The Cotopaxi volcano, which is located outside of Quito.
Harris Dro—Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Ecuador’s stunning capital city is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its Colonial Center bursting with examples of 16th to 18th century architecture and design. But there are plenty of new reasons to visit Quito: Zingaro, a restaurant and gastronomic hub where rotating chefs provide casual takes on both regional dishes and world food, cocktails and beer, recently opened in the La Vicentina neighborhood. The Casa Anabela Hotel Boutique offers 11 rooms in a renovated, and strikingly pink, late 19th century building. And the elegant Casa Gangotena, a Relais & Châteaux hotel in the historic center of Quito, just opened its first spa. (Go for the signature Chuspa Andina massage, which utilizes pouches full of warm Andean herbs.) Quito is also a great jumping-off point to explore all manner of natural wonders, including volcanoes, hot springs and national parks—all of which have been made more accessible with the launch of two convenient tourist-bus services: Wanderbus Ecuador supplies guided set itineraries, and Ecuador Hop offers open-ended hop-on-hop-off options. —Karen Catchpole

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