QUITO - NEIGHBORHOODS
The financial center of Quito is located in the northern part of the city where high-rise buildings, hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls can be found. The upper-class residential neighborhood is considered to be the `micro-centro` of the city which also includes working-class houses. This popular area is home to many exciting museums, beautiful art galleries and a great variety of restaurants, bars, and nightlife options. There are many of the city`s beautiful sprawling parks found in the northern region, including Parque Bicentenario which is a large urban park covering 200 acres of space where locals and visitors gather to enjoy walks, bicycle rides, and activities on the manmade pond.
The small historic neighborhood of Guapulo sits on the hillside in northeast Quito. A quaint region, known for its narrow, winding cobblestone streets brimming with great cafes and bars boasting a bohemian atmosphere with spectacular views of Cumbaya and the sparkling city. Many of the homes here feature colonial whitewashed walls and terracotta tile roofs and retain the old Quito flare. The quaint ornate church of Guapulo sits at the base of the hill and is well worth a look inside, and is located in the bustling Guapulo square. The cafes of Camino de Orellana are one of Guapulo`s best attractions, most of which only open at night offering a great atmosphere with mesmerizing views of the valley. Guapulo is also the host of some great street parties held in September when a four-day festival takes place with religious dress-up rituals, live music, and a unique 'orange throwing' celebration.
The city`s crown jewel, El Centro Historico or The Historic Center, is the historic core of Quito which lies on the southern extreme of downtown. A UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site where much of the neighborhood is relatively unchanged with narrow cobblestone colonial streets that run into lively plazas brimming with local restaurants, cafes, and shops. Old Town offers a good variety of accommodation which includes the best high-end hotels in the city. There are numerous museums to explore along with monasteries, convents and over 40 churches including the oldest church in Quito all within walking distance in the compact center. There are 17 picturesque plazas and one of the most stunning is the palm-fringed Plaza Grande is a picturesque place situated in the heart of Old Town, surrounded by historical buildings and street vendors selling food and souvenirs. Handsomely restored mansions with 17th-century facades now house many of the hotels in the historic center, which offer a very authentic feel. They are close to many attractions all within walking distance giving visitors many options for dining and sightseeing.
La Floresta is a vibrant upscale neighborhood in the downtown area just east of La Mariscal and close to some of the liveliest parts of the city. This boho neighborhood with colorful streets features a mixture of high-rise apartment complexes, condos, and hotels found in colonial style mansions. A welcoming atmosphere can be found in La Floresta with an abundance of trendy restaurants, food is one of the main attractions in this neighborhood with the main plaza filled with eateries and food carts. A popular farmer`s market can be found on Calle Galavis every Friday brimming with fresh produce and other goods in a vibrant bustling atmosphere. There are many attractive buildings and attractions including theaters, art galleries, coffee shops, craft stores and plenty of delicious food. The Anahi Boutique Hotel is located in this neighborhood, considered to be one of the best in the city of Quito boasting themed suites with Ecuadorian accents. The nightlife scene here is great with a mixture of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs playing live music.
La Mariscal is the flavorful entertainment heart in the city of Quito. There is an abundance of hotels and inns found in this area, including many backpacker hostels. Visitors can find a wide variety of restaurants and cafes along with a lively bar scene in the evenings. In the heart of La Mariscal is the beautiful Plaza Foch, a cozy, quiet outdoor space filled with vibrant green lawns and colorful flowers. Historic architecture surrounds the square with attractions such as the Central Bank Museum, the Cacao Republic and the Artisanal Market found close by. Some of the best restaurants in Quito can be located in La Mariscal boasting delicious local and international cuisines. ‘Farra’ (nightlife) is concentrated in the neighborhood of Mariscal, wandering the historic streets of La Ronda on the weekend is a popular thing to do. The cobblestoned streets here are brimming with bars and restaurants, with live music playing everything from jazz to salsa.