Ibarra Ecuador

Ibarra Ecuador has a unique combination of Highland Indians, White people, Afro-Ecuadorians from the nearby Chota Valley and also Colombian people.


This gives the city an exciting multicultural edge.

Ibarra is the capital city of the Imbabura Province.

Located on a wide and green valley, at the foot of Imbabura volcano, two hours north of Quito.

The city was named after Miguel de Ibarra, who founded this city in 1606 on behalf of the Spanish Crown. After the earthquake of 1868, it was rebuilt and re-founded in 1872.

ibarra ecuador

Known as the White City, Ibarra still maintains its Spanish tradition and each corner keeps the past memories which project to the present, and in harmony, the colonial area combines with the modern one.

Ibarra Ecuador is also a melting pot of a variety of this country's Cultures and Races that enrich and make of this province unique, with a spring like weather all year.

In Ibarra there are lot of places to visit, such as parks, churches, museums, traditional sites, lakes and hills.

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The downtown of the city still conserves the beautiful architecture of the Spanish Colonial Churches and houses. Caranqui is a place with special history and tradition from pre-Inca times.

The nearby town of San Antonio stands out for its amazing and diverse wood carvings. This town is located 20 Km north of Otavalo City and ten minutes south from Ibarra.

When you arrive to the village of San Antonio you'll find several workshops lined in the main street. The finest woodcarvings are at the gallery of Luis Potosi on the main plaza.

La Esperanza is a town known for its delicate embroidery. The villages of Alpargata are well known for its typical and delicious food. La Campiña and El Tejar are famous for its weaving industry.

Yahuarcocha: is the name of one of its most important lakes, and the surroundings have beautiful recreation areas bordering the lake. The locations of La Florida and Chorlaví have fertile ground and colorful valleys.

Cuicocha Lake: is a lake located in the crater of a volcano. It is pristine location surrounded by spectacular nature and landscapes. (Absolutely great for hiking)

Paseo Bolivar is a legendary place located in the precipice that overlooks the Tahuando river.

Indian Market days are on Saturdays and the main festivities in Ecuador Ibarra are: Fiesta de los Lagos on the last weekend of September with colorful parades throughout the city called "EI Pregon" and "Virgen del Carmen" on the July 16th of each year.

Colonial Churches in Ibarra Ecuador:

  • La Catedral, Roman style
  • San Agustín, built with mud and tile
  • La Merced, Roman style, built at the beginning of the 19th Century
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican community, built at the time of Ibarra's foundation
  • Santuario del Señor del Amor, Greco-Roman style, built over the foundation of an Inca sun temple
  • San Francisco, very attractive with its façade made of laja stone
  • Basílica La Dolorosa, neo-Roman inspiration
  • Capilla San Diego, with a façade made of stone blocks, and its major attraction is the door at the entrance door, which is more than 150 years old.

The main activity in the city of Ibarra is"Paddleball" (Ecuadorian style).

This is a curious Ecuadorian paddleball game played with a small, soft ball and large, spiked paddies that look like medieval torture implements.

The city has two plazas very well preserved: Parque Pedro Moncayo and the Parque Victor Manuel Peñaherrera, better known as Parque de la Merced.

Most buildings and homes in Ibarra Ecuador are colonial style and painted in white, that's why Ibarra is also known as the White city.

Typical Food of Ibarra Ecuador:

  • paila ice cream, made of natural fruit beaten by hand in a bronze paila (like a frying pan)
  • empanadas de morocho, turnovers made with white corn and filled with peas, carrots and rice
  • nogadas, a candy made of natural sugar cane with nuts
  • arrope de mora, is a blueberry jam or syrup chicha de jora, is the oldest beverage in America, made with fermented corn
  • tortillas con caucara, boiled potato patties, served with onions, lettuce, red meat and topped with a fried egg.

While you are visiting Ibarra, I would recommend you to visit also the train station and the Indian market area which is always a buzz with interesting activity.

The city of Ibarra Ecuador has plenty of hotels, bars, and restaurants for each traveler's budget.

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides). Click to order from Amazon

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!

There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.


Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands. Click to order from Amazon

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.

Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!


Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.

Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!


Moon Spotlight Galapagos. Click to order from Amazon

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.

But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.

Small, well-priced, and reliable!


Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire. Click to order from Amazon

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.

This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!


More About Ecuador

Main Cities in Ecuador

Town of Vilcabamba in Loja

Ecuador Main Exports

City of Babahoyo in the Coast

Economic Galapagos Tours

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

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