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Set almost dizzyingly on the edge of the Río Chanchán gorge and presided over by a giant statue of St Peter, Alausí is the jumping-on point for the famous Nariz del Diablo train run. Alausí is wonderfully picturesque, especially near the railway station and on the cobblestone streets, where old adobe buildings with wooden balconies take you back in time. The town is really just a whistle-stop these days, but it's a pretty place for a day trip nonetheless.

Alausí lies about 60 miles (97km) south of Riobamba and has a busy Sunday market. The train station is at the north end of Avenida 5 de Junio.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Alausí.