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Quito & Environs
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Panecillo Hill
Rising up from the middle of Quito's Old Town is Panecillo Hill. From the top of the hill, the famous winged Virgin of the Apocalypse gazes upon the city, supposedly protecting it from the many volcanoes that surround Quito. The statue is a copy of a 17th century painting by Bernardo de Lagarda. It is said that Lagarda modeled his painting after the typical Quiteña of his time (without the wings of course).

Modern city
The modern part of Quito contrasts greatly with the colonial part. Here one can find parks, shopping centers, banks, offices, houses and modern cultural centers like the Casa de la Cultura. This area also has several handicraft markets where you can find anything from clothing to jewelry. The newly refurbished international airport, Mariscal Sucre, is located in the modern town and is the main port of arrival into Ecuador.

Quito is the center of metropolitan life in the Sierra. From baroque art with its different expressions to modern art, from opera to rock music, from ballet to indigenous dance, it can be found in Quito. For those who enjoy nightlife, Quito offers a wide variety of bars, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. A welcomed new addition to the cultural scene are art movie houses such as "Ocho y Medio."

Attractions Near Quito...

Pichincha volcano
The active volcano Pichincha literally towers over the city of Quito. Tours are available to visit the mountains peaks and craters. The adventurous traveler can see two large craters on the Pichincha volcano. There are three volcanic vents that can be discerned: Rucu-Pichincha or Oldman Pichincha, Guagua Pichincha or Baby Pichincha and the Cundor-Guachana or Condor Nest. Hikes, hand-gliding, mountain biking and camping are some of the ways to enjoy the mountain. A cable car that will reach half-way up the mountain is currently being constructed and is slated to be completed by the end of 2005.

Only 15 minutes from the Capital, Calderon offers visitors elaborate handmade products made of dough. Small colorful objects that represent personalities of the country and other themes can be found along the main street of the town in the many stores.

Sangolquí is the head of the county of Rumiñahui and is found to the southeast of Quito. You can get there in a half an hour by the inter-parroquial buses from La Marin to Sangolqui. The roast pig in Sangolgui is a delicious typical dish. A visit to the historic center, the plaza, the church and the monuments like "El Choclo", "Rumiñahui", and "El Colibrí" is worthwhile.

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