Mountain High

In the know: Our 2020 Quito travelogue

Quito is a complicated conglomeration of architectural styles, yet still open to the sky. (Courtesy Casa Gangotena(

The city of Quito, Ecuador, sits 9,300 feet high in the Andes, surrounded by active volcanoes and drenched in an even 12 hours of light per day. Because of its location on the equator, Quito experiences no seasons, and its altitude keeps it at a comfortable 50 to 77 degrees year-round. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the city is known for an architectural vernacular that includes the Baroque School of Quito, a collection of 16th and 17th-century Spanish colonial churches that incorporate indigenous imagery.

The La Mariscal neighborhood boasts some great examples of Latin American modernism, and the city also caught the Brutalism bug in the 1960s and 1970s. A sophisticated food scene based on an abundance of fruits and vegetables marries traditional and avant-garde cuisines, while ecotourism includes trips to the nearby Galápagos Islands.

Teatro Politécnico

Designed by Ecuadorian architect Oswaldo de la Torre in 1965, this theater was one of Quito’s first modern buildings. The interior is strongly functionalist, while its dramatic sculptural forms and aging concrete express a past vision of progressive culture.

Location: Diego Ladrón de Guevara

Read the full guide on our interiors and design website,

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