Quito

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Quito is the capital of Ecuador. It was founded in 1534 on the ruins of an ancient Inca city. Today, two million people live in Quito. It was the first city to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978 (along with Kraków in Poland).

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Points of Interest in Quito

  • Conjunto monumental San Francisco. The church dates back from the 1570s and was devoted to San Francis, since the Franciscan order was the first to settle in the area. Hence the city's official name: San Francisco de Quito. The church contains masterpieces of syncretic art, including the famous "Virgin of Quito" by Legarda. The sculpture represents a winged virgin stepping on the devil's head (in the form of a serpent) and is displayed in the main altar. The virgin would later be inaccurately replicated on top of Panecillo hill. The museum next door to the church is arranged through the monastic compound and includes access to the choir.
  • Museo del Banco Central. Located across from the Casa de la Cultura and adjacent to the Parque El Ejido, you'll find perhaps Ecuador's most renowned museum with different rooms, devoted to pre-Columbian, Colonial and gold works of art, among other topics. Some of the famous pieces include whistle bottles shaped like animals, elaborate gold headdresses and re-created miniature scenes of life along the Amazon. The museum is well-organized, and it takes about 3–4 hours to see everything. Entrance USD 2. Guides who speak several different languages including English, French and Spanish are available for a small fee. NOTE: The Banco Central also has a small exhibit downtown, across from La Compañía church. This exhibit usually shows currency or stamps. USD 1. Casa de la Cultura station in Ecovía bus.
  • Casa de la Cultura shows a patchwork of local artists. Free entrance. Casa de la Cultura station in Ecovía bus.
  • Museo de la Ciudad. The Museo de la Ciudad is in the Old Town, on Garcia Moreno street, directly opposite the Carmen Alto monastery. A lovely museum with two floors encircling two quiet courtyards, the "Museo de la Ciudad" provides more of a social history of Ecuador than other museums in Quito. Re-enacted scenes from daily life of Ecuador's citizens through the years include a hearth scene from a 16th-century home, a battle scene against the Spanish, and illustrations of the building of Iglesia de San Francisco church.
  • Teleferico. This is the world's second-highest cable car. It's located on the eastern flanks of the Pichincha Volcano which overlooks the whole city. It hoists visitors up to an amazing 4,000 meters (12,000 feet). On clear days, one can spot half-a-dozen volcanoes and spy the entire city below. You can also hike up from here to the Guagua Pichincha Volcano, which is active. See Teleferiqo website for details [5]. It is $4 for locals, but $8.50 (as of 3/15/2011) for foreigners. There is also an express lane option for more money. Get a taxi to take you to the teleferico.
  • Botanical Gardens. The Jardin Botanico is located on the southwest side of Parque La Carolina. It's a wonderful escape from the city, with all of Ecuador's ecosystems represented with a wide variety of flora. You can take a guided tour or just wander. The highlight for many people are the two glassed-in orchidariums.
  • Museo Mindalae. An extremely original project in the north part of the Mariscal District, this museum provides an 'ethno-historical' view of Ecuador's amazingly rich cultural diversity. You can find out about the country's different peoples, from the coast to the Andes to the Amazon, and their crafts in a specially-built and designed structure. The museum has a restaurant for lunch, a cafe and a fair-trade shop.
