Archaeological studies suggest that the valley of Quito have been occupied for some 10,000 years. Quito is named after the Quitus, a tribe which inhabited the region in pre inca times. By the beginning of the 16th century the northern highlands of Ecuador were conquered by the Incas and Quito became the capital of the northern half of the empire under the rule of Huayna Capac and later his son Atahualpa. As the Spansih conquest approached, Ruminahui, Atahualpa`s general, razed the city, to prevent it from falling into the invaders` hands.
Quito is situated at 2850m and is the second highest capital in Latin America. It sits on a long narrow shelf between the slopes of th volcano Pichincha to the west and a low ridge to the east. The old city is a UNESCO world heritage trust site while the new city is altogether a different place. La Mariscal is the tourist area, famous for bars and restaurants. The city`s sprawl fills the surrounding valleys.
We touched down and made our way to immigration. No problems getting in the country, really friendly officers. Got a taxi into La Mariscal to our Posada Del Maple. Room was nice enough and the whole place looked nice. Little bit pricey though so we had a walk around the town and checked out a few other hostels before returning to our own for sleep.