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In Riobamba:
Ecuador Travel Guide Orientation | Sightseeing | Markets | Museums | Accommodation | Restaurants | Bars | Festivals | Shopping | Activities | Tour operators | Transport | General information | Excursions | Climbing and trekking | South of Riobamba | Write a review about Riobamba | Travelers' Feedback
 
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Orientation
Upon entering the city accessible from Quito, Ambato and Guayaquil via rented vehicle or bus, you'll see a signpost commenting "all roads lead to Riobamba" attributable to its extensive infrastructure of roads that abound this highly scenic area.

It is highly recommended that the tourist takes taxis from sight to sight as the town is very spread out unlike Quito and Guayaquil even though it has a population of under 150,000 which is growing monthly due to its superb location, road network and natural wonders including Chimborazo volcano, the highest volcano of Ecuador standing at a colossal 6300m and Carihuairazo at 5050m elevation. It is also the capital of Chimborazo province as well as being a major area for agriculture.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Sightseeing
As well as being surrounded by beautiful parks and plazas the city is also adorned in arcades and pre-styled colonial architecture.

Parque Maldonado is the main plaza housing fountains, arcades, the municipality and Santa Bárbara Cathedral with interesting colonial stonework. Other parks of note are Parque Sucre with its Neptune fountain southeast and a few blocks from the train station, in a northeastern direction lies Parque 21 de Abril (The city's day of independence), where the Spanish were defeated.

The park proudly shows off tiled tablet depictions in color of Ecuador's proud history. Parque Guayaquil or Parque Infantil to others has a lake for rowing boats and a tiled monument of a cow is also of particular interest for its uniqueness also known as a Zebracow as it was nicknamed with affection by the locals.
The area is also frequented by many of the town's inhabitants for picnics at weekends and lies along Avenida Daniel León Borja and Zambrano.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Markets
As with Otavalo, Saturday sees droves of indigenous natives home in and gather from the surrounding areas of Chimborazo to sell their produce and artistry including hats, baskets, clothing and ceramics fully adorned in their individual costumes as they take over the entire town with the main produce market being San Alfonso on Argentinos and 5 de Junio. There is a Mercado de Animales on Av. Circunvalación via a Chambo, where animals are traded in the morning.

As well as a far smaller market mid week on Wednesdays there is a further opportunity to view an additional weekend market in Plaza de la Concepción or Plaza Roja on Orozco street by Convento de la Concepción, which mainly caters to tourists while on Fridays La Condamine market is also open daily which forms a crescendo on Fridays, located on Carabobo and Colombia.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Museums
Museo de Arte Religioso also known as The Convento de la Concepción is the most prestigious of museums in Riobamba boasting the priceless huge and dramatic gem-encrusted gold monstrance that you will see in Ecuador and probably all of the South American continent.

The art encased in this religious art collection is 18th Century and is worth hiring a guide who are paid in tips in addition to the humble US $2.00 entry. It is open Tuesday to Friday 09:00-12:00 and 15:00-18:00, Saturdays 09:00-18:00, Sundays and holidays 09:00-12:00, US$1 and entered at Argentinos and J. Larrea.

The Ateneo de Chimborazo is a second museum and privately run with sculptures, fine furniture and photographic materials also worth visiting along with documented memorabilia Monday to Friday 10:00-13:00 and 15:00-17:00, located on Velasco 24-25 and Velóz.

Finally Museo de Armas proudly exhibits a wide selection of uniforms, arms as well as various religious materials which depict various epochs of Ecuador's history and is open Monday to Friday 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00, located on Ave. Héroes de Tapi.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Accommodation
Important Notice: If you wish to book in advance any of the below listed lodgings, visit our online Hotel reservation form. A BOE specialized agent will be able to process your inquiry immediately for the best and most affordable accommodation rates!.

Hostería La Andaluza.- Nice converted hacienda with excellent views of the Altar and Tungurahua volcanos. Located some 15 km along the Panamericana (north of Riobamba). Reservations: Tel. 904223, Fax: 904234.

Hostería Abraspungu
.- A pretty country house with swimming pool, restaurant, bar and horse riding. Located along the road to Guano on Km 3 1/2. Reservations: Tel. 940820, Fax: 940819.

El Cisne.- Modern nice rooms with private bath, restaurant, Sauna, etc. Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja and Duchicela. Reservations: Tel. 964573, Fax: 941982.

