Quito - Ecuador
Quito is picturesquely situated on the lower slopes of Pichincha volcano in a narrow, fertile valley of the Andes at an elevation of 2,850 m (9,350 ft) above sea level. Quito is the oldest South American capital and retains a colonial centre, now a World Heritage Site, where steep and narrow cobbled streets dip into deep ravines. The city is laid out mainly according to a rectangular plan with an expansive central Plaza de la Independencia dominated by a 16th-century cathedral, many quiet parks and flower gardens. The architecture of Quito is chiefly in the Spanish Baroque style and notable buildings include Palacio Arzobispal, Palacio de Gobierno and the churches of San Francisco, San Agustin, La Compañía, and Santo Domingo. Perched on the edge of a ravine, the Basilica of Guapulo has many fine paintings and carvings. Museums in the city are also well worth a visit particularly the Museo Nacional del Banco Central del Ecuador. In 1487 the native city of Quito was conquered by the Incas and in 1534 by the Spanish. In 1822 the city was liberated by South American troops in their revolt against Spanish rule. Quito was Ecuador's chief economic centre until the early 20th century, when it was displaced by Guayaquil. The city was damaged by several earthquakes in the 19th century. There are more than 30 cruises calling at this port. Click the month or cruise line logo you are interested in to see details of the cruises.