  • Itchimbia cultural complex and park. This hill lies to the east of the Old Town. It provides stunning views of central and northern Quito, as well as the distant peak of Cayambe to the northeast. The hillside was made into a park and an impressive cultural centre established here in 2005. The centre holds temporary exhibitions. At the weekends, there are workshops and fun for children. A restaurant, Pim's, opened at the complex in June 2007. The complex closes at 6 pm. Once it closes, you can head to the nearby Cafe Mosaico to watch the sunset until about 7 pm. It's a great spot to watch the fading of the light on the mountainside with the floodlights of the Old Town's churches.
  • Museo Guayasamin. This musueum houses the collection of Ecuador's most renowned contemporary artists, Oswaldo Guayasamin. It has a fine collection of pre-Columbian, colonial and independence art, as well as housing many of the artist's works. You can also visit the nearby Chapel of Man (Capilla del Hombre) [6] which was built posthumously to house some of Guayasamin's vast canvasses on the condition of Latin American Man.
  • Calle de la Ronda. This street in the Old Town was restored by Municipality and FONSAL in 2007. It was transformed with the help and cooperation of the local residents. It's a romantic cobbled street just off the Plaza Santo Domingo (or it can be reached via Garcia Moreno by the City Museum). There are shops, patios, art galleries and modest cafe restaurants now, all run by residents. Cultural events are common at the weekends.
  • La Vírgen del Panecillo. Adjacent to the Old City, El Panecillo is a large hill on top of which is La Virgin del Panecillo, a large statue of the 'winged' Virgin Mary. She can be seen from most points in the city. Local legend has it that she is the only virgin in Quito. Never walk up the hill, always take a taxi or a bus as the walk up can be dangerous.
  • Mitad del Mundo. Just outside of Quito is where the measurements were first made that proved that the shape of the Earth is in fact an oblate spheroid. Commemorating this is a large monument that straddles the equator called Mitad del Mundo or middle of the world. Note, however, that the true equator is not at the Mitad del Mundo monument. Through the magic of GPS technology, we now know that it is only 240 meters away—right where the Indians said it was before the French came along and built the monument in the wrong place. The entrance for the park is $2 (included entrance to small museums). For some of the attractions you have to pay extra.
  • The Intiñan Solar Museum is right next to the Mitad del Mundo monument on the other side of the north fence. For $4 you can have a tour of this little museum. Note that they don't demonstrate the Coriolis effect but rather deceive you (ask for repeating the experiment on your own and they will deny it) [7]. Other "experiments" showing effects that apparently only occur on the equator are also scam. The tour is completed by some untrue facts about indigenous cultures in Ecuador and is just straining after effect. The place looks like a total dump and is at the end of a dirt road, but for some people it is much more interesting and informative than the Mitad del Mundo. When you go to the middle of the world, you can just take a bus ($0.40) straight there, or go with a tour, or hire a taxi driver by the hour. The hourly rate should be in the $12 or less range. Buses leave from the Occidental or Av. America for $0.40 and have "Mitad del Mundo" clearly written large on the front. This is the most economical option and tours of the Intiñan Solar Museum are $4. Entry to the monument nearby is $2, but only worth it for a photo straddling the equator - which you can do at the 'real' equator nearby at Intiñan.
  • Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesus. In the Old City, this church is regarded by many as the most beautiful in the Americas. Partially destroyed by fire, it was restored with assistance from the Getty Foundation and other benefactors. Stunning.

