Sunday in Quito, Ecuador is a time for family, recreation, and long strolls through the park. Street vendors heat up their burners, churning out hot corn kernels called mote. Shops tighten bolts on bike rentals and young couples meander down the main streets, browsing for clothes, candies, and CDs. On Sundays, Avenida Amazonas shuts out motorized traffic and offers pedestrians a wide boulevard for exploring Quito’s charms.
Rent a Pedal Car for the Kids
In El Ejido Park, families picnic and enjoy the cool shade from lumbering trees. Twenty-something’ers walk their dogs and artisans sell clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Adults can shop and sunbathe for hours, which may seem like a boring nightmare for kids. But in the central square, vendors offer one of the best entertainment investments for children up to age 12: pedal cars. All cars are themed and painted to look like antique cars, animals, and sea mammals. Most have two rows, so multiple siblings can squeeze in for a spin down the park path.
Bike Ride down Avenida Amazonas
Once closed to vehicular traffic, Avenida Amazonas is a biking haven with mountain bikes, tricycles, red wagons, and old school bucket basket bikes flying east and west all day long. In the early morning, tents pop up along the avenue and offer bicycle repair services for faulty brakes, loose chains, and seat adjustments. Just stay to the right, teenagers can be biking daredevils in the middle lane.
Play Soccer in La Alameda Park
Soccer is a national past time. Ecuadorians play it on the beach, in the street, and on Sundays, at El Ejido Park. Shoes or plastic water bottles become goal stands while families ranging from five-year-olds to old uncle Eduardo take the field. Swearing is common as multi-generational members boast, jab, and bicker over the score. Start your own match. Or lay back on a blanket for relaxation and entertainment.
People Watch in Plaza Foch
In New Town’s trendy nightlife district, Sundays are about coffee and treats at sidewalk cafes. Blended mochas and fresh fruit shakes called batidos make a great reward for walking the pedestrian strip. Head for the main square and choose a restaurant with an upper balcony. Sometimes menus may be limited upstairs but the views are worth that sacrifice.
Sunday strolls in Quito can bring you to the best corners of the capital, past historic statues and trendy cafes as well as to grassy fields that are perfect for napping. So many families retreat to parks and neighborhoods around Avenida Amazonas that you’ll think every house in the city is empty for the day. Considering Quito’s high altitude and deceptively strong sun, you’ll want to take it easy and kick back on your weekends.