Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, was our last stop. It’s said to be the second highest capital city in the world, after La Paz in Bolivia. However, given that La Paz isn’t officially a capital city, I guess that makes Quito the highest at 2,800m above sea level.
We stayed in Quito’s old town or, the area with a fancy church on every street. Quito’s old town was declared one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites in 1978. We headed to the main square and watched the changing of the guards. Although we hadn’t a clue what was going on, it seemed a huge event. The square was packed with Ecuadorians, as the guards marched and played instruments. What we believe to be some Ecuadorian politicians stood on the balcony above and watched the spectacle, but rushed away quickly at the end before protesters appeared with their banners.
After the display we had a nosy through some churches. The top attraction is Quito, according to TripAdvisor (and the man in our hostel), is Iglesia de La Compania de Jesus, a Jesuit church which is almost entirely gold. I’ve seen many churches during Italian holidays, but this one was a bit special.
We then headed up Quito’s teleferico to see Quito from a viewpoint of 4160m. The city itself is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. The best well known is Copaxi and Quito is inundated with companies offering trips there. From the top you can see all of Quito and spot the volcanoes in the distance. For the energetic (and fully acclimatised) you can continue your journey upwards and head up the Pichincha volcano. Having not fully acclimatised to the altitude we didn’t walk, but if you plan on doing so give yourself at least three hours, and pack some warm clothes!
I can’t believe there’s only one post left about our travels! But there’s some exciting things planned for straight after!