459.pdf 
  10. ^ Weather, Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito, http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=173&Itemid=340, retrieved 2008-08-02 
  11. ^ Average weather for Quito, The Weather Channel, http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/ECXX0008?, retrieved 2008-08-02 
  12. ^ "Average Conditions for Quito" (in Inglés). Weatherbase. 2007. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weather.php3?s=017048&refer=&units=metric. Retrieved 2007-11-24. 
  13. ^ Mariscal Sucre International Airport, http://www.quiport.com/frontEnd/main.php?idPortal=2, retrieved 2008-08-04 . (English)
  14. ^ "Contact Us." TAME. Retrieved on March 14, 2010.
  15. ^ "Diccionario. Cabildo (Parroquias)". .quito.gov.ec. http://www4.quito.gov.ec/spirales/8_diccionario_de_la_base_de_datos/8_1_fondo_cartografico/8_1_1_1.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  16. ^ http://app.tse.gov.ec/resultadosrefe2008/Actas.aspx?CodProv=17&CodCant=60&CodDign=8
  17. ^ http://www.cne.gov.ec/documentos/distributivonov072008.pdf
  18. ^ "Parroquias de Quito". Arquidiocesisdequito.org. http://www.arquidiocesisdequito.org/Parroquias/parroquia.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  19. ^ Sistema Convencional de Transporte, Metrobús Quito, http://www.innovar-uio.com/innovar/images/stories/docs/basesmetro.pdf, retrieved 2008-08-04 . (Spanish)
  20. ^ Cars are besieging Quito, El Comercio, http://www.elcomercio.com/solo_texto.asp?id_noticia=80544, retrieved 2008-08-04 . (Spanish)
  21. ^ TRAQ - Tren Rápido de Quito, http://www.innovar-uio.com/traq/resumentraq.pdf . (Spanish)
  22. ^ a b City of Quito - UNESCO World Heritage
  23. ^ http://www.vivatravelguides.com/south-america/ecuador/quito/la-mariscal/
  24. ^ Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua, http://www.parquemetropolitano.ec/home/contenidos.php?id=222&identificaArticulo=9 
  25. ^ "Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito - Parque La Carolina". Quito.com.ec. http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.cmtproductos&product_id=121&category_id=27&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=90. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  26. ^ "fabrica como diseñar una cocina at". Pequenaindustria.com. http://pequenaindustria.com/ferias_historia.asp. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  27. ^ "Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito - Jardín Botánico de Quito". Quito.com.ec. http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=shop.flypage&product_id=108&category_id=&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=66. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  28. ^ "Sitio Oficial Turístico de Quito - Parque El Ejido". Quito.com.ec. http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=&product_id=123&category_id=85&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=66. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  29. ^ [1]
  30. ^ [2]
  31. ^ Consejo Nacional de Educación Superior del Ecuador
  32. ^ http://www.museociudadquito.gov.ec/
  33. ^ http://www.quito.com.ec/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=&product_id=39&category_id=64&manufacturer_id=&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=66&vmcchk=1&Itemid=66&lang=en
  34. ^ http://www.bce.fin.ec/contenido.php?CNT=ARB0000514
  35. ^ Madrid city council webpage "Mapa Mundi de las ciudades hermanadas". Ayuntamiento de Madrid. http://www.munimadrid.es/portal/site/munimadrid/menuitem.dbd5147a4ba1b0aa7d245f019fc08a0c/?vgnextoid=4e84399a03003110VgnVCM2000000c205a0aRCRD&vgnextchannel=4e98823d3a37a010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD&vgnextfmt=especial1&idContenido=1da69a4192b5b010VgnVCM100000d90ca8c0RCRD Madrid city council webpage. 
  36. ^ "Kraków otwarty na świat". www.krakow.pl. http://www.krakow.pl/otwarty_na_swiat/?LANG=UK&MENU=l&TYPE=ART&ART_ID=16. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Quito [1] is the capital of Ecuador. It was founded in 1534 on the ruins of an ancient Inca city. Today, two million people live in Quito. It was the first city to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site [2] in 1978 (along with Krakow in Poland).

Shoe Shine Boy in Quito
Shoe Shine Boy in Quito

Quito lies between two mountain ranges and its altitude is 2,800 metres or about 10,000 feet. It may take you a couple of days to get accustomed to the altitude.

Quito is roughly divided into three parts: the Old City at the centre, with southern and northern districts to either side. The greatest concentration of tourist facilities is in the North, including the airport. Quito's Old City is the largest in the Americas. It has undergone a huge restoration and revitalization program over the last decade, mainly financed by the Inter-American Development Bank. It boasts no less than 40 churches and convents, 17 squares and 16 convents and monasteries. It's been called the 'Relicuary of the Americas' for the richness of its colonial- and independence-era architecture and heritage. It's a great quarter to wander, with several excellent museums and plenty of restaurants and terrace cafes for a rest while sightseeing.

Modern, northern Quito (on a map, up until the southern tip of the airport) is a fun place to explore, with plenty of museums and urban parks as well as restaurants and nightlife. The southern and northern (from the airport up) districts of the city are more working class and seldom visited by tourists.

Understand

Be prepared to speak some basic Spanish in order to get along. Quito is an excellent city in which to learn Spanish before heading off to other places in South America. The Spanish spoken in Quito is very clear and it is spoken slowly as compared to coastal areas. There are many excellent Spanish schools where you can have private or group lessons very economically. These schools will also arrange homestay accommodation which is convenient, inexpensive and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the culture and try the local food.

Very few locals speak English except in the touristy areas of North Quito which includes "La Mariscal" quarter, where most tourist businesses are located. La Mariscal occupies several square blocks in North Quito and is the place to be if you wear a backpack. Bars, restaurants, hostels and internet cafes abound. Young people from many countries tend to congregate there.

Ecuador, especially the Sierra region that includes Quito, is culturally a very conservative society. This is reflected in manner of dress. People of all socio-economic backgrounds tend to dress up in Ecuador. For men, this means a pair of trousers and a button down shirt. For women, slacks or dresses are acceptable. Men and women seldom wear short pants in Quito, although in recent years casual clothes have become somewhat more accepted especially among the young and on very hot days. Some popular nightclubs and restaurants enforce a dress code. Lastly, remember that Quito is said to have "all four seasons in a day". Once the sun goes down it can get downright cold. Dressing in layers is a good idea.

