Visiting Quito’s Historic Center is always an adventure! Yet Sundays stand out as my absolute favorite day to wander the cobblestone streets. Many of the them are closed to traffic, turning many popular areas into pedestrian zones. It makes for a more pleasant day as there are fewer street crossings to worry about and far less bus exhaust to breathe in.
Meanwhile, vendors line the sidewalks with folk art from Tigua, handwoven bracelets, and coca tea from Peru. Several artists paint scenes of the Ecuadorian countryside with cans of spray paint. Another paints with his fingers only, creating miniature works of fine art that belie his crude technique.
Some vendors appear year round, like the women selling finely woven shawls of cotton thread. Others are season, like the Dragon’s Blood Vendor or the gentleman selling freshly squeezed cane juice with a dash of lime.
Tourists of All Kinds Show Up On Sundays
During the week, most people on the streets live and work in Historic Quito. Foreign tourists stick out like sore thumbs. While we still stick out on Sundays, we’re not alone. Visitors from all over Ecuador flock to Quito on the weekends. Others are folks who live outside the big city and come into town to shop for bargains at the huge Mercado San Roque just up the hill. Even more are residents of Quito’s Historic Center taking the opportunity to people-watch in their own neighborhood.
Some visitors are here to attend services in one of the many churches and others to soak up the ambience of a pleasant Sunday afternoon. If it’s raining, there won’t be near as many people. Others take advantage of the Quito bike route that transverses the city from north to south. The city closes roads just for that occasion and only on Sundays.
What Not To Miss On a Sunday Afternoon
We find Sundays are the perfect day to wander. If you are fortunate enough to have a couple of free hours on your agenda, head to the Plaza San Francisco, buy an helado from the Hueca de Cantuña, and sit on the nearby steps to people watch. Look for the small shops that sell pristiño with panela or morocho con chicharron near San Marcos. It it’s late in the day, it’s fun to watch children play with their high flying, spinning, toys that light up in the evening gloom in the Plaza de la Independencia.
Beautiful shots! I’m not sure if I missed this, but what type of camera do you use? I’m in the market! 🙂
A Nikon 7000. I’ve been very happy with it. My main lens is a Nikon 18-105mm. All the photos on this page were taken with it. For birds, I use a Tamron 70-300mm. And I just invested in a 10mm Sigma lens that hasn’t arrived. I can’t wait to try it out. If you decide to go Nikon, I recommend following this Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NDCPE/
I’ve always been a Canon girl, but I have taken a look at the Nikons… I was a member of a photography club (local), most of whom used Canons. BUT, I am not nearly as “in love” with Canons as they were – I wish I could rent a camera to try it before I buy it! 🙂
…. that’s a good business idea!
You can rent cameras – not sure where you live but call your local independent camera shop and ask about renting with the idea of purchasing. If you end up buying from them, they may even discount you the price of the rental.
And I was a Canon girl all the way… then my husband started using a Nikon for work. He bought me the camera I’m using now and I don’t think I’ll look back. Especially now that we’ve invested in lenses 🙂
That’s really good to hear. I don’t think there’s a camera shop in my area that does that. I’d probably end up having to go to Dallas… but I think it would be worth it. I’ll have to call around and see.
Lately I’ve found myself playing with the camera on my phone. It started as a convenience thing, but I’ve had some pretty interesting shots come from it!
They are such a beautiful people. Thank you for sharing these pictures~
My pleasure -I’m luck to live where there are such great subjects to photograph. Ecuadorians are very gracious people and they have such infectious smiles.