San Francisco Church

Quito Cathedral

Independence Square

La Merced Church

City Museum

San Francisco Park

Carondelet Palace

El Panecillo

Basilica of the National Vow

Santo Domingo Park

Ecuadorian Cultural House

Santo Domingo Church

Mitad del Mundo Monument

Botanical Garden of Quito

Ecuador Central Bank Museum

La Mariscal Craft Market

Itchimbia Park

Atahualpa Olympic Stadium

Cotopaxi National Park

Guanquiltaqua Metropolitan Park

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Popular events in Quito in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Quito

Background

Be prepared to speak some basic Spanish in order to get along. Quito is an excellent city in which to learn Spanish before heading off to other places in South America. The Spanish spoken in Quito is very clear and it is spoken slowly as compared to coastal areas. There are many excellent Spanish schools like Equinox Spanish School where you can have private or group lessons very economically. These schools will also arrange homestay accommodation which is convenient, inexpensive and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in the culture and try the local food.

Very few locals speak English except in the touristy areas of North Quito which includes "La Mariscal" quarter, where most tourist businesses are located. La Mariscal occupies several square blocks in North Quito and is the place to be if you wear a backpack. Bars, restaurants, hostels and internet cafes abound. Young people from many countries tend to congregate there.

Ecuador, especially the Sierra region that includes Quito, is culturally a very conservative society. This is reflected in manner of dress. People of all socio-economic backgrounds tend to dress up in Ecuador. For men, this means a pair of trousers and a button down shirt. For women, slacks or dresses are acceptable. Men and women seldom wear short pants in Quito, although in recent years casual clothes have become somewhat more accepted especially among the young and on very hot days. Some popular nightclubs and restaurants enforce a dress code. Lastly, remember that Quito is said to have "all four seasons in a day". Once the sun goes down it can get downright cold. Dressing in layers is a good idea.

The South American Explorers Club is a non profit organization dedicating to helping independent travelers in Ecuador and South America. Their office, at Jorge Washington 311 y Leonidas Plaza (in the Mariscal district of Quito right off of 6 de Diciembre) is a great place to stop by, meet people, and get the latest information on where to go, what to avoid, and on adventure travel. You can find out more about the services they offer on their website. There is an annual membership fee for this non profit organization.

The Quito Visitors' Bureau has several information centres around the city. These include at the International Arrivals terminal at the airport; the small Parque Gabriela Mistral, on Reina Victoria in the Mariscal quarter; the Banco Central Museum in the Mariscal District; and finally, in the Old Town, on the ground floor of the Palacio Municipal on one side of Plaza Grande - their main centre. This includes helpful staff, lockers for leaving bags, maps, leaflets and books for sale, a store of Ecuadorian crafts. This offices offers subsidised guided tours, with various routes available. The contacts for the main office are: (+593 2) 2570 - 786 / 2586 - 591, info@quito-turismo.com [1]

The Ministry of Tourism has offices in their building on Avenida Eloy Alfaro and Carlos Tobar, close to the El Jardin shopping mall which cater to tourists. The Pichincha Chamber of Tourism (CAPTUR) is [2].

  • The Visitors' Bureau publishes a useful A3-size map with all the city's attractions. You can pick it up at their information offices. They also publish a number of pocket guides on various themes, including walking guides, a guide to the city's Viewpoints, a guide to the Mariscal, routes north, south and northwest. Their website [3] has an interactive map; listings of hotels, restaurants, etc.; videos, etc.

