IncaTrailTours.org

Quito Ecuador


Quito church

Quito was the first city in the world to be declared a Cultural World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978, and the reasons are obvious. The Historic Centre has a history which outdates the buildings themselves. The indigenous roots are also present in a unique cultural mixture which is part of its charm: the fusion of cultures and artistic styles in the gold-plated   temples,   romantic zigzagging streets  lined  with Andalusian-style houses; traditional cafes in the squares at dusk and enigmatic convents and monasteries. Within its boundaries lie truly priceless architectural jewels.

The Historic Centre of Quito will inspire unique emotions. You have to wander its cobbled streets to really know and understand the mestizo culture. Quito is unlike other Latin American cities in its 20th century urban development, in that this was not centred on the old town. As a result the colonial treasures of the city remained almost intact. The architecture is framed by a very uncommon natural backdrop. Quito lies at an altitude of 2,800 metres above sea level and you will be astonished by the spectacular landscape of its undulating surface, bordered by snow-capped volcanoes on the horizon. You can savour local food in the central courtyard of a colonial house, then wander the endless corridors and admire the convivial balconies, while your imagination conjures up images of a bygone time. These streets which bear witness to history are over 500 years old.

In Quito you breathe art. From the doors, door knockers and balconies to the monumental facades of the churches and monasteries, all of them form part of a five hundred year cultural heritage, beginning with Moorish elements in the earliest constructions from the 16th century to a complete collection of three centuries of Baroque art of the Quito school - which can also be, experienced if you should yourself in the midst of a procession at a street fancy dress party or a bull fight to neo-classical buildings from the beginning of the 19th century. Thousands of works of art blend the Iberian Christian faith with native artistic talent, and the latter were subtly able to interweave the features of ancestral cultures, gods, beliefs and traditions into their art. An example of the fusion of cultures and artistic styles is La Compañia de Jesus church, in which a huge carved sun in one of its Moorish-style cupolas makes reference to an Incan god, while a little lower down is the Baroque alter full of exquisite images and sculptures in the style of the Catholic religion.

The city has characteristics which make it unique. A bastion of American history, it conserves unscathed its buildings and artistic, cultural and historic wealth, which was generated by its own people and foreigners, who leave their mark on the city’s identity every day. The nigh time spectacle is of an illuminated city which shows off in front of the wide-eyed visitors. For all this and much more, Quito is the heritage of everyone and a tourist destination that is not to be missed.

Quito is also development, progress and splendour, the city offers all the modern day comforts, technology and services with a privileged climate. To the north is the financial and business centre of the city, with picturesque neighbourhoods, buildings, parks, pools, truly artistic sculptures, shows, restaurants for every taste, craft markets, luxury hotels and casinos, the airport, sports facilities, and smalls. But above all, in Quito you will find kind and hospitable people, with a ready smile for tourist.

Quito is city that captures and wins over the roaming heart of the traveller.

Middle of the World

Quito Ecuador, Middle of the world

The Middle of the World (Mitad del Mundo) is located approximately 20 minutes away from Quito, at San Antonio de Pichincha. One of its main attractions of this complex is the ethnographic museum which has a highly original display of the different indigenous and ethnic groups of Ecuador. See their traditional dress, every day items and about their festivals, beliefs and lifestyles as well as the variety of resources the country has in its four different regions.

From the viewpoint on top  of the monument you will be entrance by the unusual landscape surrounding the four cardinal points and you can take a picture of yourself in this place of unique energy with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.

Continues on next page »