Quito is one of the most culturally rich cities in the whole of the Americas, having managed to retain its unique charm and fascinating identity over the years. Proud of its museums, historic streets and plazas and culinary traditions; come to Quito and you’ll be immersed in a world where old customs meet new trends. Whether it’s sipping the best wines in Theatrum, dining at Hotel Plaza Grande or having a go at a new skill, Quito has so much to offer. This is a list of some of our favourite cultural experiences.
Take an Ecuadorian Cooking Class
The flavours of Ecuador are unique and exciting, so an attempt to recreate them in the kitchen will prove to be an interesting challenge. Cooking classes are a rare call in Quito but this unique opportunity will see you learning from one of Quito’s most renowned chefs (no pressure then) and handling only the freshest of ingredients. The best (or worst, depending on how you do) part of the whole experience has to be getting to sample your creations at the end. We’ll be able to arrange this experience at a number of restaurants and hotels, including Casa Gangotena and Restaurante Achiote.
Try Your Hand at Clay Sculpting
Quito is a hot bed of creativity, so settling down for a class with one of the city’s local clay sculptors will prove to be both an insightful and unique experience. Feeling inspired by Quito’s landscapes and colonial architecture? Then channel it into an Ecuadorian sculpture of your very own. Under the supervision of the artist Sarah Palacios within her own home, you’ll handle clay and learn all about other forms of art. The Palacios house is also host to many art exhibitions so it is the perfect place to see some local work too. This experience is a far cry from the group culture tours of Old Town, but surely that’s what makes it so beautiful?
Taste the Chocolate
In case you didn’t know, Ecuador is the world’s cacao capital producing some of the finest chocolate across the globe. With chocolate artisanal companies such as Chez Tiff, it is no wonder that Quinto is home to some of the tastiest in the country, something you’ll be able to make the most of on this chocolate tour. Enter the tasting room and begin your education on the cultivation, the local producers, the ingredients, the creation process and finally the flavours of Ecuadorian chocolate. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll never look at a bar of dairy milk in the same way again. Luckily, you get given a gift box filled with local chocolate goodies to keep you sated for a while.
Explore the Museums
As soon as you’ll arrive in Quito you’ll begin to recognise just how important the city’s history is to the local population. The Old Town is revered and there are a huge number of museums and restored buildings that illustrate the passion Ecuadorians have for their heritage. Making time for a spot of museum exploration, then, is essential. For art lovers, we’d recommend the Museo Nacional del Banco Central, where you’ll find artistic works from pre-Inca to the modern day, or Casa El Alabado, housing a collection of over five thousand Pre Columbian artefacts. If you’re after more of a general historic overview, however, then Museo de la Ciudad, located within Old Town, is one of the best cultural museums around.