What to see in Quito
Positioned on the equator yet surrounded by ice-capped volcanoes, the uniquely beautiful Quito dates back to Incan and perhaps even pre-Incan times. Though little of that ancient history remains, the city's Spanish heritage is far clearer, with the best examples of colonial architecture including 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, as the impressively housed modern institution is full to bursting with ancient cultural artefacts. Other worthwhile museums include the Museo Manuela Saenz, the Museo de la Ciudad, and the Guayasamin Museum. Quito is also home to some of Ecuador's best-loved natural wonders, and the best way to experience them is to take a ride on the Teleferico, a cable car that carries people from the base of Volcan Pichincha to the top of Cruz Loma. The views are breathtaking.
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…
The Plaza de la Independencia is the best place in Quito to sit, enjoy a meal, and people-watch, with the City Hall, the cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Government's Palace all located around…
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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