At 10,000 ft (2850 m), Quito is breathtaking in more ways than one. Situated as it is, twenty-two miles from the Equator, a visitor would expect extremely hot weather but the altitude tempers that. There are no extremes in temperature, and year-round temperatures feel spring-like. There are two seasons, wet and dry, and for convenience sake, the wet season in termed "winter." Quito is surrounded by natural beauty, by the mountains ringing the city, some volcanic, some with white capped peaks, lushly forested hills and a fertile valley. Long before the Spanish arrived, Quito was a busy place. It was a major Inca city and was destroyed by the Incas in a scorched earth policy that only briefly halted the Spanish invasion. Sebastián de Benalcázar recognized the city's location and founded San Francisco de Quito on top of the few ruins left him. The founding date, December 6, 1534, is celebrated annually with the Fiestas de Quito.