Activities

  • Explore the Old Town With its gorgeous mixture of colonial and republican/independence era architecture (Late 1500's to 1800's), relaxing plazas and a stunning number of churches. If you happen to be there during Christmas or Easter, you'll be amazed at the number of events, masses, and processions that bring out the crowds. You'll find craft shops, cafes, restaurants and hotels across its grid of streets.
  • A recommended walking tour that could enhance your vision of the Historic Center is as follows. Take the trolley (watch your belongings) south until "Cumanda" stop. Get down, you are on Maldonado street. There you will have an impressive view of what once was the "Jerusalem" ravine, which stands between Panecillo and the core. Walk north past the trolley stop and go down a narrow stairway that brings you to La Ronda street, of Pre-Columbian origins. Walk up picturesque La Ronda until you reach Av. 24 de Mayo. This boulevard was built on top of this section of Jerusalem ravine to connect the two sides of town. On Garcia Moreno Street turn north and you will arrive to the Museo de la Ciudad, which provides an easy and interactive history of Quito. Then walk on Garcia Moreno street until Sucre, which is a pedestrian street. La Compania is at the corner and if you go up Sucre street you will reach San Francisco. If you continue on Garcia Moreno you will reach the Main (independence) Square. If you go to San Francisco, then walk to La Merced and down to the Main Square. This itinerary follows a chronological and logical sequence of sites. Most people do it backwards, turning La Ronda and Museo de la Ciudad as distant points where you're usually worn out by the time you get there. In any event, the Historic Center is so vast that you need more than one visit to see it all. The recommended walk provides you with a good overview if you're short of time or want to see as much as possible on a first day.
  • Watch The old men play Ecuador's version of bocce at Parque El Ejido. You can also see some serious games of Ecua-volley, the local version of volleyball, on a Saturday or Sunday.
  • The Middle of the World 45 mins from the capital Quito, you can go to see the Monument to the middle of the World. It's a big monument with many events and things to do. For example, national indigenous music groups play different songs of their culture. There are museums with the history of the 0 latitud and history of Quito as well. There are many unique artworks and once you are there you can even weight your self and you will find out how you weigh less on the equator.
  • Bicycle Ride the Ciclopaseo takes place every Sunday. 30 kilometres (20 miles) of roads running north-south through the city are completely closed to traffic. People cycle, run and blade the route. Up to 30,000 people take part. Several bike shops rent bikes for visitors to be able to take part.
  • Cable Car There is a cable car ride up the side of Ruco Pichina. It's called "Teleferico" in Spanish. Ask your hotel about the special buses that run through the city taking people towards this destination. You can also find your own way there through taxi or bus.
  • Go Mountain Biking (BIKING Dutchman mountain biking tours), Foch E4-283 (corner of Av. Amazonas in La Mariscal),  (02) 2568 323, e-mail: biking.dutchman@gmail.com. There are many outfits offering one- to multi-day mountain biking trips to the surrounding volcanos, lakes, and valleys. Biking Dutchman is one of the oldest and most well-regarded.
  • Equinox Spanish School: Located on Calle Yánez Pinzón N25-106 y Colón, in the Mariscal district. Equinox is the 2nd oldest school in Quito and hosts study abroad programs from universities and a very large amount of foreign students who want to learn Spanish. The prices are affordable and extremely personable.
  • Banana Spanish School, José Tamayo 935-A y Foch. Spanish classes for foreign students in Ecuador. Affordable classes as well, at a teachers co-op.
  • Green Horse Ranch, Quito, Ecuador. The Pululahua Crater is one of the most amazing places to ride, but chances are you will not find anything about it in your guide book. Astrid, the owner of the ranch who moved to Ecuador from Germany about 15 years ago, will pick you up in Quito and bring you to the ranch (about 45 minute drive). Rides of various lengths are available and she has a wide variety of horses ready for novices and experts. Her and her staff are incredibly friendly and everything is included in the price.

Food

You name it, and it's available in Quito. Restaurants range from the basic places offering chicken and rice for $1.50 to international food with very expensive prices. The country benefits from all worlds, with a variety of dishes inspired by both coastal and Andean produce. Seafood and fish is fresh and delicious, while meats, particularly pork, are excellent. These combine with typical ingredients such as potatoes, plantains and all sorts of tropical and Andean fruits.

A good area to head to for eating out is the Plaza El Quinde (or Foch) which is in the Mariscal district at Foch y Reina Victoria. There are dozens of restaurants and eateries all around this area. La Floresta, up the hill from the Mariscal around 12 de Octubre, also has many fine restaurants. The La Floresta traffic circle turns into an evening market after 5 pm and the most popular dish served is tripa mishqui (grilled beef or pork intestines).

Churrasco is a a great Ecuadorian version of a Brazilian dish. Tallarin is a popular noodle dish mixed with chicken or beef. Chinese restaurants are known as "Chifas" and are very abundant. Chaulafan is the local term for fried-rice, a very popular dish. Cebiche (also spelled ceviche) is a very popular dish in which clams or shrimp are marinated in a broth. Worth trying, but look for a well known restaurant with many locals to be sure you are getting fresh seafood.

When buying from lower-priced restaurants or shops, if you only have bills larger than a $5, it's a good idea to get them changed at a bank first.

