Quito, the capital of Ecuador, has a population of approximately one and half million people. The city rises 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level, with an annual average temperature of 13C/55F. The dry season in Quito is May to October, and brief daily showers occur November through April. Nights are crisply cold, requiring a sweater or jacket, but the daytime temperatures, year round, rarely vary from the upper 60s to the low 70s F.
In addition to its gorgeous landscapes, surrounded by hills and several snowcapped volcanoes in sight, Quito is well known for having a treasure of colonial buildings, paintings, sculptures and carvings. From Quito you can easily explore places such as the indigenous market in Otavalo, one of the largest on the continent. Another side trip might be to the hot springs gurgling from the base of a nearby volcano. Beaches are close, and the surf is great. Night life is very active, with salsa clubs and fine restaurants. The crime rate of Ecuador is lower than that of the United States. Quito is also a metropolitan city that offers almost unlimited opportunities for recreation, relaxation and learning.