Queer Adventures in Quito — Centro Historico
2019 March — This place rivals our Montañita trip. We came back to Quito, but stayed in a totally different neighborhood than last time. We were in El Centro Historico and the Airbnb we stayed in was absolutely beautiful! We had a view of the nearby cathedral and of the full moon that happened while we were there. One of the neighbors is a violinist, so occasionally we got to hear sweet sounds coming from our outside. It was so romantic.
The hills are massive here. We built up serious sweats every time we wanted to go wander around the town for a bit. Everyone here, young and old, is super fit dominating the hills like they were nothing!
The time spent in El Centro Historico was really inspiring from an artistic perspective. The old style buildings combined with the bright pastels and the beautiful mountains in the background was beautiful. It inspired me to work with colors more when making my graphic and web designs for PrincexDesign. It is seriously a magical place. I took a lot of pictures here.
Our Airbnb was probably the best one we had so far. It was super bright and sunny. You could feel the love that was put into this home. We also had an oven for the first time! The bedroom had a view of La Basílica del Voto Nacional. Below our apartment we could see the community clothes line where we would hang our clothes to dry after washing them. I have never had to hang-dry my clothes until coming to Ecuador. It’s actually not bad at all. Letting my clothes soak up the sun is just really nice. We do have to be wary about when it is going to rain so that our clothes don’t get wet again, which happened a couple of times as it rains almost everyday here.
We went to a really nice monument up on a mountain with a view of the entire city. It is called Virgen del Panecillo. There was a market with artisanal crafts and food. Afterwards went to a really nice restaurant on the hillside called Pim’s at the foot of the monument and watched the sunset from the best seat in the house. We drank an entire pitcher of Canelazo and shared a light, fluffy, fruity, beautiful dessert.
One place that caught our eye in the historic district that we didn’t get a chance to visit was Mallki Café. It is a cafe, cafeteria, and cultural center. It was really well designed from what I could see from the outside. There was a pedestrian bridge leading to it. Immediately next to it was a community center called Nina Shunku. It had beautiful murals in the outdoor patio section. It is another place I look forward to visiting next time we are in the area.
We took a tour of el Museo de la Ciudad located right by the Arco de La Reina and learned some more history of the city of Quito. It was super informative and the museum was very beautiful. Very picturesque, just like the entirety of EL Centro Historico.
That same day, we went to Museo Numismático — Banco Central del Ecuador. The building itself is very beautiful and well designed. There is a lot of architectural history and monetary history explained in the exhibits.
One day we had lunch with a prima that is living in Quito. We met at el Miniserio de Turismo building where she works. We walked together to eat a little restaurant called Raices. We had a very beautiful and delicious almuerzo. It started raining and even hailing while we were eating, but it was still a pleasant view and a nice atmosphere. The owners of Raices are alos artisans who make handmade crafts taught to them by indigenous people of what is now called Puerto Lopez in Ecuador. We learned about their craft and the history and bought some naturally sourced palo santo and a beautiful handmade ceramic piece to burn it in.
All in all, El Centro Historico feels so alive with all of its history, its bright colors and active hills. The history can be felt every time you walk around. It is like a dream. I enjoyed the layout of this district much more than the other parts of Quito I have seen thus far. It’s also cleaner and more pedestrian and biker friendly. The presence of so much beautiful architecture is extremely refreshing. The cobblestone roads,courtyards and plazas all come together to form a place that is perfect for wandering around and enjoying the world around you.