Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito Ecuador

Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito Ecuador

Yesterday we went to the church of Basilica del Voto Nacional and climbed halfway up the first viewing tower.
However, we had no camera with us, so we decided to come back the next day, armed with a camera – so here we are again today!
It’s nice to be back in Quito (which is starting to feel like our second home) after our time away in the Amazon jungle for the past week.

Ticket Office

We are charged $2 each entry, but the ticket office entrance is hard to find. You need to find the side gate, then go to the courtyard at the back. In a way, by selling us this ticket, they say this is fine for a child so in we go. Little did I know later that some parts were not child-friendly at all.

Heading Up

We head up many stairs to get to the balcony overlooking the inside of the church. You can read my previous blog on this separate visit a few weeks ago. Basilica del Voto Nacional took over 100 years to build. It is the largest in Ecuador, and an amazing structure.

Pipe Organ

Basilica del Voto Nacional

©Exploramum and Explorason – Basilica del Voto Nacional – the huge pipe organ

No church is complete without a pipe organ.  There is a huge pipe organ on wheels within Basilica del Voto Nacional and Explorason tries to give it a nudge without any success.

Beautiful Leadlight and Clock

©Exploramum and Explorason – lovely clock

Most of the lead-light is intact here in the Basilica del Voto Nacional. The whole place is glorious and reminds me of Westminster Abbey.

We first head up to the clock tower. The clock strikes while we are still inside – pretty crazy to be there at that time.

Up we go

We then go up a spiral staircase. The top of this staircase has no handle, making it really hard to get up and I get a bit freaked. Finally, I get myself safely positioned, only to realize that I have to exit up again as it is single file traffic.

Incredible View

The view at the top of Basilica del Voto Nacional is pretty wild and is right over Quito. Each direction is amazing in this tower. This is the easy climb tower and I suggest you do this first.

Locked Bells


©Exploramum and Explorason – heading up to the bells

We try to get up to the bells – but there is a locked gate. So down we go again.

Coffee Time

Basilica del Voto Nacional

©Exploramum and Explorason – time for a break overlooking Quito.

We knew there was a lovely coffee shop so we head there next. We are there alone and the lady serving us is lovely. She has a few varieties of food available but as it is off-season, much of the menu is not served.

It does worry me regarding safety as there is a huge selection of hot wine and other alcoholic beverages. Not a safe thing for visitors to partake of before a climb – maybe people need it after?

Down To Go Up

We then head back down a level so that we can go up? There is a walkway that is not well built across the roof inside. My son swings this – yipes!

He then heads up the first ladder. Trust me – this ladder is easy as it is protected on the inside.

More Ladders

©Exploramum and Explorason -

©Exploramum and Explorason – stairway to heaven

Not so easy is the next ladder – in fact, it is the worst! It is only welded and there is no protection from falling to your death. Given time again, there is no way I would take any child up there but as we are already up the only thing I can do is go down.

But we have people behind us, so we have to go forward. I freeze on the spot partway – it is really, really is scary! However, my son is safely wedged between two adults the whole time.

Hang on!

Basilica del Voto Nacional

©Exploramum and Explorason – hang on please, son!

We make it to the top. Whew! The third ladder is easier and it is protected at the top so it is quite safe.  I tell my son to hang on for dear life and he does that. Good boy!


I am amazed at the places people graffiti. It is crazy how they got there hanging off the ladder of the Basilica del Voto Nacional or climbing on the roof.

Going Down is Worse

Basilica del Voto Nacional

©Exploramum and Explorason – before glass was used, round portals were the ‘windows’

We head back down the ladders and stairways. This is the worst part of the day. There is a couple that helps me get down safely with my son and I’m ever so thankful. They encourage him and ensure he can’t fall.


lovely gothic architecture

©Exploramum and Explorason – Basilica del Voto Nacional

Partway down you can see some detailed architecture of the Basilica del Voto Nacional. All the birds are different on the side of this building.

As we finish our couple of hours here, we walk back to our hotel. We get to buy lunch for $2. If you walk in front of the church and down one block there is a street full of cheap cafés – as you head to the park with the observatory.

Random Acts Of Kindness

We don’t always talk about our random acts of kindness but today we decide to feed a stray dog. We also hand out food to the poor. Then we have a bag of toiletries from the hotel we have collected and we distribute those too. So my son enjoys finding ladies to give these; mainly those who are begging. He comments on how good it feels to give and I love his heart.

We wander back and realize how comfortable we feel in this city of Quito. Soon we will be on our next big journey. But we will be back!

Exploring Quito, Ecuador with a Child

Comments and Questions

  • Have you ever found yourself in a tricky situation where the only way is UP?
  • What did you do?
  • Tell us in the comments below.

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