Residents break into dance at Plaza San Francisco in the lively historic city of Quito, nestled in the Andean peaks of Ecuador. Quito, the nation's capital, is constructed on the foundations of an ancient Incan city and is known for its well-preserved colonial center. split "Ecuador's capital has long been overlooked by travelers on their way to the country's most famous destination, the Galapagos Islands," The Times wrote in 2011. "But visitors who bypass this lively historic city of some two million people are missing out. At 9,350 feet above sea level, on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha Volcano, Quito offers breathtaking vistas around nearly every corner. Its historic center, a Uneco World Heritage site, is one of the largest in South America, with 40 colonial churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries and picturesque plazas. This photo appeared with The Times travel article "36 Hours in Quito, Ecuador," on Sept. 15, 2011.