Quito (/ˈkiːtoʊ/; Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkito] (listen); Quechua: Kitu; formally San Francisco de Quito) is the capital and the largest city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 2,850 metres (9,350 ft) above sea level, it is the second-highest official capital city in the world, after La Paz, and the one which is closest to the equator.[2] It is located in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha,[3] an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains.

In 2008, the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.[4]

The historic center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.[5] Quito and Kraków, Poland, were among the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO, in 1978.[5] The central square of Quito is located about 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of the equator; the city itself extends to within about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) of zero latitude. A monument and museum marking the general location of the equator is known locally as la mitad del mundo (the middle of the world), to avoid confusion, as the word ecuador is Spanish for equator.[6]

Capital city
San Francisco de Quito
Clockwise from top: Calle La Ronda, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, El Panecillo as seen from Northern Quito, Carondelet Palace, Central-Northern Quito, Parque La Carolina and Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco
Clockwise from top: Calle La Ronda, Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, El Panecillo as seen from Northern Quito, Carondelet Palace, Central-Northern Quito, Parque La Carolina and Iglesia y Monasterio de San Francisco
Official seal of Quito

Luz de América (Light of America), Carita de Dios (God's Face), Ciudad de los Cielos (City of the heavens)
Quito is located in Ecuador
Location of Quito within Ecuador
Quito is located in South America
Quito (South America)
Coordinates: 00°14′S 78°31′W / 0.233°S 78.517°WCoordinates: 00°14′S 78°31′W / 0.233°S 78.517°W
FoundationDecember 6, 1534
Founded bySebastián de Benalcázar
Named forQuitu
Urban parishes
 • TypeMayor and council
 • Governing bodyMunicipality of Quito
 • MayorMauricio Rodas Espinel
 • Capital city372.39 km2 (143.78 sq mi)
 • Water0 km2 (0 sq mi)
 • Metro
4,217.95 km2 (1,628.56 sq mi)
2,850 m (9,350 ft)
 • Capital city2,735,987
 • Density7,300/km2 (19,000/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density740/km2 (1,900/sq mi)
 • Demonym
Quiteño/a (Spanish)
Time zoneUTC−5 (ECT)
Postal code
EC1701 (new format), P01 (old format)
Area code(s)(0)2
UNESCO World Heritage Site
CriteriaCultural: ii, iv
Inscription1978 (2nd Session)
Area320 ha


Pre-Columbian period

The oldest traces of human presence in Quito were excavated by the American archaeologist Robert E. Bell in 1960 on the slopes of the Ilaló volcano, located between the eastern valleys of Los Chillos and Tumbaco. Hunter-gatherers left tools made of obsidian glass dated back to 8000 BC. The archaeological site herein designated by the name of EI Inga was brought to the attention of Bell by Allen Graffham. While employed as a geologist in Ecuador, Mr. Graffham followed his amateur archaeological interest, and he made surface collections at the site during 1956.[7] The discovery of projectile points, particularly specimens exhibiting basal fluting, stimulated his interest, and several visits were made to the site for collecting surface materials. Graffham's previous interest in Paleo-Indian remains and his experience with early man materials found in Kansas and Nebraska in the Central Plains led him to believe that the site was an important discovery.[7]

The second important vestige of human presence was found in the current neighborhood of Cotocollao (1500 BC), located in the NW of Quito. The prehistoric village covered over 26 hectares in an area irrigated by many creeks. Near the rectangular there are also burials with pottery and stone offerings. The Cotocollao people extracted and exported obsidian to the coastal region.[8]

Colonial period

Virgen Guápulo
Artwork that shows a far view of the city. Mid-18th century.

Indigenous resistance to the Spanish invasion continued during 1534, with the conquistador Diego de Almagro founding Santiago de Quito (in present-day Colta, near Riobamba) on August 15, 1534, later to be renamed San Francisco de Quito on August 28, 1534. The city was later moved to its present location and was refounded on 6 December 1534 by 204 settlers led by Sebastián de Benalcázar, who captured Rumiñahui and effectively ended any organized resistance.[9] Rumiñahui was then executed on January 10, 1535.

On March 28, 1541, Quito was declared a city and on February 23, 1556, was given the title Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de San Francisco de Quito ("Very Noble and Loyal City of San Francisco of Quito"), starting at this point its urban evolution. In 1563, Quito became the seat of a Real Audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru, until 1717 after the Audiencia was part of a newly created Viceroyalty of Nueva Granada. Its administration on both Viceroyalties remained to Quito. (see Real Audiencia de Quito)

Plano de la Ciudad de Quito hacia 1805. Atribuído a Juan Pío Montúfar.
Map of the city of Quito dated 1805. Made by Juan Pío Montúfar, 2nd Marquis of Selva Alegre and president of the Junta Soberana de Quito of 1809.
Quito - Rafael Salas (siglo XIX)
Quito by Rafael Salas. Painting of mid-19th century

The Spanish established Roman Catholicism in Quito. The first church (El Belén) was in fact built even before the city had been officially founded. In January 1535, the San Francisco Convent was constructed, the first of about 20 churches and convents built during the colonial period. The Spanish converted the indigenous population to Christianity and used them as labor for construction.

In 1743, after nearly 300 years of Spanish colonization, Quito was a city of about 10,000 inhabitants. On August 10, 1809, an independence movement from Spanish domination started in Quito. On that date, a plan for government was established that placed Juan Pío Montúfar as president with various other prominent figures in other positions of government. However, this initial movement was ultimately defeated on August 2, 1810, when colonial troops came from Lima, Peru, killing the leaders of the uprising along with about 200 settlers. A chain of conflicts concluded on May 24, 1822, when Antonio José de Sucre, under the command of Simón Bolívar, led troops into the Battle of Pichincha. Their victory marked the independence of Quito and the surrounding areas.

