If you have guts, go up the bell tower. Be sure you're wearing shoes with tread on them. I had sandals on, and I had to be very careful not to let myself slip.
As noted by other reviewers, there's a $2 fee to ascend the tower - you can either take numerous flights of stairs or an elevator. Once upstairs, there's a rickety bridge to cross over the roof of the cathedral, and then three more flights of stairs to reach the top of the bell tower. The last few flights of stairs were a bit scary - they were outside, the steps were steep and very narrow (almost like a ladder), and the Basilica courtyard stretched out below. It's physically exhausting and not for the weak of heart. Once in the tower, however, the view is spectacular.
The cathedral is breathtaking. The size of the building itself, the Gothic architecture, the numerous chapels, and the nationalistic elements (country flags, etc.) make this my favorite church in Quito. If you visit any churches, visit the Basilica!
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