At 2,850 meters above sea level, the Ecuadorian city of Quito is the highest capital in the world. The Old Town of Quito is said to be the best-preserved old town in the Americas, and this is where you’ll find the magnificent Basilica del Voto Nacional. This huge neo-Gothic basilica is the largest in the Americas and is decorated with gargoyles in the forms of local Ecuadorean animals like pumas, monkeys, and condors. Be sure to have your picture taken at Middle Earth, a monument located on the Equator, where the northern and southern hemispheres meet.

Quito’s surroundings offer some incredible views for those willing to do a bit of hiking. Luckily, a cable car can take you up the famous Volcano Pichincha for an awesome photo opportunity. From there, take some time to wander the hiking trails on the ridges of the neighboring mountains to enjoy as much of the landscape as possible. If your feet aren’t totally sore from hiking, spend the evening in La Mariscal and dance with the fun-loving locals to salsa, merengue, bachata, and rock music well into the night.

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