Republican Ecuador

In 1833, members of the Society of Free Inhabitants of Quito were assassinated by the government after they conspired against it, and on March 6, 1845, the Marcist Revolution began. Later, in 1875, the country's president, Gabriel García Moreno, was assassinated in Quito. Two years later, in 1877, Archbishop José Ignacio Checa y Barba was killed by poisoning while he was celebrating Mass.

In 1882, insurgents arose against the regime of dictator Ignacio de Veintimilla. However, this did not end the violence that was occurring throughout the country. On July 9, 1883, the liberal commander Eloy Alfaro participated in the Battle of Guayaquil, and later, after more conflict, became the president of Ecuador on September 4, 1895. Upon completing his second term in 1911, he moved to Europe. When he returned to Ecuador in 1912 and attempted a return to power, he was arrested on January 28, 1912; thrown in prison; and assassinated by a mob that had stormed the prison. His body was dragged through the streets of Quito to a city park, where it was burned.

In 1932, the Four Days' War broke out. This was a civil war that followed the election of Neptalí Bonifaz and the subsequent realization that he carried a Peruvian passport. On February 12, 1949, a realistic broadcast of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds led to citywide panic and the deaths of more than twenty people who died in fires set by mobs.[10]

21st century

In 2011, the city's population was 2,239,191 people. Since 2002, the city has begun renewing its historical center and also demolished the old airport and built a new Mariscal Sucre International Airport located 45 minutes from central Quito.

Between 2003 and 2004, the bus lines of the Metrobus (Ecovia) were constructed, traversing the city from the north to the south. Many avenues and roads were extended and enlarged, depressed passages were constructed, and roads were restructured geometrically to increase the flow of traffic. A new subway system is currently under construction.


Quito, Ecuador Astronaut Image
View of Quito from the International Space Station (north is at the left of the image). Quito sits on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, whose crater is visible.

Quito is located in the northern highlands of Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin. The city is built on a long plateau lying on the east flanks of the Pichincha volcano. The valley of Guayllabamba River where Quito lies is flanked by volcanoes, some of them snow-capped, and visible from the city on a clear day. Quito is the closest capital city to the equator. Quito's altitude is listed at 2,820 metres (9,250 feet).[11]

Nearby volcanoes

Quito's closest volcano is Pichincha, looming over the western side of the city. Quito is also the only capital in the world to be directly menaced by an active volcano.[12] Pichincha volcano has several summits, among them Ruku Pichincha at 4,700 metres (15,400 feet) above sea level and Guagua Pichincha at 4,794 metres (15,728 feet). Guagua Pichincha is active and being monitored by volcanologists at the Geophysical institute of the national polytechnic university. The largest eruption occurred in 1660 when more than 25 centimetres (9.8 inches) of ash covered the city.[13] There were three minor eruptions in the 19th century. The latest eruption was recorded on October 5, 1999, when a few puffs of smoke and a large amount of ash were deposited on the city.[14]

Activity in other nearby volcanoes also can affect the city. In November 2002, after an eruption in the volcano Reventador, the city was showered with a layer of fine ash particles to a depth of several centimeters.[15]

The volcanoes on the Central Cordillera (Royal Cordillera), east of Quito, surrounding the Guayllabamba valley include Cotopaxi, Sincholagua, Antisana and Cayambe. Some of the volcanoes of the Western Cordillera, to the west of the Guayllabamba valley, as well as are Pichincha include Illiniza, Atacazo, and Pululahua (which has the Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve).[16]


Under the Köppen climate classification, Quito has a subtropical highland climate[17] (Cfb).[18] Because of its elevation and proximity to the equator, Quito has a fairly constant cool climate. The average afternoon high temperature is 21.4 °C (70.5 °F) with an average night-time low of 9.8 °C (49.6 °F).[19] The annual average temperature is 15.6 °C (60.1 °F).[20] The city has only two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season, June through September (4 months), is referred to as summer; the wet season, October through May (8 months), is referred to as winter. Annual precipitation, depending on location, is about 1,000 mm (39 in).

Because of its elevation, Quito receives some of the greatest solar radiation in the world, sometimes reaching a UV Index of 24 by solar noon.[21][22]

The fact that Quito lies almost on the equator means that high pressure systems are extremely rare. Pressure is stable, so very low pressure systems are also rare. From July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, the lowest pressure recorded was 998.2 hPa (29.48 inHg), and the highest was 1,015.2 hPa (29.98 inHg). Despite the absence of high pressure, Quito can still experience settled weather. Generally, the highest pressure is around midnight and the lowest in the mid-afternoon.[23]

Topographical zones

Vista de Quito desde El Panecillo, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 41
the hills around Quito.
Calle de la Ronda, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 215
La Ronda street, one of the most popular areas to go out.

Quito is divided into three areas, separated by hills:

  1. Central: houses the colonial old city.
  2. Southern: is mainly industrial and residential, and a working-class housing area.
  3. Northern: is the modern Quito, with high-rise buildings, shopping centers, the financial district, and upper-class residential areas and some working-class housing areas.


12 de Octubre Avenue Skyline, modern downtown Quito
12 de Octubre Avenue business area Skyline
Modern buildings in Quito's growing Financial District

Quito is the largest city in contribution to national GDP, and the highest in per capita income. Quito has the highest level of tax collection in Ecuador, exceeding the national 57% per year 2009, currently being the most important economic region of the country, as the latest "study" conducted by the Central Bank of Ecuador.

