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Located behind Hotel Quito, the neighborhood of Guápulo runs down the winding Camino de Orellana, from Gonzalez Suárez to Calle de los Conquistadores, the main road out of Quito and to the neighboring suburbs of the Tumbaco Valley. Guápulo is nestled more or less on the side of a large hill, between Bella Vista, an affluent residential area, to the north, and the affordable, yet trendy, La Floresta, to the south. Often considered Quito’s artsy, bohemian neighborhood, Guápulo is home to many local artists, hip expats and a couple of hipster cafés/bars. These cafés lie in the middle of the neighborhood—head to Ananké for pizza or try the chocolate caliente con queso at Café Guápulo. All five cafés sit in a row, halfway up the road from the famed Iglesia de Guápulo. This 15th century church, built in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, is undoubtedly the focal point of this enchanting area, as combined with the stucco mountainside homes, towering palm trees, and cobblestone streets, it creates a picturesque remembrance of old Spain. Aside from the local community, Guápulo is also inhabited by a couple of embassies and their elite. Right on Camino de Orellana is the Spanish Embassy, and in the northern valley you will find the British Embassy, both easily located by high-flying flags. It is this juxtaposition of high and not-so-high society, as well as a layout that breaks free from the grid and a gorgeous geographical position which makes Guápulo so special. In this charismatic locale it’s no wonder that fireworks fly from the church most weekends and every year on September 7th, the guapaleños honor their neighborhood with the Fiestas de Guápulo, a fantastic celebration complete with costumes, parade, food, drink, song, dance, and even early morning orange throwing.
Other neighborhoods in Quito: Near Quito, Checa, Pululahua Volcanic Crater, Centro Histórico, Plaza Foch, Calderón, La Floresta, Mitad del Mundo, Cumbayá and La Mariscal.
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