The South American Explorers Club [3] is a non profit organization dedicating to helping independent travelers in Ecuador and South America. Their office, at Jorge Washington 311 y Leonidas Plaza (in the Mariscal district of Quito right off of 6 de Diciembre) is a great place to stop by, meet people, and get the latest information on where to go, what to avoid, and on adventure travel. You can find out more about the services they offer on their website.

The Quito Visitors' Bureau [4] has several information centres around the city. These include at the International Arrivals terminal at the airport; the small Parque Gabriela Mistral, on Reina Victoria in the Mariscal quarter; the Banco Central Museum in the Mariscal District; and finally, in the Old Town, on the ground floor of the Palacio Municipal on one side of Plaza Grande - their main centre. This includes helpful staff, lockers for leaving bags, maps, leaflets and books for sale, a store of Ecuadorian crafts. This offices offers subsidised guided tours, with various routes available. The contacts for the main office are: (+593 2) 2570 - 786 / 2586 - 591, info@quito-turismo.com [5]

The Ministry of Tourism [6]] has offices in their building on Avenida Eloy Alfaro and Carlos Tobar, close to the El Jardin shopping mall which cater to tourists. The Pichincha Chamber of Tourism (CAPTUR) is [7].

Quito's Plaza Grande at night
Quito's Plaza Grande at night
* The Visitors' Bureau publishes a useful A3-size map with all the city's attractions. You can pick it up at their information offices. They also publish a number of pocket guides on various themes, including walking guides, a guide to the city's Viewpoints, a guide to the Mariscal, routes north, south and northwest. Their website [8] has an interactive map; listings of hotels, restaurants, etc; videos, etc.

You have to pay an airport fee of USD 40.80 in cash when leaving Quito by air(12'2009).

Near the baggage area of the Quito airport, it is possible to buy vouchers that can be used for a taxi ride. As of 2007, the cost to go to the tourist hotel zone was $5.

If you wish to try taking a bus instead of a taxi to the Mariscal (main tourist destination) section of Quito (it is not advisable if you have much luggage or are not familiar with Quito), which is often referred to as "gringolandia" by tourists or "la zona" by locals, you can exit the airport, cross the main street, and board any bus with "J.L. Mera" or "Juan L. Mera" on the sign. The cost is USD $0.25, but if you are a student under 18 or a senior citizen over 65 then it is USD $0.12.

A new, large international airport is presently under construction in a valley located in the northeast of Quito. It will be well outside the city between the towns of Tababela and Puembo, approx. 25 kms from the city. It will feature a one of the longest runways in Latin America: 4,100 meters long by 45 meters wide, that will allow an average of 44 take-offs and landings per hour. The airport is expected to start its operations in mid-2011.

By Bus

The old "Terminal Terrestre," which was located in Cumandá (Center of the city)has been replaced by two new terminals.

  • Terminal Quitumbe (located in the far south of Quito), services all the buses that go to any destination south of Quito: Basically all of the coastal provinces, all of the amazonian provinces, and all of the mountain region (sierra) provinces except two: Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located).
  • For Carchi and Imbabura (where Otavalo and other tourist attractions are located) two you need to go to Terminal Carcelén (located in the far north of Quito).

Fares depend on where your going. Long distance bus fairs in Ecuador cost around $1 per hour, but generally the price is already established. So if for some reason, your bus trip takes double the time to get to your destination, for whatever reason (damaged road, too much traffic, etc.) you don't have to pay the extra hours. The fare to Guayaquil (July 2009) is 9$.

Still, the same safeguards apply: as long as you hold on to your belongings and don't hang around there at odd hours, it is safe. People will probably shout at you asking where you are going. They either work for a bus company and want to get you to buy a ticket with that company or want to help you find the bus you are looking for in exchange for a tip. If you arrive with a lot of luggage it's best to avoid the public transportation system in Quito and take a taxi to your hotel. Ecuadorian long-distance buses will generally let passengers off anywhere along their route.

