Historic Quito: A Walking Tour Through Time


Stepping into Quito’s historic center is like walking through a living museum. With its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and vibrant culture, Quito offers a fascinating glimpse into Ecuador’s rich past. This blog will guide you through the must-see sights on a walking tour of Historic Quito, ensuring you don’t miss a single landmark that defines this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Plaza Grande: The Heart of Quito

Your walking tour begins at Plaza Grande, the central square and the heart of Quito. Surrounded by important buildings like the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaza Grande is the perfect starting point. As you stroll through the square, take in the grandeur of these historical structures and the bustling activity of locals and tourists alike.

La Compañía de Jesús: A Baroque Masterpiece

Next, head towards La Compañía de Jesús, often considered one of the most beautiful churches in the Americas. Known for its elaborate Baroque architecture and intricate gold leaf interior, this church is a testament to the artistic and cultural heritage of Quito. Don’t miss the stunning altars, frescoes, and the intricately carved pulpit.

Calle La Ronda: Quito’s Most Charming Street

Wander down Calle La Ronda, one of the oldest streets in Quito. This narrow, cobblestone street is lined with colorful colonial houses, artisan shops, and cozy cafes. La Ronda is the perfect place to experience the charm of Quito’s historic center, with its lively atmosphere and rich history.

Basilica del Voto Nacional: A Gothic Marvel

Continue your tour with a visit to the Basilica del Voto Nacional, a striking Gothic-style church that dominates the Quito skyline. Climb the towers for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city and the surrounding Andes mountains. The Basilica’s unique architecture and its connection to Ecuador’s history make it a must-see on your walking tour.

San Francisco Church and Plaza: A Historical Gem

Another highlight of Historic Quito is the San Francisco Church and Plaza. This impressive church and monastery complex, built in the 16th century, is one of the oldest in Quito. The church’s architecture, with its blend of Moorish and Baroque styles, and the peaceful plaza in front of it, offer a serene escape from the busy city.

Casa del Alabado: Exploring Pre-Columbian Art

For a deeper understanding of Ecuador’s ancient cultures, visit the Casa del Alabado Museum. This museum, housed in a beautifully restored colonial building, showcases an extensive collection of pre-Columbian art. It’s an excellent stop to learn about the rich cultural heritage that predates the Spanish conquest.

Panecillo Hill: Overlooking Historic Quito

End your walking tour with a trip to Panecillo Hill. This hill offers stunning views of the city and is home to the iconic Virgin of Quito statue. From here, you can see the layout of Historic Quito and reflect on the many historical landmarks you’ve visited during your tour.


A walking tour through Historic Quito is a journey through time, offering a unique glimpse into Ecuador’s rich past and vibrant culture. From grand plazas and majestic churches to charming streets and fascinating museums, Quito’s historic center is a treasure trove of history and beauty. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a culture lover, or just a curious traveler, this tour promises an unforgettable experience.