Start off by exploring the Plaza de la Independencia, facing the Carondelet Palace, which serves as seat of the national government. Every Monday morning at 11 a.m., crowds gather to watch the changing of the presidential guard, which is also an occasion for the President himself to address citizens from his balcony. After 45 minutes of a show that mixes soldiers, horses and drums, it will be time to wander on the old town's main street, Calle Venezuela, all the way to La Ronda. One of Quito's oldest neighbourhoods, bohemian in spirit and romantic, it is always quite lively at night. Try a canelazo, typical hot drink consisting of sugarcane alcohol and cinnamon-boiled water, as you discover the colourful facades lined up on each side of the paved streets.
Do not hesitate and visit the many churches the city counts. They are often adorned with gorgeous frescoes, such as in the gold-leaf-covered central nave of the Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús (Church of the Society of Jesus). What better way to end your tour than by climbing up one of gothic towers of the Basílica del Sagrada Voto Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow)? From the largest Neogothic basilica of the entire American continent, you will enjoy a totally unique vista over the old town.
Plaza de la Independencia
García Moreno, entre Chile y Espejo
Palacio de Carondelet (Palais de Carondelet)
Iglesia de la Compañia de Jesús (église de la compagnie de Jésus)
García Moreno N 10-43
Basílica del Sagrado Voto Nacional
Calle Venezuela and Carchi