Experience Holy Week in Quito including the great and colorful procession of Good Friday with 90,000 participants winding through the streets of Quito's Old Town. During our two night trip during Semana Santa (Holy Week), enjoy the best views of Quito's central square, Plaza de la Independencia. Explore Quito with a guide, including the Middle of the World Monument and the Pichincha Volcano.
Day 1 : Middle of the World Monument and Pichincha Volcano Day 2 : Quito Easter Festival Procession Day 3 : Continue to your next destination
Visit the Middle of the World and stand in two hemispheres at once
Take a cable car up the slopes of Pichincha Volcano for views of Quito
Watch the Easter Festival procession from your hotel balcony above
Start the day with your guide and drive north towards "La Mitad del Mundo" (The Middle of the World) in the village of San Antonio, about 22 Km. north of Quito. Here we'll visit the trapezium stone monument, which is built on the Equator, and the excellent Museo Etnográfico and Inti-Ñan.
In the afternoon, take the Quito Teleferico, an aerial cable-car up the slope of the Pichincha Volcano. This opportunity at 13,400 feet above sea level provides the best vantage points of Quito as well as the surrounding Avenue of the Volcanoes, including Cotopaxi Volcano, the second highest peak in Ecuador.
Return to Quito in the evening to the Hotel Plaza Grande, a historic and luxurious hotel in Quito's Old Town and our home for the next two nights. The evening is free for dinner, and arrangements can be made for dinner reservations.
In the morning, we will drive north to visit "El mirador de Guápulo" (view point), from where we can admire its church and Quito's nearby valleys. We'll then return to Quito's colonial center - one of the world's cultural heritage sites, where we can see many historical buildings; including churches, museums and monuments. From here we'll continue to El Panecillo - the small, rounded hill which dominates the Old Town. From its summit we'll see marvelous views of the whole city stretching out below and of the surrounding volcanoes. Looking down, we will see the preparations for the Easter procession of Good Friday which leaves from the Church of San Francisco.
Return to the Hotel Plaza Grande to take advantage of its balconies that overlook the procession route and the Plaza de la Independencia. The procession begins at midday to honor the hour which Pontious Pilate condemned Jesus to death. It is estimated that around 90,000 people participate in the procession with tens of thousands of spectators lining the streets in Quito's Old Town. We will be fortunate to watch from the Hotel Plaza Grande's balconies this cultural spectacle with the purple-clad and hooded cucurochos accompanying symbols representing Jesus and the Virgin Mary through the streets of Quito. Penitents complete with crowns of real thorns and carrying crosses represent Jesus' suffering.
As the procession winds down, return with your guide to the Old Town to further explore and to take in this unique cultural event. The evening is free to enjoy Quito's restaurants and nightlife.
Day 3 Continue to your next destination
Continue to your next destination, such as the Galapagos, the Amazon, the Ecuadorian highlands, or into Peru to Machu Picchu, or return home on your international flight.
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
When to Go
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Typically not offered during this period because of weather conditions.