City Introduction

Quito, formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and is situated at an elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level. It is the second highest official capital city in the world.


History and Culture

The story of Quito has its roots in the tribe of the Quitus, who lived in the territory before the arrival of the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors (and that clarifies the origin of the name of the city). The Kingdom of Quito became integrated into the Incan Empire by the end of 15 century. In 1534, the Caras/Quitu people were conquered by the Spanish. Since then, Quito has been the place where an important part of the history of Ecuador has occurred (history that includes the killing of Presidents, coups and defense of political legitimacy). On August 10, 1809, an independence movement from Spanish domination started in Quito. On that date, a plan for government was established that placed Juan Pío Montúfar as president with various other prominent figures in other positions of government. Almost 20 years later, already with the strategic support of Simón Bolívar (who established the Great Colombia, a big nation from which the country would withdraw), Ecuador was born, and Quito was taken as the capital city. On September the 18th, 1978, UNESCO declared Quito as the First Cultural Patrimony of Humanity, as an attempt to preserve its colonial side, in the Old Town (Centro Histórico).


Natural Environment

Quito is located at 2,800 meters above sea level (9,186.35 feet above sea level). It is located in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha.



Quito has a fairly constant cool climate. The average temperature at noon is 18.7 °C (65.7 °F) with a normal night-time low of 9.3 °C (48.7 °F). The annual average temperature is 14 °C (57 °F). The city has only two seasons: dry and wet. The dry season, June through September (4 months), is referred to as summer; the wet season, October through May (8 months), is referred to as winter. Annual precipitation, depending on location, is about 1,000 mm (39 in).

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