Choosing between visiting a big city or a small town during a trip can be crucial in determining the experience you wish to have. Each destination type offers distinctive features that appeal to different travelers. There is no right choice – it depends on your preferences and travel objectives. We’ll detail everything you need to know before you choose between the diversity of a big city or the tranquility and authenticity of a small town.
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Architectural wonders from small towns
Characteristics of small towns vs big cities
Small population size
Most towns mentioned above have a significantly smaller population than cities, which generally means a closer and more intimate community.
Small towns often maintain deep-rooted traditions and cultural values and may hold local festivals and events that reflect their unique identity. The dates you visit may be festival dates, making for an unforgettable experience.
Because of the small community size, people tend to know each other, which fosters stronger personal connections and a sense of community. The locals will make you feel at home, as they are hospitable.
The economy of small towns is often based on local businesses, such as family-run shops and regional markets, which encourages support for the community and the local economy. You’ll find handicrafts, costume jewelry, and even handmade clothing.
Access to nature
Many small towns are surrounded by natural beauty, such as mountains, rivers, forests, or beaches, providing opportunities for outdoor activities and contact with nature. They are perfect places to disconnect from stress and spend relaxing moments in nature.
Characteristics of Big Cities like Quito
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a large and dynamic city offering a fascinating mix of history, culture, nature, and modernity. Located in the Andean region of South America, this metropolis stands out for its cultural richness, impressive historic center, ethnic diversity, and high-altitude location.
Quito covers approximately 324 square kilometers, making it a moderate-sized city in terms of land area. It is in a valley surrounded by mountains, giving it a unique geography. Quito, the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the Andes Mountains. The city is surrounded by twelve volcanoes, including Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Antisana, and Cayambe, which form a majestic Andean outline. Quito’s historic center is probably the largest in Latin America, not only for its size but also for its architectural monuments. Monuments it contains. Thus, Quito offers you a variety of cultural, academic, and recreational options, recreational activities, museums, bookshops, and shows.
Facilities and services
Quito boasts many facilities and services, including modern hospitals, renowned universities, shopping centers, a public transport network like the new Quito metro, which will make it easier for you to travel around the city, an advanced communications infrastructure, and an international airport, providing connections to Peru and Colombia, and the fabulous Galapagos Islands.
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is a city entire of history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are some tourist attractions you can visit during your stay in Quito.
- Plaza de la Independencia: The heart of the historic center is surrounded by important government buildings such as the Government Palace and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
- Basilica del Voto Nacional: This impressive Gothic church is one of Quito’s most iconic attractions. You can climb its towers for panoramic views of the city.
- The Quito Cable Car (Teleférico) takes you to the city’s heights, where you can enjoy spectacular views of Quito and the surrounding volcanoes.
- La Mitad del Mundo: Although technically about 20 kilometers north of Quito, it’s an iconic place where you can stand on the equator and visit a monument that marks the midpoint of the world.
Quito’s rich and diverse culture reflects the mix of indigenous, Spanish, and other cultural influences that have helped shape the city’s identity.
- Colonial heritage: Quito was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, and its colonial architecture is still found throughout much of the city’s historic center. The colonial churches and buildings, with their baroque and Renaissance architecture, are a testament to this heritage.
- Festivals and Celebrations: Quito is known for its festivals and cultural celebrations. Semana Santa (Holy Week) is one of the most important festivals, with religious processions and cultural events.
- Dance and music: Traditional Ecuadorian music has indigenous and Spanish influences; the marimba, guitar, and flute are standard instruments. Dance also plays an essential role in Quito’s culture, with dances such as the “Marimba” and the “San Juanito” performed at festivals and celebrations.
- Language: Spanish is the official language of Quito, but many people also speak Kichwa, the indigenous language of the Ecuadorian Andes.
Invitation to explore the big cities and small towns
It is advantageous to arrive in a big city like Quito before traveling to smaller towns due to its more developed infrastructure and services. Quito has an international airport, a wide range of accommodations, dining options, medical services, and tourist facilities. This allows travelers to stock up on supplies, get up-to-date information, and gradually adapt to the local culture before venturing into rural areas where services may be limited.
In addition, it is easier to plan and coordinate transport to remote villages from Quito, facilitating travel logistics and providing a more comfortable and safer experience. So, we invite you to explore the vibrant and exciting big cities and the charming and picturesque small towns. Each destination has something unique to offer, and we are sure you will find extraordinary experiences in each. Contact our destination experts for more information and embark on a new adventure with us.