Small towns vs big cities

Table of Contents

share this post
● 5 minutes read

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.

You may also like: Quito vs Guayaquil? Which City is Better for your Stay?

Quito skyline at sunset highlighting Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel.

Architectural wonders from small towns

Characteristics of small towns vs big cities

Small towns, often overlooked compared to bustling cities, possess several characteristics that give them a unique charm and personality. With their small population size, these communities are characterized by a quiet atmosphere and a more relaxed pace of life. We invite you to visit several small towns, such as Rumiñahui, Otavalo, San Antonio de Ibarra, Chordeleg, Mitad del Mundo, and the Mashpi Lodge Reserve.

Small population size

Most towns mentioned above have a significantly smaller population than cities, which generally means a closer and more intimate community.

Local culture

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.

Vendor at Otavalo market, showcasing local crafts, and experience the culture tour at Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel.
Artisan at Otavalo market.

Personal connections

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.

Local commerce

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.

Mashpi Lodge Skybike adventure with lush green forest backdrop, a part of the Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel Quito experience
Skybike adventure: serene nature, Mashpi Lodge

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.

Territorial extension

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.

Tourist attractions

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.
Independence Square in Quito near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel at dusk.
Dusk at Independence Square
  • 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.
Iconic Quito Middle of the World monument near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel. Iconic Quito Middle of the World monument near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel.
Middle of the World

Cultural experience

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.
Illuminated architecture near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel in Quito.
Quito’s historic heart at dusk.
  • 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.
Dancers in traditional attire near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel during Inti Raymi celebration.
Inti Raymi dancers in Quito’s streets.
  • 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.

Breathtaking view of Quito at dusk near Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel.
Quito’s glow near Casa Gangotena
Travelers exploring the unique landscape near Finch Bay, showcasing the luxury experiences offered by the Gangotena Boutique Hotel network in the golden triangle.
Our Premier Ecuador Experience: The Golden Triangle
A Complete Experience that brings you the very best of Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands. With a stint in the Heart of Quito, The Mashpi Reserve, and a stay at The Galapagos Islands most lauded Hotel, Finch Bay.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended post