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Quito gets ready to celebrate the solstice with a celebration steeped in tradition and mysticism

Quito gets ready to celebrate the solstice with a celebration steeped in tradition and mysticism

Quito will celebrate its summer solstice on 21 June, the annual date when the Sun is at its highest point in the sky, marking the longest day and the shortest night of the year.

Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Sun, is one of the most significant ancestral traditions in the region’s indigenous culture. Celebrated for more than 500 years, this event is an expression of gratitude that Andean peoples offer to Mother Earth through music and regional dances.

Activities for tourists include exploring the colonial churches, where they can discover spectacular shows of light. At 9 a.m. at the San Francisco Church, visitors can see the sun reflect off the Eternal Father of the Holy Trinity; the main altar of the Compañía de Jesús Church is illuminated at 10 a.m.; and at 2:15 p.m., in El Sagrario Church, visitors can see a ray of light that shines in through the dome to illuminate the lower part of the figure of the Sacred Heart, moving up to reach the heart and eventually the figure’s glass eyes.

Sites where millennia-old rites and ceremonies related to Quitu-Cara or Inca culture are performed are the Pucará de Rumicucho, the Mitad del Mundo and the Tulipe, Florida and Rumipamba archaeological museums, the perfect places for discovering the age-old history of this celebration.

You’ll be able to discover this millennia-old tradition that is still alive today during your visit to Quito, connecting with the roots of the Capital of the Middle of the World.


Quito, the Capital at the Middle of the World, is the closest city to the sun and the only place where it is possible to stand with one foot in each hemisphere. This city, declared the First Cultural Heritage of Humanity thanks to its Historic centre, mixes the pre-Hispanic, colonial, traditional and modern.
Quito is also a place for adventure. This equatorial city is the start of the Avenue of Volcanoes, or you can visit the Andean Chocó, home to the spectacled bear and thousands of bird species.
It is also the gateway to the four worlds of Ecuador: Galapagos, Pacific Coast, Andes and Amazon. Quito has a unique cuisine that fuses ancestral knowledge and flavours with avant-garde proposals that conquer the palates of those who try it.
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