Quito

A word on terminology: Quiteños don't use the Old City/New City designations coined by the English-speaking tourism industry. The colonial heart of the city is the Centro or Centro Histórico. To the north lies an amorphous sprawl of modern neighborhoods, most notably comfortable Bellavista and La Floresta, and the bustling La Ma
A word on terminology: Quiteños don't use the Old City/New City designations coined by the English-speaking tourism industry. The colonial heart of the city is the Centro or Centro Histórico. To the north lies an amorphous sprawl of modern neighborhoods, most notably co
A word on terminology: Quiteños don't use the Old City/New City designations coined by the English-speaking tourism indu

A word on terminology: Quiteños don't use the Old City/New City designations coined by the English-speaking tourism industry. The colonial heart of the city is the Centro or Centro Histórico. To the north lies an amorphous sprawl of modern neighborhoods, most notably comfortable Bellavista and La Floresta, and the bustling La Mariscal.

Another word on maps: Quito's north-south elongation makes it a difficult fit for maps, most of which rotate the orientation 90-degrees clockwise. North usually lies to the right of the page on city maps.

Quito has two parallel systems of address numbering. The official scheme employs small green-and-white signs affixed to every building using directions denoted N, S, E, and Oe (for oeste, or west) and followed by a number to denote distance from the city center. Locations in the outer reaches of the city always express their addresses this way; in the center of the city, people stubbornly stick with the old sequential numbering system.

To help you navigate all this, the phenomenal Quito Turismo, a joint venture between the city government and its police, operates several tourist offices or stands in the city, and offers guided walking tours of the Old City. The Ministry of Tourism's iTur office sits in an out-of-the-way location and has little but a few maps and brochures. A private membership organization of note is South American Explorers, with an amazing selection of information about Ecuador (as well as branch clubhouses in Lima and Cusco, Peru, and Buenos Aires, Argentina).

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  • 1. Casa del Alabado

    Museum/Gallery

    This museum of pre-Colombian art and artifacts is easy to miss, hidden as it is inside a lovingly-restored 17th-century house. The museum has...Read More

  • 2. Fundación Guayasamín and Capilla del Hombre

    Bellavista | Museum/Gallery

    Ecuador's most famous contemporary artist, Oswaldo Guayasamín (1919–99), held court at a workshop and beautiful museum in the residential...Read More

  • 3. Museo Casa de María Augusta Urrutia

    Centro | Museum/Gallery

    In the colonial section of Quito is the Museum of Maria Augusta Urrutia, which a grieving widow kept exactly as it had been when her husband...Read More

  • 4. Museo de Arte Colonial

    Centro | Museum/Gallery

    The Museum of Colonial Art, housed in a restored 17th-century colonial mansion, includes colonial furniture and 16th- to 18th-century sculpture...Read More

  • 5. Museo de la Ciudad

    Museum/Gallery

    Follow the life of the city from indigenous trading post and northern Inca capital to conflict with conquistadors up to the 19th-century. In...Read More

  • 6. Museo del Banco Central

    La Mariscal | Museum/Gallery

    The Central Bank Museum, Quito's most modern museum, features an astonishing collection of pre-Colombian archaeology and Inca artifacts. Brightly...Read More

  • 7. Museo Amazónico

    La Mariscal | Museum/Gallery

    The Amazon Museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and utilitarian items from different Amazonian cultures, including cooking pots...Read More

  • 8. Museo de Jijón Caamaño

    New City | Museum/Gallery

    On the third floor of the Universidad Católica, the Jijón Caamaño Museum contains a large collection of colonial art, with paintings and sculptures...Read More

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