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QUITO

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca old city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 metres, one of the highest capital cities in the world. Despite the 1917 earthquake, the city has the best-preserved historic centre in Latin America. The monasteries of San Francisco and Santo Domingo, and the Church and Jesuit College of La Compañía, with their rich interiors, are pure examples of the 'Baroque school of Quito', which is a fusion of Spanish, Italian, Moorish, Flemish and indigenous art.

Given the high altitude, one can feel a little breathless when you arrive in Quito. We advise walking slower than usual and that you take time to acclimatise.