Top things to enjoy during Fiestas de Quito

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Fiestas de Quito: Top Things to Enjoy If You’re Travelling to Quito in December for a Good Party

The first week of December Quito has a different feel to it, the people seem a little bit more cheerful and the streets a little bit more crowded. The hippest clubs have already announced weeks prior fiestas that will bound to amaze you and keep your feet on the dancefloor, party buses cruise around at night blasting Latin music and in Old Town a handful of daring carts speeds down the street…it’s Fiestas de Quito and the city refuses to sleep!

The 6th of December is known as Quito’s foundation day but nowadays it’s a good excuse to party and take part in some of the traditional annual activities. Behold a list of things to do during Fiestas de Quito:

Watch a “coches de madera” race

Quito’s beloved “Carrera de Coches de Madera,” a thrilling wooden cart race, captivates the city as children zoom down Calle Mejia in homemade carts, cheered on by nostalgic spectators. Originating in 1973 by the Aguilar brothers as a charity event for Baca Ortiz Children’s Hospital, this annual competition has become a cherished tradition. Participants, with helmets as their only protection, vie for the year’s title, building their carts with family support, keeping the spirit and excitement of this unique race alive for over four decades.

Drink Canelazo

Fiestas de Quito

This delicious hot drink is just what you need to warm you up in the freezing nights in Quito. It is a Quiteño delicacy that people drink all year round but it is known specially during these festivities. You can’t miss the sweet smell of naranjilla, cinnamon and (of course) the booze… better known as “puntas”, a strong artisanal alcoholic beverage.

Ride a Chiva!

You have to get on one of these insane party buses at night. It goes without saying that they are not the safest means of transportation: they cruise around without any windows, some don’t even have seats just ropes on the ceiling so you can hold on to, there’s a pole in the middle of the bus to dance on, music blasting full volume and more than a few canelazos are passed on. It will, however, assure you a memorable night through the city streets!

Visit La Ronda

This emblematic street in Quito’s Old Town is a favorite. During the day you can visit the restaurants and quaint little shops that offer anything from hats, old wooden children’s games, to art studios and an ice cream shop with eyebrow-raising flavors. And at night La Ronda is full of people who want to drink canelazo, taste the gigantic wind empanadas, enjoy street musicians and dance the night away!

Play “Cuarenta”

Cuarenta (40 in Spanish) is a traditional card game that Quiteños enjoy the most during Fiestas de Quito. An enthusiastic local will without a doubt teach you the rules to their beloved game. Grab a partner and enjoy a good “cuarenta”!

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