Quito, whose real name is San Francisco de Quito, is the capital of Ecuador. It is situated in the Andean mountain range, at 2850m above sea level. It is the second highest capital city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia. The active volcano Pichincha is found to the west of the city.
Despite the fact that the city existed before the Spanish conquest, the people of Quito use the arrival of the Spanish as the date of birth of the city: 6th December 1534. Quito is the oldest capital city in South America.
Quito is the political headquarters of the Republic of Ecuador. The governmental and financial bodies are found there. It is the center of Ecuadorian culture, business and administration.
Quito's old quarter is one of the best conserved in Latin America. Due to this it was the first city in the world, along with Cracow in Poland, to be named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. Nowadays is it also the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations (USAN).
Many parts of the city offer views of the impressive nearby volcanic formations. But if this is not enough you can always hop in a cable car which takes you up to 4200m above sea level into the eastern face of Pichincha. From here you can enjoy the beauty of the Andes páramo, or plateau.
As you walk through the historic centre of Quito, you will feel like you have gone back in time. The local policemen also function as tour guides and are ready to answer any questions. When night comes and the city lights turn on you can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, just like in the colonial era.
As far as night life goes in Ecuador, everything takes place around the Plaza del Quinde or the Plaza Foch. There is a wealth of terraces, restaurants, bars, clubs and much more. In the Ronda district in the city's historic center, you can enjoy an adult or more mature get-together, in which you will learn many things about the city.
In Quito you will experience a different way of life, the Andean way of life, in the heart of Latin America.
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