Quito Observatory


Opened by President García Moreno in 1864, this four-sided observatory is the oldest on the continent. It houses a museum of 19th-century pendulums, sextants, chronometers and other historical instruments. From February to May and July to August, stargazing sessions are held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights ($3; reserve ahead). It sits inside the small Parque La Alameda.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Quito attractions

1. Parque La Alameda

0.04 MILES

Breaking up the New Town's sea of concrete and glass is this welcome splash of greenery, containing the Quito Observatory and a small boating lake. A few…

2. National Assembly

0.29 MILES

Between Parque Alameda and Parque El Ejido stands the National Assembly building, the equivalent of the Houses of Parliament or the Capitol Building. A…

3. Basílica del Voto Nacional

0.33 MILES

On a hill in the northeastern part of the Old Town looms this massive Gothic church, Quito's largest, built over several decades beginning in 1892. Rather…

4. Centro de Arte Contemporáneo

0.39 MILES

Inside a beautifully restored former military hospital, this excellent museum showcases cutting-edge multimedia exhibits as well as top modern-art shows…

5. Parque Itchimbia

0.45 MILES

Sitting high on a hill above the Old Town, this grassy park boasts magnificent views of the city, running and cycle tracks and a children's playground. It…

6. Museo Camilo Egas

0.49 MILES

Inside this restored colonial home is a small but iconic collection of work by painter Camilo Egas (1899–1962), Ecuador’s first indigenista (indigenous…

7. Parque El Ejido

0.51 MILES

Northeast of La Alameda, the pleasant, tree-filled Parque El Ejido is a popular spot for impromptu games of soccer and volleyball. The park teems with…

8. Museo Nacional

0.59 MILES

Located in the circular, glass-plated, landmark building of the Casa de la Cultura is one of the country’s largest collections of Ecuadorian art, with…