One of the cities that is a must visit in South America is Quito that is formally known as San Francisco de Quito. This city is known as the capital city of Ecuador. Having an elevation of about 9350 feet above sea level, this city is known to be the highest, as per capital city locations go, after La Paz and is also closest to the Equator.
The city is by the Guayllabamba River and has an active volcano on the Andes Mountains. This city also houses the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations. There is a historic center of the city which is one of the best preserved historic centers in the Americas. It is also one of the cultural heritage sites, one of the firsts which as declared by UNESCO, back in 1978. The central square of the city lies close to the equator while the city extends within a radius of one kilometer around the zero latitude. The general location of the equator is marked here with a monument and a museum.
- Among the places worth visiting here is the Ciudad Mitad Del Mundo. This is the plaza and the monument that marks the equator. When visitors stand around it, they are a foot in each hemisphere around the stone monument here.
- Cotopaxi National Park is a park that has volcanoes, condors and a lake area. With trails and pine trees and a rich, natural landscape, this place is popular with locals and tourists alike.
- The Basílica Del Voto Nacional is a neo Gothic church here, which offers great views from the towers. This church was built in the 19th century and offers great city views.
- Compañía de Jesús in Quito is a church with rich ornate baroque architecture. This church was built here in the seventeenth century. With gilded interiors and elaborate carvings, the church is a must visit by all who come here.
- El Panecillo is a basilica here that was formed on top of a hill with volcanic origin. The history of the place dates back centuries and it is located at a high elevation.
- Church and Convent of St. Francis in Quito is a church that houses, baroque art and is a large historic landmark to visit. The interiors have elaborate paintings and sculpture as well.