El Panecillo stands guard over Quito, making it one of the city’s most recognizable and popular attractions. Just about every city sightseeing tour makes a stop at the lookout, including night tours that offer the opportunity to see the city illuminated from this hilltop vantage point. For those visiting independently, there’s no fee for visiting the observation point, but there is a small admission charge to climb to the top of the monument.
Things to Know Before You Go
El Panecillo should be on every first-timer’s must-see list.
If you’re visiting independently, give yourself 30 minutes to take in the sights.
The lookout point on El Panecillo is wheelchair accessible.
Don’t forget your camera; the views from the top of El Panecillo are postcard-worthy.
How to Get There
Although it’s possible to walk up a staircase to the top of the Virgin of El Panecillo, the hillside isn’t the safest area. It’s better to hire a taxi in Old Town or join a guided sightseeing tour.
When to Get There
Your best bet for unobstructed views from the Virgin of El Panecillo is early in the morning before the clouds roll in. On clear days, you can see as far as the Cotopaxi volcano.
La Virgen de Quito
El Panecillo is topped by a 135-foot (41-meter) aluminum statue of the Virgin of Quito, complete with wings, a crown of stars, and a chained dragon. Built in 1976, the now-iconic statue took inspiration from theVirgin of the Apocalypse of the Immaculate Conception statue inside the Church of San Francisco.
- Calle La Ronda
- City Museum of Quito (Museo de la Ciudad)
- Carmen Alto Convent (Museo de Carmen Alto)
- Santo Domingo Plaza (Plaza de Santa Domingo)
- Casa del Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Quito Old Town
- El Sagrario Church
- Cathedral of Quito (Catedral de Quito)
- Presidential Palace
- Independence Plaza (Plaza de la Independencia)
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo De Arte Colonial)
- Archbishop's Palace (Palacio Arzobispal)
- Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
- Basilica of the National Vow (La Basílica del Voto Nacional)