Cayambe Things to Do

  • Making bizcochos
    Making bizcochos
    by JessieLang
  • Making bizcochos
    Making bizcochos
    by JessieLang
  • Laguna San Pablo
    Laguna San Pablo
    by tejanasueca

Most Recent Things to Do in Cayambe

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    Climbing Volcán Cayambe

    by MalenaN Written Apr 13, 2015

    I climbed Cayambe in the end of July 2014 and did so with the guide Fabián from the company Julio Verne in Riobamba. Volcán Cayambe, 5790 metres, is the third highest mountain in Ecuador and it is considered to be more difficult to climb than Cotopaxi because the glacier is very active and there are many crevasses, and there are often very strong winds.

    During the night I climbed we were three tourists and three guides on the mountain, and all of us made it to the top. I was well acclimatized to high altitude, but had been food poisoned only two days before the climb and had than lost all energy. Because of this it felt much harder to climb Cayambe than it would have been if I had been able to eat properly.

    After “breakfast” we started the climb at 00.40. The first part we scrambled over rocks and after one hour it was time to put on the crampons. In the beginning I thought we walked too fast. I didn’t want to get exhausted, but rather walked slow and steady. The others walked ahead of Fabian and me. It was very windy and the guide in the front put up small flags so that we would find the right way when descending, as the wind and snow by than might have covered all tracks.

    Further up, the others had stopped as someone had needed to go to the toilet. It was the only place during the climb where it was not very windy. From here the Italian and his guide walked first, then I and Fabian and last the Austrian and his guide. I hoped that the wind had stopped as I knew that we would have to turn around if it got worse. But no, we were not that lucky. Rounding a corner the wind became even stronger and when I lifted a foot the wind took hold of it and it was not put down where I wanted to. Luckily it got a little better. The wind was still very strong and there were more ice in the air. We got quite covered in ice! In the first photo (taken with flash) you can see that it is very windy.

    When it started to get light outside we were just walking along a very steep slope. I could not see the end! The last bit to the summit we used the ice axe and the front of the crampons.

    At 7am, after 6 h 20 min constant walking (well with lots of stops to catch the breath, standing up all the time) we finally reached the top. Unfortunately it was not clear, but anyway it was an amazing feeling and even without the view it was beautiful with all the snow and ice. At the summit we waited for the Austrian man and his guide as they were not very far behind. I took a few photos (but the camera lens got all icy, and so did my fingers and I had to put the camera down again.

    I felt very tired when ascending, but not when we reached the top, then I was full of energy. I thought it was going to be easy to get down, and in the beginning it was. However, soon I got really tired again (I blame the food poisoning) and it felt hard descending too. The descent took over two hours, probably closer to 2.5 hours.

    If I hadn’t been food poisoned and unable to eat properly I would have climbed Chimborazo two days after Cayambe. Unfortunately I felt that I had lost too much energy and cancelled it. That felt very sad, as it had been a dream for several years.

    Climbing Cayambe Climbing Cayambe Climbing Cayambe Climbing Cayambe Climbing Cayambe
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    • Mountain Climbing
    • National/State Park

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    Visit the Bizcocho Factory

    by JessieLang Written Sep 19, 2009

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    The town of Cayambe is known for bizcochos (a not very sweet cookie with a particular shape.) Nothing in the factory is mechanized. Some of the bakery workers are up to their elbows mixing dough in a big trough, and others are shaping and cutting the bizcochos one at a time. Even so, this little factory produces 12,000 of them per day.

    The bizcochos were pretty good by themselves, but wonderful with little tubs of dulce de leche to dip them in.

    Making bizcochos Making bizcochos
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    Climb Cayambe

    by malianrob Written May 4, 2007

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    For those who love to hike Cayambe is the place for you. It easier to climb Cayambe than Cotopaxi but you should still go out with an experienced guide.
    The refuge Ruales-Oleas-Berge is at about 4600 meters and Cayambe is 18997ft high or 5790 meters. At the refuge you can rest, there are about 37 bunks, a kitchen, fireplaces, dining area, running water and emergency radio.

