Welcome to La Esperanza
This picturesque village just above Ibarra is set against the sloping flanks of Volcán Imbabura (4609m). The village is a respite for the road-weary as well as the best spot to climb Imbabura. To climb the peak, start early in the morning and follow the escalating ridge 2000m to the summit, 8km southwest. The last stretch is a scramble over loose rock. You can do it on your own, but if you’re not experienced, hire a local guide or go with a tour company out of Otavalo ($60). Allow for six to 10 hours round-trip. Those of middling ambition can try the easier three-hour climb to Loma Cubilche (3886m), a hill south of La Esperanza with lovely views.