  • El Trole (The Trolley) and the Ecovía follow north-south-lines down through the heart of Quito. $0.25 for a ride. Take note that there is no tradition of waiting for people to disembark before people board, so this may take some getting used to. The buses are among the cleanest of South America, but still, be aware of pickpockets!
  • Ecovia run from Rio Coca Station at north in Quito to the la Marin Station inside the Quito historic Downtown. The ride cost $0.25, is a good way to reach the Mariscal area if you live or stay at the western neighborhoods in Quito.
  • Metrobus run from Universidad Central in America Avenue, next to Prensa Ave, and then to Diego de Vasquez Ave. until Carcelen last station, this is the best bus service for visitors who wants to visit the Mitad del Mundo Monument, because at Ofelia station the public services buses who go to Mitad del Mundo monument waits to make the switching and carry visitors to Mitad del Mundo, $0.25 until Ofelia station, $0.35 to Mitad del Mundo Monument.
  • The easiest way to get to most Quito hotels from the airport is to buy a taxi ticket, available after the baggage area before exiting the airport. Cost to the hotels in the main tourist area is $5 (November 2008).
  • Taxis and buses are everywhere and very inexpensive. . A taxi ride costs a minimum of $1 during the day and a minimum of $2 at night. Only use official taxis (yellow with a number painted on the door). Make sure the driver turns on the taxi meter if you don't want to get ripped off and find another taxi if they claim its broken (taxímetro). At night or if they refuse to, negotiate the price before getting in, or wait for the next. Carry small denominations of money and have exact change for your taxi fare. If you do not have exact change, taxi drivers conveniently won't be able to make change for you and will try to convince you to make the change a tip instead. Most major hotels have taxis that they have approved as safe and legitimate. If unsure about a taxi, call your hotel and they can generally have a safe taxi dispatched to your location. A bus trip costs in Quito $0.25, including Trole and Ecovía (July 2009)
  • The railway station is at the south end of the old city, close to the El Trole route. The railway is very rundown and services are erratic. It's best to check with the Visitors' Bureau on the most recent timetable.
  • You can rent a car in Quito, but it's not recommended for getting around the city. It's not worth the effort with taxis so cheap. Renting a car is a possibility for exploring further afield, to the Cotopaxi or Otavalo or Papallacta areas, for instance, but is only recommended for those who speak a bit of Spanish and can handle the tension of Ecuador's 'lax' driving rules.
  • You can also get around by renting a Bike at Yellow Bike. Quito offers a unique Cycle Path that goes around the nothern part of the City, through out Av. Amazonas to Parque La Carolina. If you rent a bike to travel around Quito we recommend you are carefull and use a healmet, it is a nice adventure and a cheap way to get around but it can some times be dangerous because of the heavy traffic. Lizardo Garcia 512 y Almagro, La Mariscal. www.yellowbike.com.ec
Plaza Grande, Quito
Plaza Grande, Quito
  • Conjunto monumental San Francisco. The church dates back from the 1570s and was devoted to San Francis, since the Franciscan order was the first to settle in the area. Hence the city's official name: San Francisco de Quito. The church contains masterpieces of syncretic art, including the famous "Virgin of Quito" by Legarda. The sculpture represents a winged virgin stepping on the devil's head (in the form of a serpent) and is displayed in the main altar. The virgin would later be inaccurately replicated on top of Panecillo hill. The museum next door to the church is arranged through the monastic compound and includes access to the choir.
  • Museo del Banco Central. Located across from the Casa de la Cultura and adjacent to the Parque El Ejido, you'll find perhaps Ecuador's most renowned museum with different Salas, or rooms, devoted to pre-Colombian, Colonial and gold works of art, among other topics. Some of the famous pieces include whistle bottles shaped like animals, elaborate gold headdresses and re-created miniature scenes of life along the Amazon. The museum is well-organized, and it takes about 3-4 hours to see everything. Guides who speak several different languages including English, French and Spanish are available for a small fee.
  • Museo de la Ciudad. The Museo de la Ciudad is in the Old Town, on Garcia Moreno street, directly opposite the Carmen Alto monastery. A lovely museum with two floors encircling two quiet courtyards, the "Museo de la Ciudad" provides more of a social history of Ecuador than other museums in Quito. Re-enacted scenes from daily life of Ecuador's citizens through the years include a hearth scene from a 16th-century home, a battle scene against the Spanish, and illustrations of the building of Iglesia de San Francisco church.
  • Teleferico. This is the world's second-highest cable car. It's located on the eastern flanks of the Pichincha Volcano which overlooks the whole city. It hoists visitors up to an amazing 4,000 meters (12,000 feet). On clear days, one can spot half-a-dozen volcanoes and spy the entire city below. You can also hike up from here to the Guagua Pichincha Volcano, which is active. See Teleferiqo website for details [10]. It is $4 for locals, but $8 for foreigners. There is also an express lane option for more money.
  • Botanical Gardens. The Jardin Botanico is located on the southwest side of Parque La Carolina. It's a wonderful escape from the city, with all of Ecuador's ecosystems represented with a wide variety of flora. You can take a guided tour or just wander. The highlight for many people are the two glassed-in orchidariums.
  • Museo Mindalae. An extremely original project in the north part of the Mariscal District, this museum provides an 'ethno-historical' view of Ecuador's amazingly rich cultural diversity. You can find out about the country's different peoples, from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon, and their crafts in a specially-built and designed structure. The museum has a restaurant for lunch, a cafe and a fair-trade shop.
  • Itchimbia cultural complex and park. This hill lies to the east of the Old Town. It provides stunning views of central and northern Quito, as well as the distant peak of Cayambe to the northeast. The hillside was was made into a park and an impressive cultural centre established here in 2005. The centre holds temporary exhibitions. At the weekends, there are workshops and fun for children. A restaurant, Pim's, opened at the complex in June 2007. The complex closes at 6 pm. Once it closes, you can head to the nearby Cafe Mosaico to watch the sunset until about 7 pm. It's a great spot to watch the fading of the light on the mountainside with the floodlights of the Old Town's churches.
  • Museo Guayasamin [11]. This musueum houses the collection of Ecuador's most renowned contemporary artists, Oswaldo Guayasamin. It has a fine collection of pre-Colombian, colonial and independence art, as well as housing many of the artist's works. You can also visit the nearby Chapel of Man (Capilla del Hombre) [12] which was built posthumously to house some of Guayasamin's vast canvasses on the condition of Latin American Man.
  • Calle de la Ronda. This street in the Old Town was restored by Municipality and FONSAL in 2007. It was transformed with the help and cooperation of the local residents. It's a romantic cobbled street just off the Plaza Santo Domingo (or it can be reached via Garcia Moreno by the City Museum). There are shops, patios, art galleries and modest cafe restaurants now, all run by residents. Cultural events are common at the weekends.
  • La Vírgen del Panecillo. Adjacent to the Old City, El Panecillo is a large hill on top of which is La Virgin del Panecillo, a large statue of the 'winged' Virgin Mary. She can be seen from most points in the city. Local legend has it that she is the only virgin in Quito. Never walk up the hill, always take a taxi or a bus as the walk up can be dangerous.
  • Mitad del Mundo. Just outside of Quito is where the measurements were first made that proved that the shape of the Earth is in fact an oblate spheroid. Commemorating this is a large monument that straddles the equator called Mitad del Mundo or middle of the world. Note, however, that the true equator is not at the Mitad del Mundo monument. Through the magic of GPS technology, we now know that it is only 240 meters away -- right where the Indians said it was before the French came along and built the monument in the wrong place. The entrance for the park is $2 and for most of the attractions you have to pay extra. The Intiñan Solar Museum is right next to the Mitad del Mundo monument on the other side of the North fence. For $3 you can have a tour of this little museum. They demonstrate the Coriolis effect and several other interesting things. The place looks like a total dump and is at the end of a dirt road, but is much more interesting and informative than the Mitad del Mundo. When you go to the middle of the world, it is best to go with a tour, or hire a taxi driver by the hour. The hourly rate should be in the $12 or less range. Buses leave from the Occidental or Av. America for $0.40.
  • Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus. In the Old City, this church is regarded by many as the most beautiful in the Americas. Partially destroyed by fire, it was restored with assistance from the Getty Foundation and other benefactors. Stunning.
Calle Olmedo in the old town of Quito
Calle Olmedo in the old town of Quito
  • Explore the Old Town With its gorgeous colonial architecture, relaxing plazas and a stunning number of churches. If you happen to be there during Christmas or Easter, you'll be amazed at the number of events, masses, and processions that bring out the crowds. You'll find craft shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels across its grid of streets.
  • A recommended walking tour that could enhance your vision of the Historic Center is as follows. Take the trolley (watch your belongings) south until "Cumanda" stop. Get down, you are on Maldonado street. There you will have an impressive view of what once was the "Jerusalem" ravine, which stands between Panecillo and the core. Walk north past the trolley stop and go down a narrow stairway that brings you to La Ronda street, of Pre-columbian origins. Walk up picturesque La Ronda until you reach Av. 24 de Mayo. This boulevard was built on top of this section of Jerusalem ravine to connect the two sides of town. On Garcia Moreno Street turn north and you will arrive to the Museo de la Ciudad, which provides an easy and interactive history of Quito. Then walk on Garcia Moreno street until Sucre, which is a pedestrian street. La Compania is at the corner and if you go up Sucre street you will reach San Francisco. If you continue on Garcia Moreno you will reach the Main (independence) Square. If you go to San Francisco, then walk to La Merced and down to the Main Square. This itinerary follows a chronological and logical sequence of sites. Most people do it backwards, turning La Ronda and Museo de la Ciudad as distant points where you're usually worn out by the time you get there. In any event, the Historic Center is so vast that you need more than one visit to see it all. The recommended walk provides you with a good overview if you're short of time or want to see as much as possible on a first day. Check out the Quito Visitors' Bureau walking tours, also [13]]
  • Watch The old men play Ecuador's version of bocce at Parque El Ejido. You can also see some serious games of Ecua-volley, the local version of volleyball, on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • The Middle of the World 45 mins from the capital Quito, you can go to see the Monument to the middle of the World. It's a big monument with many events and things to do. For example, national indigineous music groups play different songs of their culture. There are museums with the history of the 0 latitud and history of Quito as well. There are many unique artworks and once you are there you can even weight your self and you will find out how you weigh less on the equator.
  • Bicycle Ride the Ciclopaseo takes place every Sunday. 30 kilometres (20 miles) of roads running north-south through the city are completely closed to traffic. People cycle, run and blade the route. Up to 30,000 people take part. Several bike shops rent bikes for visitors to be able to take part.
  • Yellow Bike Rent a Bike and Discover Quito. Lizardo Garcia 512 y Almagro, La Mariscal. www.yellowbike.com.ec
  • Cable Car There is a cable car ride up the side of Ruco Pichina. It's called "Teleferico" in spanish. Ask your hotel about the special buses that run through the city taking people towards this destination. You can also find your own way there through taxi or bus.
  • Go Mountain Biking (Flying Dutchman mountain biking tours), Foch E4-313 (corner of JL Mera, in La Meriscal), (02) 2568 323, [14]. There are many outfits offering one- to multi-day mountain biking trips to the surrounding volcanos, lakes, and valleys. Biking Dutchman is one of the oldest and most well-regarded.  edit
  • Banana Spanish School, José Tamayo 935-A y Foch, [15]. Spanish classes for foreign students in Ecuador. Affordable classes, at a teachers co-op.  edit