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  • tejanasueca's Profile Photo

    Eat bizcochos!!

    by tejanasueca Updated Jul 23, 2005

    Bizcochos is a local specialty. It's somewhat of a pastry typ treat, but it's not that sweet and its rather dry. I know there's cheese in the mix somewhere. You can buy bizcochos virtually all over Cayambe, however, the best place is on the main road (PanAmerican - the one going to Quito and Otavalo) just south of the roundabout. The price is about $1 a dussin, which usually involves one extra to eat while you wait for them to put it together. At a good place, they´re still warm when you get them. They taste the best if you also buy some dulce de leche/arequipe to dip them in. And, remember, there rather dry, so you´ll want to buy something to drink as well!

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    Lagunas de Mojanda

    by tejanasueca Updated Jul 23, 2005

    Right next to the town of Tabacundo (a few minutes away from Cayambe), you will find the Lagunas de Mojanda. Essentially, there are two lakes, and smaller and one bigger one, located at almost 4000m (in the "paramo"). The place will offer a great view, a relaxing afternoon, and if you´re lucky you might just spot a condor!

    Take the bus (Transportes Mojandas) to Tabacundo or the "Y" (just outside of Tabacundo). There ask around for a camioneta that can give you a ride up. It should NOT be more than $30 (which is not too bad as you can fit plenty of people in the camioneta). If you get a ride up, it is possible to walk down, but make sure you have plenty of time. Ask the driver for the best route down before he leaves you.

    Laguna de Mojanda
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    Laguna San Pablo

    by tejanasueca Updated Jul 23, 2005

    Laguna San Pablo is actually situated in the Provincia de Imababura, but is not that far from Cayambe. Just head down the road going out of town towards Otavalo. The lake is beautifully situated at the foot of the Imbabura mountain, and is the home of many of the people you see selling goods at the Saturday market in Otavalo. It is a nice area and a good place to go for a picknick. However, be aware that some of the population around the lake is rather poor, and while you should not have to worry of being robbed, there might be issues with beggers. Despite that, this place should not be missed!

    There are buses to the lake from Cayambe, and should not take more than 30min. I went here for a day trip, but also found a travel agency that runs a hotel here. They can be found on: www.travelinecuador.com

    Laguna San Pablo
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  • tejanasueca's Profile Photo

    Old Indigenous Ruins

    by tejanasueca Written Jul 23, 2005

    On the way to Quito (the one that goes by Tabacundo), there is a protected area that contains 15 truncated clay pyramids covered by earth and grass and nine with long ramps. I have acutally never been here, but some of my friends went, and they really enjoyed it. Essentially, Cochasqui is an archaeological site, administered by the Consejo Provincial de Pichincha. Built by Indians of the Cara or Cayambi-Caranqui tribe between 900 and 1500 A.D. Visits to the pyramids are available and there is a small entry fee.

    The site is located after the towns of Esperanza and Cubinche, so the local buses to not go this far. Either way, there is some ways to walk after the Panamerican anyway. The best thing is probaly to get a group together and rent a camioneta. Ask at the tourist office what the price SHOULD be before you´re on your way.

    Cochasqu��
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    Daytrip to Quinche

    by tejanasueca Written Jul 23, 2005

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    El Quinche is very well known by "La Virgen del Quinche" (El Quinche virgin) where there is a sanctuary to Nuestra Señora del Quinche in the main plaza. Also known for the processions held on 21 November honoring the virgin and asking for miracles. The small village is situated fairly close to Cayambe. The virgin's image was the work of a sculptor around 1600 in Oyacachi.

    This is also where people from all over come to have their new cars, trucks, bikes, etc, blessed by the monks. It´s truly a cultural experience for somebody who did now grow with catholicism!

    There are plenty of buses that go from Cayambe to Quinche, however, I went there with car, so I won´t be able to give you details. HOWEVER, if you just ask around, there should not be a problem. Also, I went to Quinche on a Sunday, and it seems like that is a good day to go as there was a big market.

    Blessing cars in Quinche
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    Daytrip to small highland town

    by tejanasueca Updated Jul 23, 2005

    To really experience a small highland town, you can make a quick daytrip to the town of Esperanza. With the local buses, which cost 22cents, the trip will take about 40min (but it´s only 10min by car). Esperanza is a cute place with a nice church, and a very nice view of the valley. A small park right infront of the church offers a good place to have a picknick while enjoying the view.

    Pic taken from Esperanza church
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