Latacunga Travel Guide

  • Latacunga
    by MalenaN
  • Latacunga
    by MalenaN
  • Latacunga
    Latacunga
    by MalenaN

Latacunga Things to Do

  • Casa de los Marqueses de Miraflores

    Casa de los Marqueses de Miraflores is an old colonial mansion from the middle of the 18th century. In the building there is a small museum of religious art and antique furniture. I have read there are also exhibition of archaeological artefacts and the Mama Negra festival, but I didn’t see that (maybe those rooms were closed when I visited)....

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  • Museum and Casa de la Cultura

    The Casa de la Cultura in Latacunga is built over the old Jesuit watermill Molinos de Monserrat and part of the mill is incorporated in the new building. In Casa de la Cultura an Ethnographic Museum is housed and I came here to see those exhibitions. When I arrived the staff hadn’t returned from their lunch yet, so I sat down on the old stone steps...

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  • Mirador de la Virgen del Calvario

    About 500-600 metres east of Parque Vicente León ther is a lookout from the statue of the Virgen, from where you have a nice view over the city and also some mountain peaks if it is clear.A girl went to get the key when she heard I wanted to climb the stairs up the tower. She locked the door after us and we went up. When we were at the balcony she...

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  • Churches

    Though Latacunga was named to the World Heritage List there is very little information about the town in English guidebooks or on the Internet. There were a few nice churches but I cannot find any real information on when they were built or by whom. Of course, with Latacunga's history of being destroyed by Cotopaxi's eruptions (four times in a 100...

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  • Parque Vincente Leon

    Aside from wandering the timeless streets and popping into a couple of churches, Latacunga doesn’t offer much in the way of tourist sights compared to its impressive surroundings like Cotopaxi National Park. Most tend to congregate in the main square where the pretty Parque Vincente Leon would be a perfect place to while away an afternoon if it...

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  • Molinos de Monserrat

    Molinos de Monserrat is a former Jesuit watermill that now houses the Casa de la Cultura. The small art/ethnology museum is only of minimal interest but it's inexpensive (.50 cents) and worth checking out if you have the time. The stone complex is perhaps the most interesting and is a great place to while away an hour away from the sometimes noisy...

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  • LAGUNA QUILOTOA II

    The return up is truly very very very tough indeed. I felt like I was dying of breath! Naturally, I could only hear my own panting, but when I stopped breathing for a moment (just an experiment), I could actually hear my heart beating as well!! Very loudly indeed!As for the trip back, although I was told by the bus-guy that there would be a bus at...

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  • LAGUNA QUILOTOA I

    There is a 10am bus to Laguna Quilotoa. Ask at the Terminal Terrestre a day beforehand to confirm the time. Check also that the bus takes you all the way to Laguna Quilotoa, and not just to the village of Quilotoa. The journey goes through TRULY SPECTACULAR RURAL LANDSCAPES, lined with numerous squares of farms, no matter how steep the mountain...

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  • QUILOTOA LOOP

    There is a N-day route called the Quilotoa loop, a journey through spectacular indigenous villages like Zumbahua, Quilotoa, Chugchilan and a crater lake at Laguna Quilotoa. You can do this by somehow taking a series of buses over a few days. You need to check the schedules of these buses carefully because these places are very remote and buses...

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Latacunga Hotels

  • Hostal Tiana

    I think Hostal Tiana is overpriced, but it is a good place to meet other travellers and exchange...

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  • Hotel Rosim

    When I returned to Latacunga in 2012 I wanted to stay at another place than Hostal Tiana. Hotel...

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Latacunga Restaurants

  • Restaurant y Cafeteria Rodelu

    I hadn’t seen many places around the hostel for eating and didn’t want to go too far for an early dinner. In my guidebook I saw that Hotel Rodelu with the Restaurant and Cafeteria Rodelu was only a block away. The restaurant was closed when I visited, but the cafeteria was open. I ordered a small pizza with chicken and a lemon juice. It all tasted...

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  • Llermat

    The last day in Latacunga I wanted to eat dinner before it got dark, and not too far from the hostel. I found Llermat, a fast-food restaurant advertising they have the best chicken in Latacunga. I ordered Pollo a la Plancha and a Sprite to drink. Maybe not the best chicken, but it was not bad, and I was happy it was not only chicken and French...

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  • El Copihue Rojo

    El Copihue Rojo is mentioned in my guide book as a local recommendation, so that is where I went to have lunch on my first day in Latacunga. First I didn’t find the entrance as it is through a passage and small courtyard. Away from the street makes it a quiet place. I asked for un almuerzo, the set lunch of the day. Before the soup a small starter...

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  • Nice Cream

    Nice Cream is an ice cream café on the corner of Guayáquil and Oreland (there is another one nearby on Orellana). I bought one of the smallest ice creams, a Choco-nice, for $1.25 (July 2011). There is a big variety of bigger ice creams and milkshakes. I took my ice cream and sat by one of the tables upstairs and I was the only one there. Another...

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  • Cevicheria El Sol de Manta

    Cevicheria El Sol de MantaI passed by El Sol de Manta at lunchtime on a Sunday and it was very busy. As it seemed to be a popular restaurant I thought they must have good food. A table just became available so I went inside. I ordered a shrimp and fish ceviche, avocado and a lemonade to drink. Besides the things I had ordered I also got a bowl of...

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  • Chifa Dragon

    Chifa is the word for Chinese restaurants in Ecuador. I ate once at Chifa Dragon while in Latacunga and I ordered Lomita a la Plancha and an orange juice. I got a very big portion with a mix of meat, fried potatoes and vegetables (but the vegetables were almost only onion). The juice was $0.90 and the meal $5.50 (July 2011). There was nothing...

