The Chimborazo province of Ecuador offers much for travelers to this country. Named after the mighty Chimborazo volcano, which dominates the scenery in these parts, the region is outstandingly beautiful. Chimborazo is a Central Andean province, a few hours away from Quito, and right on the Avenue of Volcanos. In this Chimborazo Ecuador travel guide we will look at the highlights and things to do in this province, as well as nearby attractions. We’ll give guidance on when to go, where to stay and the gastronomy of the region, as well as how to get there. There is a lot to do in Chimborazo and you could easily spend an entire week here. However, most visitors find a few days suffice, unless they are trekking here, this mountain is a must do for a perfect Ecuador tour holiday.
One of the best highlights of the Chimborazo province is an opportunity to visit the Chimborazo National Park/Wildlife Reserve. The Chimborazo volcano itself is a sight to behold. While it is not the world’s tallest mountain, it is, due to its position on the Earth, the furthest point on the Earth’s surface to its center. There are superb mountaineering options here, and climbing the mountain can be an amazing experience. For those that prefer not to climb at this altitude, there are lots of hiking opportunities in this beautiful area of the country. For climbing, you may be best placed to go with a local professional guide who knows the routes up the mountain well.
You will also not want to miss the Devil’s Nose train ride – which offers a spectacular and unique Ecuadorian train journey.
The Chimborazo province offers plenty of things to do for visitors. If you like being outdoors then you are sure to enjoy the various active pursuits that the region has to offer. These include hiking, trekking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and of course, climbing the mighty Chimborazo volcano itself.
There is also plenty of history and culture in this Central Andean region, and visits to local towns such as Riobamba, Guamote and Guano offer opportunities to learn more about traditional ways of life here.
If you want to climb Chimborazo, the best months from the perspective of the weather, when the skies are clearest, are thought to be January and December, as well as July and August. Generally, the weather tends to also be reasonable in June. There is typically less rain in these months. However, beware, as in the mountains you can experience four seasons in a day – and this is far from unusual.
There is no real high season in this region, though you can expect it to be busier in the months mentioned above, due to the better weather that is generally experienced during these times. You may also find touristy places in this region busier over Ecuadorian public holiday weekends, when people like to venture out of the big cities into the countryside, for a break. As Ecuador experts we can advise you on the best dates for your trip.
Riobamba Independence Day is on November 11 th , so if you enjoy local festivals this might be a good time to visit this city in the Chimborazo province. During this festival there is dancing in the streets, food and drink available, and street parades to enjoy. Another good (yet busy) time for a trip to this region is for the famous Guaranda Carnaval, where you can expect folk music, street parades, beauty contents, dancing, and fights with water, egg and flour.
Chimborazo province can be reached by public transport from Quito, Guayaquil or Cuenca. It takes about five hours by Guayaquil, or six from either Quito or Cuenca. Going by private transportation, such as by a tour, can be faster, as the route will bemore direct, and the vehicle better. Additionally, to explore the Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve to any great extent you will need private transport, and ideally a four-wheel drive vehicle, so you may be better off opting for a private tour.
The nearby attractions in the Chimborazo province include the following:
Chimborazo volcano – this mighty volcano is the highest in Ecuador, standing at 6,310 meters above sea level, and it is stunning to climb, take a hike on, or photograph.
Guamote – this small town in the highlands offers some good opportunities to take part in outdoor activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking and trekking.
Riobamba – this busy town is the capital of the Chimborazo province and is one of the largest in the region. It has a long history and a variety of museums to explore.
Devil’s Nose train ride – the Devil’s Nose train ride, offers a spectacular and breathtaking train excursion down switchbacks in the Andes from the town of Alausi and back again.
Guano – this small town makes for an interesting visit, not least for its souvenirs,which include leather products and decorative rugs.
If you are looking for a really special place to stay in the Chimborazo province, you might look no further than the Chimborazo Lodge. This lodge is owned by Marco Cruz, a famous mountaineer in Ecuador. The lodge is perched at the foot of Chimborazo, with stunning views all around. This place is 36km from Riobamba. Other excellent options include the Hosteria La Andaluza which is found on a delightful country estate, or the Hotel Rincon Aleman, and Bamboo Hotel in Riobamba. The good news is that whatever your budget you should be able to find something that will suit your needs in Riobamba.
The food that you can expect in the Chimborazo region of Ecuador is very much the fare of the highlands. A typical meal will include meat, likely beef or chicken, with rice and potatoes, and maybe a small amount of other vegetables or a salad. You might instead get offered fish, and in particular, trout.
An Insider recommendation we’d like to make for your trip to Chimborazo and its surroundings is to head out to the village of Salinas de Bolivar and try the delicious cheese and chocolate that are made there.
Get in contact today to get advice and help on booking your Ecuador trip to include a visit to the Chimborazo province. We can offer tailor made and customized tours to suit your exact vacation needs.