Discover centuries of Ecuadorian presidential history and an interesting art display as you explore the rooms of this 17th-century palace.
In a city awash with architectural masterpieces, the Palacio de Carondelet (Carondelet Palace) stands out as one of Quito’s finest and most historical. Learn about the country’s presidential history as you wander through the palace rooms. Spot work by famous national artists and watch the ceremonious changing of the guard. Otherwise known as the Palacio de Gobierno (Presidential Palace), the Palacio de Carondelet dates back over 300 years. It is the official residence of the Ecuadorian president and the seat of Ecuador’s government.
Position yourself at the entrance to the building and admire its neoclassical-style whitewashed façade, striking colonnade and large balcony. At night, bright lights spectacularly illuminate the building and provide great photo opportunities. Walk inside the palace to find an elegant flower-filled courtyard, a central fountain and a two-level arcade.
Peek inside some of the palace’s state rooms and reception halls, decorated with period furniture and lavish ornamentation. Check out the displays of antiques and gifts presented to the president by other national governments. See work by well-known Ecuadorian artists. The most notable is a mural by Oswaldo Guayasamín, which portrays the navigation of the Amazon River by Francisco de Orellana in 1542.
Step out onto the presidential balcony to enjoy sweeping views of Plaza Grande (Plaza de la Independencia). Visit the palace on Monday at 11 a.m. to watch the changing of the guard.
Located on the west side of Plaza Grande, the Palacio de Carondelet sits in the heart of Quito’s Centro Histórico (Historic Center). Public buses stop nearby and it is just a short walk from other major city attractions. Framing Plaza Grande are the 16th-century Catedral Metropolitana de Quito (Quito Metropolitan Cathedral) and the elegant Palacio Municipal de Quito (Quito Municipal Palace).
The palace is open daily. Free guided tours are held every day except Monday. Tours last about 1 hour and are with a bilingual guide. You will need your passport to gain admission. For more information visit the palace’s official website.