The top major industries in Quito includes textiles, metals and agriculture, with major crops for export being coffee, sugar, cacao, rice, bananas and palm oil.[31]

TAME, an airline of Ecuador, has its headquarters in Quito.[2]

Petroecuador, the largest company in the country and one of the largest in Latin America is headquartered in Quito.[3]

Headquarters and regional offices of many national and international financial institutions, oil corporations and international businesses are also located in Quito, making it a world class business city.

In "The World according to GaWC" global cities report, which measures a city's integration into the world city network, Quito is ranked as a Beta city: an important metropolis instrumental in linking its region or state into the world economy. [1][32]



Quito is governed by a mayor and a 15-member city council. The mayor is elected to a five-year term and can be re-elected. The position also doubles as Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Quito (the canton). The current mayor is Mauricio Rodas.

Urban parishes

In Ecuador, cantons are subdivided into parishes, so called because they were originally used by the Catholic Church, but with the secularization and liberalization of the Ecuadorian state, the political parishes were spun off the ones used by the church. Parishes are called urban if they are within the boundaries of the seat (capital) of their corresponding canton, and rural if outside those boundaries. Inside Quito (the city proper), subdivision into urban parishes depends on the organizations that use these parishes (e.g., the municipality, the electoral tribunals, the postal service, the Ecuadorian statistics institute). The urban parishes of different types are not necessarily coterminous nor the same in number or name.

As of 2008, the municipality of Quito divided the city into 32 urban parishes. These parishes, which are used by the municipality for administrative purposes, are also known as cabildos[33] since 2001. Since the times of the Metropolitan District of Quito, parishes of this type are also grouped into larger divisions known as municipal zones (zonas municipales). These parishes are as follows:

  1. Belisario Quevedo
  2. Carcelén
  3. Centro Histórico
  4. Chilibulo
  5. Chillogallo
  6. Chimbacalle
  7. Cochapamba
  8. Comité del Pueblo
  9. Concepción
  10. Cotocollao
  11. El Condado
  12. El Inca
  13. Guamaní
  14. Iñaquito
  15. Itchimbía
  16. Jipijapa
  17. Kennedy
  18. La Argelia
  19. La Ecuatoriana
  20. La Ferroviaria
  21. La Libertad
  22. La Mena
  23. Magdalena
  24. Mariscal Sucre
  25. Ponceano
  26. Puengasí
  27. Quitumbe
  28. Rumipamba
  29. San Bartolo
  30. San Juan
  31. Solanda
  32. Turubamba

Ecclesiastical parishes

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quito divides the city into 167 parishes, which are grouped into 17 zones.[34]


Public transportation

Bici Q
Bici Q station in northern Quito. Bici Q is the Bicycle sharing system started by the municipal government of the city

The MetrobusQ network, also known as "Red Integrada de Transporte Público", is the bus rapid transit system running in Quito, and it goes through the city from south to north. It's divided into three sections—the green line (the central trolleybus, known as El Trole), the red line (the north-east Ecovía), and the blue line (the north-west Corridor Central). In addition to the bus rapid transit system, there are many buses running in the city. The buses have both a name and a number, and they have a fixed route. Taxi cabs are all yellow, and they have meters that show the fare. There are nearly 8,800 registered taxicabs.[35]

In August 2012 the Municipality of Quito government established a municipal bicycle sharing system called Bici Q.[36][37][38]

Highway transportation

Although public transportation is the primary form of travel in the city, including fleets of taxis that continually cruise the roadways, the use of private vehicles has increased substantially during the past decade.[39] Because of growing road congestion in many areas, there were plans to construct a light rail system, which were conceived to replace the northern portion of the Trole.[40] These plans have been ruled out and replaced by the construction of the first metro line (subway) in 2012. It is expected to be operational by 2019, joining the existing public transportation network.

Roads, avenues and streets Because Quito is about 40 km (25 mi) long and 5 km (3.1 mi) at its widest, most of the important avenues of the city extend from north to south. The two main motorways that go from the northern part of the city to the southern are Avenue Oriental (Corridor Periférico Oriental) on the eastern hills that border the city, and Avenue Occidental on the western side of the city on the Pichincha volcano. The street 10 de Agosto also runs north to south through most of the city, running down the middle of it. The historic centre of the city is based on a grid pattern, despite the hills, with the streets Venezuela, Chile, García Moreno, and Guayaquil being the most important.

Air transportation

The Mariscal Sucre International Airport serves as the city's principal airport for passenger travel and freight. The airport is located 18 kilometres (11 mi) east of the city's center in the Tababela parish. It began operations on February 20, 2013, replacing the Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of the city center within city limits. The old airport was replaced due to tall buildings and nighttime fog that made landing from the south difficult. The old airport has become a metropolitan park.

Rail transportation

There is a railroad that goes through the southern part of Quito and passes through the Estación de Chimbacalle. It is managed by the Empresa de Ferrocarriles Ecuatorianos (EFE). This form of transportation is nowadays used mostly for tourism.


A 23 kilometres (14 mi) metro subway system (Quito Metro) is under construction. Phase One, begun in 2013, entailed the construction of stations at La Magdalena and El Labrador. Phase Two, begun in 2016, involves 13 more stations, a depot and sub-systems. The project is expected to carry 400,000 passengers per day and to cost $1.5 billion with financing coming from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF)[41] and is expected to be operating in 2020.[42][43]

Points of interest

Historic center

Quito Centro Histórico
The Church of El Sagrario in the historic center

Quito has the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic center in the Americas.[5] This center was, together with the historic centre of Kraków in Poland, the first to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 18 September 1978. The Historic Centre of Quito is located in the center south of the capital on an area of 320 hectares (790 acres), and is considered one of the most important historic areas in Latin America.There are about 130 monumental buildings (which host a variety of pictorial art and sculpture, mostly religion inspired, in a multi-faceted range of schools and styles) and 5,000 properties registered in the municipal inventory of heritage properties.

