Fiesta de la Luz Quito 2017

Quito Fills Itself with Light

At 2,800 metres (approx. 9,000 ft.) above sea level, Quito – the capital of Ecuador – is a vibrant city located at the foot of the active Pichincha volcano in the heart of the Andes. Home to Latin America’s best-preserved colonial downtown, it’s no wonder that it was named the first World Heritage by UNESCO in 1978 . When walking down its cobblestone streets, it’s impossible not to feel like you’ve been transported back to the time of the Spanish colonies and revolutions. Quito is a must-see if you find yourself on the way to the amazing Galapagos Islands. If you happen to come to Ecuador during the first days of August, make sure you stay at its conveniently located and luxurious downtown hotel, Casa Gangotena, before heading off on your Galapagos cruise. During the Andean summer season, Quito’s streets are filled with life and cultural activities that any visitor will surely want to partake in. So clear your schedule and stay at Casa Gangotena any day between the 9th and 13th of August, when Quito’s “Fiesta de la Luz” (Festival of Lights) comes into town. You’ll get the chance to experience Quito’s beautiful downtown dressed in plenty of magnificent and brilliant colours!

Quito's downtown view

Quito’s downtown view

Fiesta de la Luz Quito 2017

Last year the city of Quito was home to the UN’s Habitat III Forum. It consisted of a series of conferences given by architects, innovators, professors and politicians from around the world and revolved around subjects related to urbanism, sustainability and social development. Amongst the activities organized for the inhabitants of Quito and its visitors, la “Fiesta de la Luz” was quite possibly the most impressive. It decorated the old facades of Quito’s most iconic buildings and historical churches with sound and light patterns that transformed them and gave them new life. Local and French artists were selected to show their best light-mapping skills. After the Fiesta’s success last year (with a million visitor’s downtown for the duration of the event) this year’s program promises new and exciting artistic displays.

Video posted by: A8A

What to see?

The “Fiesta de la Luz Quito 2017” will take place from August 9th to August 13th every night and will start at 19h00. Quito’s colonial downtown will have its main streets open exclusively to pedestrians. The best way to enjoy all the locations is certainly on foot! Even though the Municipality is making sure that the logistics of the event run smoothly and that Metropolitan Police Officers are on site, do leave your valuables at the hotel. A jacket, camera and sense of awe is all you need to bring with you. By teaming up with the French city of Lyon (just like last year), this year’s artists include local and French audiovisual experts like Fidel Eljuri and Nicola Cruz (Ecuador), Camille Gross and Leslie Epsztein (France), Miguel Vélez (Ecuador), or Patrice Warrener (France), among others. Here is the list of the 8 sites and churches where the presentations will take place: Plaza San Blas, Plaza Andrade M, Plaza del Teatro, Basilica (for 2 presentations), La Merced, calle Sucre, La Catedral, and Santo Domingo.

La Merced church during Fiesta de la Luz 2016. Photo credit: ec.ambafrance.org

La Merced church during Fiesta de la Luz 2016. Photo credit: ec.ambafrance.org

Why Stay Downtown?

To get a real feel of what colonial South America feels like, there is no place like Quito’s old town. Blocks of Spanish-style adobe houses with secret inner patios and stone streets create a perfectly-squared maze where getting lost is actually a treat. Every corner hides an old store, restaurant, pharmacy, jewelry shop, school or office that shows how life goes by in this untouched piece of old town. Casa Gangotena is strategically located across San Francisco Plaza and flanked by the impressive San Francisco church – the oldest church in Quito and the largest architectural religious compound in South America. From here, all visitor sites that are worth visiting are but minutes away on foot. Visit the gold-leaf covered La Compañia Church, the revolutionary Plaza Grande, or night-life filled La Ronda street. By staying downtown, you will already be at the centre of the “Fiesta de la Luz”. Just ask at the reception for a map and directions, or simply follow the crowd and immerse yourself in the energy of Quito!

Nathalie Moeller is of Ecuadorian and German descent. As a child she spent her summers in the Galapagos Islands, where her mother grew up, and from a very young age learned to love the beauty and uniqueness of the archipelago. She studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, after living in Madrid and Germany for a couple of years. This gave her a culturally broader view of the world, which is reflected in everything she does. Blogging gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for travelling and writing.