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Quito's extraordinary downtown is the best preserved and largest of all that exist in America.


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photo: m_gardener

The downtown has approximately 320 hectares and around 130 monumental buildings that date from the time of the Spanish conquest to the Republican period until the beginning of the twenty century.


Among those historical sites can be finding thousands of pieces of colonial art. Paintings and sculptures were the result of all that was called The School of Quito or Escuela Quiteña: set of styles and art schools composed of Indians and mestizos of the Colony. The great result of this school, unique in the world, its because of the syncretism between the Inca, as well as ancestral Ecuadorian cultures and dominant Spanish culture. These are the main reasons due to the city of Quito was declared First World Heritage Site, declared World Heritage Cultural Site by UNESCO in 1978.


In addition to the architectural and aesthetic value that the center of Quito has is, above all, the historical value. The bulk of buildings in the downtown were the scenes of various events that changed the course of the history of our country and Latin America, not only from the European conquest, but long before. On what now are Colonial historic buildings there were Inca buildings. Some authors call it the Inca Quito: second capital of the Tawantinsuyo Empire.


Because of these elements is recommended that all Quito and Ecuador visitors take a tour through the Historic Downtown. For this propose there are various tours, highlight guided tours that the Empresa Metropolitana de Turismo offers. Tours depart from the Tourist Information Center  The Quinde Store " Tienda El Quinde" which is located in Plaza Grande, at the corner of Venezuela and Espejo, in the building of Municipio de Quito. For more details about this tour call  to the next telephone (+5932) 257 0786 or write an email to info@quito-turismo.com


A nonprofit organization which organizes alternative tours is a private organization Quito Eterno. They manage educational tours using the theater as a resource not only toexplain the downtown hystory, but also to revive it for a moment through the different historical or legendary characters that the tourist guides interpetate during the tour route. To contact they you can write an email to info@quitoeterno.org


you should know this

Quito was the first city to be named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


Quito's Historic Center is the largest and best preserved in Latin America.


There are several types of tours to the downtown of Quito, both private and paid,  public and free.

To schedule your tour in Quito we suggest you check with with your travel agency or tour operator of choice.


Also visit our section Tourist Attractions in Quito to appreciate many places which wait in the historical downtown of Quito.

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