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Ecuador Travel Guide Excursions | Accommodation | Restaurants | Transport | Money | Frontier with Colombia | Write a review about Tulcan
Tulcan's cemetery Topiary

Set in the Province of Carchi, Tulcán is the entry point to the far north of the country into Colombia just 6km away along with an attractive market on Sundays. The population is just 53,000 and the town is set at an elevation of 3000m above sea level. The streets are generally very long and narrow and crammed between the homes of local residents.

The biggest attraction dating back to 1936 for the tourists here is the topiary garden cemetery featuring a wide variety of imaginative forms and shapes including angels, animals and geometrical figures and is located 2 blocks from the Park, Parque Ayora and is well worth a visit. The deceased creator Sr. José Franco who is actually laid to rest in the cemetery left an intriguing written ode of his topiary cemetery which states "In Tulcán, a cemetery so beautiful that it invites one to die". Today the five sons of Sr. Franco continue on with their topiary family tradition and are doing a grand job in sculpturing these exquisite forms.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Excursions from Tulcán
West from Tulcán on the Colombian border lies several of the best thermal hot springs in the Tufiño area and though many are located on the Colombian side but day passes are possible from here. Aguas Hediondas thermal baths are very crowded on weekends so take advantage during the week, these health springs have been known to cure a number of ailments including rheumatic disorders in both outdoor and indoor facilities.

This area of the Paramos also houses Volcán Chiles up from which is the catalyst of the Hot springs and along with its power house of geothermal activities feeds the springs most effectively.

The Volcano which stands at 4760m is extinct and stands 4km from the main road where the buses know to drop you off, the ascent is not for beginners although no technical equipment is required, you can hire local guides on this border volcano and reach the summit in around 6 hours but, bring your own food and water and sufficient for the guide in addition. This area is reached beyond Tufiño and directly over Paramo El Angel and up to 4000m elevation past the huge Frailejones vegetation and plant life that looks as if it has literally arrived from another planet.

Daily buses can get you to this western area from Tulcán but the midday one takes you to the higher elevation of the thermal baths. On Sundays there are a couple of direct buses leaving from the Cathedral and the other from Calle Sierra, departing at 07:00 and 07:30, while the one bus that goes to the volcano embarks from Colegio Nacional Tulcán also at midday for around US$2.50 taking 5 hours returning quite early the next morning.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Accommodation
Important Notice: If you wish to book in advance any of the below listed lodgings in Tulcan, 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!.

Tulcan is very crowded specially on weekends, with Colombians and it can be difficult to find accommodation. The most recommended hotels are:

Azteca.- Address: Bolivar and Atahualpa. Reservations: Tel. 981447, Fax. 980481.

Frailejón.- Address: Sucre and Rocafuerte. Reservations: Tel. 981129 - 980149.

Machado.- Comfortable rooms. Address: Ayacucho 403 and Bolivar. Reservations: Tel. 984221, Fax: 980099.

España.- Modern. Address: Sucre between 10 de Agosto and Pichincha. Reservations: Tel. 983860.

Parador Rumichaca.- With swimming and thermal pools. Located on the old road to the border. Reservations: Tel. 980276.

Sáenz lnternacional.- Modern rooms. Address: Sucre and Rocafuerte. Reservations: Tel. 981916, Fax: 983925.

Short budget?

Residencial Oasis.-
Address: 10 de Agosto 6-39. Reservations: Tel. 980342.

Quito.- Address: Ayacucho 450. Reservations: Tel. 980541.

Residencial Colombia.- Basic. Address: Colón 52-017 and Ayacucho. Reservations: Tel. 982761.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Restaurants
There is a good restaurant at the bus station and several Chinese restaurants on Sucre street.

Café Mexico.- Vegetarian. Address: Bolivar 49-045.

Cevicheria El Viceño.- Seafood. Address: Bolivar 48-049.

Parrilladas.- Grill & Ecuadorian. Address: Sierra and Bolivar (close to the cemetery).

Marisqueria Anzuelo Manabita.- Seafood: Address: Sucre and Boyacá.

Los Arrieros.- Colombian dishes. Address: Bolivar 51-053.

El Patio.- Varied menu. Located on Bolivar street.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Transport

The bus station is located 1 1/2 km from the city center. Buses can take you there from Parque Ayora, or a taxi (US$1). There are frequent buses to Quito, (US$5, 5 1/2 hours). To Guayaquil (US$12, 12 hours), with Panamericana. To Huaquillas, there are many colectivos available. To lbarra, US$3, 2 1/2 hours). To Otavalo (3 1/2 hours, US$2.50).


Tame.-The airport is located on the road to Rumichaca (at the Colombian border). There are frequent flights to Quito and CaIi (Colombia).
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Money
At the Plaza, in Tulcán, is the best place for currency exchange and rates. Credit cards are not commonly accepted in Tulcán. There is group of informal money changers that have become an association, with ID numbers each one of them. Write their name down in case of any later inconvenience.

Banco del Austro.- For Visa. Address: Bolivar and Ayacucho.
 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Frontier with Colombia
Leaving Ecuador.- There are mini-vans leaving frequently from Tulcán to the frontier near the topiary cemetery at Parque Ayora costing just US$0.80 while in contrast Taxis charge around US$4 from the main bus terminal or US$3 from Parque Ayora, both modes of transport leave you by the bridge and you walk over to the frontier.

At the border.- The visa that you will receive at the border are passes for 30 or 90 days (try to ask for the latter) or day passes for Ipiales and must all be stamped in your passport, without this process you will not be able to return and risk serious consequences.

On either side of the border are money exchangers, change just a little as these are not the best rates.
Ecuador Travel Guide Excursions | Accommodation | Restaurants | Transport | Money | Frontier with Colombia | Write a review about Tulcan
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