North of Quito’s UNESCO-listed colonial center, La Mariscal is the best neighborhood to experience the city’s youth-driven nightlife and to mingle with fellow foreigners and travelers. Sometimes referred to as “Gringoland,” the barrio also features artisan markets filled with all manner of goods at very reasonable prices.xa0
Most Quito tours include visits to the Plaza Foch area, which is teaming with lively bars, restaurants, and internet cafes. During the day, stop for an earthy guayusa tea, and at night, stay until the wee hours drinking and dancing. Full-day tours tack on a trek to the majestic Quilotoa Crater Lagoon, hiking around the dormant volcano, and stops in traditional Andean market towns Saquisili, Pujili, and Tigua. If you have more time, explore Old Town to see impressive plazas and landmarks such as La Compañia Jesuit church.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Mariscal is ideal for travelers interested in nightlife.
- If you’re traveling with children visit Plaza Borja Yerovi where there is a creatively-designed fountain for them to play in.
- Admire the ornate mansions along Calle Juan Rodríguez, between Diego de Almagro and Avenida 6 de Diciembre.
- In between La Mariscal and Old Town are two lovely parks: Alameda and El Ejido.
How to Get There
La Mariscal neighborhood is northeast of Quito’s Old Town between north-to-south avenues, La Patria and Orellana, and west-to-east avenues, 6 de Diciembre and 10 de Agosto. From the city’s historic center, walk about 20 minutes up 10 de Agosto or take the C1 bus and expect a roughly 12-minute ride.
When to Get There
The most popular time to visit La Mariscal is after dark, when the bars and clubs can get quite crowded, especially on Friday and Saturday nights until early in the morning. If you come during the day, you’ll catch the artisan markets near Plaza Foch.
At the corner of Niña and Reina Victoria is an excellent ethnohistoric and craft museum dedicated to ceramics, handicrafts, and shamanism. Over five floors, you’ll see outstanding Ecuadorian arts, crafts, and weaponry outlining the history and worldview of the indigenous groups of the Amazon basin and Andean and Afro-Ecuadorian coastal communities. Peruse the handwoven basketry and textiles, sermaics, musical instruments and tools before reaching the top floor, a serene ceremonial space.
- Basilica of the National Vow (La Basílica del Voto Nacional)
- Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
- Archbishop's Palace (Palacio Arzobispal)
- Museum of Colonial Art (Museo De Arte Colonial)
- Cathedral of Quito (Catedral de Quito)
- Independence Plaza (Plaza de la Independencia)
- Presidential Palace
- El Sagrario Church
- Quito Old Town
- Capilla del Hombre (Guayasamín Museum)
- Guayasamin Museum (Casa Museo Guayasamin)
- Santo Domingo Plaza (Plaza de Santa Domingo)
- Casa del Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Carmen Alto Convent (Museo de Carmen Alto)
- City Museum of Quito (Museo de la Ciudad)