Colonial Quito, Middle of the World & lunch
Quito was the first UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage site declared in 1978. It displays the largest colonial town of the Americas with an eclectic architecture ranging from the modern quarters to varied colonial facades on churches and private residences decorated and balconies built along the last five centuries. See the gothic Basilica del Voto Nacional and the Independence Square flanked by the Presidential and the Archbishop’s palaces dated back to XVII and XIX centuries. Share the spirit of Quito by walking to the Metropolitan Cathedral with excellent samples of the Spanish Renaissance. Visit the so-called street of the Seven Crosses and pass by the Jesuit convent, El Sagrario church with a unique orthodox cross lay outdated back to the seventeenth century and the jewel of the crown.
Visit the Jesuit temple of the baroque art in the Americas La Compañía de Jesús, and the jewel of the crown of the colonial architecture in Quito, continue to the Plaza of San Francisco which is a temple and convent, displaying a rich sample of artistic and cultural heritage.
After a typical lunch, we head approximately 11 miles (18 Km.) north of the city to arrive at the Middle of the World Complex which holds the Equator Monument situated at 0º0’0” latitude. In the eighteenth century, the French Geodesic Expedition erected one of three pyramids, as landmarks, to commemorate their calculation of the middle of the Earth. The complex replicates the Spanish colonial architecture with a typical central plaza, a church, and bull-fighting ring.