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A Walking Tour Of The Centro Histórico

The Centro Histórico is Quito's best neighborhood for exploration, but its collection of hilly little streets can be confusing to a first-time visitor. Here, however, is a simple walking tour of Quito's Centro Histórico that takes in most of the neighborhood's leading attractions. It begins at the Plaza del Teatro, easily accessibly by Trole, and ends at the Basilica del Voto Nacional.

Start at the Teatro Sucre and the lively Plaza del Teatro. Continue southwest along Calle Flores. At the intersection with Chile, the San Agustín monastery will be to your right. Continue straight on Flores for five blocks until you reach the little-visited Plaza Santo Domingo and the Iglesia de Santo Domingo.

Continue uphill and west (your right, as you entered the plaza) on Simón Bolívar for three blocks, passing the Casa Museo Maria Augusta Urrutia, until you reach the Plaza San Francisco, with its impressive views and imposing Monasterio de San Francisco. From the eastern corner of the plaza, walk one block down Calle Sucre, then turn left on Calle García Moreno. On your left, you will find the breathtaking old Jesuit church, La Compañia.

Continue down Moreno and you reach the Plaza de la Independencia, Quito's main square. The Palacio del Gobierno is on your left, the city's cathedral is on your right, and the Archbishop's palace is across the plaza from you.

Cut diagonally across the plaza to Calle Venezuela, and keep walking north along Venezuela. After seven blocks, you will arrive at the Basilica del Voto Nacional, a massive neo-Gothic cathedral. After you've climbed to the top of the church, you can cross the park and walk down Calle Caldas to reach the Trole.

By Nick Rosen
A staff-writer here at V!VA's offices in Ecuador, I came to Quito after having worked on public health and development projects in Africa. Naturally,...
18 Jan 2013

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