Carondelet Palace

Carondelet Palace (Spanish: Palacio de Carondelet) is the seat of government of the Republic of Ecuador, located in the historical center of Quito. The palace is in the nerve center of the public space known as Independence Square or Plaza Grande (colonial name), around which were built in addition the Archbishop's Palace, the Municipal Palace, the Hotel Plaza Grande and the Metropolitan Cathedral. During the Republican era, almost all the presidents (constitutional, internees and dictators) have dispatched from this building, which is the seat of Government of the Republic of Ecuador. In addition to the administrative units in the third level of the Palace is the presidential residence, a luxurious colonial-style apartment in which the President and his family dwell. Rafael Correa, president from 2007 to 2017, converted the presidential compound into a museum accessible to all who wish to visit it.

Basilica del Voto Nacional

This monumental Basilica del Voto Nacional is the most important neo-Gothic building in Ecuador and one of the most representative of the American continent. It was once the largest in the New World.

Cathedral of Quito

The Cathedral of Quito, is one of the largest religious symbols of spiritual value for the Catholic community in the city. This church began its construction in 1562, seventeen years after the diocese of Quito was created (1545). The church building was completed in 1806, during the administration of President of the Real Audiencia Baron Héctor de Carondelet.

One of the events that took place in this cathedral was the murder of the Bishop of Quito, José Ignacio Checa y Barba, who during the mass of Good Friday on 30 March 1877 was poisoned with strychnine dissolved in the consecrated wine. The cathedral is also the burial place of the remains of the Grand Marshal Antonio José de Sucre and also of several presidents of the Republic, as well as of bishops and priests who died in the diocese. The cathedral is located on the south side of the Plaza de La Independencia.

Church of La Compañía de Jesús

The Church of La Compañía began construction in 1605; it took 160 years to be built. By 1765 the work was completed with the construction of the façade. This was done by Native Americans who carefully shaped the Baroque style in one of the most complete examples of this art in the Americas.

Church of San Francisco

San Francisco is the largest of the existing architectural ensembles in the historic centers of cities in Latin America. The construction of the church began in 1550, on land adjacent to the plaza where the Native Americans engaged in the barter of products.

Church of El Sagrario

In colonial times, the Church of El Sagrario was one of the largest architectural marvels of Quito. The construction is of the Italian Renaissance style and it was built in the late 17th century. It has a screen that supports its sculptures and decorations. This structure was built by Bernardo de Legarda. Its central arch leads to a dome decorated with frescoes of biblical scenes featuring archangels. It was done by Francisco Albán. The altarpiece was gilded by Legarda. It is located on Calle García Moreno, near the Cathedral.

Church of Santo Domingo

Although they arrived in Quito in 1541, in 1580 the Dominicans started to build their temple, using the plans and direction of Francisco Becerra. The work was completed in the first half of the 17th century. Inside the church are valuable structures, such as the neo-Gothic main altar. This was placed in the late 19th century by Italian Dominicans. The roof of the Mudéjar style church features paintings of martyrs of the Order of Saint Dominic. The roof of the nave is composed of a pair and knuckle frame, coated inside by pieces of tracery. In the museum located on the north side of the lower cloister are wonderful pieces of great Quito sculptors such as the Saint Dominic de Guzmán by Father Carlos, the Saint John of God by Caspicara, and the Saint Thomas Aquinas by Legarda. Another Baroque piece that stands is the Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Rosario, which is a recognizable feature of the architecture of Quito. This chapel was built beside the church, in the gospel side. In this was founded the largest fraternity in the city of Quito.

Carondelet - Quito

Carondelet Palace, office and house of the Presidents of Ecuador.

Iglesia de La Compañía, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 149-151 HDR

Church of La Compañía de Jesús.

Iglesia de San Francisco, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 171-173 HDR

Interior of the church of San Francisco.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Quito - 2

View of the Church of Santo Domingo.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 196

Interior of the church of Santo Domingo.

Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 202-204 HDR

Chapel of the Rosary within the church of Santo Domingo.

Palacio Gangotena, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 156

Gangotena Palace.

Palacio Municipal, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 189

Municipal Palace in the Plaza Grande.

Plaza Grande, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 81-85 PAN

Plaza Grande.

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito pic b4

Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Quito.

Antiguo Hospital Militar (Centro Histórico, Quito) pic a05

Antiguo Hospital Militar (Centro Histórico, Quito).

Quito, Ecuador - Michael Shade.jpeg

View of Quito from Basílica del Voto Nacional

Virgen de Quito Panecillo 03

Virgin of El Panecillo

Cementerio de San Diego, Quito, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 59

Cemetery of San Diego, Quito

El Panecillo

Vista de Quito desde El Panecillo, Ecuador, 2015-07-22, DD 34-37 PAN
View of Quito from El Panecillo.

El Panecillo is a hill located in the middle west of the city at an altitude of about 3,016 metres (9,895 ft) above sea level. A monument to the Virgin Mary is located on top of El Panecillo and is visible from most of the city of Quito. In 1976, the Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates to build a 41 metres (135 ft)–tall aluminum monument of a madonna, which was assembled on a high pedestal on the top of Panecillo. The statue of the Virgin on the Panecillo is a replica of a sculpture made by Bernardo de Legarda in 1732. So this monument is also called Virgen de Legarda or Virgen del Panecillo.

