In the narrow streets, between the houses and balconies, the rumor of history and memory stirs. The Historic Center of Quito, the best preserved in all of Latin America, welcomes its visitors with the vibrant culture of the Capital city. Thanks to the Historic Center, Quito became the first city to be declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The streets of the Historic Center will welcome you with the energy that characterizes the town of Quito. Its avenues laid out in perfect geometry house around 130 buildings representative of colonial art and architecture; and iconic pieces of the Quito baroque.
A central point to explore the Historic Center is the Plaza de la Independencia. On Mondays, people come to the square to observe the changing of the guard of the Grenadiers of Tarqui, a civic event that commemorates the independence of Ecuador. In front of the square, rises, with its balconies and its iconic façade, the Presidential Palace, called by Simón Bolívar as the Carondelet Palace: a true example of art and a crucial element in the history of Quito. Next to it, the Metropolitan Cathedral announces the beginning of the day with its chimes.
Just a few blocks away, Quito’s iconic temples welcome tourists and faithful: the so-called “Church of the Company”, with its unmistakable baroque façade, and the Church of San Francisco, with the treasures kept inside, are two of the impressive 60 churches that accompany and protect Quito life.
The Historic Center is a true living museum that allows you to experience and demonstrate the syncretism, culture and history of a city like no other. We recommend visiting “La Ronda”, a street where you can find traditional food restaurants, enjoy the emblematic drink called “canelazo”, live music, emerging art exhibitions and feel for yourself the vibrant nighttime energy of Quito.
The Historic Center is the ideal place to learn and discover; Among its temples and streets you will find a huge number of museums, each one dedicated to specific themes and with its own particular attraction. We recommend the Casa del Alabado Museum, Yaku: Museo del Agua, the Manuela Sáenz Museum or the Casa de Sucre Museum, an impressive corner house that now keeps the memory of two of its most important inhabitants: Marshal Antonio José de Sucre, hero of independence, and his wife, Mariana Carcelén. The house preserves the couple’s personal belongings, furniture, authentic letters and even documents about independence.
On Sundays, the Historic Center is completely pedestrian, and for some years now cycling routes have been offered. Walking the streets of the Historic Center, trying its traditional food, visiting its temples and living with its people, is an experience that you cannot miss on your visit to Quito.