Ecuador’s capital city (pop. 1.2 million) boasts a wonderful spring-like climate despite the fact it is only 14 mi. south of the equator. Quito is situated at 9,400 ft. above sea level, in a valley flanked by majestic mountains and on most days, several snow-capped volcanoes are clearly visible. The city is rich in history and boasts one of the largest, best preserved colonial quarters in the Americas. Modern Quito, where leading hotels and restaurants are located, is also home to the commercial and financial districts. Quito enjoys a privileged location, just two hours from a myriad of tourist attractions including indigenous markets, national parks, volcanoes, cloud forests teeming with wildlife, and the “Middle of the World” equatorial monument at “0 degrees and 00 minutes” latitude.
Two to three nights.
When to go
The Ecuadorian Highlands are blessed with a balmy climate year-round characterized by warm days, cool nights and steady temperatures averaging 65F. Best time to visit is during dry season (June-October) although rainy season normally offers sunny mornings and afternoons with potential evening showers.
• Colonial Architecture: Quito boasts one of the largest, best preserved colonial quarters in the Americas.
• Bird Watching: Mindo Cloud Forest, 2 hrs. from Quito, is a bird watchers paradise.
• Mountain biking