WALK THE HISTORIC CENTER – ROUTE 3
Part of San Francisco is to feel and touch the spices of Cuenca street, do not miss the Casa del Alabado or Santa Clara. Take the necessary time (for a cleanup) at the San Francisco market, visit a hat shop, the Capilla del Robo, go across Imbabura street through the Victoria square and reach San Diego.
It begins at San Francisco Square and continues towards the southwest. You should have made a gastronomic stop at the Tianguez, in the middle of the atrium, also look at the crafts in this place. It is worth stopping at Casa Gangotena to take advantage of the “cafecito Quito” in the afternoon at its restaurant El Cedrón, with a delicious selection of classic sweets from the city.
Follow the colorful Cuenca street where you will pass by friendly sales of regional spices (or “aliños”), such as ishpingo, linseed or achiote. In García and brothers you can buy vinyl records. Next comes the House of El Alabado, one of the most special museums in Ecuador, its pre-Columbian art exhibition deserves your attention. At the end of the block is the Santa Clara plaza and convent. Uphill, on Rocafuerte street you reach the colorful San Francisco market, one of the commercial hubs in the area, with Hiebateras known for their clean up, do you dare to make one? Afterwards turn right into Benalcázar street and find the nice Sombrerería Benalcázar with its classic hats and masks. At the end of the block, you will reach the historic Avenue 24 de Mayo, today a large boulevard that connects the Panecillo neighborhood with the Historical Center. As you ascend the wide sidewalk, on your right, the iconic Robo Chapel appears, built on what was the rock in which miraculously was found the robbed tabernacle of the Church of Santa Clara (a true legend!). Next to the church is the Estampería Quiteña, a site dedicated to engraving and the printing arts. Imbabura street reaches the Victoria Plaza, where it is said, the libertarian feat of 1822 was celebrated.
The cemetery of the city is located five blocks to the southwest, going up the stairs at the end of the Imbabura street. On your right, you will find the entrance to the San Diego Convent, with its huge stone cross erected in the middle of a large outdoor patio.