After visiting Europe, I remember saying to myself, “no more churches.” Well, that did not last very long and for good reason. Let me introduce Basilica del Voto Nacional, one of the most stunning churches I have ever seen and wow, does it make a stunning first impression. Our hostel owner, Carlos, gave us specific walking instruction from Mariscal (aka “Gringolandia”) to the Basilica. We could see the Basilica as we were walking and my impatient self wanted to dart toward the church, but my other half, the more patient half, Ryan, encouraged me to wait it out until we hit the street Carlos had recommended we walk down.
Exaggeration aside, my jaw dropped when we finally turned the corner and were greeted with the most fantastic view of Basilica del Voto Nacional. We eagerly walked up to the entrance and paid the $2 per person fee. We wandered through the inside of the Basilica, however, Carlos had recommended that go to the top of the Bascilia for 360 degree views of Quito. Unfortunately, from the entrance we used, you could not do this, so we exited the church and paid an additional $2 per person to climb the Bascilica’s spires. Worth it.
As a pro tip, I would advise skipping the entrance fee to walk the nave of the Basilica. Everything you see inside can be captured by gazing from the spire heights during your climb. Although, a $2 investment will not kill any of us, so its up to you. After glimpsing the beauty of Quito from above, we both were excited to go explore the Historic District pictured below. The candy colored buildings, with the colonial moldings are beautiful.
Quito is a large city. With beautiful pockets of charm. However, it does have an edge and for the most part, we were back in our hostel by dark. I am not sure if it was just because we are getting back into the swing of traveling or we were being overly cautious but Quito is not Miraflores in Peru or Bueno Aires in Argentina. Its just a little less traveled, a little less touristy and a lot authentic. So go to Quito with an open mind.
We are currently in Valparaiso, Chile, follow along here!