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Quito, Ecuador: an historic city with a modern twist

A city with verve, vigour and giant prawns

Quito, Ecuador’s elevated capital, is a cultural spreading ground, a tremendous centre of traditional, pre-Columbian and contemporary art, a UNESCO World Heritage darling and a vivacious modern city with a timeworn soul.


Ringed by the snarling volcanic maw of the Andes Mountains, Quito’s historic heart is a beautifully preserved collection of colonial squares, church spires, imposing monasteries and cobblestones cracking under the ferocity of the equatorial sun.


More than a museum, Quito is the embodiment of the South American spirit and inhabited by Quitanians with an ebullient love for the old bones of their city. I came to experience the best-preserved historic city in the Americas and got caught in the crux of Quito’s renaissance, a resurgence driven forward by a sense of community that is every bit as powerful as the antediluvian attractions. 


Quito’s safety – or alleged lack thereof – has always been a concern among travellers. The old city’s revival, now into its second decade, has seen seedy markets transformed into pleasant plazas, ramshackle colonial buildings reinvented as fine museums and tumbledown private homes converted to luxurious boutique hotels. 


This is an excerpt from a larger piece published on Page 28 of Traveltalk Magazine. Read more here.


Image: Flash Parker

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Written by: Flash Parker
Published: 19 November 2013

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