Quito, formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level, it is the highest capital city in the world housing the administrative, legislative and judicial functions, but to avoid any confusion, it is the second highest urban center after La Paz, Bolivia at approximately 3,600 meters above sea level. The Historic Center of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas.
La Mariscal area near the historic center is a place of gathering for all young Quiteños and foreigners alike. A large concentration of bars, clubs and hostels can be fund in this area. Highly recommended is El Cafecito Cafe Hostal, with locations in Quito, Cuenca and Bogota.
An hour or so from central Quito, you will find the Cotopaxi National Park where you can enjoy one the views of one the natural wonders of the Andes, the Cotopaxi Volcano. It is the second highest summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m above sea level, and it is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. It's refuge lies at 4,800 meters above sea level and it is the frequently visited by tourist.
The top of the volcano can be reached with a local guide. Cotopaxi is considered one training ground climbs for many Latin American Andinistas, and a fast high-elevation climb for many for mountaineers the world over. If you wish to challenge the climb visit one of the many operators or mountaineering shops in La Mariscal. I recommend the friendly folks at Los Alpes, at Reina Victoria N23 - 45, near Plaza Foch.