Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is situated in a long valley surrounded by the peaks of the Andes, about 2850 metres above sea level. The impressive natural beauty of the surroundings is complemented by the amazing history of the city. Originally inhabited by Quitus and Shyris, the city was later conquered by the Incas. Rather than surrender to the invading Spanish in the XVI century, the Incas razed the city to the ground and took refuge in the surrounding mountains.
Quito’s Old Centre was constructed by the Spanish on the site of the
ancient Inca city, and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Strolling
through the winding streets lined with colonial architecture, it is easy to
be transported back in time to when these plazas were the sites of some of the
most famous battles in Ecuador’s history. The city today is divided into
a number of different areas, known as sectores, including the Old Centre, Guapulo,
La Foresta, and the charming tourist area of the Mariscal.
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