Buy

There are lots of artisans working on unique crafts in the capital. These include guitar-makers, candle makers, tanners and leather-workers, silversmiths, ceramicists and woodcarvers. You can find them at their workshops, published in a guide by the Visitors' Bureau.

There are also several fair-trade shops in Quito which promise to pay the craftspeople fairly for their products. The ones at the Tianguez (Plaza San Francisco), El Quinde (Plaza Grande), and Museo Mindalae are all very good.

There are many shopping malls in Quito such as Quicentro, Mall el Jardin, CCI, CC. El Bosque, Megamaxi, Ventura Mall, Ciudad Comercial el Recreo, San Luis, etc. and every street corner has several small "Mom and Pop" shops or stands where only a couple of items are for sale. If your shopping list is very long, you may spend all day looking around for the stores that have the items on your list.

There are many casual wear stores like MNG, Benetton, Lacoste, Guess, Fossil, Bohno,Diesel etc. So if you need some items Quito is in fact a very good place to buy nice clothes at relatively low prices.

Ecuador's indigenous peoples include many highly skilled weavers. Almost everyone who goes to Ecuador sooner or later purchases a sweater, scarf or tapestry. In Quito vendors are found along the sidewalks of more touristy neighborhoods. You should also consider travelling directly to some of the artisen markets, such as the famous one in Otavalo. If you haven't got time for Otavalo, you can find virtually the same gear at the market on Jorge Washington and Juan Leon Mera in the Mariscal district. The Mariscal is replete with dozens of souvenir, craft and T-shirt stores which make shopping for a gift very easy.

  • Zapytal, Foch E4-298 v Av Amazonas, 528 757. Hand made shoes. A wide selection in stock plus made to measure if you have 8 days to spare. A selection of correspondant (spectator shoes), riding boots and womens shoes $80  edit
  • Guitarras Guacan, Chimborazo y Bahia, Quito, (+593) 2-2583-475, [16]. Master Luthier Cesar Guacan's quaint guitar workshop at the base of the Virgin del Panecillo - great guitars for both professionals and budget-conscious. www.guitarrasguacan.com  edit

Eat

You name it, and it's available in Quito. Restaurants range from the basic places offering chicken and rice for $1.50 to international food with very expensive prices. The country benefits from all worlds, with a variety of dishes inspired by both coastal and Andean produce. Seafood and fish is fresh and delicious, while meats, particularly pork, are excellent. These combine with typical ingredients such as potatoes, plantains and all sorts of tropical and Andean fruits.

A good area to head to for eating out is the Plaza El Quinde (or Foch) which is in the Mariscal district at Foch y Reina Victoria. There are dozens of restaurants and eateries all around this area. La Floresta, up the hill from the Mariscal around 12 de Octubre, also has many fine restaurants. The La Floresta traffic circle turns into an evening market after 5 pm and the most popular dish served is tripa mishqui (grilled beef or pork intestines).

Churrasco is a a great Ecuadorian version of a Brazilian dish. Tallarin is a popular noodle dish mixed with chicken or beef. Chinese restaurants are known as "Chifas" and are very abundant. Chaulafan is the local term for fried-rice, a very popular dish. Cebiche (also spelled ceviche) is a very popular dish in which clams or shrimp are marinated in a broth. Worth trying, but look for a well known restaurant with many locals to be sure you are getting fresh seafood.