Short budget?

Segovia.- Address: Primera Constituyente 22-28 and Espejo (close to Parque Maldonado). Reservations: Tel. 961259.

Tren Dorado.- Address: Carabobo 22-35 and 10 de Agosto. Reservations: Tel. 964890.

Whymper.- Address: Av. Miguel Angel León 23-10 and Primera Constituyente. Reservations: Tel. 964575, Fax: 968137.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Bars & Discos
Gens-Chop Bar.- Varied music and videos. Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja 42-17 and Duchicela.

Milenium.- International music. Located at Ciudadela Los Tulipanes, Av. de la Prensa (Three blocks south of the bus station).

Grin Livs.- Disco-bar. Address: Av. de La Prensa and Argentinos.

Unicornio.- Salsa & Piano-bar. Address: St. Armand and Av. Lizarzaburo (Vía Ambato Km 2).

Vieja Guardia.- Disco-bar. Address: Av. Flor 40-43 and Av. Zambrano.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Festivals
The main celebration in Riobamba is Fiesta del Niño Rey de Reyes, which starts in December and ends on January 6, with many colorful parades and music during the festivities. Another celebration is Riobamba's independence day the 21st of April, with many concerts, drinking and lively parades. During these days is difficult to find accommodation, so book in advance. The last festivity in Riobamba is its Foundation, which takes place the 11th of November.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Shopping
Crafts

El Buho.- Regional crafts. Address: Primera Constituyente 36-31 and Brasil.

Almacén Cacha.- Wool sweaters, bags and other handicrafts. Located on Orozco (next to Plaza Roja).

Note: There are several shops on 10 de Agosto street, close to the train station.

Alta Montaña.- Wood carvings and tagua amongst others. Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja and Diego Ibarra.

Supermarkets

Camari.- Address: Espejo and Olmedo (by La Merced market).

La Ibérica.- Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja 37-62.

Su Comisariato.- Address: Primera Constituyente 25-24 and España.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Activities
Climbing and trekking

Riobamba is a good base to climb Carihuairazo, Chimborazo, Sangay and Altar. See Tour operators and Excursions.

Ball games

There is a ball game in Riobamba called "the mamona", which is played with a leather ball and hit with the hand. Is usually played by the locals all afternoons at the Plaza Roja.

Mountain biking

Julio Verne.- Guided tours and rental.

Pro Bici.- Mountain bike rental and guided tours. Address: Primera Constituyente 23-51 and Larrea.

Swimming

CENAEST.- Temperate swimming pools and Spa. Address: 5 de Junio and Villarroel. Admission fee: US$5.

Cockfights

Cockfights are usually seen during Riobamba's festivities and also on weekends at the Gallera San Francisco (Alvarado and Olmedo).
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Tour operators
Important Notice: If you wish to book in advance through any of the below listed tour operators in Riobamba for Climbing, cycling, trekking, volcano watching, horse riding, birdwatching or any other activity. Direct reservations are available through our online Travel Agencies and Tour operators network reservation form, a BOE specialized agent will direct your inquiry and search for the best and most affordable tours and rates!.

Metropolitan Touring.- Tickets. Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja 37-64. Tel. 969600, Fax: 969601.

Julio Verne.- Volcano watching, river rafting, climbing, biking, trekking, Galápagos and jungle tours. Address: 5 de Junio 21-46 and 10 de Agosto. Tel & Fax: 963436.

Alta Montaña.- Climbing, cycling, trekking, volcano watching, horse riding and birdwatching. Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja 35-17 and Diego Ibarra. Tel & Fax: 942215.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Transport
Riobamba has two bus stations or terminals with different routes as described below:

The main bus terminal (On León Borja, some 2 km northwest of the city center).

There is a frequent bus service to Quito (US$4, 4 1/2 hours). To Guayaquil (US$4.50, 5 hours). To Machala with Transportes Patria (8 1/2 hours, US$6). To Cuenca, via Alausí with CTA (7 hours, US$6). To Guaranda with Flota Bolivar ( 2 1/2 hours, US$2.50). To Santo Domingo de los Colorados (5 1/2 hours, US$4.50).

Oriente bus Terminal (Av. Espejo and Luz Elisa Borja). This bus terminal is mainly used by buses going to Baños and the Oriente.

