Riobamba is a city in the Andean highlands of Ecuador. It's the starting point of the train ride to Nariz del Diablo. Most tourists flock in the evening before the train departure.
There are connections to most major destinations in Ecuador.
Riobamba is the terminus for the only train route running in the whole of Ecuador, and that almost exclusively as a tourist attraction. The passengers used to ride on the roof of the train from Riobamba to the Nariz del Diablo (Devil's nose). However, this is now prohibited due to recent deaths but is still allowed on special tourist trains. The scenery along the way is amazing; the best views are supposed to be at the right side. Some people have complained of the soot from the engine and so perhaps the best carriage to be on is the one in the middle, as the engine is moved from the front to the rear for the return journey. As the passengers are almost entirely tourists, expect children begging for candies along the track, and correspondingly a candyseller on the train.
The train will make a stop in Guamote and Alausi before heading down the switchbacks to Sibambe. There will be a small break to take some photos before heading back to Alausi and Riobamba. Most people choose to get off at Alausi and take a bus to Cuenca or back to Riobamba. The price is $11 for a ride from Riobamba down the Devil's nose and back to Alausi and $3.50 more to go all the way back to Riobamba.
The train departs Riobamba at 0700 hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Tickets go on sale on the day prior to departure and the ticket office hours are "usually" between 1600 and 1900.
In March 2008, a significant portion of the Nariz del Diablo (Devil's Nose) train route was closed due to landslides caused by heavy rains. Becasue of this, there were a bus connection that will take passengers from Riobamba to Alausi to ride the shortened segment. The track has been since repaired.
Getting around is easy and just for a very low price of 25 cents you can take the busy from one end of Riobamba to the other. If maybe the bus doesn't work for you, then maybe a taxi sounds convincing. At most a $1 would do to get you to the place you want.
On a clear day don't miss the view of the surrounding mountains. The best views in the city are from parque 21 de abril, close to the train station.
Riobamba is the nearest city to Mount Chimborazo. Even if you're not a mountain climber, it could still be worth a visit: take a coach to the Whymper Lodge, stretch your legs, and boast that you've been further from the Earth's centre than the summit of Everest.
- Tours in Chiva Express Train to Devil's Nose. Metropolitan Touring's Chiva Express is a typical, old-fashioned Latin American bus, with plenty of room on the roof for bags of grain, bananas and the odd chicken. In Quito, these buses have taken on a new lease of life as party vehicles with adapted, high-sided roofs. The Chiva idea had been adapted to the historic train ride from Quito to Guayaquil. Passengers will enjoy an exclusive and unique trip through the Andean countryside and the coastal lowlands visiting the Devil's Nose track on board of Chiva Express.
Night Life is also the best if your a party person. La 10 de Agosto is the teens favorite spot to relax and disstress from the weeks work. Tht night life starts around sun down and it goes from El Parque Infantil all the way to El Estation del Tren. And if your lucky to be around Las Fiestas del Abril, or Riobamba's indepedance day week, they hold a lot of activities and parades all that week just to celebrate another year of freedom.
On Saturdays there is a small artesan market. It seems to be mainly aimed at locals rather than tourists, and is certainly more authentic than Otavalo. Between Pinchincha street and España you can find the best boutiques for people of any age. Or if you like malls, check out El Mall Del Centro locate on Leon Borjaand la circumbalacion by La Plaza de Toros
Even though Riobamba is a small villiage, it never lacks of restaurants to enjoy good and typical foods. If you like pizza, or fried chicken or whatever it is, check out la 10 de agosto (Riobamba's main avenue) for all your tasty needs. Lunch starts at the price of $1.Cake at the Cafeteria Londres on García Moreno between 10 de Agosto and Primera Constituyente.
Drinking in Rio. (As the natives call Riobamba) isn't so hard to do. There are many places where you can go and enjoy a good drink. There is the bar "El Tentadero" and for the younger generation, "Las Pipas" Both are located across La Plaza de Toros on la 10 de Agosto.
- Hotel Metro, Av. León Borja y Lavalle, 03-961-714. Conveniently located next to the train station. Basic rooms have a tiny private bathroom. The shower takes ages to warm up, if at all. Rooms at the front are noisy, especially in weekends. Price: $5 per person.
But for a better and relaxing place, you can go to "Hotel el Zesus" where many athletics and famous people stay at. It located on 10 de agosto after the bus terminal and before el Parque Infantil. Rooms start from $40 a night. Or if you like a humbol place, you can spend the night at "El Hotel El Galpon" located on Carlos Zambrano y Argentina.
This page was last edited at 00:12, on 23 January 2009 by J-P Keskinen. Based on work by Kendrick Hang, Ann and Gonzalo Alvarez, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme, Morph, Estieben, Pjt33, Jonboy, WindHorse and Ronald and Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel.