Tulcan in Ecuador, Cities, Travel Destinations

Tulcán is the capital of the Carchi province with a population of about 53,000 people. The town is situated north of Ecuador and lies 3000 meters above the mean sea level near the border with Colombia.

Tulcán is an interesting town with narrow, long streets and many different attractions to visit and enjoy. One of the main attractions in Tulcán may surprise you; it is the topiary garden cemetery where you will be totally amazed at all the beautiful sculptures found in every shape and form imaginable. Originally it was Sr. José Franco who began the topiary family tradition back in 1936 when the cemetery was first formed. The tradition has since been carried on by his five sons who still produce beautiful pieces of work.

About two blocks away from the cemetery is the Parque Avora – the perfect place to make a stop on the way to your accommodation or next destination. If you travel nearer to the Colombian border you can enjoy a number of thermal hot springs situated here and across the border – although you will need a day pass to get into the Colombian side. The thermal hot springs are a wonderful natural phenomenon that contains different minerals and extracts which contribute to your well-being and can cure a number of ailments.

You can also visit the extinct Volcán Chiles that stands at a height of 4760 meters. If you travel by bus to see the volcano, you will still have to walk about 4 km to get to the base of the volcano. The climb is not for the faint hearted but nothing specific is needed for you to be able to complete it – although it is advised that visitors take a guide with them. To reach the summit will probably take you approximately six hours, but you will enjoy a unique variety of plant life on the way, including the section made up of Frailejones vegetation.

Accommodation can be a bit of a problem during the weekends because Tulcán is situated so near the border, so there are a lot of people visiting from across the border and from other countries. However, if you book ahead of time there should be no problem. Some of the best hotels you can stay at include Machado, España, Azteca and Frailejón. There is also an array of restaurants that you can go to for a delicious meal out. This includes the Café Mexico, which serves vegetarian meals, the Parrilladas, where you can sample local cuisine, and the Cevicheria El Viceño, a seafood restaurant.

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