What to do in Quito, two days in the capital of Ecuador

    What to do in Quito, two days in the capital of EcuadorThe capital of Ecuador, Quito, is an evocative city. Here the cultural center of the old city merges with the liveliness of the newer neighborhoods

    Quito it is the capital of Ecuador and its official name is San Francisco de Quito. It is a city of over two million inhabitants clinging to the Andes mountain range in the central-northern region of the state. This lively city is not only the political and economic heart ofEcuador, but also one of the most lively urban realities in the region from a cultural and tourist point of view, thanks to a skilful mix between the ancient culture of the Sierra and the cosmopolitanism of recent years.



    The origins of Quito are not clear, its foundation is rooted in the events of the pre-Hispanic civilizations that at least three thousand years before the arrival of the conquistadores they had built a vast network of urban areas on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano. The official foundation of today's city can be traced back by convention to the work of the Spaniard Sebastian Benalcazar, who on 6 December 1534 laid the first nucleus of the settlement of San Francisco de Quito.

    Quito became the capital of the newborn state of Ecuador only in 1830, when after independence from Spain and the end of Greater Colombia the other South American nations first recognized the new state and the city was chosen due to its cultural and economic importance.

    Today Quito is a very popular destination for international tourism both for its historical and cultural wonders and for the lively nightlife of the neighborhood Marshal. Although the situation has improved greatly in recent years, a network of petty crime is still present in the peripheral neighborhoods of Quito: it is therefore advisable not to venture into areas outside the historic center at night.



    In this guide we will discover the most interesting destinations and attractions not to be missed on a two-day trip to Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

    The first day we start from the main square of Quito, Big square, in the heart of the Old City, the oldest and most picturesque part of the capital of Ecuador. On the Plaza Grande you can admire buildings in typical Spanish-American style such as the large Cathedral, the presidential palace and those of the municipality and the archbishopric, which frame a splendid area with palm trees and trees. In this area you can sit and eat some delights of Ecuadorian cuisine served at the street food stalls, such as the tasty Cuajada, served with honey.

    La Quito Cathedral it is a magnificent example of late sixteenth-century Spanish architecture in South America and it is worth entering inside to admire the magnificent decorated naves and a curious scene of the Nativity where instead of the ox and the donkey there is a llama and a horse!

    We continue by taking a tour of the intricate streets of the center that accompany the visit with their bright colors to reach the most picturesque area, Round, where street vendors and musicians gather, making the atmosphere very festive. With a bit of luck, in the streets of the old city you can meet a small photographer who, with his ancient equipment, takes wonderful photographs of passers-by, developing them on the spot in a portable darkroom!

    After having eaten something in one of the excellent taverns in the El Centro area you can continue to the large Church of At the Jesus Company, a majestic and beautiful church built by the Jesuits in the 17th century and the greatest example of Quito's baroque art.
    Another destination not to be missed is the splendid one Saint Francis Square which in addition to the splendid church with the large monastery of San Francesco offers one of the most beautiful views of the entire capital of Ecuador, with the large profile of the Pichincha volcano standing out on the horizon line. To end the day you can take a tour in the evening in the La Mariscal neighborhood where the most fashionable clubs and liveliest nightlife in Quito are concentrated.



    The second day can be dedicated to visiting some of the most important museums in all of Ecuador, such as the City Museum, which houses a highly evocative collection with large dioramas and models that trace the most ancient history of the capital and the majestic National Museum, in the New City area, which offers visitors the opportunity to admire some of the most spectacular finds in the country, such as the Golden Hall which contains an impressive quantity of gold artefacts created by pre-Columbian populations.


    To stay in the cultural sphere you cannot miss a visit to the grandiose Metropolitan Cultural Center, the beating heart of Quito's artistic and cultural life, where the library, a contemporary art museum and numerous rooms dedicated to photographic exhibitions are located, and one to House of the Arts, an old colonial building completely renovated which today hosts many exhibitions of great artistic value.

    To end your two days in Quito in a spectacular way, you can organize an excursion to the TeleferiQo, the spectacular cable car line that takes you from the city center to the top of the Pichincha volcano to admire the panorama below. The cable car reaches a height of 4100 meters above the volcano from where you can observe the city expanding below with a spectacular view over the entire valley; but the most spectacular point of all is the top of the Rucu Pinchaha, at almost 5000 meters above sea level. The path to reach the summit is not difficult but given the altitude you need to have some training to face the climb. What is certain is that once you get up there the view of the capital of Ecuador is something truly unforgettable.


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