Enigmatic Marvels: Explore the City’s Hidden Jewels

Quito, the vibrant capital of Ecuador, is a city that pulses with life and color, especially in its bustling markets. A walking tour of Quito’s markets offers an immersive experience that tantalizes all your senses. From fresh produce to artisanal crafts, these markets are a treasure trove of local flavors and cultural experiences. Join us as we explore the must-visit markets in Quito on this delightful walking tour.

Mercado Central

Our journey begins at Mercado Central, one of Quito’s oldest and most iconic markets. Located in the heart of the city, this market is always buzzing with activity. As you wander through the aisles, you’ll see colorful fruits and vegetables, smell fresh herbs, and hear vendors calling out their daily specials.

Here, you can sample a variety of traditional Ecuadorian dishes such as hornado (roast pork), ceviche, and fresh juices made from exotic fruits like guanabana and naranjilla. Don’t miss the opportunity to try a bowl of hearty locro de papas, a potato soup that’s a local favorite.

La Floresta Market

Next, we head to La Floresta Market, a smaller but equally vibrant market located in one of Quito’s most artistic neighborhoods. This market is known for its organic produce and artisanal goods. As you stroll through the stalls, you’ll find fresh vegetables, handmade cheeses, unique crafts, and jewelry.

La Floresta Market is also a great place to enjoy a cup of Ecuadorian coffee. The neighborhood has several coffee shops and roasteries where you can learn about the coffee-making process and savor a freshly brewed cup.

Santa Clara Market

Our next stop is Santa Clara Market, a favorite among locals for its wide selection of fresh produce and affordable prices. This market is particularly famous for its flowers. You’ll be dazzled by the vibrant blooms on display. Whether you’re looking for a bouquet or simply want to admire the beauty, the flower section is a must-visit.

In addition to flowers, Santa Clara Market offers a variety of traditional foods and snacks. Be sure to try an empanada de viento, a cheese-filled pastry that’s deep-fried to perfection, or a slice of humita, a type of corn cake wrapped in corn husks and steamed.

La Mariscal Craft Market

For those interested in artisanal crafts, the La Mariscal Craft Market is the place to be. Located in the lively Mariscal district, this market is a haven for shoppers looking for unique souvenirs and gifts. You’ll find a wide range of handcrafted items including textiles, jewelry, pottery, and more.

One of the highlights of La Mariscal Craft Market is the selection of traditional Ecuadorian clothing. Look for intricately woven ponchos, colorful scarves, and hats made from toquilla straw. These items make for wonderful keepsakes and gifts.

Iñaquito Market

Our tour concludes at Iñaquito Market, a large and modern market known for its diverse offerings. From fresh seafood to exotic fruits, this market has it all. Iñaquito Market is also famous for its food court, where you can sample a variety of Ecuadorian dishes.

Try the encebollado, a hearty fish soup that’s perfect for lunch, or the fritada, a dish of fried pork served with corn and potatoes. And for dessert, indulge in a slice of tres leches cake or a serving of helado de paila, a traditional ice cream made in a large copper bowl.


Exploring Quito’s markets on foot is an adventure that offers a true taste of local life. Each market has its own unique charm and specialties, providing a rich tapestry of flavors and experiences. Whether you’re a foodie, a shopper, or a cultural enthusiast, a walking tour of Quito’s markets is an unforgettable way to experience the heart and soul of this vibrant city.