a corner of quito
San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito is the capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in north-central Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin, on the eastern slopes of Pichincha, an active stratovolcano in the Andes mountains. With a population of 1,397,698 according to the last census (2001), and, as estimated by the municipality, approximately 1,504,991 in 2005, Quito is the second most populous city in Ecuador, after Guayaquil. It is also the capital of the Pichincha province and the seat of Metropolitan District of Quito. In 2008 the city was designated as the headquarters of the Union of South American Nations.
The elevation of the city's central square (Plaza de La Independencia or Plaza Grande) is about 9,186 ft, making Quito the second-highest administrative capital city in the world (after La Paz, Bolivia).