Other Features

Off-the-Hook Short-Trips from Riobamba

  • Aguas Termales de Guayllabamba From the Chambo Terminal take a quick bus ($1, one hour) to San Francisco, asking to be left at the aguas termales. From the turnoff, it's an hour-long hike uphill to these simple springs; you might catch a lift with a passing pickup truck. Bring flip-flops and a swimming cap.
  • Guano Besides serving as a playground for families from Riobamba on the weekends, the village of Guano, 8km north of Riobamba, is an important craft center that specializes in carpets and items made of leather and totora (straw made from reeds). Stores selling them are right around the main square (where the bus stops). Also near the main square is a museum holding the mummified remains of a Franciscan monk from the 16th century, and ruins of a convent dating to the 1660s. The mirador over town has excellent views (on a clear day) of El Altar. Local buses to Guano ($0.35) depart from the stop at Pichincha and New York in Riobamba.
  • Parque Acuático Los Elenes From the main plaza in Guano, continue by bus or walk to the village of Santa Teresita, 2km away. At the end of the bus ride, turn right and head down the hill for about 20 minutes to Parque Acuático Los Elenes, where swimming pools are fed by natural mineral springs. The water is quite cool (22°C, or 72°F), but the views of Tungurahua and El Altar are marvelous. A taxi here from Riobamba costs about $4.