Forget Machu Pichu or Rio de Janeiro...
Quito, Ecuador took home the honor for "South America's Leading Destination" for the second year in a row at the 21st Regional World Travel Awards Gala, a.k.a. the Academy Awards of the tourism industry. The win is no surprise; the Ecuadorian capital boasts plenty of old world charm, exquisite architecture, breathtaking landscapes, and must-see historical sites.
Still not convinced? These 10 Instagram pictures will convince you to book a flight to Quito, Ecuador as soon as possible:
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The Basilica del Voto Nacional, located at the historic center of Quito, boasts some of the most exquisite neo-Gothic architecture in the world.
Instagram | @mausimonin
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Just beyond the city lies a treasure trove of magnificent natural landscapes.
Instagram | @jennyferflakita
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The picturesque San Francisco de Quito is perched amidst the rolling green hills of surrounding Quito.
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One Instagram user photographed a colorful, patriotic procession on August 10th, Ecuador's Independence Day.
Instagram | @xavi_yuquilima
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The skyline of Quito simply shimmers at night.
Instagram | @heidifrancol
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This Instagram user snapped a breathtaking shot of the gilded, ornate interior of San Francisco de Quito.
Instagram | @tonyrcp
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The stunning Palacio de Carondelete serves as the seat of government for the Republic of Ecuador.
Instagram | @mauriciomarinecheverria
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For travelers hoping to enjoy the great outdoors, the sierras of the Ecuadorian countryside are easily accessible via Quito.
Instagram | @luposeb
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From afar, one can admire the colonial architecture and old world charm of Quito.
Instagram | @monicavinueza