La Mariscal

This area is considered the city's entertainment center. It is the meeting point of local people and tourists. Its cosmopolitan atmosphere is expressed through the variety of gastronomy, artistic, cultural options and the large number of hotels and inns, travel agencies, language and dance schools, stores, bars, and discothèques that light up when the sun hides.[44]

Plaza Foch (La Zona)

Plaza Foch

This area is considered the zona rosa of the city. It is constituted of various night clubs and bars and has a great night vibe, complete with street vendors selling gum, cigarettes and other small items. Plaza Foch is most populated Thursday-Saturday, and gets tourists from all over the world. For this reason, prices for liquor, beer and food are expensive compared to other places in Quito. Due to its small driveways and big sidewalks, it's mostly a pedestrian area.


Arbolito Park
Arbolito Park


Parque Metropolitano Guanguiltagua[45] is the largest urban park in South America at 1,376 acres (5.57 km2) (as reference, New York's Central Park is 843 acres (341 ha)). The park is located in northern Quito, on the hill of Bellavista behind Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa. The park is suited for mountain biking, walking, and running. Most of it is eucalyptus forest with trails, but there also are numerous sculptures on display. The park has four sites that can be used for picnics or barbecues, and the eastern section has a view of Cotopaxi, Antisana, and the Guayllabamba river basin.


Parque Bicentenario is the second largest urban park in Quito (surpassed only by the Parque Metropolitano), located in the site of the Old Mariscal Sucre International Airport. It was inaugurated on April 27, 2013. This park has 200 acres (81 ha), and it is located at 2,800 m (9,186 ft), above mean sea level. The former runway has been converted into recreational space with lanes painted for bicycles and pedestrians. There are play structures and games for children. As well, there is outdoor exercise equipment for adults. The park contains a man-made pond and more than one thousand trees, many newly planted. The park also hosts cultural exhibits and outdoor concerts.

La Carolina

La Carolina 5
La Carolina park next to Amazonas Avenue

La Carolina[46] is a 165.5-acre (670,000 m²) park in the centre of the Quito main business area, bordered by the avenues Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República. This park started from the expropriation of the farm La Carolina in 1939. The design of the park was made by the Dirección Metropolitana de Planificación Territorial (DMPT). Pope John Paul II headed a great mass in the park during his visit to Ecuador in 1985. A giant cross has been built in this place.

El Ejido

El Ejido[47] is the fourth-largest park of Quito (after Metropolitan, Bicentenario and La Carolina), and it divides the old part of the city from the modern one. This park is known for handicrafts available for sale every Saturday and Sunday, with all pricing subject to negotiation (that is, haggling). Local painters sell copies of paintings by Oswaldo Guayasamín,[48] Eduardo Kingman, and Gonzalo Endara Crow. Otavaleños sell traditional sweaters, ponchos, carpets, and jewelry.


(Guápulo) Calle pic. b
Street in Guápulo.

Set on the side on a cliff with González Suárez Street, one of the most famous in Quito and to the other side the valley and further in the distance, the Amazon Jungle. Guápulo is a district of Quito, Ecuador, also called an electoral parish (parroquia electoral urbana). The parish was established as a result of the October 2004 political elections when the city was divided into 19 urban electoral parishes.[49] Set behind Hotel Quito, the neighborhood of Guápulo runs down the winding Camino de Orellana, from González Suárez to Calle de los Conquistadores, the main road out of Quito and to the neighboring suburbs.[50][51] Often considered an artsy, bohemian neighborhood of Quito, Guápulo is home to many local artists and a couple of hippy cafés/bars. Every year on September 7 the guapuleños honor their neighborhood with the Fiestas de Guápulo, a fantastic celebration complete with costumes, parade, food, drink, song, dance, and fireworks.

La Alameda

The long triangular La Alameda is located at the beginning of street Guayaquil, where the historic centre begins. It has an impressive monument of Simón Bolívar at the apex. There are several other interesting monuments in this park. In the centre of the park is the Quito Observatory, which was opened by President García Moreno in 1873 and is the oldest observatory in Latin America. It is used for both meteorology and astronomy. At the north end of the park are two ornamental lakes, where rowboats can be rented.


The Aerial tramway Station at Cruz Loma (part of the Pichincha mountain complex at about 4,000 metres (13,000 ft)). Since July 2005, Quito has had an aerial tramway, known as the "Telefériqo", from the city centre to the hill known as Cruz Loma on the east side of the Pichincha volcano. The ride takes visitors to an elevation of about 4,100 metres (13,500 ft). There are also trails for hiking and areas where pictures can be taken of Quito. Because of the increased elevation and the wind on the mountain, it is considerably cooler.

Besides the aerial tramway to Cruz Loma, the Telefériqo as a whole is a visitor centre that includes an amusement park (Vulqano Park), fine-dining restaurants, Go Karts, Paint Ball, shopping malls, an extensive food court, and other attractions.

Outside the city

Mitad del Mundo, Ecuador 5
The monument at the equator (La Mitad del Mundo)

La Mitad del Mundo[52] (the middle of the world) is a small village administered by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, 35 kilometres (22 mi) north of Quito. It has since been determined, with the use of Global Positioning System technology, that the actual equator is some 240 metres (790 ft) north of the monument area. Nearby is the Intiñan Solar Museum, which may be closer to the true equator.[53] The Intiñan Solar Museum provides a demonstration which purports to show the Coriolis force causing a clockwise rotation of sink water a few meters south of the equator and a counterclockwise rotation a few meters north,[54] but many scientific sources claim that this is implausible.[55][56][57][58][59] (An African equator demonstration purports to show the Coriolis force causing a clockwise rotation of sink water a few meters north of the equator and a counterclockwise rotation a few meters south.[60])

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, located a few miles northwest from La Mitad del Mundo, contains the Pululahua volcano, whose caldera (crater) is visible from a spot easily accessible by car. It is believed to be one of only a few in the world with human inhabitants.

