- I was here: March 2009.
- Number of days: 3.
- Recommended number of days: 2.
- My score: 3/5.
Quito is a city that takes your breath away, literally. I began to suffocate on the first slope; almost being overtaken by old ladies and panting, I could not understand what was happening to me, until I realized that at 2,850 meters altitude, coming just 24 hours before from sea level, the lack of oxygen is a fact. But that is the only circumstance in which Quito took my breath away. A city that has two main attractions, its religious buildings and its views from nearby mountains.
- The colonial architectural style makes the historic center (Old Town) the star of the city, with small two-floors buildings, some preserved since the 17th century, and highlighting magnificent churches such as San Francisco, the Compañía de Jesus, and basilica del Voto Nacional. It was along with the one of Krakow the first historical center being declared patrimony of the UNESCO, there in 1978.
- While, in the modern center (New Town) architecture is extremely boring, but everything else is not, since after cleaning this previously marginal and dangerous area, is where all the restaurants and fashion shops are developing.
- Its two best known viewpoints are El Panecillo, crowned by the sinister sculpture of a virgin, and above all the top of the cable car (TelefériQo, with Q of Quito), that in a clear moment of the day gives us a global image of the city, narrow, elongated and winding like a river, avoiding mountains and volcanoes.
Making comparisons, within how modest colonial architecture in South America is, I think that only Cuzco or Sucre surpass it. In my case I was here by chance, the plane tickets to Peru or Bolivia were much more expensive, so I made a stop in Quito, without Ecuador being my main destination, but all those who go to this country will have to give it a try. And I’ll have to give it again too if I want to see the Galapagos, so when I return I hope to find something better than what I left.
WHAT TO SEE
- ITINERARY IN THE HISTORICAL CENTER
- THE TELEFÉRIQO
- EXCURSION: THE HALF OF THE WORLD
- WHEN TO GO
- DANGERS AND PROBLEMS
- HOW TO GET THERE
- HOW TO MOVE AROUND
- ACCOMMODATION AND RESTAURANTS: THE MARISCAL
∇ Destinations / ∇ Ecuador