Quito is an old city - in 1534 it was named San Francisco de Quito when Spanish arrived - but the origins of the city are even earlier. The area was settled by pre-Inca tribes, one called the Quitu. When the Incas conquered the region, they made Quito the northern capital. The Spanish built their colonial city on the ruins of the Inca capital. Today, modern Quito is two parts, the Old Quito with Spanish colonial buildings, and New Quito, with hotels, shops and restaurants.

Old City
Day trips
Virgin of Quito - Start your trip to Quito with an overview of the city. Take a taxi to the hilltop (Cerro Panecillo) east of Old Quito. From the Cerro Panecillo, there are glorious views of the high mountains surrounding Quito. Climb up the stairs inside the Virgin to the observation balcony (as you're climbing up, you'll see that the statue is made of thousands of bronze and aluminum pieces.) If it's a nice day, bring a kite for the kids, and watch your kite soaring high in the sky towards the mountains in the clouds.
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