Why do you need to visit Quito? There are many answers to explain why Quito was considered one of the Best Trips in 2013, according to the prestigious magazine Traveler (National Geographic), and currently, one of the leading destinations in South America on the popular website Trip Advisor. Quito has a lot of attractions to offer and many reasons why you must consider Quito for your next trip.
Proud to be from Quito, the five reasons I consider the most important are the following:
IT’S IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WORLD
Apart from being in the Equator, Quito is located at 2850m above sea level, being the closest city to the sun. Also, you can find a monument showing the four cardinal points and a line demarcating North and South. You’ll be able to experience the energy to be in the center of the Earth while you walk alongside the line determined by the French Geodesic Mission in the 18th Century. You can put one foot on the Northern hemisphere and the other one on the Southern hemisphere simultaneously. Yes! Latitude 0°0’0’’.
IT HAS A PRIVILEGED WEATHER
Quito has a special location. Even if it’s located in a tropical area, Quito’s weather isn’t hot and humid as you could imagine because it’s part of the Andean landscape. This makes it a unique place with a maximum average temperature of 23°C and a minimum of 8°C the whole year. Never too cold, never too hot. As it is in the middle of the world, it doesn’t have proper seasons, but usually from June to September is drier, hotter and windier than most of the year. The sunrise is at approx 6 am and the sunset is at approx 6 pm every day, so you wouldn’t get those short dark days that four-season countries have.
HISTORY ALL AROUND IT
Quito’s historic city center is impressive. It is considered the largest and the best preserved in America. Here you can find history and art everywhere. Some places you cannot miss are:
1) La compañía de Jesús
This is a baroque church with a unique style. It’s one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. It has gold all over the place and many historical facts to make it astonishing.
2) La Plaza Grade
Even though is not as ‘grande’ (big) as one could think, it is called like this because the main political and religious centers are located there since the sixteenth century. It’s surrounded by the Carondelet Palace, the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Municipal Palace and the Plaza Grande Hotel.
3) San Francisco, San Agustín and San Diego
Beautiful churches and monasteries. All of them displaying a breathtaking unique style.
4) La Heladería de San Agustín
A place where you can find delicious traditional Ecuadorian dishes and desserts.
5) La Ronda
A really fun street that offers traditional music, food, and stores. There’s one hat store I really enjoy because it sells plenty of handmade, original designs.
6) Basílica del Voto Nacional
It’s the largest Neo-Gothic church in America. Besides the impressive art that it offers, the fun thing to do is to go all the way up to the clock and look at the city from above.
Quito offers many places to have a panoramic view of the city.
The Itchimbía hill
Itchimbía has a great view of Quito’s center. It’s right in front of the Basílica and you can find some really nice restaurants around the area apart from the crystal palace located at the top of the hill.
It’s called like this because it’s a hill that looks like a little bread (panecillo). You can go there by taxi or on the Quito City Tour Bus. A huge virgin monument known as ‘La Virgen de Quito’ was assembled on the top of ‘El Panecillo’. When you get to the top, you have a privileged view of the city and mountains as well as a museum inside the virgin’s structure which tells interesting facts about its construction.
The aforementioned are really nice places, but the coolest to me is the cable car known as ‘TeleferiQo’. Located in the Pichincha Volcano, it takes you from 2.950m to 4.053m in 10 minutes. From there, you cannot only see Quito, but its surroundings. And not only that, there are hiking trails, so you can reach the summit if you want to. However, due to the high altitude and the wind on the mountain, it is much colder than the city, so bring a jacket and be sure to have a good physical condition.
IT’S CLOSE TO EVERYTHING
If you want to visit other ecosystems, about one hour and a half away from Quito, you can find many options. Towards the East, Haciendas and hot springs in the cold paramo landscape, and in the Northwest, the beauty of the warm Cloud Forest (such as Mindo), hosting over 500 different species of birds. A true paradise for birdwatchers. Additionally, Quito is strategically located to access the Pacific coast with beaches as well as the Amazon region in four-hours trips. Quito is your starting point.
These are only a few reasons to visit Quito, but there are much more! Don’t wait and start looking for your next adventure! Come to Quito ASAP.