Ecuador’s capital, Quito, is an exciting place to visit. At 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level, it is the world’s second highest capital and the only one on the equator. It’s got one of the best preserved old towns in all the Americas. After exploring the capital and all it has to offer for a few days, it’s time to explore the surrounding environs on day trips from Quito. Perhaps you’ll shop until you drop (or run out of money) at South America’s largest outdoor market. Or maybe you’ll spend a day absorbing the scenic grandeur of the Andes or photographing birds and butterflies in a cloud forest. The day is yours; make the most of it.