Explore the beauty of Riobamba
Nestled in the Chambo River Valley near the Chimborazo Volcano in Ecuador is the city of Riobamba. This bustling little city is the center of trade for the surrounding cattle-ranches. The roads to and from Riobamba see a lot of traffic from the various farmers and traders who transport their stock to the city in order to sell them, so they are well developed. In fact, on the way to Riobamba from Quito you will see a signpost that reads: "All roads lead to Riobamba". The comment is a humorous quip based on the extensive road infrastructure in the area.
Besides cattle and other animals, Riobamba also regularly sees the export of textiles, handicrafts, leather goods, beer and dairy products. Most of these goods are also on sale at the Riobamba marketplace – a great way to shop. The main markets are San Alfonso and Mercado de Animales. The Plaza Roja is open on Wednesdays and La Condamine is best enjoyed on Fridays. Riobamba is quite spread out and if you plan to tour it, it is usually best to enlist the services of a taxi driver. Places worth visiting include the Parque Maldonado with its fountains and arcades, the municipality and the Santa Barbara Cathedral. The city is full of beautiful pre-styled colonial architecture. There are also a number of interesting museums to see if you have an appreciation for history.
Riobamba has a number of pretty parks where you can relax and while away a few hours. Parque Sucre, Parque 21 de Abril and Parque Guayaquil are all very popular. These parks all have well designed gardens and fountains. Parque Guayaquil has a lake and rowboats that can be enjoyed by the public. It is also home to the Zebracow – as it is called locally – a large and unusual statue of a cow.
Not far out of town you will find spectacular natural wonders such as the Chimborazo and Carihuairazo volcanoes. The Andes Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop to the city and you may even be able to enjoy a visit to one of the local farms. Hiking, mountain biking and swimming are popular activities. If you plan to spend more than a day, why not book in at a Riobamba hotel? There are quite a few available regardless of the size of your pocket. At night you can visit some of the local bars and discos while December is fiesta time in the city. Visit Riobamba today and enjoy this busy trading center city for yourself.