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Latacunga Nightlife

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Feb 6, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Though we only visited La Mama Negra late in the morning it was obvious that it was more of a nightlife sort of restaurant. The color scheme and fanciness of the place seemed a bit out of place during the daylight hours. There were many floors including an outdoor rooftop terrace. If I ever get back to Latacunga I will surely check this place out when the sun does down.

    Dress Code: We didn't feel out of place dressed in our casual travel clothes during the day but most of the Ecuadorians that came in even during those hours were dressed much more nicely. I would certainly dress up a bit if going at night.

    the interior seems more in line with the night the rooftop terrace
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    • Beer Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Architecture

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Latacunga Transportation

  • From Latacunga to Ambato, and back

    I walked to the bus terminal and just as I arrived a bus outside the terminal was leaving for Ambato. I hopped on and got a seat. I sat next to a man from Ambato whose name was Darwin. Near Ambato there was a lot of traffic and the bus travelled slowly. In Ambato I had planed to go to the terminal and take a bus to the centre from there. Darwin...

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  • To Latacunga from Chugchilán

    The buses from Chugchilán to Latacunga leaves very early in the morning. I can’t remember if it was at 3am or 4am, but it was absolutely too early. Another option for me was to share a pickup with people who were going to Quilotoa, and take the bus at 13.00 from Quilotoa to Latacunga. A pickup from Chugchilán to Quilotoa cost $25 (July 2012) for up...

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  • From Latacunga to isinliví

    On Saturdays the bus from Latacunga to Isinliví leaves at 11am, other days it leaves at 13. The bus leaves from the bus terminal in Latacunga, except on Thursdays when it leaves from Saquisilli. One of the guys from Hostal Tiana was going to Isinliví with fruits and vegetables, and an armchair, so I got a ride to the terminal in the back of the...

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Latacunga Shopping

  • Supermarkets

    There is a big supermarket on Amazonas (between Guayaquil and Salcedo) where you can buy basically everything. I came here several times while in Latacunga, but when I was going to buy supplies for the Cotopaxi climb I couldn’t find energy bars or a good mix of nuts that I wanted. I remember seeing another big supermarket on the other side of the...

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  • pick your fruits wisely

    Latacunga's market is one of Ecuador's most authentic. In fact, there are few tourists shopping here. It's colorful and blessed with a nice setting amongst the provinces stunning mountains. It's a place where locals come to buy their necessities as well as have something to eat. Don't expect a lot of fancy crafts or typical tourist ponchos. They...

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  • Latacunga Hotels

    2 Hotels in Latacunga

    1 Reviews

Latacunga Local Customs

  • La Mama Negra Fiesta

    Looks like this year it will be on November 9th. You can also find this info at Latacunga.gov.ec. Mama Negra Fiestas take place twice yearly. The larger and more colorful celebration is in November. The dates change from year to year- sometimes coinciding with Latacunga's founding and sometimes with the days surrounding Day of the Dead- so be sure...

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  • La Mama Negra Fiesta

    Latacunga is not known throughout Ecuador just for chugchucaras but actually most for La Mama Negra Fiesta. It takes place twice a year and is a mixture of indigenous, Spanish, and African influences. Its origin is to celebrate the Virgen de la Merced (Virgin of Mercy) for stopping the eruption of Cotopaxi in 1742. A huge parade and street festival...

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Latacunga Warnings and Dangers

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo

    by richiecdisc Written Feb 6, 2008

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While it is true that you can eat quite inexpensively in Ecuador there is a limit as to what is truly edible. It seems you have to pay at least $1.50 to get something truly decent to eat even though you can find meals for less. What you'll find is the meat quality is so poor that most gringos will have a tough time swallowing it. We've had the experience in Peru and on this trip we were just looking for a local place to have breakfast since our chicken place was not open. We figured how bad could it be but in this case it could be very bad. The meat was very chewy. In fact, Doreen couldn't eat hers. I was a good soldier so as not insult the obviously proud owner. What was it? Hell, I don't know but I do know I'll not return there again and I'll set my sights a bit higher when choosing a place to eat next time.

    the avacaod was good but not what we had in mind
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking

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Latacunga Off The Beaten Path

  • Climbing tour to Cotopaxi

    There are several tour operators in Latacunga offering tours to Cotopaxi, both daytrips and climbing tours. Before coming to Latacunga I had heard that it was necessary with experience to climb Cotopaxi, but I had also heard from someone that it was not necessary, so I hoped to be able to do the climb. When I came back to Latacunga after a week of...

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  • locals are very friendly

    Just about everything in Latacunga is off the beaten path once you walk outside a four block radius. We passed a school that seemed entirely serene until the girls were let out at which point the streets surrounding it were full of their laughter and chatter. Another interesting building was a stone convent across from the Parque Bolivar. It...

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  • CaptainAmerica and the Cotopaxi

    You will never see such a scenery twice in your all life !!! So, enjoy it !!! Vous ne verrez jamais cette scene deux fois ! Alors, profitez-en bien !!!

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Latacunga Favorites

  • an authentic one

    I was a bit shocked to see an art nouveau building with quite an ornate interior but decided to make the splurge. The inside was even more impressive once inside and the service in the form of the owner’s very young son charming and surprisingly professional. In fact, I’d have to say the kid provided the best service of my whole six week trip to...

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  • sometimes just the food is enough

    I'll admit I came to Latacunga mostly to try the local dishes but I was surprised at some of the colonial architecture that survived Cotopaxi's wrath. It was a lot more charming than I expected and the people were totally unaware of your presence, something nice to be able to say this close to their second most popular National Park. I’m fond of...

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