In downtown Quito, just one block south of Santo Domingo Plaza, you’ll find the emblematic street affectionately called Calle La Ronda. This pedestrian drag is lined with shops that provide a peek into the local culture and give visitors a chance to pick up popular Ecuadorian take-homes like Panama hats (which are actually from Ecuador).
A walk along Calle La Ronda is the best way to soak up the atmosphere of Quito. In addition to shops, there are also small eateries that sell empanadas, canelazos (a typical hot drink made with aguardiente and cinnamon), and other traditional dishes. For years, artists, musicians, writers, and other influential people have been drawn to La Ronda, where the Spanish colonial architecture, music, art, and food sum up the city’s identity.
While you certainly can explore Calle La Ronda independently, many sightseeing tours—from small-group city tours to food-themed walking tours to nighttime excursions—include it in their itineraries. Quito hop-on hop-off bus tours stop here as well.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Calle La Ronda is ideal for those looking for a meal, a drink, and/or souvenirs and other goods to take home.
- Wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Take normal precautions to avoid pickpockets and petty crime, especially after dark.
How to Get There
Calle La Ronda, officially Calle Juan de Dios Morales, sits just south of Santo Domingo Plaza in the Old Town. Most visitors arrive on foot or by public transport—take the trolley bus to the Santo Domingo stop and walk from there.
When to Get There
This street is almost always crowded, except for early in the morning before the shops open, and it’s especially popular among locals and tourists on weekends. To get the full cultural flavor, go at night when live music spills out of the tiny bars lining both sides of the street.
Quito Old Town
Quito’s Calle La Ronda is located in the Old Town, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest historic center in the Americas, spanning 790 acres (320 hectares). The district is filled with restored colonial buildings, open-air plazas, churches, museums, restaurants, and shops aplenty, including those selling artisan crafts, antiques, and souvenirs.