The Best Things to Do in Riobamba
The Best Things to Do in Riobamba
Here at Ecuador Eco Adventure we are incredibly proud and in love with our home city, Riobamba, Ecuador. While we are often eager to retreat to the mountains, volcanoes, and wild places that surround us here in the central heart of the country, our colonial city is a great place to visit and experience as well. Sitting in the shadows of the imposing Chimborazo Volcano, the city itself makes the best out of its colonial past as life circulates through plazas with ornate churches and down cobblestone alleys. Meanwhile, the architecture may reflect Spanish colonialism but the people, markets, and culture throughout Riobamba still beats with one of the strongest indigenous presences in the world. For everyone interested in a visit to Riobamba, we partnered with the travel experts at AllTheRooms for a list of some of the best things to do and see in our city.
Parks Across the City
Parque Maldonado, which is one of the main squares in Riobamba, is lined with tile walkways and surrounded by meticulously designed colonial buildings and a beautiful cathedral that sits on the northern side of the plaza. Overall, Parque Maldonado is an excellent place to sit on a bench and observe as the pace and life of the city passes by. Other beloved parks include Parque La Libertad and Parque 21 de Abril.
La Nariz del Diablo Train
A fun and adrenaline-inducing ride, this scenic train route departs once every three days and allows its passengers to take a seat on the roof of the train cars. The trip takes somewhere between four to five hours but will expose tourists to Ecuador’s varied climate as the train will skirt through cloud forests, jungle-like conditions closer to the coast, and mountainous highlands. The views offered are incredible and offer new perspectives on Chimborazo and some other nearby Andean peaks. The name comes from a near vertical descent down a geographical feature known as La Nariz del Diablo, or The Devil’s Nose.
Wander the Local Markets
Riobamba has a number of open-air markets selling both local foods as well as trinkets and handmade goods, many of which are indigenous in nature. Perhaps the most bizarre to outsiders is the Animal Market where people from the city and surrounding areas come to buy, sell, and trade animals.
A Museum Lover’s Delight
The city offers an eclectic group of museums for tourists to visit to get a better feel for the history of Riobamba and the Chimborazo Province. The Cordoba Roman Historical Museum offers a view into the lives of colonial aristocrats, El Museo de La Ciudad is in a neighborhood of finely architected buildings and chronicles the history of Riobamba, and the Museum of Natural Sciences takes advantage of the rich archeological history of the indigenous tribes in the local Andes Mountains.
This one is obviously our favorite. While everyone may not be keen on immediately strapping on crampons and summiting Chimborazo, there is an abundance of less daunting activities to be done in Riobamba’s nature. Sangay National Park is just to the south and it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its beautiful volcanoes, alpine lakes, and La Casa del Arbol, a must for the Instagram lovers out there. As for those wanting to experience the heights of Chimborazo but would prefer to put in a little less work, consider our high altitude trek on horseback!
Author: Zack Davisson
Zack is a recovering technical recruiter who traded in his suit and tie in Silicon Valley for salsa music and a passion for writing in Medellin, Colombia. When not writing for AllTheRooms you can find Zack with his nose in a book, puttering around nature, or getting ultra-competitive while watching Jeopardy.