A maze of colonial streets wrapped in modern city and surrounded by mountains. Spread across a spectacular Andean valley, Quito is situated 2850 m (9350ft) above sea level and has snowcapped volcanic peaks. While the old town sparkles with indigenous character and recently restored colonial splendor, the 'new town' screams hotels, high-rises, and too-trendy cafes.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, building in the old town has been strictly controlled since 1978. The city is a flush with pride - 2006 marked the final installment of its huge restoration project. Buildings have been spruced up, historic theaters have been revived and the once-sketchy streets are now safe.
Besides the great city, Quito is also the starting point to Cotopaxi Volcano, viewpoint of the Andes and the second most popular adventure destination in Ecuador, located just a few minutes away from Quito. So, if you find being in nature an uplifting experience, then take a visit to the highest volcano in the world, it will leave its mark on you.
At 5,897 metres above sea level, its perfect cone covered in glaciers rises heavenwards, and the crystals of the stalactites and stalagmites shine in the moonlight, giving off a radiant glow. From, its summit, if the climatic conditions are favourable, you can make out almost all the peaks in the country.