At 2,800 metres above sea level, Quito is the highest or second highest capital city in the world (depending on whether La Paz or Sucre in Bolivia is taken as the capital). It is certainly high enough though, to feel the effects of altitude for those that live their daily lives at lower levels.
The main area of interest for tourists in Quito is the old town or Centro Histórico. Here you can find over 40 churches and 17 plazas and an abundance of colonial era architecture. The old town is also the best place to find the most traditional Ecuadorian restaurants. For nightlife, the main area is around the Mariscal and La Ronda in the old town.
For viewpoints in and around Quito, El Panecillo, is a hill just south of the old town. From here it is possible to get a panoramic view of Quito and the surrounding volcanoes. The sky tram also carries tourists to an excellent viewpoint at Cruz Loma which sits at an altitude of 4,100 metres. From here it’s possible to hike to the summit of Rucu Pinchincha which takes you up to a (literally) breathtaking altitude of almost 4,700 metres.
TOURS & TREKS IN ECUADOR & THE GALAPAGOS