  • Pim's. A Ecuadorian Franchise. They have 4 locals, Panecillo, Cumbaya, Itchimbia and Isabel La Catolica (next to the Swissotel).
  • Restaurant Techo del Mundo (Restaurante El Techo del Mundo), Av. González Suárez N27 142 (In the 7th floor of Hotel Quito),  (593)2 254 4600. 8:00 AM - 12AM. Luxurious restaurant with an expectacular view located in the 5 stars hotel “Hotel Quito”, international and Ecuadorian cuisine.
  • El Capuleto -Italian. Av. Eloy Alfaro y 6 de Diciembre. You can enjoy a fine Italian meal in a quiet space... but just in the middle of the city. The home made pizza and the capuccino are excellent.
  • Tibidabo 593-2 223-7334. International cuisine. Moderate. Attentive service in a comfortable, unpretentious atmosphere. General Salazar 934 y 12 de Octubre. Hours: M - F 12:30 - 4 and 6:30 - 11; Sat 6:30 - 11; Sunday closed. Reservations recommended.
  • Restaurante Las Redes - Seafood. Moderate. Popular with the locals; well known for ceviche. Amazonas 845. Tel. 252 5697.
  • Ille de France - French. Expensive and excellent. Formal attire. Reina Victoria 1747. Tel. 255 3292. Hours: Daily 7 - 11.
  • El Nispero, Valladoli N24-438 y Cordero, tel. 222 6398. Fine Ecuadorian cuisine in an elegant atmosphere. Moderate. Business casual. Hours: Tues - Sat 12 - 4 and 7 - 11; Sun - Mon 12 - 4. Reservations recommended.
  • Cebiches de la Rumiñahui Ceviches are its specialty. Reasonable prices for excellent cebiche. Popular with locals. Real Audiencia N59-121 La Mariscal. Also in the food courts of "Quicentro Shopping" Mall, "San Marino Shopping" Mall and "El Recreo" Mall.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Salinas, near the intersection with Riofrio. Vegetarian almuerzos for $2. Juice, soups, snacks, soya milk, vegy steaks etc. Good vegy food, in a very clean environment. They also sell powdered soya milk, and a few dietary supplements.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Av Mariania de Jesus, down the hill from the juction with Hungaria. Chinese type veggie food. Complete Almuerzos with brown rice $2.50, or get separate elements: soup 70c, main $1.80, and Great Juices 50c or 70c. Pearl tea $1.20 or $1.50. Soy milk 80c. Chaumien, Chaulafan, Chop Suey all $2.50.
  • Restaurante Vegetariano, Does almuerzos for $2, brown rice, good juice. Standard vegy fayre.
  • Mongos, Mongolian Grill. Calama 469 y Juan Leon Mera, in the heart of trendy gringolandia new town. All your can eat buffets (vegetarian $3.99, with meats $5.99. Includes salad or soup entre, and one free drink. Great quality meat.
  • Mulligan's, Calama E5-44 y Juan Leon Mera (La Mariscal),  223-6844. Need a break from all the new tastes, get a taste and comfort from home. This American style Sports Bar has great food and you can watch all your favorite sports on TV.
  • Mea Culpa (Restaurant), Chile y Venezuela (Palacio Arzobispal) (Plaza Grande. Second floor.),  (593 2) 2951 190 • 2950 392. Among the best restaurants in town. Great service and food, taste the crepes de pangora (stone crab). Dishes are small, get an entry. Nice view of the plaza from some tables. Dress Code: Semi Formal. E-Mail: reservaciones@meaculpa.com.ec $$$.
  •    Uncle Ho's, E8-40 Jose Calama y Diego de Almagro (2 Blocks from Plaza Foch),  02 5114030. Mon - Sat, Midday til 11pm. Great fresh Asian food (Vietnamese & Thai) in funky surroundings with friendly service. Excellent Martinis & drink specials. Prices - Appetizers $3–4, Mains $7–10. Tofu & Veggie options, Local Ecuadorian Specialities. $7 - $10.
  • Achiote, Juan Rodriguez 282 y Reina Victoria (La Mariscal),  593022501743. Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with a gourmet twist!

