The 10 Best Museums in Quito Part 2
The 10 Best Museums in Quito Part 2
To get a true feel of Ecuador’s past and present, there is no better place to stay at than beautiful Casa Gangotena, located at the heart of Quito’s World Heritage downtown area. From there, several of Quito’s best museums are but a walk away. Dedicating a little time to local museums is always a good way to understand a country’s identity first-hand and it will create a more unique and palpable connection with its history and its people. Walk around one of South America’s best-preserved colonial downtown and its modern surroundings while submerging yourself in Ecuadorian culture by visiting the 10 best museums in Quito Part 2. Read Part 1 of this blog post and continue with Part 2 to get a good overview of what you can see during your stay in Ecuador’s capital city. You will be marvelled!
6. Museo Nacional del Banco Central
Price: $2 adults, $1 university students, $0.25 children and senior citizens
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Weekends 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Address: Av. Patria, between 12 de Octubre and 6 de Diciembre
The Museo Nacional del Banco Central, located at the Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana (House of Ecuadorian Culture) is probably the most comprehensive one in terms of Ecuadorian identity through art history. With galleries that take the visitor back in time, you will be able to observe incredible archeological pieces that date back to pre-Incan and pre-Columbian times. From the Archaeological Gallery, move in chronological order to the Golden Court, where you will find intricate gold pieces from Incan times, before heading to the Colonial Art Gallery. After marvelling at the sculptures and paintings from 1534 to 1820, visit the Republican Gallery to get a glimpse of Ecuador’s struggle for independence and feel the development of a unique Ecuadorian identity at its Contemporary Art Gallery. This vast collection might require a little more time than other museums, but it’s well worth it.
Price: $3 adults, $1.50 children, students and senior citizens
Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Address: Reina Victoria N 26-166 and La Nina
The Museo Etnografico de Artesanias del Ecuador (Ethnographical Museum of Ecuadorian Crafts) or Mindalae, is a non-profit organization dedicated to the exhibition and promotion of Ecuador’s cultural heritage. The 5-story building located in Quito’s La Mariscal neighbourhood is home to a collection that covers the most relevant Ecuadorian craft traditions and their contrasts between regions. Learn about cosmology, textiles, ceramics, utensils and their use by different indigenous cultures from the Coastal, Andean and Amazon regions. At the end of the tour, visit the museum’s crafts and sustainable products showroom, and buy some organic quinoa, amaranth or natural cosmetics to take back home!
8. Museo y Convento de San Francisco
Price: $2 adults, $1.00 children and students. $0.50 and senior citizens
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Sunday: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Address: Cuenca 477 and Sucre, at the San Francisco Plaza
Across the Street from your home in the Andes, Casa Gangotena, you will find the beautiful San Francisco convent and monastery overlooking its wide cobble-stone plaza. The religious complex built in the 16th century is the largest colonial architectural ensemble in Latin America. It’s said to have been built atop the Inca emperor Huayna Capac’s palace, as was customary of conquistadors in order to overthrow the local beliefs. A corner of the Monastery is dedicated to the museum that now holds an impressive colonial religious art exhibit by some of the most famous Escuela Quiteña artists, like Miguel de Santiago and Caspicara.
Travelers Tip: Ask your guide about the legend behind the construction of this impressive building. You will love it!
9. Museo Manuela Saenz
Price: $4 adults, $2 students and senior citizens, $1 children
Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m / 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sunday only with reservations
Address: Junín Oe1-13 and Montufar
This museum perfect for history lovers gives an intimate view of the Libertador Simon Bolivar´s life through the eyes of his lover, Manuela Saenz. Even though it’s Bolivar who usually gets the credit for the liberation of many Latin American countries from the Spanish Rule, Manuela was a decisive figure in the independence process. Also known as the “Liberator of the Liberator”, she was deported to Jamaica after Bolivar’s death and then to Peru, where she spent the rest of her days. The museum – the home she shared with the Libertador – located in old town Quito holds her furniture and belongings, as well as love letters, paintings and Bolivar’s gun and silver dagger.
Price: $4 adults, $2 children, students and senior citizens
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Address: via Calacali, 200 metres from the Mitad del Mundo roundabout
This small museum located on the northern outskirts of Quito is built right on top of the equator. Even though Ecuador’s most famous equator museum is but a couple of minutes away from Intiñan – and you will actually drive past it on your way to the museum – it was discovered, years after its construction, that the measurement was off by just a few meters. Intiñan is a privately owned museum that combines both Ecuadorian culture with scientific experiments. You will be able to go inside replicas of Amazonian and Andean indigenous huts, and then experiment with the Earth’s magnetic equator by means of several scientific activities that will entertain both old and young.
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.