Quito, Old Town, Ecuador – Heroes Of Adventure
Quito, Old Town, Ecuador
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved, least altered historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the ‘Baroque school of Quito’, which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

A capital city high in the Andes, Quito is dramatically situated, hemmed in by mountain peaks whose greenery is concealed by gray afternoon mist. Modern apartment buildings and modest concrete homes creep partway up their slopes and busy commercial thoroughfares lined with shops and choked with traffic turn into subdued neighborhoods on Sundays. Warm and relaxed, traditional Ecuadorian Sierra culture – overflowing market stands, shamanistic healers, fourth-generation hatmakers – mix with a vibrant and sophisticated culinary and nightlife scene.

The city’s crown jewel is its ‘Old Town,’ a Unesco World Heritage Site packed with colonial monuments and architectural treasures. No sterile museum mile, everyday life pulses along its handsomely restored blocks with 17th-century facades, picturesque plazas and magnificent art-filled churches. Travelers, and many locals too, head to the ‘gringolandia’ of the Mariscal, a compact area of guesthouses, travel agencies, ethnic eateries and teeming bars.

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