Quito Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Quito Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

San Francisco de Quito, the capital of Ecuador, sits at over 9,000 feet above sea level. Quito’s volcanic peaks straddle the equator, the invisible line
around the center of the Earth after which this South American country
was named. Located high in the Andes, on the bulge of the equatorial line, Quito is the closest national capital
to the sun. Fitting for a place
at the intersection of two hemispheres, there is symmetry everywhere you look. As a meeting point between two equal halves, Quito is all about balance. Just like the Earth, it’s intersected by an imaginary line, separating the UNESCO-protected Old Town from the trendy New Town, mirroring the past with the present. To see both halves at once, take the gondola up the Pichincha Volcano. On these slopes, a historic battle took place that resulted
in Quito’s liberation from Spain in 1822. Declaring victory was independence leader
Antonio José de Sucre, whose statue stands far below, in front of the Santo Domingo Church. In the Metropolitan Cathedral, facing Independence Square, you can visit Sucre’s tomb. Despite being one of the oldest cathedrals
in South America, the lofty building still impresses anyone
who enters its cool interior. Many artworks incorporate local interpretations
of the Bible, such as the guinea pig
served for The Last Supper. The cathedral’s blend of indigenous, European and Arabic styles became known
as the Quito School of Art and this style can also be found
in the nearby Basilica de la Merced, which, among other historic treasures, has an impressive cloister library. Back on the Plaza de la Independencia, a soaring monument shows the national emblem, the condor, symbolically breaking the chains of oppression
from Spain, the lion. This generous public space is also known as
the Plaza Grande and, as the civic heart of the city, houses
the Municipal Palace and the Presidential Palace. In between stands the former
Archbishop’s Palace, now a cultural center and restaurant. Take a seat on a patio balcony to sample
authentic Ecuadorian food, such as a hearty potato soup
and deep-fried plantains with cheese. After lunch, take a taxi to Itchimbia Park, on a hill just to the east. Its contemporary Cultural Center is wonderful, but the main attraction here is the view. Below, the Basilica of the National Vow, offers a peaceful haven to everyone
who steps inside. The sunlight filters in through
the stained glass windows, creating an ethereal space. Walk across the cathedral’s spine
at roof level to climb its highest tower for
unforgettable views of Panecillo hill and its winged statue of Mary. The artwork was inspired by Quito’s Madonna, a precious statue kept safe in the church
on the Plaza de San Francisco. This square was an important market place
in pre-Inca times and in its underground passageways you can
still buy local artifacts. To lure the sun-worshipping locals
to their churches, the Spanish depicted sun motifs on the ceilings, as is clearly visible in The Church of the
Society of Jesus just to the south. With its dazzling interior
and volcanic stone façade, this truly is one of the continent’s finest. A good place to end your tour of the Old Town
is the nearby ancient thoroughfare: Calle La Ronda. Transport yourself back to the 21st century
in Quito’s New Town, known locally as La Mariscal. The area around Plaza del Quinde is
an energetic jumble of colors and styles, and so is the nearby Craft Market. Nearby, the bohemian Guápulo neighbourhood clings to the mountain slopes,
providing a glimpse of what lies beyond. Just to the north, in the Valley of Lulumbamba, you can stand in two hemispheres
at the same time. The carved stone heads leading up to the Mitad del Mundo Monument
represent the French scientists who almost three centuries ago,
declared this to be the Equator. Modern technology shows this is not the case, but it’s still a popular attraction. The Intiñan Solar Museum, less than 800 feet away, lays claim to be on the real equatorial line. The entertaining experiments aim to show
a change in the pull of gravity, although in reality the effect is too minute
to observe with the naked eye. The shrunken head on display here, however, is anything but a trick: it’s a war relic of the tribal Shuar people. Many of Ecuador’s surviving indigenous people
still live off the land. This rural region may be poor, but it’s volcanic landscape is extremely
fertile and rich in biodiversity. A prime example is
the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, one of South America’s first national parks
and one of the largest volcanic craters in the world. “Pululahua” is Quechua for “cloud of water”
and the caldera is often shrouded in mist. Of similar mystical appeal is
the Maquipucuna Cloud Forest Reserve, a lush paradise for hummingbirds. Some of these tiny birds have adapted to the high-altitude prairie
of the nearby Cotopaxi National Park, finding nectar on the cliffs
of its highly active volcano. Despite volcanic eruptions, earthquakes,
and power struggles, Quito has always recovered its equilibrium and, today, continues to shine. In order to create harmony, we don’t always have to choose
between tradition and progress, or spirituality and science. Come take a journey to the ‘middle of the world’ and find wonder… and wisdom… in Quito…

94 thoughts on “Quito Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

  1. Every country seems to be more beautiful than mine ? It just means I have the chance to travel everywhere.

  2. Super video! Ecuador is our neighbor country. I hope to see a Bogotá guide soon too! And show the world what our city is like!

  3. It's two weeks left of summer. If I don't manage to do what I want to do where I live in summer then I guess I have to do it next one.

  4. Siempre quise viajar, visitar estos lugares pero viajar sola es mucho más fácil y seguro de lo que te cuentan. Muchos saludos from Indonesia!

  5. Mainland Ecuador is definitely one of the most underrated countries in Latin America. If it wasn't so dangerous I would be over there in a heartbeat.

  6. mi pais el Ecuador es un paraiso y mucho mas los paisajes naturales que existe en los rincones lejanos de otras provincias

  7. Thank you so much for these videos Expedia. I truly love them and use them every Friday for my Spanish classes. The videos help students visualize the countries we always talk about. If you would make videos on all of the Spanish speaking countries, then that would be super awesome! I can't wait to visit Quito, Ecuador!

  8. Еслить поехать нельзя, то можно это увидеть! Спасибо за Ваш обзор! Очень интересно!

  9. Terre d Ecuador aux multiples trésors, de ton paradis que je chéris, de tes souvenirs exquis, vers toi je volerai encore et encore. De tes plus beaux efforts, il t appartient ce qui t honore. Tel ton emblème le Condor, vers toi je volerai encore et encore. Ecuador oui je t adore mon si précieux Trésor. Amitiés de France ???????????

  10. I can't wait to go to Quito. I am counting down the days until my plane lands on Feb. 9, 2019. I hope my trip will be as wonderful as this video makes it out to be.

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