Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is located between the beautiful Andean mountain range and the western slopes of the Guagua Pichincha volcano, making it one of South America's most attractive cities.
Quito is a picturesque city that you'll fall in love with when you arrive. In particular, its location and high altitude make it a special journey. After all, it's the highest city in South America after La Paz in Bolivia. The city's old town is a maze of glory, consisting of several charming colonial sights. Even though the whole city has gone through an intensive restoration, the historical center has retained its vibrant indigenous character.
The historical center of Quito is also were you'll find an increasing number of hotels, restaurants, cafes, theaters and nightspots. For a different dining experience, try "qui", the local delicacy. It is also known as "guinea pig"!
It's quite easy to navigate around in Quito, as the volcano Guagua Pichincha works as a great geographical landmark. Local transport consists of a twin trolley system, each operating parallell to one another on the main roads, as well hundreds of local taxi and bus routes. With all of these options, it is quite affordable and easy to get around. Terminal Terreste is situated south of Plaza Santo Domingo, and from here you can catch a long distance bus to places like Guayaquil, Manta, and Esmeraldes. There are also international routes to Lima (Peru) and Bogota (Colombia). However, this terminal is not very safe and we strongly recommend you to pay close attention to your belongings.
If you think that Quito's location on the equator guarantees a warm climate, think again. The city is settled at 2,850 meters above sea level and has a climate often compared with northern European springtime – around 13ºC with afternoon rainfall mainly between October and May.
Prices are low and you can get away with $2-15 for accommodation and $1-9 for meals per day. Cheap, huh?