Major Cities in Ecuador

By | July 9, 2022

Quito (Ecuador)

According to SIMPLYYELLOWPAGES, Quito is the capital of Ecuador. The city was founded in the 10th century by Indians. In the 16th century, during the capture by the Spaniards, the local Incas burned their capital, but in 1534 it was restored.

24 km north of Quito, in the small settlement of Mitta del Mundo (literally translated as “middle of the world”), the equator line passes, it is marked with a yellow line. A monument was erected here, crowned with a huge globe weighing 5 tons. Inside the monument is a local history museum. Quito himself located at an altitude of 2800 m on the slopes of the Pichincha volcano, and the name of the city is translated as “village in the mountains.” The modern part of it is in the north. This is the center of business and nightlife, but it bears little resemblance to the centers of other capitals – there are no skyscrapers here. The main street of the New Town is Avenida Amazonas with numerous restaurants and bars. The picturesque Alameda Park with a monument to Simon Bolivar, the Palace of Justice and various museums are very interesting.

The old town has been declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO. Indeed, there are a lot of historical sights of the colonial era, which are located around the main squares – Independence Square, Santo Domingo and San Francisco.

Independence Square is considered the center of the city. Next to it is the Cathedral, which was built in 1678. San Francisco Square was created in honor of the patron saint of the city, and the monastery of the same name, the construction of which was completed on the 50th day after the founding of the city, is considered the oldest in the country. Also of interest are the churches of San Agustin with a 37-meter bell tower (in one of the halls of this church the first act of independence was signed in 1809), Mercedes, its 47-meter-high tower is considered the highest in the old city and has the oldest clock, La Compagna (an example of Quito art and Baroque style) and Santo Domingo, built by Dominican friars.

It is worth looking at the Presidential Palace with a changing guard and climbing the El Panecillo hill (translated from Spanish as “little bun”), on which there is a statue of the Virgin Mary of Kita and at the foot of which there is an open market.

The most popular museums in Quito are the Museum of Musical Instruments with the world’s largest collection of musical instruments, the Museum of Art, which presents sculptures and canvases of the 16th century, as well as works by modern masters, the Vivarium on Reina Victoria Street, dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, the Museum of Del Banco- Central with a collection of ceramics and gold products of pre-Columbian America, as well as the Amazon Museum, dedicated to the peoples and nature of the Oriente region.

South of Quito stretches “Prospect of Volcanoes”. This is a network of mountain peaks, among which 9 of the 10 highest in the country. The Pan-American Highway and the narrow-gauge railway have been laid through this area. You can admire beautiful mountain landscapes from the window of a bus or train. Otavalo is a 2 hour drive from Quito. It is known for its Indian market, which opens on Saturdays. Here you can buy hand-knitted products and all kinds of souvenirs from real Indians.

Guayaquil (Ecuador)

Guayaquil is the main port, commercial center and economic capital of the country. The city was founded in 1535 at the mouth of the Guayas River in western Ecuador.

From the port across the city stretches a wide embankment Malecon, surrounded by a complex of botanical gardens with fountains. In the center of the city is the Parque Bolívar square with the Cathedral of the 16th century.

In the northeast of Guayaquil there is a historical park, which is divided into 3 zones – the “forest” zone, the “coast” zone and the “urban architecture” zone.

Most excursions to the Galapagos Islands depart from this city.

Cuenca (Ecuador)

Cuenca is the third largest city in Ecuador. It was founded in 1557 near Quito at an altitude of 2500 m. It is a colonial city with small houses and cobbled streets. In its architecture, the Old Cathedral and the New Cathedral, built in neo-Gothic style, stand out.

This city is known for the fact that 50 km from it is the Inca fortress of Ingapirca. To this day, only the ruins of stone buildings in the shape of a trapezoid with the Temple of the Sun remained from it. Nearby there is also a museum, which presents exhibits discovered during excavations in the area.

Cuenca (Ecuador)