Above: View of the Plaza San Francisco from Casa Gangotena

Quito ranks among South America’s most underrated cities. Surrounded by towering green mountains and overlooked by immense snowcapped volcanoes, Ecuador’s capital enjoys a surprisingly mild and pleasant climate. The center retains its colonial splendor. Ornate mansions line the narrow, sloping streets, which periodically open onto plazas fronted by grand municipal buildings and elaborately decorated churches.

Join Andrew Harper today to continue reading our exclusive content.