Fodor's Expert Review Guápulo
Nestled in a secluded valley below the Guayasamín museums, the village of Guápulo is a preserved pocket of colonial architecture only 2 km (1 miles) from Quito's New City. Early September brings Guápulo's annual festival, which features food, drink, and marching bands. To reach Guápulo, walk downhill via the steep staircase directly behind the Hotel Quito, east of the city at Avenida Gonzáles Suárez 2500. To return, make the uphill trek, or take a taxi for about $4.
The settlement, with narrow cobblestone lanes lined with two-story white houses trimmed in blue, grew up around its impressive 17th-century church, the Santuario de Guápulo. The Guápulo Sanctuary contains pieces by some of Quito's most exceptional sculptors and painters; the paintings in the central nave are the work of Miguel de Santiago, and the side altar and pulpit—completed in 1716 and considered masterpieces of colonial art—were carved by Juan Bautista Menacho.