To Baños via Ambato (2 1/2 hours, US$2.50). To Puyo (US$3.50, 5 hours).

Train

The Train ride from Riobamba is out of this world, the highlight being bite the Devil's Nose and Alausí Loop. The train departs from Riobamba on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 07:00, arriving in Alausí around 10:00-10:30, hits Sibambe about 11:30-12:00 and regresses back to Alausí around 13:30-14:00. The costs of the former journey is around US$20 for foreigners while round trip from Alausí is US$15.

Tickets for the 07:00 train go on sale one night before around 18:00 to 19:00, or the same early morning at 06:00, do take note that the seats are not numbered, so as with Egyptian trains its best to arrive early. The train service isn't always punctual with some disruptions and changing timetables so do check locally about current times.

The administration office is positioned on Espejo, adjacent to the Post Office, for information call Tel. 960115, or 961909.
Metropolitan Touring, have private autoferro on the Riobamba-Sibambe route. They need a minimum of 20 passengers to run the train and are flexible any time convenient to your group or mixed ones.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel General information
Communications

Andinatel.- At the bus terminal and on Tarqui between Primera Constituyente and Velóz.

Post Office.- Address: 10 de Agosto and Espejo.

Internet (The average rate is between US$1-US$1,50 per hour)

Cybernet Café.- Address: Rocafuerte 21-25 and Guayaquil.

Le Monde.net.- Address: Pichincha 21-11 and Guayaquil, 2nd floor.

Andino Café.- Address: Av. Daniel L. Borja 35-15 and Diego Ibarra.

C@fé Ashoka.- Address: Carabobo and 10 de Agosto, 2nd floor, close to the train station.

Internet Café.- Address: Rocafuerte 22-30 and 10 de Agosto, 2nd floor.

Money

Banco de Guayaquil.- Visa and American Express. Address: Primera Constituyente 2626 and García Moreno.

Banco del Pacífico.- Mastercard ATM, Traveler's checks and Amex. Address: Av. Miguel A. León and Veloz.

Casa de Cambios MM Jaramillo Arteaga.- Traveler's checks and currencies. Address: 10 de Agosto and Pichincha. Tel. 940669.

Vigo Rianxeira.- Traveler's checks and USA and European currencies exchange. Address: 10 de Agosto 25-37 and España. Tel. 968608.

Useful addresses

Ministerio de Turismo.- Av. Daniel L. Borja and Brasil (adjacent to the Municipal Library). Tel & Fax: 941213. They are very helpful and experienced in useful tips (English spoken).

Ministerio del Ambiente.- Address: Av. 9 de Octubre and Quinta Macají. Tel. 963779.

Immigration > Jefatura Provincial de Migración.- Address: España 20-50 and Guayaquil. Tel. 964697.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Excursions
Guano is a small village located some 9 km north of Riobamba, well known for its cottage industry. The town specializes in carpets, but they also trade with leather and other crafts, there are several carpet stores on Av. Garcia Moreno, close to the town's central plaza. Also, on Asunción street you can see how carpets are woven together and if you wish, you can ask the weavers to make up one with your own design. Unfortunately, Guano doesn't have enough accommodation and only a few restaurants with local set meals by the plaza. From the village there are outstanding views of El Altar volcano.

Residencial La Chilenita.- Address: Tomás Ramírez and Juan Montalvo (by the market).

An interesting place to visit nearby after Guano is Balneario Los Helenes. To get there, take a bus from Guano to Santa Teresita from where it is some 25 minutes walk to the complex, which has 3 swimming pools fed by natural springs and excellent views of the Tungurahua and Altar volcanos.

Another attractive place to visit southwest of Riobamba is the small Indian village of Cacha, where you'll find the descendants of the "Daquilemas" Indians, as well as an interesting Sunday market, where local production is sold.

Transport

A taxi to Guano costs around US$4,00 and there is a frequent bus service to Guano (30 minutes, US$0.50), leaving from Mercado Dávalos (García Moreno and New York).
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In Riobamba:
Ecuador Travel Guide Orientation | Sightseeing | Markets | Museums | Accommodation | Restaurants | Bars | Festivals | Shopping | Activities | Tour operators | Transport | General information | Excursions | Climbing and trekking | South of Riobamba
Climbing and Trekking around Riobamba
Chimborazo | The eastern slopes | El Altar | Sangay
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