More than 220 activities are planned this year for the Fiestas de Quito, a citywide party that celebrates the founding of the capital, 484 years ago. The Spanish laid the foundation in 1534, raising the city from ashes after the Inca general Rumiñahui burned it to the ground to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. Keep reading for more about the present day holiday that brings people across the city into the streets for fun, music, and dancing.
During the week before December, 6th-the official date of the capital’s founding-Quito’s streets are brimming with parties, its plazas with events, and its performance spaces with concerts.
From La Ronda in the historic center to the bars and clubs of the new town-Quito’s residents are out and in a mood to celebrate. During the day cultural events are held in the coliseums leading to fireworks that light up the sky after the sun sets, illuminating the churches and building of the historic center and lasting well into the night.
Far away from the pomp and circumstance, the neighborhoods across town hold their own parties. Bands play while revilers shake off the dust of everyday life, welcoming those traveling in Ecuador with smiles and drink while inviting them to join into the fun.
For those staying in the historic center, La Ronda’s streets are filled with people, San Francisco and Santa Domingo plazas have live musical acts, while the Virgin above is lit with festive colors in honor of the holiday. Museums of the capital, including the City Museum that details the history of Quito, extend their hours and Casa de Musica hosts national orchestras for a more formal way to enjoy the party.
We offer 2 day-tours for those who want to explore the capital during the celebrations.
As December 6th draws closer, the streets of the new town filled with the Chivas of Fiestas de Quito. These open-air buses are parties on wheels that include live bands. The Chivas make stops around town where passengers get out and dance in plazas before heading on to the next stop. While a bit startling in number and the volume of the music, it’s a tradition here that becomes part of the backdrop of the celebration. You’ll find that the spirit of the merry riders carries in the air and into the days to come until the final day of the celebration brings the proceedings into full effect.
Parades through the historic center and events in its plazas join speeches from the mayor and president. Streets flood with onlookers and parties that show you the heart of the people and the resilient spirit of the country.
It’s a time where the city shines under the sun and stars, and exploring the many areas of the capital is an event that goes past traveling through and finds you as a participant. Everywhere you look during Fiestas de Quito is a different event, party, or gathering-giving you a new perspective that opens up new parts of the culture when exploring other parts of Ecuador.