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Towns & Cities

Quito is the capital and most populous city in Ecuador. It's also the second highest capital after La Paz (Bolivia) at 2,850m (9,350 ft) elevation. For most visitors to Ecuador, this is where your journey begins, while those continuing to the Galapagos Islands may also start their adventure here or from Guayaquil.

Quito has one of the best-preserved historic centres among North and South American nations, while it lies closer to the equator than any other capital city.

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Planning Your Cruise

Spanish colonial homes and churches might feature as some of the most popular options among day trips and things to see in Quito, but a stop at the equator in the "Middle of the World" might be fun. If you've got enough time to explore the wider area, there are some interesting options for bird watching nearby.

If you're visiting Quito only as an extension of your Galapagos cruise, you should note that while many cruise tour packages are arranged directly from Quito, it is a landlocked and mountainous city far, far from the sea. You'll fly from here on to Baltra or possibly with a technical stop in Guayaquil.

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