Quito’s historic centre is the largest, most-intact and best-restored Old Town in the Americas. Wherever you go in Quito, you can’t afford to miss it!
Nestled deep within the valley of towering Andean volcanoes, at 2,800m (around 10,000 feet) above sea level, Quito’s spectacular old town extends over 320 hectares – the largest historic centre in the Americas. Host to 40 churches and chapels, 16 convents and monasteries with their respective cloisters, 17 plazas, 12 chapter rooms and refectories, 12 museums and countless courtyards, Quito’s historical heritage is only equalled by the energy and vibrancy of its thousands of residents.
Quito is truly an asset to the history of America: the great majority of its buildings have withstood the trials of Nature and the tribulations of Man. The city’s diverse cultures have generated a treasure trove of artistic, cultural and historic wealth, safe-guarded down the centuries to the present. UNESCO recognised this fact in November 1978 when it declared Quito the first World Heritage Site.
Quito’s authorities celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its World Heritage nomination by transforming the Old Town, reclaiming its elegant public spaces, its grandeur and its legacy. New museums have been inaugurated, cultural centres opened up, mansions restored, restaurants, hotels and cafés launched, safety improved, traffic regulated. The capital’s heart beats with renewed vigour, cultural life and pride, as citizens and visitors alike enjoy its unique attractions. The jewel in Ecuador’s crown today shines brighter than ever before