Museum of Colonial Art (Museo De Arte Colonial)
A short stroll from Plaza Grande, the Museum of Colonial Art (Museo de Arte Colonial) sits within a restored 17th-century mansion. The fine collection of 16th- to 18th-century paintings, sculpture, and furniture features works by renowned Quito School artists Miguel de Santiago, Manuel Chili, and Bernardo de Legarda.
The museum collection is displayed throughout seven permanent rooms, with four more spaces set aside for temporary exhibitions. Standouts among the displayed paintings includeVirgen de las Flores by Miguel de Santiago and the 12-painting seriesVices and Virtues of the European Countries by Samaniego and Rodríguez. Informational placards are in Spanish, so join a guided tour to learn more what you’re seeing.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Museum of Colonial Art offers an excellent introduction for art lovers and first-time visitors.
If you can’t read Spanish, consider visiting with a guide.
How to Get There
The Museo Arte Colonial is situated on Cuenca Street in Old Town, two blocks northwest of Plaza Grande. It’s within easy walking distance of just about anywhere in the city center. Hire a taxi if you’re coming from farther afield.
When to Get There
The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm. The collection rarely gets crowded, so there’s never really a bad time to visit. Stop in when you’re in the area, or duck inside to escape a rain shower or the afternoon heat.
Other Museums in Quito
The capital of Ecuador, Quito is home to some of the country’s best museums. The popular Central Bank Museum showcases a collection dating from pre-Incan times through the present day, including an impressive ceremonial gold mask. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Guayasamin Museum, dedicated to one of Ecuador’s most notable contemporary artists. The Casa del Alabado Museum displays some 5,000 pieces of pre-Columbian art.
- Presidential Palace
- Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús)
- El Sagrario Church
- Independence Plaza (Plaza de la Independencia)
- Quito Old Town
- Casa del Alabado Museum of Pre-Columbian Art
- Cathedral of Quito (Catedral de Quito)
- Carmen Alto Convent (Museo de Carmen Alto)
- Santo Domingo Plaza (Plaza de Santa Domingo)
- Basilica of the National Vow (La Basílica del Voto Nacional)
- City Museum of Quito (Museo de la Ciudad)
- Calle La Ronda
- Archbishop's Palace (Palacio Arzobispal)
- El Panecillo