Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is located high on the slopes of the Andes at 2,850 m. It was built on the foundations of an ancient Inca city and is famous for its well-preserved colonial center, with several churches from the 16th and 17th centuries, and other structures that mix European, Moorish and indigenous styles. These include the cathedral, on the Plaza Grande, and the highly decorated Jesuit church of the Compañía de Jesús.

Beyond the particularities that make it different from other metropolises, such as being surrounded by some 15 volcanoes and being the second highest capital in the world, Quito is the only city on the planet cut by the imaginary line of Ecuador, the meridian that divides the world into two hemispheres, the north and the south.

This thousand-year-old city has not changed its original morphology in more than four centuries, which is why it was the first to be declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1978. Although for many years it was the entrance and exit gate for all those that they were going to know the legacy of Charles Darwin in the Galapagos Islands, today, a large number of tourists have enough time to explore this iconic city and its surroundings.

Text and photography: Alex Macipe

Si lo que busca es una vista panorámica de la ciudad, tiene que subir al cerro “El Panecillo” que corta la ciudad en dos, dividiéndola en Norte y Sur. Desde allí se pueden ver los barrios típicos y el centro histórico.

Debido a que Quito está rodeada de volcanes y debido a la irregularidad del terreno, desde las regiones elevadas se obtienen excelentes vistas no solo de la ciudad, sino también de la periferia geográfica, que es tan rica como su historia y cultura.

En el cerro “El Panecillo” se encuentra la única Virgen alada del mundo, o también conocida como la Virgen de Quito. Esta imagen está formada por más de 7.000 piezas de aluminio.

The Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesus is another place with a lot of history in Quito and is one of the baroque jewels in America. Its interior is almost completely covered with gold sheets.

In the upper part of the Church of the Society of Jesus is one of the largest organs of all churches, which is only used during holidays.

One of the most visited places in Quito is the monument “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo”. On the property there are several museums where you can understand how the exact position of Ecuador was determined. There are also restaurants, a small shopping center and the UNASUR building. Without a doubt, this place is a must.