The Metropolitan District of Quito, in both western and eastern limits hosts important populations of the endangered Andean bear. Specially on the Western slope where a corridor for the Andean bear has been declared, and through scientific research since 2008, more than 60 bears have been identified, to-gether with other important wildlife that inhabit in the last remnants of foothill Chocó forests.
The capital of Ecuador is a city where everything comes together. A focal point of nature and culture, of traditions and modernity that unexpectedly and pleasantly surprise visitors. Quito is full of surprises.
Quito will surprise you mainly for its staggering diversity. The Metropolitan District of Quito’s surface is 424,062 hectares and covers a diverse ecological, landscape and cultural mosaic. Its exceptional im-portance and variety of climates ranging from tropical areas to the northwest, arid areas in the inter part, cloud forests, wilderness areas and snow along the inter-Andean mountain range makes it attrac-tive for visitors from all over the world. Quito is possibly one of the richest districts in the world re-garding bird species biodiversity. There are over 550 bird species registered specially in the Northwest where you can find the best kept Andean forests in the District and where an important population of Andean bears live. Furthermore, Quito is the home of 400 orchids, 112 mammals, 53 reptiles and 92 amphibians.
Few cities in the world can beat its location nestled in the mountains of the Andes, right in the heart of the Tropics, at latitude zero – the Middle of the World. Its natural beauty can be seen everywhere you look. While walking down any street, you’ll find sights of green mountains; just a few minutes outside of the city’s boundaries adventures immersed in its nature abound. Yet Quito’s natural appeal is also manifested in its traditional dishes and culinary treats served both at restaurants and at homes; a true melting pot of the finest ingredients sourced from the city’s surrounding regions and the country’s four worlds.
Quito’s rich culture is yet another surprising aspect. In pre-Hispanic times, communities from distinct elevations and geographical regions gathered to trade and celebrate here. The Incas shaped their society upon these foundations, flourishing in the proximity of their deity: the sun. The city of today is the re-sult of a meeting of cultures – indigenous, Spanish and European – as reflected above all by its Historic Center, the first World Heritage city recognized by UNESCO in 1978, and by its dynamic modern neighborhoods, marked by a thriving commercial activity and creativity.
We hope this guide will help you discover our city’s treasures, enjoy its unique attractions, delight with its variety of dishes, meet its people and share our privilege of living in such a unique place in the world.
Welcome to Quito, where worlds meet.