When buying from lower-priced restaurants or shops, if you only have bills larger than a $5, it's a good idea to get them changed at a bank first.

  • Pim's, [17]. A Ecuadorian Franchise. They have 3 locals, Panecillo, Cumbaya and Isabel La Catolica (next to the Swissotel).  edit
  • El Capuleto -Italian. Av. Eloy Alfaro y 6 de Diciembre. You can enjoy a fine italian meal in a quiet space... but just in the middle of the city. The home made pizza and the capuccino are excelent.
  • Tibidabo - International cuisine. Moderate. Attentive service in a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere. General Salazar 934 y 12 de Octubre. Tel. 593-2 223-7334. Hours: M - F 12:30 - 4 and 6:30 - 11; Sat 6:30 - 11; Sunday closed. Reservations recommended.
  • Restaurante Las Redes - Seafood. Moderate. Popular with the locals; well known for ceviche. Amazonas 845. Tel. 252 5697.
  • Ille de France - French. Expensive and excellent. Formal attire. Reina Victoria 1747. Tel. 255 3292. Hours: Daily 7 - 11.
  • El Nispero, Valladoli N24-438 y Cordero, tel. 222 6398. Fine Ecuadorian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. Moderate. Business casual. Hours: Tues - Sat 12 - 4 and 7 - 11; Sun - Mon 12 - 4. Reservations recommended.
  • Cebiches de la Rumiñahui, Real Audiencia N59-121 La Mariscal. Ceviches are its specialty. Reasonable prices for excellent cebiche. Popular with locals. You can also find it in the food courts of "Quicentro Shopping" Mall, "San Marino Shopping" Mall and "El Recreo" Mall.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Salinas, near the intersection with Riofrio. Vegetarian almuerzos for $2. Juice, soups, snacks, soya milk, vegy steaks etc. Good vegy food, in a very clean environment. They also sell powdered soya milk, and a few dietary supplements.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Av Mariania de Jesus, down the hill from the juction with Hungaria. Chinese type vegy food. Complete Almuerzos with brown rice $2.50, or get seperate elements: soup 70c, main $1.80, and Great Juices 50c or 70c. Pearl tea $1.20 or $1.50. Soy milk 80c. Chaumien, Chaulafan, Chop Suey all $2.50.
  • Hare Krishna Vegetarian Restaurante, Right in the middle of the historic old town, on Esmereldas, just up the junction with Vargas. Peaceful coutyard setting. Vegy food, yoga, social events, lots of information. Next to the imaginitively named
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Does almuerzos for $2, brown rice, good juice. Standard vegy fayre.
  • Mongos, Mongolian Grill. Calama 469 y Juan Leon Mera, in the heart of trendy gringolandia new town. All your can eat buffets (vegetarian $3.99, with meats $5.99. Includes salad or soup entre, and one free drink. Great quality meat.
  • Mulligan's, Calama E5-44 y Juan Leon Mera (La Mariscal), 223-6844. Need a break from all the new tastes, get a taste and comfort from home. This American style Sports Bar has great food and you can watch all your favorite sports on TV.  edit
  • Restaurant Techo del Mundo, Av. González Suárez N27 142 (In the 7th floor of Hotel Quito), (593)2 254 4600, [18]. 8:00 AM - 12AM. Luxurious restaurant with an expectacular view located in the 5 stars hotel “Hotel Quito”, international and Ecuadorian cuisine.  edit

Drink

There are several Ecuadorian brands of beer, but the most prevalent throughout the country is Pilsener. There are also some alcoholic drinks which can only be found in Quito like Mistelas, etc.

  • Sport Planet, Av. America y Naciones Unidas, 593 2 267 790. Located on the 3rd floor of "Plaza de las Americas". Is the Ecuadorian version of Hollywood Planet. The night sky of northen Quito is incredible and the food is great.  edit
  • Turtle's Head, La Niña 626 y Amazonas, 593-2-256-5544. An english pub style bar. They have their own brews along with other popular beers.  edit
  • Q bar+restaurant+lounge, Plaza Foch, La Mariscal, [+593 2] 255 7840, [19]. A very elegant lounge style bar. It's located on Foch Plaza so you have access to an even wider options nearby.  edit
  • Sutra, J Calama 380, Mariscal Sucre. A great place to have some drinks and have a chat, or just to pass the time. Is just above "no bar"  edit
  • El pobre Diablo, Isabel La Católica E12-06 y Galavis esq. La Floresta, telef: (593) 02 2235194 / 2225397 / 099216290. Is one of the oldest cafe-bars in Quito. Almost every week there are some kind of cultural activity or a live concert. The food and the drinks are moderately priced. The "Vino caliente" and "canelazo" are recommended.  edit
  • The Magic Bean, Foch # 681 E5-08 y Juan Leon Mera, 03 593 2 2566 181, [20]. a good menu, excellent quality and big portions, a good "backpacker" vibe to the restaurant and english speaking staff, good juices, the only down sides are that it´s a bit pricey, and the service can be very slow.  edit

Dance Clubs

La Mariscal offers tons of places for dancing or just drinks.

  • Varadero - Reina Victoria 1751 and La Pinta; Small, local and super sweaty, this bar-restaurant packs in the crowds for high-energy live Cuban music. Small cover to get in and drinks are moderately expensive.
  • El Aguijon - A favorite of locals and tourist, if you like ska, new punk and all kinds of alternative rock music this is the place for you, this is the best place in the city for you to hear the fusion between Ecuadorian and Latin rhythms like salsa, meringue vallenatos, cumbias, etc. and reggae, trip hop, trance, skapunk etc. Located in the Mariscal District.
  • "Seseribo" - Famous for being the first Salsoteca in Quito. Ave. Veintimilla & 12 de Octubre Bdg. El Girón (basement). They play tropical beats here and on wednesdays they have live salsa. The club also functions as a cultural space for live Caribbean Music, art expositions and book presentations.
  • Blooms - Walking distance from Reina Victoria. It's more of beer pub than anything else, a nice place to start the night.
  • Bungalow 6 - Located at Calama street - One of the hottest bars in Quito, In Bungalow you will find all nationalities. Go for a drink and you will have the time of your life and for sure you will meet some very cool people from all over the world!
  • No Bar - One of the oldest places in Quito. Located at Calama steet and Juan Leon Mera.

