The new Quito, Ecuador, airport will open next year, highlighting a variety of new tourism infrastructure improvements and events. Located about 15 miles east of the Quito, the airport will include a 400,000-square-foot passenger terminal, serve up to 4 million passengers and feature Latin America’s longest runway at 44,000 feet. Additional upgrades are planned between 2020 and 2030.
Quito, named the first UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, features a 320-acre historic center with 130 monuments and 5,000 heritage sites including colonial churches, chapels, monasteries and museums, plus plazas and charming interior patios. Between 2000 and 2009, the city invested $350 million to restore its architectural heritage through Quito’s Cultural Heritage Safe-Guarding Fund (www.fonsal.gov.ec).
Newly refurbished attractions include the Convent of San Francisco, a Baroque church that is colonial Quito’s largest structure, built in 1535 on the site of the Palace of Atahulpa, the last Inca chief. Also re-opened following a five-year restoration is the Museum of Colonial Art, Quito’s oldest museum, which features 1,550 paintings, sculptures, textiles, coins and documents from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The museum is housed in a late 16th century colonial mansion.
Several boutique and trendy high-design hotels are also scheduled to open. The Hilton Colon completed an extensive renovation less than four years ago and two years ago launched new suites in La Pinta, a boutique hotel within the hotel. The Sheraton Quito underwent a major upgrade, and the Hotel Quito recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and announced refurbishment plans. The Holiday Inn Express, J.W. Marriott and Swissotel are other international hotel brands with properties in Ecuador’s capital.
For more info www.visitecuador.com.ec