El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana

El Conquistqdor Francisco de Orellana
The Conquistador who put the Amazaon baisn "on the map"....Francisco Orellana

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

El Centro comes to life once again in 2012

Every Saturday night in Quito is now a night to remember. The central historical district of Latin America's greatest colonial city is not just a place where the tangible, architectural heritage is restored by day, but where the intangible heritage – the traditions of the people - come to life after sunset.

Much of old town has been restored in the past decade and since Quito was named American Capital of Culture by the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals last year, the city has found a creative way to pump a little life into El Centro after dark - a place that is typically quiet once the sun sets.

Luz Elena Coloma, General Manager of Quito Turismo, the tourism arm of Quito, explains that with Heritage Nights visitors to El Centro can "re-live" historical Quito in the iconic spaces of the city such as Independence Plaza, San Agustin Church and Convent, and the San Marcos Neighborhood.

Heritage Nights hopes to show that central Quito "has its own personality where families can come, drink a canelazo, and walk around." Coloma hopes Quito residents can "have a re-encounter with our own roots and identity." But it is also just a chance to enjoy with friends and relatives.

Heritage Nights feature a number of activities. Each week Quito Eterno guides visitors and residents to one of Quito's historical treasures around the city center. These walking tours begin at the El Quinde shop in the municipal building in Independence Plaza. Tours are 40 minutes in duration, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The cost is $6 each.

Additionally, artistic performances are offered in the plazas and plazoletas of old town while expositions are hosted in the Manuela Saenz museum, located in the San Marcos a neighborhood. And other special programs are organized in private bars and restaurants throughout the city center.

El Centro Parking

1. La Ronda

Guayaquil S1-124 & Morales (Sector La Ronda)


1 Driving west (up) 24 de mayo, entrance is on the right.

2 Drive south on Garcia Moreno, turn left past city museum

3 Or from south side of Plaza 24 de mayo turn left from

Ambato to enter from Guayaquil Street

2. Cadisan

Between Mejia-Olmedo & Benalcazr-Garcia Moreno

Entrance: Half a block east of Benalcazar on Mejia

3. Montufar 1

Antonio Bustamante N 6-18 between Olmedo & MejiaFrom Pichincha and Olmedo, turn onto Antonio Bustamante

4. Montufar 2

Olmedo E1 – 36 & Av. Pichincha Take Av. Pichincha to Manabi

Before entering the bridge turn right, it is below the bridge

5. San Blas

Caldas N11 B y Guayaquil esquina

From north to south, where 10 de Agosto meets Guayaquil,

Caldas is on the corner.

6. El Tejar

Mejía S/N y Chimborazo

Take Hermano Miguel to the stoplight.

Turn left on Jose Lopez. At the corner turn left

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