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Plaza San Francisco - City Plaza Quito - Ecuador

The cobbled Plaza de San Francisco is one of Quito’s oldest and most impressive sights, including, as it does, views of the magnificently white Monastery of San Francisco and, in the distance, the towering peak of Volcán Pichincha.

The plaza is located on the site where the palace of the Inca ruler Atahualpa's son, Auqui Francisco Tupatauchi, once existed and was used for centuries by indigenous groups as a trading center, or tianguez. The current plaza and church, both of which you can visit, were constructed between 1536 and 1580.

Built on a slight incline, the plaza also affords fine views over the rooftops of southern Quito, and you might find yourself passing an hour or two taking in the view and watching the ever present throng of strolling quiteño families, wide-eyed tourists, shoe-cleaning kids and thousands of pigeons.

The Café Tianguez, in the northern corner of the square, is a good place to park yourself for people-watching, offering a comfortable seat and a good coffee. The café is expensive by Quito standards, but what you're really paying for is the location.

Centro Histórico, Quito, Ecuador

City Plaza

Relative price: Free

Here are other activities in and around Centro Histórico that may be of interest: Plaza de la Independencia, Plaza del Teatro Sucre , Plaza Santo Domingo, Mirador El Panecillo and Parque Alameda.

18 Jan 2013

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