Quito Zoo,[61] located near the rural parish of Guayllabamba, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) outside Quito, has the biggest collection of native fauna in Ecuador, including several kinds of animals that are sometimes targeted in Ecuador in the illegal fur trade. The Zoo works in conservation and education in Ecuador and has successfully bred the endangered Andean condor.

Maquipucuna Reserve is located in Quito's rural parish of Nanegal. This 14,000 acre high biodiversity rainforest and cloudforest reserve protects over 1966 species of plants[62] (10% of Ecuador's plant diversity) and close to 400 bird species. This reserve, which is surrounded by a 34,000 acre protected forest, was declared an IBA (Important Bird Area) in 2005[63] and is the core of the conservation corridor for the spectacled bear (Andean bear) declared in 2013.[64] The area has an ecolodge located in the northern end of the Reserve where the spectacled bear can be sighted for about two months every year.

Some of the other nearby natural attractions are:


Quito is a city with a mix of modern-day and traditional culture. There is a large Catholic presence in Quito; most notably, Quito observes Easter Week with a series of ceremonies and rituals that begin on Palm Sunday. At noon on Good Friday, the March of the Penitents proceeds from the Church of San Francisco.[65]

Bateas Ecuador in the colonial center, a short walk from the Casa Gangotena three bucks.Bateas amazing art crafts ecuador quito
A wooden, hand carved Batea from Quito



According to the National Council for Higher Education of Ecuador (CONESUP), these are the universities founded in or around Quito before 2006:[66]

Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences FLACSO University buildings in northern downtown Quito.
University Foundation Date
Universidad Central del Ecuador 18/03/1826
Escuela Politécnica Nacional 27/08/1869
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador 04/11/1946
Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales 20/06/1972
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales 16/12/1974
Escuela Superior Politecnica del Ejercito E.S.P.E. 08/12/1977
Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial 18/02/1986
Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar 27/01/1992
Internacional SEK 30/06/1993
Universidad San Francisco de Quito 25/10/1988
Universidad de las Américas (Ecuador) 29/11/1995
Universidad Internacional del Ecuador 30/08/1996
Universidad Del Pacifico: Escuela de Negocios 18/12/1997
Universidad de Especialidade Turisticas 31/03/2000
Universidad de los Hemisferios 20/05/2004
Universidad Politécnica Salesiana 05/08/1994


One of the oldest and most important library in Ecuador is the Central University Library in Quito. It was founded in 1586 and has 170,000 volumes in its possession.[67] The Aurelio Espinoza Polit in Cotocollao, Casas de la Cultura and Catholic University are also important ones.


  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneas – Located north of Basilica del Voto Nacional, this museum has permanent and temporary exhibitions. The historic building used to be a military hospital and was renovated for its new purpose.
  • Casa del Alabado – Located just south of Plaza San Francisco, this is the Old Town's newest museum and houses a collection of pre-colonial art. The building is one of the oldest houses in the city.
  • Museo de la Ciudad – A museum dedicated to the history of Quito. Located just east of the Plaza de Santo Domingo,[68] it is housed in the buildings of the former San Juan de Dios Hospital, a UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site.
  • La Capilla del Hombre – A museum showcasing the work of legendary Ecuadorian Artist Oswaldo Guayasamín
  • Ecuador National Museum of Medicine – A museum dedicated to the history of medicine[69] in Quito, founded by Eduardo Estrella Aguirre. Estrella was in the Archives of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Madrid, Spain in 1985 and uncovered the lost papers and paintings documenting one of the first expeditions to South America. In Madrid Spain, Estrella worked for many years and documented his observations in the archive and was able to publish the extensive work of Juan Tafalla in a book called Flora Huayaquilensis.
  • Museo Casa de Sucre – This museum is dedicated to life of Mariscal Antonio José de Sucre, a hero of Ecuadorian independence. The ground floor has an array of weapons and military relics, many of which belonged to Sucre himself. The second floor has been restored to what it might have looked like in Sucre's time.[70]
  • Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador – This art museum houses five displays. Each covers a different time period, ranging from prehistory to modern Ecuador.[71]


Estadio de LDU Tribuna E
Estadio Casa Blanca, the newest stadium in Quito and home of LDU Quito

Quito is home to seven prominent football clubs in the country. The city's top clubs (LDU Quito, El Nacional) have won a total of 28 national championships, over half of all championships played. Deportivo Quito and Aucas were the first home teams to play in the national league. Deportivo Quito was also the first out of the three home teams to win the title. LDU Quito is the only Ecuadorian club to have won 4 continental titles. El Nacional is the second most titled team in Ecuador's history. América de Quito was one of the most titled clubs in the past but has recently played in the lower divisions.

The professional teams in the city are:

One of the more interesting facts of Quito is that the stadiums are located over 2,800 metres (9,200 feet) above sea level, this gives the city the special feature and a great advantage for local teams when they play against foreign teams and it is one of the reasons that has allowed Ecuador to qualify for the last two World Cups.[72]


The U.S. Department of State notes that petty theft is the most common crime issue facing tourists in Quito,[73] stating in 2015: "Pickpocketing, purse snatching, robbery, bag slashing, and hotel room theft are the most common types of crimes committed against U.S. citizens."[74]

Notable people born in Quito

Twin towns and sister cities

Quito is twinned with:

See also


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External links

Battle of Pichincha

The Battle of Pichincha took place on 24 May 1822, on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, 3,500 meters above sea-level, right next to the city of Quito, in modern Ecuador.

