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What to see in Quito

Quito Attractions

Quito is unique insofar as it's equatorial, yet surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes. Its beautiful setting and proximity to some of Ecuador's natural wonders account for why it appeals to travellers.

The best way to experience Quito's beauty is to take a ride on the Teleferico, a cable car which carries people from the base of Volcan Pichincha to the top of Cruz Loma. It provides breathtaking views. The view from Cerro Panecillo hill is also spectacular.

Quito dates back to Incan and even pre-Incan times, but little evidence of this ancient history remains. The city's Spanish heritage is far clearer. The best examples of colonial architecture include the 16th-century La Compania de Jesus Church; the white homes of La Ronda, Quito's most picturesque colonial neighbourhood; the St Francis Church and monastery, thought to be the oldest in South America; and the Plaza de la Independencia, which is lined with grand old buildings.

If travellers only visit one museum in Quito, they should make it the Museo del Banco Central. The impressively housed modern museum is full to bursting with ancient cultural artefacts. Other worthwhile museums include the Museo Mannela Saenz, the Museo de la Ciudad, and the Guayasamin Museum.

Museo del Banco Central

One of the few sights in Quito's New City is the round, glass-plated building of the Casa de la Cultura. It houses a theatre, a cinema, and two museums, the most impressive being the Museo del Banco…

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Plaza de la Independencia

The Plaza de la Independencia has always been the heart of Quito. As the hub of the old centre, it is the best place to sit, enjoy a meal, and people-watch. The City Hall, the cathedral, the Archbishop's…

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Plaza San Francisco

The Iglesia de San Francisco is a peaceful place, without the shady benches full of people and the business of Plaza de la Independencia. Inside, visitors will find chapels gilded in gold, splendid…

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