en.infoglobe.cz » Ecuador: Riobamba, El Tambo, and Ingapirca

Ecuador: Riobamba, El Tambo, and Ingapirca

Published: 14.4.2022
Riobamba is the capital of Chimborazo province. It is a small yet picturesque city in the Andes. Colonial architecture, cobbled streets, and amazing squares make Riobamba one of the most beautiful cities you can see in Ecuador.

The city was founded by Spaniard Diego de Almagro on August 15, 1534. Riobamba became the first city founded by the Spaniards in Ecuador. It became fully independent in 1822. Today, around 225 thousand people live there.


Riobamba is situated an an altitude of 2754 meters. The city is also called „La Sultana de los Andes“ or "the sultan of the Andes". It is an old-school town with wide streets so don't expect large tourist crowds. Actually, we haven't met any tourists here, only the locals. Majority of tourists coming here are here to see the mountains. Riobamba is a great place to start any montain trek. You can go either to  Chimborazo National Park and climb a volcano there or to Parque Nacional Sangay. The Chimborazo volcano is 6310 meters high makes it the highest mountain in Ecuador. Thanks to equatorial curvature the peak of the mountain makes it the furthest away place from the center of the Earth. Unfortunately, we had only handful of moments to see the volcano while on our way to Riobamba and it was just when it peaked from behind the clouds.


Parque Sucre square had been the place of Saturday markets until the year 1919. Also, people played football there. On the square, you can see the nee-Classicist building of Colegio Maldonado constructed between the years 1921–1927. The first  ever held Constitutional Assembly in Ecuador happened here in 1930. Formerly, the building operated a cloister which hosted one of the highest ranking educational institutions in the country. Parque Maldonado, and Plaza Mayor are situated two blocks down the road. The latter is the main square according to the colonial tradition. The square is surrounded by religious, and political institutions like Palacio Municipal, or Edificio de la Gobernación. The front facade of the main church of La Catedral is important historic heritage. The church was built after the earthquake in 1797. The construction materail used were stones from the original city of Riobamba. The earthquake completely obliterated the city which was later rebuilt about 14 kilometers from its original location (close to the town of Cajabamba).

Colegio Maldonado   Parque Maldonado

La Catedral

Parque La Libertad is situated three blocs. It was decided to construct this park in 1920. It commemorated the 100th anniversary of independence of the city. There are beautiful gardens within the park. We spotted several homeless men there. We took a look at La Basílica church just opposite the park. Then we moved on.

La Basílica

Riobamba truly is an amazing city. One day spent there, however, is more than enough
El Tambo. Then we move on. We plan to visit the city of Cuenca. We pass by the ruins of Ingapirca on our way. The locals tell us this one is the Ecuadorian Machu Picchu. It would be shame to skip it. You can visit the ruins even when coming from Cuenco. However, we make a stop at El Tambo town. There we find accommodation in one of the few hotels in this small town with a beautiful square. A bus links the square with the ruins. Just ask the locals.  

The Ingapirca complex was built by the inhabitants of Cañara, they lived in the area. Once the Incas arrived, both cultures mixed. Today, the ruins are one of the most important pre-Hispanic archeological sights. The complex consists of a large number of stone structures, terraces, dwellings, and fortified roads. Locals call it Ecuadorian Machu Picchu because all structures were made of smoothed stones less mortar, i.e. the same technique was used the Incas employed in Peru.

Ingapirca ruins

Ingapirca ruins   Ingapirca ruins

Yet by the sheer size this compound is incomperable with Machu Picchu. It is peaceful here, there are hardly any tourist crowds, and you get a guide with the tickets. The surroundings is beautiful. Lamas run freely around and you can get a glimpse of everyday life of the locals.

GPS: (Riobamba) 1°40'25.6"S 78°38'47.3"W


Text and photos: Tomáš Novák

Discussion at the article (0)

Related Articles

Ecuador: Quito
Published: 7.9.2021
The name of the city reffers to Quito tribe, original inhabitants of the area. They lived here before the Incas and the Spaniards. The Spaniards reached the area in 1534 and founded San Francisco de Quito settlement. At first, there were only 204 people who lived in what is the present historical district.

Ecuador: Cuenca - a city registered in UNESCO
Published: 21.4.2022
Cuenca, Santa Ana de los Cuatro Ríos de Cuenca in full name. Its architecture, art scene, and science research make people call it "the Athens of Ecuador". Don Gil Ramírez Dávalos founded it in 1557. In 1999, the city was put on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Moreover, it is considered one of the best places to spend your retirement at.

Ecuador: Saraguro and Loja
Published: 28.4.2022
South of Cuenca, theere live the Saragura people which makes the city one of the most Indian communities in Ecuador. The people of Saraguro still keep their Inca habits, language, art, solstice rituals, using healing herbs, music, food, drinks, Andian dances, and, of course, myths and legends.

Ecuador: Zamora - welcome to the jungle
Published: 5.5.2022
Zamora is a small and tranquil town without any colonial architecture. Yet the Amazon jungle makes it rich on flora and fauna. It is a great place to start to explore green lowlands of the Parque Nacional Podocarpus.

Ecuador: Vilcabamba - the Longevity Valley
Published: 12.5.2022
The city of Vilcabamba became very popular among tourists. Dubbed the „Valle de los Longevos“ (the Longevity Valley) it is a home to many very old people some live even up to 100 years! Nobody knows why it is like that. Some say its the water or food, climate or life without stress. This makes Vilcabamba a place interesting for scientists and medical doctors.

Ecuador: Otavalo - market town
Published: 24.3.2022
Otavalo city is located in a valley at 2560 meters above sea level. It is famous for its markets. Every Saturdy there is a large market where locals sell their hand-made products, clothes, and other souvenirs. Otavalo markets are considered the largest and the best in South America. Don't forget to bargain.

Ecuador: Zumbahua and Quilotoa Lagoon
Published: 31.3.2022
Otavalo city is located in a valley at 2560 meters above sea level. It is famous for its markets. Every Saturdy there is a large market where locals sell their hand-made products, clothes, and other souvenirs. Otavalo markets are considered the largest and the best in South America. Don't forget to bargain.

Ecuador – Baños de Agua Santa
Published: 7.4.2022
The city of Baños de Agua Santa has become a popular tourist destination. It's pleasant mild climate throught the year is what lures tourists from here and foreign lands as well. The city is situated amids the mountains. It is in a valley with waterfalls, and thermal springs. This place is just right for relax - either activer or passive.

Related Photogallery

Ecuador – Equatorial Country Full of Adventure
The Republic of Ecuador is located in northwestern South America. It also includes the Galapagos ...


Czech republic


We were awarded the certificate even thanks to you!

Dôveryhodná firma 2017



Important Information:

Information and warnings on travelling abroad is to be found HERE.

Mobile application:

aplikácia Infoglobe

stiahnuť zadarmo pre Androidstiahnuť zadarmo pre iPhone



Today:friday 27. 5. 2022
friday 27.5.
14 °C
saturday 28.5.
12 °C

TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.


TIP: INFOGLOBE app is available for your device, download HERE.