Quito, Ecuador, is considered the highest city capital in the world at an elevation of 9,358 feet.
With a population of almost 3 million people, Quito has a fiery energy that will either hook you in or kick you out. Oh, and and it’s located on the eastern slopes of an active volcano in the Andes.
When I first arrived at the airport, (about an hour outside the city center) lush green mountains and a temperate climate that warmed my soul like a cozy blanket enveloped me.
Planning a week in Ecuador’s basin? Here’s where to stay, what to eat and what to see in your next trip.
Where to stay
Look to stay in the centro historica, (The central Historic Center). This area in the central part of the city offers charming places to stay with huge terraces, high ceilings and spacious private rooms.
Hotel La Basillica Quito is in the historic district within a colonial style property.
Staff are always available to help at the reception. A water fountain is available at the garden where guests can read a book from the library. Independence Square is only 1,150 feet away.
Where to Eat
Although not exactly budget friendly, Vista Hermosa, was by far one of the best restaurants I found in Quito.
With meat and seafood dishes to die for and regular live entertainment, I recommend splurging for one night to enjoy both the remarkable ambiance and food of this unique restaurant perched up on the hills overlooking the city.
If you are strict on adhering to a shoe-string budget you can affordable cafes tucked away on street Quaquille, selling local dishes such as chorizo served with papas and full chickens roasted on the grill offered all under 3 U.S.D.
What to do
There are several parks that are spread throughout the city. They are clean and always bustling with people, bikes, and local artisans selling jewelry, bags, and crafts.
One park worth mentioning is Parque La Carolina. Here you’ll find a lake oasis in the middle of the city with paddle-boats that glide through a lazy river and weave through the park.
After you build your appetite, enjoy a sizzling chicken roaster from any of the street vendors, and sip on a refreshing coca-cola from a glass bottle (my personal favorite).
If you are a nature lover and itching to get out of the city, check out the teleférico, a gondola type lift that takes you from the edge of the city center up to the east side of the Pinchicha Volcano.
Have you been to Quito?