When I visited Riobamba in July 2013 there was an exhibition of large colourful hummingbirds on Plaza Eloy Alfaro. There were also a few large frogs and toads. All together there are 65 sculptures in the exhibition, which is called "Quito, Jardín de Quindes". Besides Quito and Riobamba the exhibition has been shown in several other Ecuadorian...more
When we were there in June 2008 we had tickets for the Nariz del Diablo. We decided not to go though as the train only drives a short trip to Palmyra. You can ride the train sitting on the roof again (it was forbidden for a while due to an accident ). But for this experience you have to get up early. We drove by car instead; you have the same...more
From Riobamba, there is a train ride to the famous stretch of track called 'El Nariz del Diablo', or the Devil's Nose. The train departs early in the morning, at 7am, and as Riobamba is at quite a high altitude (my friend told me Riobamba is also known as Friobamba - 'frio' is cold in Spanish), do dress warmly and climb onto the roof of the train....more
If you are in Riobamba, the only thing to do is the Nariz del Diablo train ride (sitting on the roof of course), and I think it was worth it. Buy your ticket ($15) the day before from the main station (but beware, it shuts at 4pm- then you have to get up super early to buy the ticket at 6am the next day). It leaves Riobamba at 7am. It is cold at...more
Three times a week (Wed., Fri. and Sun.), crowds of people horde the Riobamba train station at 6:00am to ride the Nariz del Diablo train ride, the "treacherous" stretch of the former Quito-Guayaquil rail line.Yes, a tourist highlight, but it's a great ride and the scenery is unbeatable.more
foot of Chimborazo, Riobamba, Ecuador
Good for: Couples
Hacienda Abraspungo is a bueatifully-restored farmhouse on the outskirts of Riobamba. Only a $3 cab...more
Primera constituyente 37-85 entre brasil y carlos zambrano Riobamba, chimborazo, ecuador
Good for: Couples
Lunch was not included in the bicycle tour to Chimborazo, but we had been recommended to order sandwiches from La Vienesa (Pro Bici made the order). I had ordered two chicken sandwiches and they were ready when we came to pick them up in the morning. Besides chicken there was salad, tomatoes and a sauce on the sandwiches. They tasted quite good and...more
The day I had been on the Chimborazo biking tour we came back quite late to Riobamba and I didn’t want to walk too far for food, but I didn’t want to have fried chicken and French fries. Casa China was situated just a few blocks away from my hotel so that is where I went. I ordered noodles with shrimps and a lemonade. The portion was very big, so...more
The person I was eating dinner with was a vegetarian and as it said in the guidebook that they serve good vegetarian options at El Rey del Burrito we went there. We were not disappointed as the meals were good and filling. While we waited for the food we got a plate of nachos and guacamole. I ordered a burrito with chicken and a batido de mora...more
El Tentadero- good mix of salsa, merengue, reggaeton (spanish hiphop), and some occasional American music. Good place, cover about $2-3, usually with free drinks.
San Valentin- a ten second walk from El Tentadero, it's a good place to do some predancing drinking/ postdancing sobering up. Cheap beer, good food, lots of places to sit- it can get a bit crazy during weekends though.
From the hotel in Quito I walked down to La Marin to take a taxi from there to Terminal Quitumbe. The first taxi driver I asked wanted to have $6 (July 2013) and I accepted that as I had paid $5.55 last time I went to Quitumbe with taximeter. It took about half an hour to go to Quitumbe. When I arrived at the bus terminal I first went to the food...more
From the hotel in Riobamba to the bus terminal I took a taxi, and as all taxi journeys within town it was $1 (July 2013). When I arrived to the terminal I didnt go to the counters but went straight to the buses to see if there was a bus leaving right away. I knew I had to change bus in Ambato and luckily there was a bus leaving within a few minutes...more
If you take the train to Nariz del Diablo, you can hop off at Alausi on the way back after experiencing the famous switchbacks and catch a bus from there to Cuenca.In fact, there may be a guy selling bus tickets while you are on the roof of the train. I don't know about bus frequency to Cuenca, but suggest that you purchase the ticket from him and...more
One thing that I did see in the small towns and markets of Ecuador - tourists seeing the indigenous people (mainly the women with their distinct hats and clothes) and snapping pictures of them as if they were in a wax museum.
These are people - locals - you are their guest. Instead of snapping pictures of them - go up and say hello (preferrably in Español...or Quechua if you can!). Their main goal is for you to buy something, of course, but talking to people one-on-one instead of treating them like museum pieces will make the experience a lot more interesting and rewarding.
If you want to take pictures, ask, like you would anyone else. Then...buy something from them, or give up some pocket change.
You will want to go to the more remote places. Make sure to bring good gore tex rain gear, excellent hiking shoes. Remember that you are at altitude. The moment the sun goes down it is very cold. Do not spoil your trip. Be prepared and enjoy. Bring everything that you think you might need. Spend your time enjoying this unique space instead of...more
73 Reviews and Opinions
We were with the family 3 weeks in Ecuador with the Tour Operador "Ecuador Eco Tours" and during those 3 weeks, we took a trek to El Altar...that was really a beautiful experience!They do great things, with the little details... We starter at 8am, going in a comfortable jeep with our guide Telmo, til the entrance of the Sangay National Park. Then...more
Not off the beaten path, but not in Riobamba.In the morning I was picked up outside my hotel at 8:15,and then we, the guide Alejandro from Pro Bici and James from England, went to a café to pick up some sandwiches before we started the drive to Chimborazo. At some places along the road Alejandro stopped the car to tell us interesting things to...more
Devils Nose VidThe train departs very early from Riobamba (7.30am from memory) for this famous train journey to Alausi, called La Nariz del Diablo because of one section where the train has to get down a virtually sheer cliff face, which is supposed to resemble a nose.The cost was $15 and you have the choice of sitting inside the train or on the...more
Biking with Pro Bici
I went on a mountain biking tour down from Chimborazo with Pro Bici and I can really recommend it.
Besides going on a biking tour with Pro Bici you can also rent bikes there.
It is not easy to find Pro Bici, as it is situated on the second floor (first floor) above a store selling fabrics, and you have to go through the store to come to Pro Bici. When I arrived to Pro Bici James from England was already there .He was also interested in doing the mountain bike tour down from Chimborazo. Gallo, the owner explained the route for us, and we were going to take the one they call Middle-good, not the shortest and not the longest route, but one where we would be able to bike down for around 5h, mostly on small dirt roads. The tour also included a visit to the refugios of Chimborazo.
Then we tried helmets and gloves, and the bikes. Also kneepads and pads for the elbow were provided. The next day I was picked up at the hotel at 8:15 and we went to a café to buy sandwiches before going to Chimborazo.
The whole tour was very well organized and our guide Alejandro followed in a car while we were on the bikes. When we were at paths where he could not go with the car it was possible to get in contact with him via walkie-talkie.
It was a full day tour, well organized and with excellent service. And it was fun! The tour was $50 (July 2013).
I will write more about the tour in another tip.
Although my visit to and my memories of Riobamba is influenced by the fact that I had my camera stolen on the bus, I still liked the town. I liked it even more, when I found a place to buy a new camera.
The town has some nice plazas and impressive buildings and churches.