Founding of Quito Festival

City Festival in Quito

Quito’s biggest annual festival, on December 6, commemorates the founding of the city by the Spanish. The festivities, however, start two weeks earlier with street parties, parades and live music in the build-up to the main event.

In late November, Quito chooses a queen, and the evenings are dominated by colorful chivas (open-sided buses) maneuvering through the streets, packed with dancing revelers. In the week leading up to the big day, bullfights are held at the Plaza de Toros, located about 2km north of Parque La Carolina on Avenida Amazonas, and flamenco dancing is staged throughout town. Momentum builds as the day draws near, with DJs and popular local bands taking to open-air stages set up all over town. Business in Quito comes to a near standstill on December 5, when everyone comes out to party.