Open 24 hours. However, we recommend planning your visit taking into account the hours of attention of the attractions in this sector.
It is located in the eastern part of Quito
Guápulo is still the mountain town it was in Colonial times, which gives it that unique lure and enough opportunities for first-time visitors to be impressed.
The enclosed embassy mansions of Spain and England, funky bars and stores, colorful murals, cobblestone streets and the beautifully frescoed parish church all cling onto the steep hillside that drops into the Machángara River below. Quito’s steepest park, verdant Parque Guápulo, just north from the main church… In September, rambunctious four-day festivities mix small-town religious dress-up rituals, public DJ-parties and a traditional (and utterly unique) orange-throwing celebration.
A Centerpiece Church
The winding walk down inevitably takes you to the pretty Guápulo square and church, hub of the quiet, respectful neighborhood life that existed before Quito cool took over. Dedicated to Our Lady of the Cloud (a Virgin that appeared to save the life of a dying priest), this beautiful church is well worth taking a look at, with frescoes and excellent examples of Quito’s fine Baroque Art. It is often host to wedding ceremonies on Saturday, always a joyous event to witness.
LOCAL EATS, DIVES AND STORES
Only on weekends, do ceviche lunch on the second curve down (there is no sign, but you’ll see the tables all set up along the veranda and people grabbing onto their hats when its windy!). You also have, in front of the main church, at the end of the hill, a hole-in-the-wall mote-and-chicharrón joint (pork-scratchings-and-hominy, a Quito street-food staple).
Nightlife in town gets busy in hangouts like Ananké (pizza’s quite good here), Guápulo Café Arte (known for its warm wine special and the passion fruit or strawberry canelazos) or Palo Santo (with its own craft beer).
Finally, during the day, find the corner arts-and-crafts store Rayuela, on the main street’s second curve, sells an interesting array of modern and traditional design pieces made in paper maché, cedar wood and clay.
ROMANCE AT THE MIRADOR
At the very top of the road, the Guápulo viewpoint, or Mirador de Guápulo, offers a great view of the Cumbayá valley; there’s a chilly breeze that inevitably brings you-and-your- partner closer. Here you can find the statue of Francisco de Orellana depicting the Conquistador who discovered the River Amazon on a two year voyage that purportedly began on this very hill (technically, without him). There is also a restaurant, the strictly vegan Tandana… try it out, it’s very good!