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La vida en estado puro Ecuador Life at its purest

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Quito, Ecuador - The capital and second-largest city in Ecuador (pop. 1,250,000), Quito sits high in the Andes with an elevation of 9,300 ft/2,835 m. The mountains (including the active volcano Mt. Pichincha to the west of the city that's been spewing ash recently) will probably be the first things that strike you about Quito. Quito is Ecuador's principal transportation hub. The 2004 Miss Universe beauty pageant was held in Quito this past June Miss Universe 2004

If you take a deep breath and dive into the haze, however, you'll find a sight that makes it all worthwhile. Quito's Old Town is a wonder—blocks and blocks of colonial architecture, some of it dating to the mid 1500s when the Spanish founded the city. (Before the Spanish arrived, Quito was an important Inca settlement, and before the Inca, other tribes lived at the site.) Vintage facades line the streets and large open plazas are surrounded by cathedrals and stately public buildings. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Quito Ecuador Pictures

Colonial Quito: Houses Ecuador's rich history, cobblestone streets & churches.

Plaza de la Independencia In the center of town and surrounded by churches and government buildings.

Plaza de San Francisco: This architectonic complex - that honors santo patron of Quito - is constituted by a church and a monastery. Its construction - on the rests of an inca palace - was directed by the flamenco missionary Jodocko Ricke. The works began 50 days after the foundation of the city (1534), reason why is considered the oldest of the continent. The complex account with 104 Doric columns. It emphasizes the scenery with images of the sun (the Inca God) that is appraised in the ceiling of the church. One of its most valuable jewels is the panel of the Immaculate Virgin of Quito (the only winged virgin of the world), work of the painter Bernardine de Legarda.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo: Located in the restlesssquare of the same name, this church is famous for thereligious beauty and excellence of his cupolas and sculptures that adorns the interior of the temple. 

The Basilica: Blessed by the Pope Juan Pablo II,the 30th of January of 1985, this impressive Basilica, was constructed like perpetual monument of the Consecration from Ecuador to the Heart of Jesus. The idea to build it, was promoted by the father Julio Matovelle in 1883. The first stone was placed the 10th of July 1892.

Mirador de Panecillo: A good alternative to acknowledge the dimensions and the layout of the old city. The Panecillo hill - that at the inca's time was a temple of adoration to the called Sun Yavirac- has on its peak a gigantic image of the Virgin of the Americas.

EMonuments at Equatorquator - "Mitad del Mundo" 15 kilometers from Quito, there it is this small city, that owes its name to the fact that it's fount in the latitude 0°, reason why a commemorative monument of 30 meters of height has been built. In its superior part, there is a 5 tons globe. One of the attractions and mysteries of the city Mitad del Mundo, is that during the equinoxes (21st of March and 21st of September) people and objects do not project not even the minimum shade. Mitad del Mundo Quito Ecuador

Geo-Botanical reserve of Pululahua: It extends around the volcanic crater of mayor dimensions of Latin America. A varied vegetation, numerous birds and the spectacular view of the crater, turns the place -Otavalo Market located less than five kilometers from La Mitad del Mundo into an attraction of incomparable beauty.

Otavalo: Every Saturday, this small town of the province of Imbabura ( 100 kilometers north of Quito), get full of colors and get suffocated of agitation, when the natives begin to exhibit in the Poncho square, the carpets, blankets, belts and a great diversity of objects, created with the skill of their hands and the creative impulses of their inspiration.

Cotopaxi National Park: It takes the name of the highest active volcano of the Cotopaxi National Parkworld (5897 meters). The park is in the province of Cotopaxi, 50 kilometers from Quito. The access route is the Pan-American highway, that goes from north to south by the avenue called Volcano. The fierce Cotopaxi, crowned with snow tufts, seems to challenge to the Ruminahui, another giant that tears clouds. A small lagoon, Limpiopungo (3800 m.a.s.l.)


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