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History of San Blas

A neighborhood you'd want to visit when in Quito

The traditional neighborhood “San Blas” is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Quito, right at the beginning of the historic center. Originated as a connecting place between the center and the north, the Guápulo sector and the valleys of the city.

At one time it was a place where only the families of the indigenous population lived, while today it stands out mainly for its architectural beauty, its cultural events and also for the local dishes prepared in its famous and traditional restaurants.

Here you will find the oldest parish church in Quito, founded in 1538.

In the square, which has now been completely redesigned, the indigenous people and their numerous families gathered  to listen to Mass and sell their products. This also gave rise to the oldest market in Quito.

Curiosities of the San Blas Neighbourhood.

This neighborhood, located on the slopes of Itchimbia, was originally conceived as the “king’s pastures”. Since colonial times, this parish has been considered the gateway to the north of what was then known as the town of Quito. 

san blas- obispo de sebaste martir
San Blas- Obispo De Sebaste Martir

This neighborhood is named after the Bishop of Sebaste (Turkey), Saint Blaise, who was persecuted, captured, and executed during the rule of the Roman Emperor Licinius, at the beginning of the 4th century, because at that time there was severe persecution of Christians. One of his most famous miracles was to save a child who had a fishbone stuck in his throat, which is why he was nicknamed “Advocate for throat ailments”.

The church of San Blas was built with the aim of indoctrinating and baptizing the indigenous Hanan-Quietus, who lived in the highest part of the city, nowadays known as Itchimbia. 

It was the first church in Quito to have a mestizo priest, for this reason, the mass or Eucharist was given in Kichwa and the parish priest was versed (translated) in other native languages. 

A cemetery existed next to the church, also built for the use of the indigenous people.

This has led to a series of popular legends, for example, the people who worked in the old market located in the central square said that at midnight there were noises from beyond the grave and there was a heavy and gloomy atmosphere.

The church of San Blas was built with the aim of indoctrinating and baptizing the indigenous Hanan-Quietus, who lived in the highest part of the city, nowadays known as Itchimbia. 

It was the first church in Quito to have a mestizo priest, for this reason, the mass or Eucharist was given in Kichwa and the parish priest was versed (translated) in other native languages. 

A cemetery existed next to the church, also built for the use of the indigenous people.

This has led to a series of popular legends, for example, the people who worked in the old market located in the central square said that at midnight there were noises from beyond the grave and there was a heavy and gloomy atmosphere.

Today the landscape of San Blas has different shades of color that color the houses, buildings and businesses of the sector. Yellow and gold are the main colors, giving a feeling of luxury and elegance.

Precisely on José Antepara Street, built alongside the oldest church, is where the luxury hotel Old Town Quito Suites is located.

This prestigious boutique hotel is among the most luxurious in the the Ecuadorian capital.

A prestigious hotel with a charming family atmosphere, the flagship of the neighborhood. It is also close to the best restaurants in Quito and historic buildings of the center.

A prestigious hotel with a charming family atmosphere, the flagship of the neighborhood. It is also close to the best restaurants in Quito and historic buildings of the center.

From here you can see the beautiful Basilica del Voto Nacional, which in turn is the entrance to other elements such as the Plaza Grande and the Plaza San Francisco.


The hotel has 7 luxury apartments, and each one has its own characteristics that make each of them unique.

Believe me, this place is the perfect one to stay in, whether you are on business or pleasure or whether you are traveling with family or even if you are a alone.

The main characteristic of our establishment is the personalized service.

Here they make you feel at home away from home.

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is ecuador safe to travel

Dear valued guest,

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Step into the gateway of a secure and enchanting Ecuadorian adventure!

Is Ecuador Safe to Travel? Absolutely!

Explore the vibrant cities of Quito, Guayaquil, and Cuenca, each offering unique experiences. While common issues like pickpocketing exist, they are no different than those in major cities worldwide. The key? Awareness and precaution.

Hereby some words of the Minister of Tourism:

“The main goal of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Tourism is to restore confidence in international markets and tourists following the recent wave of violence in the country and the declaration of an ‘internal armed conflict,’ as stated by Minister Niels Olsen in an interview with EFE. During the interview in Madrid, where the International Tourism Fair, Fitur, is being held, with Ecuador as the Partner Country, Olsen emphasized that the primary objective is to ‘restore confidence in international commerce, presenting Ecuador as the peaceful country it has always been and regaining trust in our destination.”

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Warm regards,
Dirk Van den Begin, owner Old Town Quito Suites