SIGHTSEEING AROUND TOWN
A Variety of Art, Architecture and Museums
Cotacachi is host to a wide variety of new and classic art, ages of architecture and a cultural museum.
The Sun sculpture at the entrance of Cotacachi was inspired by the pre-Columbian Tunkawan culture, an indigenous group that ruled for some 2,300 years. It is made of steel and is designed to represent the sunrise and sunset through is three dimensional geometric shape. The center piece rotates with the force of the wind and moves in a circular form to represent the solar system. The 53 foot high sculpture was designed by Diego Robalino and Handel Guatyasamin.
The Santa Ana de Cotacachi Church, also known as the Matriz Cathedral, is located on Bolívar Street between Modesto Peñaherra and García Moreno streets in the heart of Cotacachi. It overlooks the central park known as Matriz Park. The construction of the Church began in 1919 but due to lack of funding wasn’t completed until 1955. The Matriz Cathedral is the headquarters of the diocese. It has several works of the Quito art school from the 18th century, inspired by the Baroque and Rococo periods, with gold leaf alters and six chapels. This church was designed in a neoclassical style, combining Greek and Roman architecture and includes 100 stained glass windows. The image of Santa Ana, the venerated patron saint of Cotacachi, sits on the main altar.
The main park of the city known as Parque Matriz or Parque Central is at the footsteps of the Matriz Cathedral on one end and the Municipality of the other. It is located in the historic center of Cotacachi. In its center is the statue of Santa Ana, the patron saint of Cotacachi.
The Museum of Cultures was inaugurated on August 14, 1977 and includes exhibitions of history and cultural importance of Cotacachi. It is located one block from the Matriz Cathedral on Bolivar Street in the historic center of Cotacachi and served at the Municipal Palace for many years. The Museum of Cultures is divided in three areas. House of Cultures Runakunapak Kawsai Wasi offers unity in diversity with multipurpose rooms, exhibitions and a Literacy Gallery. The Department of Education, Culture and Communication, the Department of Municipal Tourism Development and the Tourist Information and Assistance Service also function in this space. It occupies the facilities of a family residence built at the beginning of the century in a neoclassical style.
Its room’s exhibit ethnographic, archaeological, artisanal and musical history and instruments.
The Plaza de Interculturalidad is located where the previous Cotacachi market was located. Mural The cry of the excluded: In 2004, the mural “The Scream of the Excluded,” the work of Pavel Egüez, was placed on the walls of the Municipal Theatre. The plaza plays host to many events, festivals, and parties.
Olmedo Park or San Francisco Park is located in front of the Church of La Dolorosa on the 10 de Agosto Street in Cotacachi. This square was formed at the time of the construction of the church. There is a daily fair of handicraft products such as wood carvings, silverware, tapestries and music instruments. There is a statue in honor of Santa Cecilia, the patroness of Music and the local musician Talabartero. Recently completed is the San Francisco Artisanal Center which houses many handicraft shops.
On the road to Quiroga about 2 kilometers from Cotacachi, the fledgling Cotacachi Ethno-Botanical Park uses conservation and sustainable agrobiodiversity as well as preserving plants used throughout history by the indigenous populations in the area.
Day Trips from Cotacachi
Cotacachi is an ideal city to be based in and explore the many attractions in the area. Day trips can easily be arranged by our local tour companies or taxis can be hired for a nominal fee.