21 Feb Things to do in Quito
Things to do in Quito
The capital of Ecuador is unique for three reasons: altitude, equator and history.
Quito is the highest or second-highest capital in the world. The reason for the confusion is Bolivia with its two capitals. Sucre (2810 m) is the constitutional and judicial capital. La Paz (3650 m) is the executive and legislative capital. La Paz is the biggest city of Bolivia and de-facto has more meaning. Therefore, Quito (2850 m) has the title of the second-highest capital. You can feel the high altitude when you walk up the stairs or if you would like to boil eggs. As the atmospheric pressure is smaller in Quito, water boiling temperature is only 91° C. Isn’t it fascinating!? To feel the altitude even more, I recommend you to take Teleferico cable car and hike the closest volcano Pichincha (4784 m).
Quito is located on the equator. After your visit to Ecuador, your friends will ask you a simple question. “My friend, you visited Southern Hemisphere, so in which direction water spins in a sink?” You must have an answer. The answer is: … “It doesn’t matter”. Coriolis forces, which theoretically makes the water spins are simply too weak around the equator. Additionally, if you are not on the equator, Coriolis forces are still too weak on a small-scale. Any spinning of water in your sink are caused by its construction or direction in which water was poured and not Coriolis forces. To learn more about the equator, you should visit Mitad del Mundo, Middle of the world. However, remember the “equator line” where everybody is taking selfie being in both hemispheres at the same time is actually 240 meters south of the real equator.
A super brief history of Quito would be Quechua, Incas, Spaniards and Independence. Plaza de la Independencia or Plaza Grande is the main squire of the city. Friends Hostel located five minutes’ walk from there. The historical center of the city includes many churches, squares and streets. From Panesillo hill on one side to Basilica del Voto Nacional on another side, you will have a good time wandering around the city.
We are looking forward to you and your friends to visit our Hostel. You are welcome to join our tour to Teleferico and Mitad del Mundo to experience altitude and see the “equator”. Additionally, every morning we have a Free Walking Tour where you can see the highlights of the Historical Center. See you in Quito!
All the best,
Your Friend Dima