Things to do in Quito: Guapulo Park
The fact is that we are always looking for new places to explore in Quito and in the country.
We love finding places that allow us to breathe fresh air and to enjoy the diversity in flora and fauna in Ecuador.
This is why when my sister told us about this park we decided we had to go visit.
About Guapulo Park
Guapulo Park (Parque Guapulo) is located 15 minutes from the city of Quito or 10 minutes from the valley of Cumbaya. A park with beautiful green areas, 100-year-old heritage trees, trails and activities that suit all ages, including walking, playing, birdwatching and relaxing.
The park was a Hacienda built by the owner of what was Banco Popular, Nicolás Landes. Due to a banking crisis, the bank disappeared and the owner fled the country.
The land was seized by the government and is now open for the public as Guapulo Park.
One of the unique features of this park is its beautiful hacienda house. Nowadays it is the perfect venue for events.
If you are driving from Cumbaya to Quito, you find one of the two parking lots on the right side after the bridge over the Machangara river.
A short walk brings you to a small lake, a beautiful place to take in the view, to relax, to rest.
There is no admission fee and the park is open from 08:00 to 17:00.
There are signs showing the 4 trails around the park, the picnic area, and the hacienda house.
Inside the 19 hectar, there are 4 different trails and many green areas perfect for walking. There are some flat and some steep hiking trails, so it is something to take into consideration when you choose the trails. If you have not been some days in the city, remember that Quito is located 2800 m or 9,200 feet of altitude so take it slowly.
Activities for all ages
The Foundation “A Caballo Vamos” works with over 1.000 kids with special needs.
Playgrounds for kids
Fun playgrounds made mostly with wooden structures, including a zip-line, perfect for kids all ages.
One of the vistas the Park offers is the one of the Church of Guapulo and also of Avenue Gonzalez Suarez with its many high-rises.
Camping and a Kiosk with food
There is also a camping area and a kiosk with some snacks, ice cream, and beverages.
Their promotional material mentions 3 bird species, we saw 4 including hummingbirds and pigeons.
The lookout point
At the opposite side of the playground area, you find a lookout point with benches overlooking the valley of Cumbaya.
How to get there
There are two entrances to the park: one driving from Cumbaya down to Guapulo, the other down from Floresta in Quito descending Camino de Orellana.
What to bring
In case you have a rainy day it is recommended to bring a waterproof jacket or poncho.
Bring good walking shoes, as not all the trails are flat.
Most importantly, make sure to bring insect repellent and sunblock. Due to the vegetation and weather, there are areas where you may find some hungry mosquitoes.
You can bring pets, but make sure they are on a leash, and bring a bag to clean up after them.
Where to stay
My top recommendation of accommodation here is Hotel Quito located on the way down to Guapulo. It has contemporary lodging offering relaxed rooms, panoramic dining & an outdoor pool.
If you love nature, plan a trip to Guapulo Park.
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If you want more in-depth information and also a guide that you can bring along during your trip, I recommend the travel guide Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands.
This is a great source of information and tips, maps and all you need if you plan on visiting Ecuador. I personally like the option of having a hard copy version where I can take notes and have at hand.
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