Surrounded by the Andes, Quito has a dramatic setting and is overlooked by the Virgin of Quito, a statue atop the Panecillo hill above the Old Town. Considered the most beautiful colonial city in Latin America, various restoration projects targeting the baroque mansions and streets, and the installations of dramatic lighting, have transformed Quito in recent years. The colonial heart of the city is the Old Town where there are fun markets.
While there is plenty to do within Quito itself, it is well worth venturing out of the city to explore the surrounding Highlands during a stay in this part of Ecuador. One of the best ways to see the region is on a riding safari, stopping off at haciendas and villages along the way, or climb Mount Cotopaxi at sunrise for perhaps the best panoramic views in the country.

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