The capital city of this country of a million landscapes, Quito is situated at 2850 meters above sea level in the central north of Ecuador. With a population exceeding 1.6 million and a history rich in Incan heritage, Quito has the best of both the modern and the traditional worlds. Rich in architectural beauty, a walk around the city’s old town allows visitors to come within inches of stunning colonial buildings and churches. But for the best view of the entire city, head up on the gondola to the Pichincha Volcano. On a clear day the panorama from the viewpoint is unparalleled anywhere else in the city. Intrepid hikers can carry on up the volcano on foot for another few kilometers, while those preferring to enjoy the view with a cup of coffee and a cake can do so in the visitor’s café.