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When To Go To Quito

Quito has two seasons: spring with rain (SeptemberÔÇôApril), and spring with sun (MayÔÇôAugust). The cityÔÇÖs location, about 40 kilometers (about 25 mi) south of the equator and at an altitude of 2,800 meters (9,180 ft) above sea level, makes for some startling temperature changes in a 24-hour period. The city gets downright cool when the sun is down (from 6:30 p.m.- 6 a.m. every day of the year) and when it rains. When the sun is out, however, you will find yourself in need of shorts and shade. Consequently, wearing layers is fundamental to being comfortable in Quito. Pants, a light T-shirt or tank top layered with a long-sleeve shirt and jacket or sweater should be fine throughout most of the year. Travelers coming from colder climates will be amused at the winter garb of most quite├▒os from September-April, which often includes jackets, scarves, gloves and hats. Winter is a strong word, but during these months, afternoon storms are common and tend to drop the temperature to around 10┬║C (50┬║F). During sunny days, the temperatures can rise up to 30┬║C (85 ┬║F).

In addition to climate, things in Quito tend to heat up socially and culturally during fiestas (festivals) and cool down during feriados (holidays). The latter is ideal for visitors who wish to see Quito in a softer, quieter light - for it's during this time that the capital empties out as quite├▒os head to the coast to either party or rest. Carnaval (second week of February) and Semana Santa (Holy Week, end of March) specifically provide said windows of time.

Fiestas on the other hand are much more abundant and have the city bustling with parties, concerts and fireworks. Fiestas de Quito is perhaps the most iconic time of the year as quite├▒os celebrate (from the end of November to the 6th of December) the foundation of their capital. From bullfights to opera and theater shows commemorating Quito's history and culture, quite├▒os party hard during this time, riding Chiva's (open party buses) or attending block parties and concerts hosted by the city.

Christmas and New Years might pale in comparison to the above, but these days still hold their own energy as the city goes into a shopping tizzy right before Christmas day, calming down for a week right after, and then jumping into the New Year with copious amounts of food, liquor, fireworks, and the traditional burning of the A├▒o Viejo (a human mannequin with your choice of a politician or celebrity's mask, burned to symbolize the letting go of the previous year).

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Quito: Buying Beauty Products , Things That Are More And Less Expensive In Quito and Clothing Issues .

12 Sep 2013

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