One of the most noteworthy landmarks in Quito is the Panecillo. This 200-metre-high hill is crowned with a 45-metre-tall statue of the Virgin Mary who overlooks the historic centre of the city. The hill was the site of an indigenous temple of sun before the Spanish destroyed it during the conquest of the region. The name “panecillo” means “small bread roll” in Spanish.
The iconic statue of the Virgin was inaugurated in 1976. Spanish artist Agustín de la Herrán Matorras was commissioned by the religious order of the Oblates to build a 45-metre-tall stone monument of a madonna which was assembled on a high pedestal on the top of Panecillo.
A visit to the Galapagos over the holidays during the warm season is an experience to be talked about for years to come. December and January mark the beginning of the Warm season throughout the archipelago. Sunny skies and calm waters are interrupted by afternoon showers that liven up the landscape and bring new tides and wildlife to the turquoise waters.