Cathedral of Quito (Catedral de Quito)
Visible from the surrounding hillsides, Cathedral of Quito is one of the oldest and largest Catholic churches in Latin America, and is a highlight of any Old Town sightseeing tour. Half-day and full-day tours combine a ride along the Teleférico Quito, a cable car up the Pichincha Volcano where you can hike trails or explore them on horseback, and excursions to the Middle of the World Monument and the Intiñan Museum. If you have more time, combine a trip north to the markets of Otavalo and enchanting Lake San Pablo, west to the cloud forests in Mindo, east to the Amazon basin or south to the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
Recent reviews from experiences in Quito
Things to Know Before You Go
- Cathedral of Quito is an ideal spot for art and culture lovers looking to discover the religious and historic heritage of the city.
- At an extra cost, you can climb onto the cathedral’s roof by following a narrow spiral staircase.
- Dress appropriately when entering houses of worship in Ecuador.
How to Get There
Cathedral of Quito is located along Plaza de la Independencia, between Venezuela and Garcia Moreno Streets, in the historic core of Quito. The closest metro station is Estación Marin Central on E3 metro line. From there, walk for a couple minutes. The closest bus stops are Plaza Chica, Benalcazar y Chili, and Benalcázar y Olmedo, which are within a 650-yard (600-meter) range.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open from Monday to Saturday, from morning until evening. On Sundays, visitors may join a mass. Peak season in Quito runs from June to September, coinciding with the Ecuadorian dry season. Throughout the year, the high-altitude climate is consistently temperate with chilly nights. To experience the city in festival mode, visit from February to April for Carnival and the religious holiday, Semana Santa.
Aside from the Quito School paintings, don’t miss the mausoleum of Marshall Antonio Jose de Sucre, the right-hand man to Liberator Simon Bolivar; the relic body of the Holy Child Urcisino, a Christian martyr persecuted for his faith; the baroque altarpiece with a large canvas painting of the mystery of the Assumption of the Virgin by Manuel de Samaniego; and a replica of the statue atop El Panecillo by Bernardo de Legarda.
- Independence Plaza (Plaza de la Independencia)
- Presidential Palace
- El Sagrario Church
- Santo Domingo Plaza (Plaza de Santa Domingo)
- Quito Old Town
- Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
- Archbishop's Palace (Palacio Arzobispal)
- Calle La Ronda
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo De Arte Colonial)
- City Museum of Quito (Museo de la Ciudad)
- Casa del Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Carmen Alto Convent (Museo de Carmen Alto)
- Basilica of the National Vow (La Basílica del Voto Nacional)
- El Panecillo