Outside of La Mariscal are other clubs that are more famous among locals.

  • Discoteca Blues Av.Republica - a popular late night electronica/rock club.
  • Strawberry Fields Forever Calama y Juan Leon Mera - a unique Beatle Bar in the heart of La Mariscal/rock and roll and more.

Guapulo

Check out the Guapulo area of Quito, its a winding steep area with several great bars and cafés with a real bohemian feel.

Sleep

There are dozens of hostels and hotels in town to accommodate all the visitors. Most people stay in the new town, which is closer to the nightlife.

New Town

Budget

  • Hostal Backpackers Inn, Juan Rodriguez E7-48 y Almagro, http://backpackersinn.net Centrally and very quietly located in the heart of La Mariscal District. The rooms and bathrooms are very clean. Good Kitchen for joint use, Free Internet and WiFi. Check-in and entrance available 24 hours. Big, comfy common rooms filled with fun things and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Parking space available at no charge. From 6.50 USD/Dorm night. +593.2.2509669 info@backpackersinn.net.
  • La Casa Sol Calama 127 http://lacasasol-quito.minihostels.com +59322230798 A colorful, homey hostel in the best part of the neighborhood, close to shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Great amenities, a cafe and international library, and a beautiful antique house.
  • Casa Helbling, General Veintimilla 531 y 6 de Diciembre, La Mariscal, Tel: 02 222 6013. [21] An old, but well preserved, large mansion where every room is different, but all are nice with a lot of light. Most are shared bathrooms. Full kitchen available for use; nice courtyards, roof decks, and outdoor speaces. Breakfast and laundry available. German and English spoken. Free wifi, and a computer for use. Friendly, relaxed staff. Quiet and tranquil, perfect for those over 30 who want to be in La Mariscal but away from the crazy college crowd. Rooms around $12/night.
  • El Cafecito, Cordero 1124, La Mariscal, Tel: 02 223 4862. Clean rooms, a popular cafe/restaurant and a tranquil shaded courtyard all housed in a beautifully decorated building in the Mariscal. The hostel has 6 rooms and prices start at $7USD (June, 2009) for a dorm bed.
  • La Casona de Mario, Andalucia 213 y Galicia, La Floresta. [22] Tel: 2 254 4036 Single double and triple room. All rooms have shared bathrooms and there is a set price of $10.00 per person per night.
  • La Casa de Elize, Isabel La Católica N24-679. Hostel with a family atmosphere. It's a few blocks from the Mariscal area. Dormbed $6 and breakfast $1,50.
  • El Centro Del Mundo, +593.222.9050, [23]. Lizardo García E7-26 Between Diego Almagro y Reina Victoria Quito. Has affordable rooms, a trilingual owner Pierre, and is a great spot for backpackers. Television room and free rum and coke nights three times a week. Food is also available. Showers aren't very hot though. USD 5.60.
  • Hostal Belmont, [24]. Anteparra N-413, rooftop kitchen and terrace with great views over the city, TV room with DVDs and SNES, free use of washing machines, free internet, free tea/coffee/aromaticas all day, friendly family run place, 2 mins from Itchimbia park - more great views. 6 USD per person per night. +593.2.295 6235
  • Magic Bean Hostal, [25]. Foch No 681 (E5-08) y Juan Leon Mera Small hostel over the restaurant. One large room sleeps 3 with private bath ($40 plus taxes) the other accommodation in a Dorm style room. Friendly staff and an excellent breakfast, but its a very noisy area. +593-2-2566 181

Mid-Range

  • Hotel Sierra Nevada, Joaquin Pinto 150-E4 y Cordero, la Mariscal, +593.2.2553658 (, fax: +593.2.2554936), [26]. checkin: 24h; checkout: 2:00 PM. The hotel (founded in 1997) is located in a charming old townhouse right off the famous Avenida Amazonas. It has 19 rooms and offers free breakfast. They offer airport pick-ups. Single $35.50; double $52.00; triple $68.00; quadruple $79.00.  edit
  • Hostal la Rabida, La Rabida 227 y Santa Maria, Tel. (5932) 222-1720, [27]. Rates range from $46-$70 a day. There is also a very good restaurant on the premises. Friendly staff.
  • Hotel Sierra Madre, Av Veintemilia # 464 y Luis Tamayo, 2224 950. A good mid range place, comfortable beds, quiet rooms, close to La Mariscal (2 minutes) but much quieter. Breakfast expensive, just walk into town $60.78.  edit
  • Hotel Quito, Av. González Suárez N27 142, Phone: (593)2 254 4600 This hotel offers the following services: Casino, Restaurant, Room service, Wifi, Swimming pool, Garden spa and fitness, Business Center, Shops, Parking, Wet and dry cleaning, Nanny Service [28]
  • JW Marriott Hotel Quito, Av. Orellana 1172 y Av. Amazonas, Phone: +593 2 2972000 One of the premier luxury hotels in Quito, Ecuador. The JW Marriott Hotel Quito offers spacious and luxurious guest rooms, along with first-class meeting facilities, a beautiful outdoor pool and garden, full-service SPA and outstanding restaurants. [29]

Between the Old and New Town

Budget

  • L'Auberge Inn, Av. Colombia 1138 y Yaguachi, (593) 2 2 552 912 (, fax: (593) 2 2 569 886), [30]. Nice place to make your base for your time in Quito. Clean but basic rooms, internet in-house and a big cheap breakfast. There is also a pizza restaurant directly below.  edit

Old Town

Closer to the bus station, Old Town is a good base for sightseers.

