The capital city of Ecuador is teeming with so many things to see and do, and some of these are not found in the modern and high rise sections of the city. In order to see the real beauty of this city, you should include in your itinerary the following places, where you’ll also see and learn the rich history and culture of the place.
The Old Town
This section of the city is where you can observe how much the place has been influenced by the Spaniards. Here you can see the ancient buildings restored to their original beauty and colonial architecture. Because of its architectural beauty and importance in the history and culture of Quito and Ecuador, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many things to see here in this area. First off, don’t forget to drop by the Monastery of San Francisco for some quiet time and reflection. There are also the different plazas like the Plaza La Independencia which makes for a lovely walk. If you want to know more about the place, you can visit the Museo de Arte Colonial. There are other similar buildings in the area, some of which are not so well-known. Don’t worry though, since the locals are pretty friendly helpful and will surely point you to the right directions every time.
The Public Market
When in Quito, avoid the pricey malls and shopping centers, and instead head on to the different public markets found in Quito. There are many of such places in the area and surrounds. For one, there is the La Mariscal market where you can buy handicrafts and souvenir items. You can also head to Otavalo and Cotacachi town market where you can buy the same. They also sell other things like textiles and clothes, beautiful handmade leather items, and even home furnishings. You can practice your haggling skills and if you’re good at it, you may even get your desired item for a lot less. In addition, there are vendors and hawkers that sell local food and delicacies – be sure to try them out to complete your Quito visit.
There are many colonial houses and buildings in the area as well. One such example is the Iglesia de San Francisco. Interestingly, this is also considered to be the first church to be built by Franciscan priests in the whole of Americas – dating back to the 1500s. Although it was first intended to be a place of worship, it is now pretty much like a museum, housing paintings and other forms of art works from great artists back then. They also have some antique furniture on display. There are several colonial houses in the area, like the Casa de Benalcazar and the Casa de Sucre, the later being the residence of a celebrated Latin American war hero.
There are so many things and places to see and explore in Ecuador – so many things make it unique and one of a kind, and majority of these things can be found in the charming city of Quito.
Photo by jamescastle on Flickr