The capital of Ecuador – Quito is located in a very picturesque place, for which many consider it the most beautiful city in South America. It is located at an altitude of more than 2800 meters, almost on the equator, which creates comfortable natural conditions here. From any part of the city you can observe breathtaking panoramas of the snow-capped peaks of the Andes mountains. The city has a long history, it is known that Quito was founded in the 10th century BC. and was one of the largest cities of the Inca empire, but during the Conquest in the 16th century, the city was completely destroyed by the locals so that the Spaniards would not get it. However, the Spaniards began to build a new city in its place, which became the center of the lands they captured. The architecture of the capital has many faces, and conditionally it can be divided into part of the city of the colonial era (“Old City”), an area with modern buildings and the poor outskirts of the city, which are represented by nondescript concrete buildings. The most famous and most valuable sights of the capital include buildings located around Independence Square and Santo Domingo Square. Independence Square was built during the conquest by the Spaniards in 1534 and the complex of buildings around it is represented by the most important civil and religious objects. Here is the Cathedral, the Palace of the Archbishop, the Palace of the Government, etc. The most beautiful square in Quito is San Francisco. It adjoins the beautiful monastery of San Francisco, which consists of many buildings with large courtyards. The monastery complex is very large and is considered the largest religious complex on the mainland. In the middle of the 20th century, the local elite began to move from the “old city” to the north, where the air was cleaner and the population density was lower, over time, the so-called new city began to develop here, which is now full of all kinds of offices, banks, embassies and other modern buildings. The main advantage of this part of the city is the center of the nightlife of the capital – the La Mariscal district, where most of the banks, offices and restaurants of the city are concentrated. In addition, the most famous park of the capital (El Ejido) is located here. Every Sunday, a real art market gathers in the park. The main colonial city of Ecuador is Cuenca, which was built by the Spaniards in 1557, and earlier in its place was the old city of the Incas. With its appearance, this place is similar to the old part of the capital, there are also many temples, the same narrow streets and a surprisingly beautiful building, but the advantage of Cuenco is that, unlike the capital, the air is much cleaner here and there are not so many noisy tourists, and this only enhances the impression of local attractions. The main advantage of the city is the Cathedral of the Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción, above which beautiful iridescent domes rise, and the facade is made of marble. The Ingapirca fortress, which was built by the Incas, is also popular among tourists. Once this fortress served as the main political and religious center of Kanyaris, but later it was retrained into a military structure. The main city of the southern coast, the largest port and trade center of Ecuador is Gauyakil, which, due to its location, has become the country’s export gate. Many consider this place noisy, dirty and dangerous, however, Guayaquil is not as scary as it is described and it is convenient to start a trip along the south coast from here. A favorite place for city residents and tourists is the green boulevard near the coast – Malecon, along which a series of numerous restaurants and shops stretches. Those who want to see untouched nature and walk in wild places should visit the Oriente area, which is located in the Amazon basin. This area occupies almost half of the area of Ecuador, despite the fact that no more than 5% of the total population lives here. Huge areas of untouched rainforest, many lakes and rivers, have made this place the largest ecotourism center in the country. The rarest animals and plants live in the local forests, as well as more than 200 isolated tribes still live. Local reservoirs are full of fish, some of which are not found anywhere else in the world. There are no roads in this part of the country, they move here either by water or along temporary roads cut in the jungle, which eventually overgrow. There are many dangerous animals in the local forests, so traveling in this area is considered extreme. The main asset of the Oriente is the Yasuni National Park. This national park is the largest protected area in the country. More than half of all mammals in Ecuador are located in this zone, as well as more than 520 species of birds. The Galapagos archipelago, located in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, 1000 km from the mainland, is popular among tourists. It consists of 13 main islands and 17 smaller ones. These islands originated during the eruption of volcanoes located in this area, therefore, the relief of the islands is extremely dissected, and the highest point of the archipelago has a height of more than 1700 meters. For 3-5 million years since the appearance of these islands, a unique nature has formed here, which has been preserved in almost unchanged form to this day. Initially, the archipelago was used as a colony for criminals, but in 1959 it became a national park.
National cuisine of Ecuador
According to Calculatorinc, the national cuisine has absorbed the features of the culinary traditions of many Indian peoples who inhabited these lands before the arrival of Europeans. Surprisingly, the influence of Spanish cuisine here is less than in neighboring countries. Vegetables and cereals are widely used, and the locals prefer stewed meat. Side dishes familiar to Europeans are replaced with fried bananas and yuko. The main advantage of Ecuadorian cuisine can be considered soups. There are a lot of soup recipes and most of them were taken from the ancestors. Notable soups are locro (soup with potatoes, avocado and cheese), chicken soup, and fish and vegetable soup. The mass use of meat began not so long ago, so most of the recipes were taken from Spanish cuisine. An exotic local dish is “kuy”, which is fried guinea pig meat, which is better known to us as “guinea pig”. Thanks to the rich vegetation of the local jungle, a variety of fruits are always present on the table of Ecuadorians. Therefore, fruit juices are very popular among drinks. Some are mixed not only with water, but also with milk, which creates an unusual taste. The exotic Naranilla juice can only be tasted in Ecuador. This juice is made from the fruit, which is a cross between a citrus and a peach.