Budget

  • The Secret Garden, Calle Antepara E4-60 y Los Rios, San Blas, (593)2956 704 or (593)3160 949, [31]. Offers a roof terrace with a great view and herbs grown by the volunteer staff. Moreover there is a jaw dropping and wonderful view of the older section of Quito. Has a great in-house travel agency Carpedm Adventures ( http://www.carpedm.ca ) to help sort out Galapagos, Amazon & more. There are fires nightly and the staff cooks three course meals every night, the hostel also offers breakfast for $2.
  • Hotel Huasi Continental (Close to the crossing of Flores and Sucre.), Calle Flores 308 (email: info@hotelhuasi.com), +593 2 2957 327/+593 2 2956 535, [32]. Nice and clean hotel in the old town with helpful staff. Note that some of the rooms facing the street can be a bit noisy. Singles from $10.  edit

Mid-Range

  • Hotel San Francisco de Quito, Sucre 217 y Guayaquil (Walk north-east from Santo Domingo Trole station to Sucre, turn left, hotel is on your left. If taking a cab, walk to a nearby street...cabs in front of the hotel will refuse to use their meter.), +593 2 2951 241/+593 2 2287 758, [33]. A lovely, comfortable, converted estate house offering excellent value. Price includes a basic breakfast, which can be upgraded for a price. Some rooms on the courtyard and street are a bit noisy. There are no windows in most rooms. The restaurant also serves excellent dinners, priced in line with other a-la-carte restaurants. singles/doubles $23/$42.  edit

Splurge

  • A number of small, boutique hotels have opened recently in the Old Town. These include the five-star Hotel Plaza Grande [34], Villa Colonna [35], El Relicario del Carmen [36] and the longest-established: Patio Andaluz [37].

Stay safe

Dangerous Neighborhoods

Quito is a generally safe city but as in every big city tourists should take special care in certain areas just in case:

Do not travel up El Panecillo on foot; use a taxi even during the day. The Old City, Mariscal Sucre, and all parks among other areas can be unsafe at night so taxis are advised for even short distances. However, much of the central squares of the Old Town are patrolled by police and well-lit, so it's fine for a stroll in a group. Keep your belongings as close and as secure as possible. Beware of credit card fraud, which is an increasingly serious problem in Quito as tourists are being targeted in the Mariscal area.

The old town is a great place to visit or even to stay in but can attract petty crime against foreigners, particularly pickpocketing and purse-snatchings during daylight hours. The plaza and doors of the San Francisco church are a particularly notorious area for this. Pickpocketing is done by highly skilled groups of 3 or 4 people. You are best off not bringing a wallet at all--just some bills split between various pockets. Despite the crime against foreigners during the daytime, the area is OK to visit at night and heavily patrolled.

The main bus station is an area known to target travelers (foreigners or locals alike). You need to watch your bags closely, before departure, during departure, even once on the bus. It is best not even to put your luggage in the overhead shelving or under your own seat, as you can be easily distracted and have all your key possessions stolen before realizing it. Unfortunately you need to watch your bags on top of, or under the bus, at every stop until you arrive at your destination. There are two important sorts of scams that you may encounter on buses:

(1) One common one scam involves a thief impersonating bus staff (this can be easy because those of many companies don't have uniforms) who will direct you to a seat and finding some excuse to ask you to put your bag in the overhead compartment or directly under your own seat where you can't see it; an accomplice seated directly behind you will then slash open your bag and steal the belongings. Having the bag between your legs is not safe either as children are commonly used to climb down under the seat (from behind you), slash the bag, and remove belongings without you ever feeling a thing. Always have your bag on your lap.

(2) Another scam will often have an accomplice who will provide a distraction such as pretending to sell sweets before spilling them all over you, giving their friend the chance to steal your belongings. This can't be emphasised enough: don't let your belongings out of sight. If something suspicious is happening like this on a bus, just refuse to co-operate and hold your belongings close to you. Robberies of this kind are common, particularly on buses leaving Quito. It's worth considering paying $3 or $4 more for a trip on a more high end bus as these often have additional security measures, which can prevent robberies of tourists and locals alike. On city buses, it's best not bring a backpack. If you absolutely have to bring one, wear it on your chest, not your back.

Finally, several neighborhoods located to the very north and south of the city are infamous among locals for having gang/delinquent trouble. "La Bota" to the north is specially notorious as it even locals try to avoid passing through it as much as possible.

Assaults of Hikers and Trekkers

Do not assume you're safe when hiking or climbing in Ecuador. Unfortunately, there have been a number of rapes and robberies of individuals and couples who have gone on treks, including well known hikes such as the Pichincha volcano (there have been quite many assaults reported above the teleferico for Rucu Pichincha). If you plan to hike your best bet is to go in a LARGE group. Individual travelers might organize a group themselves through their hostel or the South American Explorers Club, or go on a trek organized through a reputable travel agency or trekking company. Ask around before to determine a company's reputation.

Blend in and avoid con artists

Wearing "gringo" clothes (i.e. fishing vests, travelers pants, bright colored t-shirts, dirty sandals) will make you a target. A pair of nice black pants and a non-descript white/off-white t-shirt will make you look a business person who knows his way around and not just another tourist posing as a Haight-Ashbury hippie.

Independent travelers in Ecuador are likely to be approached at some point or another by con artists or persons with "sob stories". Ignore such persons and be wary of anyone asking for money under any pretext, including children begging. If you're feeling charitable, Ecuador has lots of legitimate charities you can support.

Illicit Drugs

Avoid associating at all with the drug trade in Ecuador. Ecuador has strict laws against possesion, transportation and use of illegal drugs and foreigners caught transporting drugs at the airports have been sentenced to long prison terms. Unfortunately, any foreigner with a "alternative" or "hippie" appearance (such as men with long hair) may be assumed by some Ecuadorians to be looking for drugs. If you are approached about drugs in any context it safe to assume the person approaching you is up to no good.

One exception is use of ethnogens by indigenous people. Interest in ayahuasca is prompting increasing numbers of Americans and Europeans to travel to south america in order to partake in traditional ceremonies, and Ecuador is one such place. It is advisable to plan such a trip with a reliable guide before you travel there.

Local Laws and the Ecuadorian National Police

All Ecuadorian citizens and visitors are required to carry ID at all times. If your stay in Ecuador is for a few months or longer, sooner or later you will encounter a roadside police check and be requested to show ID. You can show your passport; however, carrying your passport around all the time is not advised due to the risk of loss of theft. A better option is to have a copy of your passport certified by your embassy and carry that. Students and long term residents will be issued an Ecuadorian "censo" card that can also be carried in place of a passport for ID purposes.

If you are the victim of a crime it is suggested you report it to the Ecuadorian National Police (by law, you must report within 72 hours of the incident), as well as to your home country embassy and to the South American Explorers Club.

