With a history that goes as far back as 10,000 BC, Quito has one of the richest archaeological heritages in all of South America. Here, we take a look at the best museums and archaeological exhibits that cast light on what life was like in the pre-Columbian era in Ecuador, before it was altered forever by the arrival of westerners in the 15th century. Visitors can learn about the religion, rituals, culture, gender roles, and daily life of the Paleoamericans, the first migrants to the continent; the Quitus, who settled the area now known as Quito more than 4,000 years earlier and gave the region its name; and the Caras tribe, who overtook them in 980 AD, before they themselves were conquered by the Incas.
Opened in 2009, the La Florida Archaeological Site Museum in the northwest corner of the city provides an opportunity to visit some burial grounds of the Quitus that were discovered only in recent years. The museum has recreated the burial chambers, dating as far back as 650 AD, complete with recreations of how the Quitus buried their dead, with figures dressed in the accoutrements – colorful ponchos adorned with Spondylus shell jewelry – that accompanied their internment. Other artifacts are only display too, such as wood carvings that speak of the rites and religion of this ancient culture.
Museo de Sitio la Florida, Antonio Costas and César Villacres +593 02 380 3043
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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