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Quito, Ecuador

Photo of Quito, Ecuador

High in Ecuador's mountains, Quito perches between the slopes of Pichincha and the Andean valley - its elevation may cause a few woozy days for new arrivals. After recovering from the initial altitude change, stroll through the old town of Quito, buy freshly roasted peanuts from a vendor, listen to a local accordion player, and avoid the stray dogs that wander the streets. Or head towards the new town where high rises and hotels dominate the skyline and trendy cafes and cars are on show for both visitors and locals.

After exploring the two towns take a trip to the giant volcanic crater of Pululahua, and peer down into the abyss. Then head to the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) on the equator, where museums and restaurants sit side by side beside a massive monument. After a full day of

sight-seeing, relax at a chic cafe in the new town where a local guitarist will strum your night away.

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