This morning you will be collected from your hotel for your tour of Quito. Quito’s historic centre is one of the largest, least-altered and best preserved in the Americas. Founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city, it was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in 1978.
Head towards the Old City and Centro Histórico, beginning with a walk along the Street of the Seven Crosses or García Moreno as it is officially known, one of the most emblematic streets in Quito. The street gets its name from the stone crosses that are found outside the seven religious buildings that line the route. These include the Chapel of San Lazaro, El Carmen Alto Monastery, La Compañía de Jesus Church, the 17th century El Sagrario, the Cathedral, La Concepcion (the first monastery in Quito, dating back to 1575) and Santa Barbara Church that was built in 1550 and restored after the earthquake of 1987.
The walking tour starts from Plaza Independencia, now known as Plaza Grande, the main square in Quito, flanked by several important buildings. It takes in the Presidential Palace, also known as the Palace of Carondelet and the main Cathedral whose stone cross is still intact. The Cathedral is home to the ornate tomb of Mariscal Sucre, an important figure in Quito’s independence, a plaque that marks the site of President Gabriel Garcia Moreno’s death in 1875 and a famous painting of the Last Supper. The tour also visits La Compañía de Jesus Church, the most ornate church in Quito, capped by green and gold domes and dating back to 1605 when its construction began. Built in the baroque style, the outer façade is carved from volcanic stone and the interior is covered in gold leaf. It is here that former president Gabriel Garcia Moreno is buried.
The tour continues to the San Francisco Plaza where the San Francisco Church and Monastery is located, an amazing building with impressive façade and atrium, baroque interior with Moorish influences and the winged Virgin of Quito as its main altar. Construction of the San Francisco Monastery began in 1534, the largest colonial building in the city. Although some of the building has been rebuilt as a result of earthquake damage, the chapel of Señor Jesús del Gran Poder features the original tiling.
On completion of your tour, you will be taken to your hotel. Entrance fees are included. Please note this is a private tour.