About Spanish In Quito

Discover Quito while you take Spanish classes!

High in the Ecuadorian Andes is the ancient, but thriving, city of Quito. A walk through the old center, filled with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century mansions and churches, makes the city’s historical roots quickly apparent. Those roots go back even further than the beautiful colonial buildings suggest. For hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived, Quitu people occupied the land on which Quito now sits. In the fifteenth century, the Incas arrived, and the city was subsumed into one of the largest empires the world has ever seen. In 1526, as the conquistadors approached, the Incas set the city ablaze rather than let it fall into Spanish hands.

Eight years later, with just 200 colonists, Quito was re-founded by the Spanish. In the two-hundred-and-fifty years that followed, the city grew and religious orders and wealthy settlers constructed beautiful churches and palaces, many of which still stand today. In 1809, the Quiteños issued their first declaration of independence. Spain put down the rebellion, but Quito, and later Ecuador, won its freedom when the Spanish soldiers were defeated on the slopes of Volcán Pichincha, overlooking the city. The date of the battle, May 24th, 1822, is still celebrated throughout the country. Independence did not bring stability or peace, however. As part of Gran Colombia, and later as part of an independent Ecuador, Quito fought with the coastal city of Guayaquil for dominance, before emerging early in the twentieth century as the undisputed capital. In the 1940´s, the city spread north from its historic center, and new districts like La Mariscal began to grow. Booms in the agriculture and petroleum industries funded construction of new infrastructure and modern neighborhoods, complete with shopping malls and the other comforts found in Europe and North America.

Excursions And Day Trips From Quito

There is a wide selection of exciting excursions that you can choose from when you are in Quito. We offer one or two each weekend that students can sign up for. These are run by a professional local agency and offer the chance to explore from the snow line of a volcano, hiking with incredible views, relaxing in hot springs, to the exploring the biodiversity of the cloud forests.

Click on the links to the right to learn about each one.


Today Quito stands as one of the most diverse and beautiful cities in the Americas. It is a place where indigenous women in traditional clothing share the sidewalk with dark-suited businesspeople, bohemian students, and tourists. The old colonial heart is still intact, its narrow streets abuzz with activity as vendors from the highlands ply their goods in traditional markets. Visitors can admire the opulent gilded interior of the La Compañía church, climb high atop the steeple of the Basilica del Voto Nacional, see re-creations of the city’s major events at the Museo de la Ciudad, and admire scores of other well-preserved colonial buildings. Downtown, La Mariscal is Ecuador’s cultural capital. Here, you’ll find the Museo del Banco Central, containing the nation’s most treasured possessions: priceless ceramics and metalwork from all of Ecuador’s pre-Colombian peoples, masterpieces of colonial art, especially from the famed Quito School, and works from Ecuador’s justifiably-lauded modern artists. La Mariscal also houses all the banks, restaurants, hotels, laundries, and bookstores that a visitor could need. North of La Mariscal lies the gigantic, leafy Parque La Carolina and several American-style shopping malls. Framing all of this are the hills that surround Quito, the most prominent of which is Rucu Pichincha, an emerald-green, extinct volcano that looms over La Mariscal at a height of nearly five thousand meters (sixteen-thousand feet).

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