In 2009, two Visitor Safety Service offices were opened or revamped. They can help with filling out forms, embassies and passports, etc. They have two vehicles for further assistance. Staff speak English and some other languages. These are:

Corner of Roca y Reina Victoria, Edif. Relaciones Exteriores (Pasaportes) Opening Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week. Tel: (+593 2) 254-3983 ssturistica98@yahoo.com

Historic Centre Plaza Grande (north side of the square on calle Chile, between Venezuela and García Moreno), Edif. Casa de los Alcaldes. Opening Times: 24 hours, 7 days a week. Tel: (+593 2) 295-5785

Contact

A good place to start is the Quito Visitors' Bureau [38]. It has several information centres around the city. These include at the International and Domestic Arrivals terminals at the airport; the Parque Gabriela Mistral in the Mariscal District (just north of Plaza Foch); the Banco Central Museum in the Masiscal District; and finally, in the Old Town, on the ground floor of the Palacio Municipal on one side of Plaza Grande - their main centre.

The main centre includes helpful English-speaking staff, lockers for leaving bags, maps, leaflets and books for sale, a store of Ecuadorian crafts. This centre also offers free guided tours of the Old Town, where visitors only pay the admission fees to sights. The contacts for the main office are: (+593 2) 2570 - 786 / 2586 - 591, info@quito-turismo.com [39]

The main iTur (national tourist information offices, [40]) is located in northern Quito, close to La Carolina park and El Jardin malls, to one side of the Ministry of Tourism, Av. Eloy Alfaro y Carlos Tobar.

Get out

Quito is surrounded by a variety of places that could interest all kinds of tourists. A couple of hours on a bus ride is all it takes to reach them:

To the North, all tourists should visit the province of Imbabura, which has a beautiful lakes such as Yaguarcocha, and San Pablo. Hikers and mountain climbers can also ask for adventures in Cayambe National Park, home of the 3rd largest volcano in Ecuador. It's a highly inactive volcano by the way. For tourists who want to shop a bit, they should take notice of the town of Otavalo, it's indian market is famous worldwide for the quality and variety of products on sale. Don't forget to haggle for your preferred price!

To the North West of Quito lies the region of Mindo, a subtropical rainforest paradise, full of rivers, majestic waterfalls, unique wildlife and more. The region is home to a variety of animal wildlife sanctuaries, and is famous locally and internationally because of its beauty.

At a slightly higher altitude to Mindo is the Cloudforest. The variety of plants, birds and butterflies is wonderful. The guides carry good qulaity binoculars to help you spot some of the many varieties of birds. After each guided walk you can return to the lodge for meals. Near the main buildings there are many humminbird feeders which attract many of the energetic and luminous birds. Accommodation is simple but very clean and pleasant with balconies from which you get beautiful views into the forest.

To the east, lies Papallacta which is a thermal water resort town. If you're into spas and relaxation, dipping into one of the natural hotwater pools for a couple of hours is a no brainer. The trucha (trout) dishes that are served here are also exquisite.

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

QUITO, the capital of the republic of Ecuador, the see of an archbishopric covering the same territory, and the capital of the province of Pichincha, in lat. o 14' S., long. 79° 45' W., about 114 m. from the Pacific coast and 165 m. in a direct line N. E. of Guayaquil, with which it is connected by a railway completed in 1908. Pop. (1906) 50,840, of whom 1365 were foreigners, mostly Colombians. It occupies a small basin of the great central plateau formed by the volcano Pichincha on the W., the Puengasi ridge on the E., and ridges N. and S. formed by spurs from the eastern side of Pichincha. The ground upon which the city is built is uneven and is traversed from W. to E. by two deep ravines (quebradas), one of which is arched over in great part to preserve the alignment of the streets, the drainage of which escapes through a cleft in the ridge northward to the plain of Tumbaco. The city is in great part laid out in rectangular squares, the streets running nearly with the cardinal points of the compass. The houses of Quito are chiefly of the old Spanish or Moorish style. The building material in general use is sun-dried bricks, which in the better houses is covered with plaster or stucco. The public buildings are of the heavy Spanish type. Facing the principal square (Plaza Mayor), and occupying the whole S. side, is the cathedral; on the W. side is the government palace; on the N. the archbishop's palace; and on the E. the municipal hall. The elevation of this plaza is 9343 ft. above sea-level. The finest building in the city is the Jesuits' church, whose facade is covered with elaborate carving. Among public institutions are the university, which occupies part of the old Jesuit college, an astronomical observatory, and eleven large monastic institutions, six of which are for nuns. One of the convents, that of San Francisco, covers a whole block, and ranks among the largest institutions of its kind in the world. A part of it is in ruins, and another part has been for some time used as military barracks by the government. The university has faculties of theology, law and medicine, and has 200 to 250 students, but it is antiquated in character and poorly supported. The eminent botanist and chemist, Dr William Jameson (1796-1872), was a member of its faculty for many years. The city has no large commercial houses, and only an insignificant export trade, chiefly hides and forest products from the wooded mountain slopes near by. Religious paintings of a medieval type are produced in large numbers and exported. The native manufactures include tanned leather, saddles, shoes, ponchos, woollen and cotton cloth, fibre sandals and sacking, blankets, coarse matting and coarse woollen carpets. Superior hand-made carpets are also made, and Quito artisans show much skill in wood carvings and in gold and silver works; the women excel in fine needlework and lace-making.

Quito derives its name from the Quitus, who inhabited the locality a long time before the Spanish conquest. In 1533 Sebastian Benalcazar took peaceable possession of the native town (which had been successivly a capital of the Seyris and Incas), and in 1541 it was elevated to the rank of a Spanish city. Its full title was San Francisco del Quito, and it was capital of the province or presidency of Quito down to the end of Spanish colonial rule. It has suffered repeatedly from earthquakes, the greatest damage occurring from those of 1797 and 1859.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also quito

Contents

English

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Proper noun

Singular
Quito

Plural
-

Quito

  1. The capital city of Ecuador.

Translations

Anagrams


French

Proper noun

Quito

  1. Quito

Spanish

Proper noun

Quito

  1. Quito

Simple English

[[File:|200px|thumb|A church in Quito]]

Quito is the capital city of Ecuador. As of 2005, about 1,865,541 people live there. Quito is the second largest city in Ecuador after Guayaquil.

Quito was founded in 1534. It has been a city since 1541. An international airport and a university are located in Quito.


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