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Quito, originally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital and second largest city in Ecuador, located in the Northwestern part of South America. It is located in the basin of the river Guayllabamba on the slopes of the Pichincha (4,794 meters), an active volcano in the Andes mountain range. Independence Square is located at 2,850 meters above sea level making Quito the second highest capital city in the world after La Paz in Bolivia.
Quito is located approximately 35 km south of the Equator. A monument marks the place as "the middle of the world". Due to the altitude and location of the city, the climate is reasonably constant, with a maximum temperature typically around 21°C on any day of the year. There are only two seasons, summer (dry season) and winter (rainy season). Quito was founded on December 6, 1534 by the Spanish Sebastián de Benalcázar with the name of San Francisco de Quito. It is the second most populous city in Ecuador, second only to Guayaquil, the country's economic capital. Located between two mountain ranges it sits at an altitude of 2,800 meters and it will take some time to get accustomed to the altitude.
The city is divided into three parts: the Historical Center which is the largest in the Americas, a district to the North and one to the South.
Catedral Metropolitana de Quito It is impossible to visit the Plaza Grande and not be stunned by the grandeur and beauty of this eclectic religious temple, built between 1535 and 1567. Considered the oldest in South America, the cathedral is a curious mixture of architectural styles, with Gothic arches, Moorish ceiling and baroque ships.
Church of the Society of Jesus Those who pass through the façade of this baroque church made of stones of volcanic origin cannot imagine the beauty of its interior, where there are thousands of gold leaves scattered on the altar and corridors. Constructed by natives, with the guidance of Jesuit priests, the work took 160 years to complete in 1765, and is considered the apex of the baroque in Latin America. The temple has undergone different transformations due to the earthquakes of 1868 and 1987, as well as a fire in 1996 that altered part of the San Francisco dome and altarpiece.
San Francisco Convent Considered the oldest church in Quito built in 1535, this white-walled temple, located in the beautiful San Francisco Square, has stone carved entrance, baroque interior and ceiling coated with gold bread. The archaeological works carried out at the site rescued pre-Columbian objects, such as ceramics.
Museo Nacion del Ecuador The highlight of this museum is the rich archaeological collection made up of objects from the Pre-Ceramic era (10,000 BC) and the masks made of gold used in ancestral ceremonies. As it could not miss, the Inca civilization also has its reserved area. Created by the Central Bank in 1961 and currently administered by the Ministry of Culture, it is considered one of the largest museums in Latin America.
Whatever you want to eat, you can find it in Quito. Restaurants range from the most basic, serving chicken and rice for $ 1.50 to international food restaurants with very high prices. The country benefits from all kinds of food, with a variety of dishes inspired by the coastal and Andean products. The seafood and fish are fresh and delicious, while the steaks, especially pork, are excellent. BBQ is also very good. Tallarin is a popular pasta dish mixed with chicken or beef. Chinese restaurants are known as "Chifas" and are very abundant. Chaulafan is the local term for fried rice, a very popular dish. Ceviche is also a very popular dish in which mussels or shrimp are marinated in a broth. Worth a try, but look for a popular restaurant with lots of people to make sure you are eating fresh seafood.
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