This hill is located to one side of the historical center. It is known as El Panecillo due to the resemblance that the ... More
Cerro El Panecillo
This hill is located to one side of the historical center. It is known as El Panecillo due to the resemblance that the Spaniards noticed between the hill and a type of small bread (panecillo). The Spanish conquistadors built a small fortress from 1812 to 1815, as well as a water tank at the top in order to provide their soldiers with the precious liquid. The focal point of the peak is the Virgen de Legarda, an impressive sculpture that can be seen from any point of the city. It is better known as La Virgen del Panecillo. It is recommendable to take a taxi to ascend all the way to the top of the hill. There are also various places to purchase hand-made crafts in the vicinity.
You can see El Panecillo from most of Quito, because it's on a hill in pretty much the middle of Quito. Also known as the Virgin of Quito, she is the only virgin with wings. Don't attempt to walk to El Panecillo because 1)the neighborhood surrounding it is known to be dangerous to tourists and 2)it is pretty darn far because you would have to walk in a spiral up the hill. Take a taxi from El Centro (Old Colonial Quito) at La Marin (where all the buses cogregate on the east side of El Centro). It should cost about $5-6, and for that amount the taxi driver will drive you up the hill, wait for half an hour while you take in the view and take photos, and then drive you back again. Be sure you negotiate the terms of the ride before you get in the taxi. The view from El Panecillo is spectacular, and the sculpture of the Virgin is enormous -- it looks much bigger when you're right next to it, rather than across town.
The Panecillo offer and exceptional view of Quito. The hill on which the statue sits maintains a great view, but if you are willing to pay a small fee for entracne to the statue and parking (you should drive the frustrating raod to teh Panecillo to prevent being mugged during teh hike up the hill), you can climb to the observation platform at the base of the actually statue. Inside are pictures of the construction as well as stained glass. On the platform, there is an unobstructed view, except for the tourists, of Quito, as well as a closer encounter with the statue. In my three months in Ecuador, I enjoyed traveling to the different cities and ascending to the various statues that display the Catholic devotion of the Ecuadorians as well as sweeping views of the cities, teh best of which is the Panecillo in Quito.
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