The encounter, fought in the context of the Spanish American wars of independence, pitted a Patriot army under General Antonio José de Sucre against a Royalist army commanded by Field Marshal Melchor Aymerich. The defeat of the Royalist forces loyal to Spain brought about the liberation of Quito, and secured the independence of the provinces belonging to the Real Audiencia de Quito, or Presidencia de Quito, the Spanish colonial administrative jurisdiction from which the Republic of Ecuador would eventually emerge.


Club Deportivo ESPOLI is a professional football team from Quito, Ecuador that now plays in the Segunda Categoría, the third level of professional football in country. The team belong to the Escuela Superior de Policía (ESPOLI), a police academy in Quito.

The closest the team has ever come to a national championship was in 1995, when they came in 2nd place in the national tournament to Barcelona. The result allowed them to participate in the 1996 Copa Libertadores, where they were eliminated in the Round of 16.

C.D. El Nacional

Club Deportivo El Nacional is an Ecuadorian sports club from Quito, known best for their professional football team. The team currently plays in the Serie A, the top-flight football league in the country.

El Nacional has thirteen national championships (one less than Barcelona). The club has participated in more Copa Libertadores than any other club in Ecuador with 22 appearances. Their best performance in the continental tournament was as a semi-finalist in 1985.

El Nacional was founded on 1 June 1964, and was administered by the Ecuadorian Military since the foundation until 2013, when the club celebrates his first ever democratic elections. The club has maintained a tradition of only playing Ecuadorian footballers, which has given them the nickname of Puros Criollos ("Pure Natives"). Rival clubs included crosstown clubs LDU Quito, Deportivo Quito, Universidad Católica and the Guayaquileans Barcelona and Emelec. Their home stadium is Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa.

Other sports the organization participates in are gymnastics, table tennis, Ecuavolley, chess, and shooting.

C.D. Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Universidad Católica del Ecuador is a football club based in Quito, Ecuador. They currently play in the top tier of Ecuadorian football and have spent the majority of their history in the top-flight Serie A.

Universidad Católica was officially founded on May 15, 1963. Historic rivals include LDU Quito, Aucas, El Nacional and Deportivo Quito.


Ecuador ( (listen) EK-wə-dor, Spanish: [ekwaˈðoɾ]) (Quechua: Ikwayur; Shuar: Ecuador or Ekuatur), officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechua: Ikwadur Ripuwlika), is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, which is also the largest city.What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830. The legacy of both empires is reflected in Ecuador's ethnically diverse population, with most of its 16.4 million people being mestizos, followed by large minorities of European, Amerindian, and African descendants. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar.

The sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic with a developing economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It is governed as a democratic presidential republic. One of 18 megadiverse countries in the world, Ecuador hosts many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. In recognition of its unique ecological heritage, the new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights. It also has the fifth lowest homicide rate in the Americas.

Ecuadorian Serie A

The Primera Categoría Serie A, simply known as the Serie A or the Primera A, is a professional football league in Ecuador. At the top of the Ecuadorian football league system, it is the country's premier football competition. Contested by twelve clubs, it operates a system of promotion and relegation with the Serie B, the lower level of the Primera Categoría. The season runs from February to December and is usually contested in multiple stages. It is sponsored by beer company Pilsener and is officially known as the Copa Pilsener Serie A.

While initially not a league, the Serie A has its roots in the national championship between the top teams of Ecuador's two regional leagues. For the first nine editions, teams from Guayaquil and Quito qualified to the competition through their professional regional leagues. It abandoned the qualification format to form a proper league in 1967. Since the first edition in 1957, the tournament has been held annually (except 1958 and 1959); the 2005 season had two champions. It was ranked by IFFHS as the 13th strongest football league in the world for 2011, and the 5th strongest in South America.Eight different teams have been crowned Ecuadorian champions, but four teams have a combined total of 46 championships. The most successful club is Barcelona with fifteen titles. The defending champion is LDU Quito.

Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa

Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa (Spanish pronunciation: [ataˈwalpa]) is a multi-purpose stadium in Quito, Ecuador. It is currently used mostly for football matches and has a capacity of 35,724.

History of Ecuador

The History of Ecuador extends over an 8,000-year period. During this time a variety of cultures and territories influenced what has become the Republic of Ecuador. The history can be divided into six eras: Pre-Columbian, the Conquest, the Colonial Period, the War of Independence, Gran Colombia, and Simón Bolívar the final separation of his vision into what is known today as the Republic of Ecuador.

L.D.U. Quito

Liga Deportiva Universitaria (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈliɣa ðepoɾˈtiβa uniβeɾsiˈtarja]), often referred to as Liga de Quito, LDU, is an Ecuadorian professional football club based in Quito. They play in the Serie A, the highest level of the Ecuadorian professional football league. They play their home games at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado, more commonly referred to as Casa Blanca. Rival clubs include Quito-based clubs El Nacional, Deportivo Quito, Aucas and Universidad Católica.

