Quito, the capital city high in the Andes, enjoys an exceptional setting. The green peaks that surround it disappear behind the mist every afternoon. Their slopes are covered up to mid-height with modern apartment buildings and modest cement houses. Lined with shops and clogged with traffic, the shopping streets become quieter on Sundays. Open and relaxed, the city combines the traditions of the Ecuadorian Sierra with contemporary culture.
The historic centre is a real gem. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it boasts monuments from the colonial era and architectural treasures. Far from being a sanitized open-air museum, its streets are alive with the rhythm of everyday life.
To the north of the old city is modern Quito, where the big companies and services are concentrated. Most of the hotels, bars and restaurants can be found here, especially in the tourist enclave of La Mariscal