This place was amazing! I almost didn't go because of the name (it didn't sound very intriguing), but it was one of the most culturally fascinating things I did the whole time I was in Ecuador.
The first floor is full of artifacts.. more than I could even imagine... including an entire romm of gold figurines and masks, etc...! The second floor had a lot of religious art (early Christian stuff), and the third floor had modern Ecuadorian art. Wonderful diversity here and well worth the $3 or so admission.
Nice museum not far from colonial Quito or the US embassy and located in the Casa de la Cultura. It host most of the gold treasures that the indigenous Ecuadorians had collected before the arrival of Europeans. It really give you a pretty nice view of Ecuador's history as it contains chronologically organized archaeological exhibits, pre-Hispanic gold, colonial paintings and religious portraits, modern art, and indegenous crafts. The most popular and memorable part of the exhibit surely is the selection of pre-Hispanis gold. This museum is probably the most extensive museum covering Ecuador's history that you will find and it is popular among tourists.
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.
This powerful museum displays the works and art collections of Oswaldo Guayasamin, one of Ecuador's most famous artists. The museum has three sections. El Museo Arqueologico houses Guayasamin's collection of pre-Columbian art. Most impressive is his work from the period 1964 to 1984 entitled "La Edad de la Ira" (the Age of Anger), which represents his anger against violence in the world, and in South America in particular.
Shortly before his death, Oswaldo Guayasamin donated all of his private collection to the city of his birth - Quito. Today this once private collection is housed in the museum named after him - the Guayasamin Museum.
Entrance fee: $3.
Museo de Sitio Intinan is the REAL location of the equator - seems that the huge monument (Mitad del Mundo) was built a few degrees off. Our guide showed us several interesting "proofs" - like how EXACTLY on the equator, water drains straight down, and then how a few feet north of the equator the water drained clockwise, and a few feet south of the equator the water drained counterclockwise. So the myth about "toilets flush in the reverse in the southern hemisphere" is actually not a myth at all. She also showed us how it was possible to balance an egg on the head of a nail, although since I had not tried this in other places it wasn't as convincing as the draining water demonstration. Most importantly, she explained that because there is a more equal gravitational pull, we weight 2 pounds less here. This is a good thing, since our luggage is a bit over the allowed weight :) Our guide also showed us the process of making shrunken heads, complete with science-fair like posters outlining the nine steps of the process. We saw a hutch of guinea pigs, which she explained are a delicacy in Ecuador eaten on holidays and celebrations such as New Years. The museum had three llamas, which are common in Ecuador as they are a source of wool.
Pictures and trip reports available on our web site
One of the great treasures of Quito is the Guayasamin Foundation Museum, located in the El Batan neighborhood.
This museum houses many of the paint, print, and sculpture works of Ecuador's most famous artist, Oswaldo Guayasamin.
Both inside the buildings and out, you will be amazed by beauty. The house is up on one of the valley walls, so you have great views of the city and of the Guapolo neighborhood.
The entrance fee is $3. Call for their hours.
This is situated on the Cima de Libertad near a site of a decisive battle during the war of liberation. Inside, there are busts of numerous generals, uniforms from all over Latin America from XIX century, a model of the battle, ancient weaponry.
But the view from here is even better than what's inside the museum.
This place will amaze you. Sure, you have seen on TV some examples of pre-columbian art, but nothing compares with seeing the size and detail of these objects up close, and realizing that they were made centuries even before the incas. Detailed signs explain in detail development of these civilizations as well. There is also a hall, albeit rather small, with a collection of gold masks and objects from Incas. On the upper floors there is a collection of Catholic art, and modern art as well.
Get over the fact that this museum is named for the National Bank of Ecuador, and just GO. This museum is in Quito's new town, and forms one part of a large cultural complex. For two dollars, you get the run of one of the best museums I've seen in Latin America.
The collection is vast, and is divided into sections covering periods of Ecuador's history. The Archeological Court's collection dates from 12,000 BC to 1534 AD, the year that the Spanish invaded the region. We spent hours in this gallery, which is enormous and beautifully presented. The whole history of the region is depicted in text (English and Spanish) and graphics, accompanied by thousands of artifacts. The Golden Court, also containing pieces dating from the pre-colonial period, holds a dazzling array of gold objects from the various indigenous cultures that peopled this part of the world. The Colonial Art Court is devoted to crafts and religious decorative arts from the three centuries of Spanish rule, 1534-1820. Finally, the Republican Art Court contains paintings, sculptures, and other pieces from Ecuador's independence in 1820 to the middle of the 20th century.
Not very important nor touristic but they were the ones who brought me to Ecuador! With this picture you'll get the scope of the typical architecture in Quito, most buildings made of concrete and dating from 1960-70.
An interesting point is located right beside the bank's corporate offices and is shown on the next picture.
There is a museum/planetarium on one of the nearby hills that offers an amazing view of the city. This place is called Cima de la Libertad. The history of the city states that this is the location of the Battle of Pichincha that took place in 1822.
Pre-colonial, colonial and modern art, and some history of Ecuador.
This museum is part of the Casa de la Cultura .
Tues-Friday, 9-4 Free admission