Liga Deportiva Universitaria has its roots in the semi-pro sports teams in 1918 competing as “Universitario” at the Central University of Ecuador, and was officially founded on January 11 of 1930. They began making an impact in the provincial leagues, winning nine Pichincha titles (six in the professional era). Their provincial success continued into the national league, where they have won 11 national title (4th overall) having won their most recent title in 2018. They are the most successful Ecuadorian club in international competitions, where they were the first Ecuadorian club to win the Copa Libertadores (2008), the Copa Sudamericana (2009), and the Recopa Sudamericana (2009 and 2010). They are one of only six teams —Boca Juniors, Independiente, River Plate, Internacional and São Paulo being the other five— to have achieved the CONMEBOL treble, winning all three continental club tournaments. LDU is the only team to win all three mentioned cups one after another between the years 2008 to 2010 causing them to be rated as the best South American team of 2008 and 2009. Liga de Quito was additionally the runner-up at the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup.

Mariscal Sucre International Airport

Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Internacional Mariscal Sucre) (IATA: UIO, ICAO: SEQM) is the busiest airport in Ecuador and one of the busiest airports in South America. It is located in the Tababela parish, about 18 kilometres (11 mi) east of Quito and serves as the largest hub of TAME, the flag carrier of Ecuador, with an average of over 220 weekly flights. It opened in February 2013 and replaced the old Mariscal Sucre International Airport. The airport is named after the Venezuelan independence leader Antonio José de Sucre.

Miss Ecuador

Miss Ecuador is a national beauty pageant in Ecuador. The current Miss Ecuador is Virginia Limongi. She won the title on May 5, 2018.

Miss Universe 2004

Miss Universe 2004, the 53rd Miss Universe pageant, was held on 1 June 2004 at the Centro de Convenciones CEMEXPO in Quito, Ecuador. Jennifer Hawkins of Australia was crowned by Amelia Vega of the Dominican Republic as her successor at the end of the event. 80 contestants competed in this year.

Quito Canton

Quito, officially the Metropolitan District of Quito (Spanish: Distrito Metropolitano de Quito), is a canton in the province of Pichincha, Ecuador.

Quito Challenger

The Quito Challenger is a tennis tournament held in Quito, Ecuador since 1995. The event is part of the ATP Challenger Tour and is played on outdoor clay courts.

Quito Glacier

Quito Glacier (62°27′S 59°47′W) is a glacier draining the northeast slopes of Mount Plymouth and flowing northeastwards into the sea west of Canto Point in north Greenwich Island, South Shetland Islands. It was named after the capital of Ecuador, c. 1990, by the Ecuadorian Antarctic Expedition.

Quito School

The Quito School (Escuela Quiteña) is a Latin American artistic tradition that constitutes essentially the whole of the professional artistic output developed in the territory of the Royal Audience of Quito — from Pasto and Popayán in the north to Piura and Cajamarca in the south — during the Spanish colonial period (1542-1824). It is especially associated with the 17th and 18th centuries and was almost exclusively focused on the religious art of the Catholic Church in the country. Characterized by a mastery of the realistic and by the degree to which indigenous beliefs and artistic traditions are evident, these productions were among of the most important activities in the economy of the Royal Audience of Quito. Such was the prestige of the movement even in Europe that it was said that King Carlos III of Spain (1716–1788), referring to one of its sculptors in particular, opined: "I am not concerned that Italy has Michelangelo; in my colonies of America I have the master Caspicara".

Real Audiencia of Quito

The Real Audiencia of Quito (sometimes referred to as la Presidencia de Quito or el Reino de Quito) was an administrative unit in the Spanish Empire which had political, military, and religious jurisdiction over territories that today include Ecuador, parts of northern Peru, parts of southern Colombia and parts of northern Brazil. It was created by Royal Decree on 29 August 1563 by Philip II of Spain in the city of Guadalajara (Law X of Title XV of Book II of the Recopilación de Leyes de Indias). It ended in 1822 with the incorporation of the area into the Republic of Gran Colombia.

S.D. Aucas

Sociedad Deportiva Aucas (Spanish pronunciation: [sosjeˈðað ðepoɾˈtiβa ˈaukas]), also known as "Papa Aucas", is a football club based in Quito, Ecuador. They play in the top tier of Ecuadorian football and have spent the majority of their history in the top-flight Serie A. The team is amongst the most popular in the city because of its long history in the Serie A. Despite the popularity, Aucas has never won an Ecuadorian championship.

S.D. Quito

Sociedad Deportivo Quito is an Ecuadorian non professional club football club based in Quito. For most of its existence, it competed in Serie A, the highest level of the Ecuadorian professional football league. By now this team does not play professional football anymore and it

Deportivo Quito has won five Serie A titles in 1964, 1968, 2008, 2009, and 2011. This places them fifth overall. The club also has four Interandean Tournament titles in 1955, 1956, 1957, and 1963. Additionally, the club was runner up in 1985, 1988, and 1997. Based on its style of play, sports journalists and fans nicknamed the club La Academia de los Ecuatorianos desde 1940 (English: The Academy of the Ecuadorians since 1940).

Deportivo Quito was officially founded in 1955, although they trace their roots to Sociedad Deportiva Argentina, which was founded on July 9, 1940. Historic rivals include LDU Quito, Aucas, El Nacional, and Universidad Católica. They play their home games at Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa.

Climate data for Quito
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.0
Average high °C (°F) 21.2
Daily mean °C (°F) 15.5
Average low °C (°F) 9.8
Record low °C (°F) 3.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 82.5
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 10 11 15 15 13 7 5 5 11 14 11 11 128
Mean monthly sunshine hours 197 140 122 136 164 189 249 256 196 177 197 215 2,238
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization,[24] (precipitation data),[25]
Source #2: NOAA[26][27] Voodoo Skies (records),[28] Danish Meteorological Institute (sun and relative humidity)[29]
Climate data for Quito
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily daylight hours 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0
Average Ultraviolet index 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11
Source: Weather Atlas [30]
Provincial capitals in Ecuador
Urban parishes
Rural parishes

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