Drinks

There are several Ecuadorian brands of beer, but the most prevalent throughout the country is Pilsener.However if you are looking for a better quality beer the "Club" in the green bottle is recommended. There are also some alcoholic drinks which can only be found in Quito like Mistelas, etc.

  • Sport Planet, Av. America y Naciones Unidas,  593 2 267 790. Located on the 3rd floor of "Plaza de las Americas". Is the Ecuadorian version of Hollywood Planet.

The night sky of northern Quito is incredible and the food is great.

  • Turtle's Head, La Niña 626 y Amazonas,  593-2-256-5544. An english pub style bar that often has live music in the later hours. They have their own brews along with other popular beers. They also have pool tables, foosball, darts etc. As of June 2010 Turtle's Head is also open in the nearby valley of Cumbaya, located in the main plaza across from the church.
  • Cherusker, Joaquin Pinto y Diego de Almagro (vis-a-vis to Finn McCools),  (593)02-6008895. 3 pm-late. New German-run Brew-Pub with excellent beer, from Hefeweizen (blond wheat beer) to Stout. Offers mostly german food, such as sausages, schnitzel, potato salad and tasty Hamburgers. Has live sports on a big screen (HD), a beautiful garden and foosball. Wednesday Reggae Night, Thursday Classic and modern Rock. Packed on Fridays.
  • Q bar+restaurant+lounge, Plaza Foch, La Mariscal,  [+593 2] 255 7840. A very elegant lounge style bar. It's located on Foch Plaza so you have access to an even wider options nearby.
  • Sutra, J Calama 380, Mariscal Sucre. A great place to have some drinks and have a chat, or just to pass the time. Is just above "no bar"
  • El pobre Diablo, Isabel La Católica E12-06 y Galavis esq. La Floresta,  telef: (593) 02 2235194 / 2225397 / 099216290. Is one of the oldest cafe-bars in Quito. Almost every week there are some kind of cultural activity or a live concert. The food and the drinks are moderately priced. The "Vino caliente" and "canelazo" are recommended. El pobre Diablo is located across the street from the Swiss Hotel. There is a local menu that is new Monday to Friday featuring a four course pre fixed lunch.
  • Grima's Pub of Quito, Luis Cordero E12-141 y Av. Toledo. La Floresta,  telef: (02) 223-0846. Grima is a great place for good drinks at a very reasonable price. Located on the lower level is one of the best art galleries featuring local artists in Quito. Six nights a week (except mondays) there is a D.J. spinning the best in electronic & rock music in Quito.
  • The Magic Bean, Foch # 681 E5-08 y Juan Leon Mera,  03 593 2 2566 181. a good menu, excellent quality and big portions, a good "backpacker" vibe to the restaurant and English speaking staff, fresh juices. For reading, the American newspaper "Miami Herald" is available. Super clean & centrally located, with a Hostel attatched to the restaurant Magic Bean. Very clean bathrooms for travelers on a budget. Fresh Espresso, Cappuccino, Beer, Wine, Coffee, Tea & a wide variety of pastry & ice cream.
  • Zazu, Mariano Aguilera 331 & La Pradera,  [593 2] 254 3559. Upscale restaurant well worth the visit. Urban chic meets Quito, and the result is a very comfortable setting with outstanding cuisine and top notch service. Great wine list too. Located near the JW Marriott. $$$.
  • Finn Mc Cool's, Corner of Diego de Almagro y Joaquin Pinto. La Mariscal (1 block from Plaza Foch),  +593 2 2521780. 11am - Late. Your local away from home. Cozy Irish pub with friendly atmosphere, loads of Live sports, free pool and foosball, draft beer and good pub food all day. Poker Monday, Table Quiz Tuesday and good craic every night of the week. Get in before 4 on Sundays!
  • República del Cacao, corner of Reina Victoria y J. Pinto. A nice place to have a cup of delicious hot chocolate. They also offer coffee, cookies and souvenirs (e.g. chocolate and cool t-shirts).

