Riobamba Ecuador

Riobamba Ecuador is an impressive city surrounded by colossal volcanoes such as Chimborazo, Altar and Carihuayrazo.


riobamba ecuador

It is also the capital city of Chimborazo province as well as being a major area for agriculture.

Riobamba is surrounded by stunning volcanoes that belong to the Andes Mountains.

It has beautiful parks and plazas and is also adorned in arcades and pre-styled colonial architecture.

Maldonado Park is the main plaza housing fountains, arcades, the municipality and Santa Barbara Cathedral with interesting colonial stonework.

Other parks of note are Sucre Park with its Neptune fountain southeast and a few blocks from the train station, in a northeastern direction lies 21 de Abril Park (Riobamba's day of independence), where the Spanish were defeated.

The park proudly shows off tiled tablet depictions in color of Ecuador's proud history. Guayaquil Park has a lake for rowing boats and a tiled monument of a cow is also of particular interest for its uniqueness.

The area is also frequented by many locals and tourists for picnics at weekends.

Riobamba Ecuador Attractions

Cordoba Roman Historical Museum: There is a collection of artistic, archaeological, and household objects that illustrates the lifestyle of local aristocrats from the Colonial Era to the present.

Museum of the City: Was designed according to the strictest Republican-Ecuadorian architectural standards from the 1920s. Maldonado Park and its other surroundings share similarly stately architecture.

Museum of Religious Art: This museum of religious art represents the artistic and cultural traditions of Riobamba's strongly Catholic history. An impressive volume of work from the Colonial Era and 17th an 18th Centuries.

Riobamba Central Bank Museum: This museum features more archaeological and historical works. Artifacts from the Andean Highlands show much about life in the Andes both before and after the Spanish arrival.

La Nariz del Diablo Train Ride: This is one of the most attractive activities for visitors, this train ride through the Andes Mountains allows you to ride on the roof of the train.

One of the most appealing things about the train is that during the four or five hour journey, it goes through every climate zone in continental Ecuador: starting in the Andean highlands, passing through the cloud forest, and arriving in the jungle-climate on the coast, either in Alausi or Sibambe.

Other perks of the ride include breathtaking views of Chimborazo Volcano and a 45 degree descent down the Devil's Nose.

At this point, the train begins to run backwards and move in zigzag until descending from 1,900 to 1,800 meters.

The trip by train to the Devil's Nose is a trip that passes over incomparable landscapes and cultural diversity.

The train goes always slowly crossing through beautiful sites, historic places and a lot of locations.

The train leaves from the station at the city of Riobamba on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7h00, it passes through Cajabamba and the Colta lagoons, and the small Guamote village.

At 10h30 it climbs to a little picturesque town in the highlands called Alausi. At 13h30 it leaves back towards Riobamba Ecuador, where it arrives at 17h00.

It is also possible to take the train only from Alausi down "Nariz del Diablo" and back.

The town of Alausi has beautiful cobblestone streets, colonial houses, and a colorful market that is definitely worth visiting!

Climbing and Hiking: Riobamba Ecuador is the perfect starting point for hikes, treks and climbs in several surrounding national parks. The most popular are Carihuairazo, Chimborazo, Sangay and Altar.

It is also worthwhile to visit the Municipal Palace, the Independence Building, the Post Office, the Maldonado High School, the Leon Theater, Simon Bolivar's House, Calero's Castle, Lara's Clock and of course the Train Station.

Riobamba Ecuador has beautiful churches: The Cathedral, San Alfonso's Church, San Antonio's Church, Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Conception and the Merced.

You can also visit the Atillo Lagoons, the Black Lagoon, the Colta Lagoon, and the hotsprings in Palitahua.

Vilcabamba Valley is the Best Town to Live and Retire in Ecuador. Click Here to Find Beautiful Homes for Sale

Indigenous Communities

Riobamba Ecuador has the largest concentration of indigenous population in Ecuador. The indigenous inhabitants of the region worshiped the Chimborazo volcano as a God.

Many of them still preserve their way of life, dress, food, and traditions, with the obvious influence of the domination of the Incas and the later clash with the Spanish conquest.

Up to this day, in the rural roads of the province you can find the peaceful and humble indigenous people living in disperse family groups.

Indians are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of tourism and mountain climbing, and have started to receive economical benefits from this activity.

Some of them are learning to be mountain guides, and are glad to share not only their knowledge about their mountains and their unpredictable changes of weather, but also their legends, which have been transmitted for centuries by oral tradition.

Riobamba Ecuador History

In 1923, a fossilized human skull was found in the town of Punin, just outside Riobamba. A relic of Ecuador's pre-Colombian history, the "Punin Man" skull is assumed to be from one of the indigenous groups that inhabited the area before the Inca Expansion.

Within approximately 100 years after the Inca conquest, Spanish conquistadors arrived in Ecuador. As the conquistadors established Spanish colonies throughout South America, Diego de Almagro founded the city of Riobamba on August 15, 1534, on the site of the preexisting city of Liribamba.

It was the first city founded by Europeans in what is today known as Ecuador. Colonial Riobamba Ecuador was destroyed by an earthquake in 1797.

On August 14, 1830, during Ecuador's early stages of independence, the Constitutional Assembly convened in Riobamba to draw up Ecuador's first constitution. It was here that Juan Jose Flores was selected as the first president of the republic.

The real richness of Riobamba Ecuador and the Chimborazo Province consists in its inhabitants, whose culture is widely influenced and penetrated by the traditional Indigenous cultures and communities of the highlands of the Andes Mountains.

See More About Ecuador

Economic Flights to Ecuador

Portoviejo City in the Coast

Guayaquil City

Loja City and Vilcabamba

Affordable Galapagos Islands Tours

If you have questions about Riobamba Ecuador, You can post them on our Ecuador FAQ Page and if you'd like to request more information about our exciting Amazon Rain Forest Tours or from our recommended Galapagos Vacation Packages to visit these Islands, You can Contact us here

Back from Riobamba Ecuador to Galapagos Islands Homepage

Return To Ecuador Main Informative Page