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PRASANNA CHANDRASEKHAR

 

   Quito

It’s hard to tell whether you are short of breath because of the altitude, the views from the Teleférico, or the majestic architecture in the historical district – but regardless of the reason, Quito is a great South American city to visit for a weekend or for an extended stay. Situated high in the Andes between two mountain ranges, Quito offers spectacular views, unique regional dishes, excellent mountaineering and hiking, along with easy access to a variety of unspoiled natural beauty and landscapes.
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Ecuador, named after the equator, has a temperate climate year-round and is flanked by beaches and the Galapagos on one side, and the Amazon basin on the other. Ecuador’s capital, Quito, has a small but growing tourism industry designed to serve everybody from backpackers on a budget to those looking for luxury accommodations, feasting on some roasted guinea pig while gazing at one of the country’s many volcanoes.

Ecuador, named after the equator, has a temperate climate year-round and is flanked by beaches and the Galapagos on one side, and the Amazon basin on the other. Ecuador’s capital, Quito, has a small but growing tourism industry designed to serve everybody from backpackers on a budget to those looking for luxury accommodations, feasting on some roasted guinea pig while gazing at one of the country’s many volcanoes.
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The city is split up geographically into three main districts, ranging from north to south. The southern part of the city is residential, where things are a bit cheaper but doesn’t offer too much for tourists. The northern part of the city is more modern, with high rise apartments, museums and a variety of nightlife and dining options. The Museo Nacional, located next to the Parque La Alameda, houses many impressive pre-Columbian and colonial works of art. This is where you can get your historical bearings of the region and shop for souvenirs.

After exploring the museums and the parks, you can wet your whistle in the many bars in the aptly named ‘Gringolandia’. It offers many western style bars and restaurants, ranging from everything from pizza and burgers to large German style beer houses – along with western style prices. There is a lack of a local flavor, but does seem to attract the city’s more upscale crowd.

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