Dance Clubs

La Mariscal offers tons of places for dancing or just drinks.

  • Varadero - Reina Victoria 1751 and La Pinta; Small, local and super sweaty, this bar-restaurant packs in the crowds for high-energy live Cuban music. Small cover to get in and drinks are moderately expensive.
  • El Aguijon - A favorite of locals and tourist, if you like ska, new punk and all kinds of alternative rock music this is the place for you, this is the best place in the city for you to hear the fusion between Ecuadorian and Latin rhythms like salsa, meringue vallenatos, cumbias, etc. and reggae, trip hop, trance, skapunk etc. Located in the Mariscal District.
  • "Seseribo" - Famous for being the first Salsoteca in Quito. Ave. Veintimilla & 12 de Octubre Bdg. El Girón (basement). They play tropical beats here and on Wednesdays they have live salsa. The club also functions as a cultural space for live Caribbean Music, art expositions and book presentations.
  • Blooms - Walking distance from Reina Victoria. It's more of beer pub than anything else, a nice place to start the night.
  • Bungalow 6 - Located at Calama street - Place for "gringos" to mingle with the locals. It's an overall fun place to go - Wednesdays Ladies Night are the best day to go, definitley.
  • No Bar - One of the oldest places in Quito. Located at Calama street and Juan Leon Mera.

Outside of La Mariscal are other clubs that are more famous among locals.

  • Discoteca Blues Av.Republica - a popular late night electronica/rock club.
  • Strawberry Fields Forever Calama y Juan Leon Mera - a unique Beatle Bar in the heart of La Mariscal/rock and roll and more.

Guapulo

Check out the Guapulo area of Quito, its a winding steep area with several great bars and cafés with a real bohemian feel. Just be careful if you go in after sundown, since this area is a bit dodgy.

Shopping

There are lots of artisans working on unique crafts in the capital. These include guitar-makers, candle makers, tanners and leather-workers, silversmiths, ceramicists and woodcarvers. You can find them at their workshops, published in a guide by the Visitors' Bureau.

There are also several fair-trade shops in Quito which promise to pay the craftspeople fairly for their products. The ones at the Tianguez (Plaza San Francisco), El Quinde (Plaza Grande), and Museo Mindalae are all very good.

There are many shopping malls in Quito such as Quicentro, Mall el Jardin, CCI, CC. El Bosque, Megamaxi, Ventura Mall, Ciudad Comercial el Recreo, San Luis, etc. and every street corner has several small "Mom and Pop" shops or stands where only a couple of items are for sale. If your shopping list is very long, you may spend all day looking around for the stores that have the items on your list.

There are many casual wear stores like MNG, Benetton, Lacoste, Guess, Fossil, Bohno,Diesel etc. So if you need some items Quito is in fact a very good place to buy nice clothes at relatively low prices.

Ecuador's indigenous peoples include many highly skilled weavers. Almost everyone who goes to Ecuador sooner or later purchases a sweater, scarf or tapestry. In Quito vendors are found along the sidewalks of more touristy neighborhoods. You should also consider travelling directly to some of the artisen markets, such as the famous one in Otavalo. If you haven't got time for Otavalo, you can find virtually the same gear at the market on Jorge Washington and Juan Leon Mera in the Mariscal district. The Mariscal is replete with dozens of souvenir, craft and T-shirt stores which make shopping for a gift very easy.

  • Zapytal, Foch E4-298 v Av Amazonas,  528 757. Hand made shoes. A wide selection in stock plus made to measure if you have 8 days to spare. A selection of correspondant (spectator shoes), riding boots and womens shoes $80
  • Guitarras Guacan, Chimborazo y Bahia, Quito,  (+593) 2-2583-475. Master Luthier Cesar Guacan's quaint guitar workshop at the base of the Virgin del Panecillo - great guitars for both professionals and budget-conscious. www.guitarrasguacan.com

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Quito on Wikivoyage.

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