The Panecillo is a hill located in the heart of Quito downtown. From here, its location gives us a unique view of the city.
The name was given by the Spain conquerors in their incursion. They named it Panecillo because the hill has a resemblance with small bread. The story has discovered before the spanish arrival, this hill was called "Shungoloma" Quechua word meaning "hill of the heart." According to the legend, in pre-Inca times, Karas Ecuadorian culture built a temple there in honor of the sun and another in honor of moon in San Juan, hill raised at the opposite side. Rumiñahui, Inca major general destroyed these two temples when his troops were forced to go back by the Spain army. Another name with one it was called in ancient times was Yavirac.
This viewpoint is located at an altitude of 3035 meters. For Quito it represents the division between north and south of the city.
When you visit this place you can find at the top the Virgin of Quito, which was built in 1976 by the spanish artist Agustín de la Herran Matorral. "This sculpture is 45 m. high and is a large-scale copy of the sculpture of the Virgin of Quito done by Bernardo de Legard. It is shown on the main altar of the church of San Francisco. The Virgin of Quito in El Panecillo was built with nearly seven thousand aluminum pieces. Inside you can climb to get even more spectacular view of the city ".
In this same place you can find the Olla del Panecillo, pot of Panecillo, that was a kind of circular tank eight feet deep used to irrigate crops. During spanish conquest, the place was used to collect rainwater to irrigate the gardens of the Bellavista spanish mansion and was later used as a defense site of the colonial troops during the Pichincha libertarian battle, May 24th, 1822.
Among the options above to visit at the top of Panecillo, you'll also find traditional food, restaurants, crafts, play areas for children, as well as parking.
To go to the view point on foot, you can use one of the main roads wich starts in the Garcia Moreno Street or, if you are in a vehicle, you can arrive to Panecillo using the avenue Melchor Aymerich, only road that connects it to the dome. Also, if you don’t have private transport, you can use two types of urban transport in Quito downtown. The buses go down García Moreno and Chile streets; you have to get the bus route Altamira – Cima de la Libertad or Jesus del Gran Poder- Cima de la Libertad bus route.
Panecillo is the spanish name given in colonial times to this hill. This is not the original name, before it was called Shungoloma or Yavirac.
To go to the Panecillo, especially within the monument of the Virgin of Quito, we recommend going between 9.00 and 18.00, from Monday to Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9h00 to 17h00.
There are a couple of restaurants located at the top of the hill where you can enjoy an spectacular view of Quito as well as taste a delicious food.
For your safety we recommend not to visit this place without a tourist guide or alone, and if it is possibly go there in private transport.