When I was younger I always looked forward to spend my school breaks in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The history, the traditions, the scenery and the people made Quito a special place.
One of the best weeks to visit Quito is in early December when the city commemorates its foundation and the main streets are adorned with red and blue flags and banners. The foundation date is on December 6th but celebrations in Quito start nearly 10 days early in the Plaza de Toros where internationally acclaimed “toreros” bring a traditional show for quiteños.
However, my most favorite Fiestas de Quito celebration is riding la chiva which is an open-sided colorful truck with wooden benches that take people around the main sites of the city with a live band playing traditional music on the top of the chiva. Everyone can sing, dance and shout “¡Viva Quito!” during the two hour ride. The chiva stops when it arrives to the historical center and people can continue the party in the street since bands are found in almost every neighborhood.
Fiestas de Quito are a great opportunity to visit its historical sites and touristic attractions. My favorite places to visit in Quito or near the city are:
Palacio de Candorelet and Plaza de Independencia
Monumento a la Mitad del Mundo and Museum of Intiñan
Cathedrals and old churches such as Iglesia de la Compañía, Basílica, San Francisco, La Merced, etc)
Other neat places to visit are: Plaza Foch, Guápulo, Tren Ecuador, Parque Itchímbia, Parque Metropolitano, La Capilla del Hombre, La Casa del Alabado, Casa de la Cultura, Museo de Casa Sucre and other museums. Finally, I highly recommend to take a bike tour in the countryside. The scenary is breathtaking and you may see lots of alpacas, llamas and wild horses. Make sure to stop by at the flower markets, crafts markets and small bakeries!!!