Escape the bustle of Quito’s city center and relax within the scenic confines of Parque Itchimbía (Itchimbía Park). Marvel at the incredible city and mountain views, check out art exhibitions and attend open-air concerts. Parque Itchimbía spreads across an area of 133 acres (54 hectares) atop Itchimbía Hill.
As one of Quito’s favored green spaces, this recreational area is frequented by people jogging, walking and practicing yoga. Follow the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) long walking trail that weaves around the park. Keep watch for some 40 bird species and around 400 plant types, including arrayan, capuli and pumamaqui trees. Bring a picnic to enjoy on the vast green lawns or purchase food from the park’s café, which has an outdoor terrace.
Gaze across the city rooftops to the rugged slopes of Pichincha Volcano. Spot notable landmarks such as the neo-Gothic Basílica del Voto Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow) and Plaza Grande, in the heart of Quito’s Centro Histórico (Historic Center).
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Itchimbía Cultural Center, set inside the striking Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). You can see a range of art, audiovisual and photographic exhibitions in addition to dance, music and theater performances. Try to tell the time using the giant sundial situated in the garden. Time your visit to the park to coincide with free cultural events such as Quito Fest, a music festival with performances by local and international artists.
Parque Itchimbía sits on the slopes of Itchimbía Hill, above Quito’s San Juan district. It’s about a 10-minute drive from Centro Histórico and public buses operate between the two locations. For those arriving by car there is a large parking lot close to the cultural center. If you are feeling energetic then get to the park by taking the 30-minute walk from the Centro Histórico.
The park and Itchimbía Cultural Center are open daily. Most events at the cultural center are free; visit its official website for a schedule and further information.