Located 2800 meters (9350 feet) above sea level, in the skirts of the Pichincha volcano, Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas. It was one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO.
Quito is the city I grew up in and where lots of my family resides. Quito is still a city I love, though it has changed both in good and bad ways. Bad: It has at least doubled in size from when I was a child without a proper city planning, creating a chaos of traffic and cement constructions. Good: there are many more parks and museums than when I was a child, old colonial downtown is better care for, facilities are in great shape and roads are in a much better condition. More importantly, there is a much larger, educated and vibrant middle class than in its very classist and divisive colonial origins (not that I was there then…) that requires better public services, parks, museums, restaurants and more.
What is called now “El Centro”, the middle, is basically the old colonial town where the city started. For a good understanding of how the city started, visit the awesome Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) located in El Centro. As Quito is in a valley between 2 mountain ranges, it has grown to the north “El Norte”, and to the south “El Sur”, creating a long but thin city where one can easily get oriented. El Norte is where the financial and modern city lives. El Sur is where the industrial city started. Quito has also overflowed into a couple of valleys including Cumbaya (A valley full of high-end residential areas and where the San Francisco University is located), San Rafael, Pomasqui, and others.
Every summer when I go to Quito,Ecuador with the kids, I love becoming a tourist within my own city and discover and rediscover all the amazing areas of interest this lively city holds.
In no way do I want to make a travel guide out of my Ecuador’s posts, but give my personal experiences of the places that I’ve gone to or are planning to go to. For guides about Quito, I recommend the great looking but apparently still in work in progress online guide by the city: Quito Turismo or Viva Travel Quito
Making a post about Quito for my friends to have as a reference from me, will end up becoming a larger than life post, so I’ve grouped around areas of interest as follows. I will be creating posts for those areas in the next couple of weeks, as well as continually updating them as I experience more and new things in my city.
EL CENTRO (Colonial Quito)
RESTAURANT HOOPING IN QUITO
SHOPPING IN QUITO
SUGGESTED AREAS TO VISIT IN QUITO (aside from the mentioned above)
AREAS OF SPECIAL INTEREST NEAR QUITO