• Ibarra
  • ParaglidingEnjoy the fantastic view!
  • Volcan Cotacachi
  • Condor
  • Laguna de Cuicocha
  • Tren de Libertad
  • Valle de Intaq
  • Imbabura
  • Freilejones
  • Rio Mira
  • Market in Otavalo
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Tourist information

A lot of different tours are starting directly from our campsite. All of them can be done either by yourself or together with us. In case you are planning a trip to the Amazonas, to the Pacific coast or anywhere else we will be able get all information required.!
The list below shows some of the most popular trips in the surrounding of Ibarra.

Our surroundings

Ibarra is located at 2.200 m on a plateau between the Occidental and Oriental Cordillera and is crossed by the Pan-American Highway from north to south. The capital city Quito is only 120 km or 2 hours by car away. Founded in 1606 by the Spaniards, the city was nearly completely destroyed by a heavy earthquake in 1868. The surviving inhabitants, about 700 of them, fled to La Esperanza at the foot of Imbabura volcano and they didn't start with the reconstruction of the city before April 1872. The streets were designed like a chess board and the houses were built in Colonial Style - whitewashed facades, red tile roofs. This is how Ibarra got its nickname White City. The two central squares "Pedro Moncayo" and "La Merced" form green spots in the town. Today, around 114.000 people live in the capital city of the province. They make up a colorful mixture of mestizos, indios and Afro-Ecuadorians and give the town a multi-cultural touch. The students of the 13 universities also contribute to the youthful and colorful image of the town. This becomes especially evident in the parades in Carnival in February, in the Retorno Festival in April and in the Foundation Festival in September. Unfortunately, Ibarra is always a little disregarded in the common guidebooks, so you can find a few destinations for tours and outings and sights around Ibarra.

Paragliding over Yahuarcocha

At an altitude of about 2800m are awarded on the mountains around the lake departure options for Para gliders in various places. The amount of distance to the lake shore is about 560m. The runway at the lakeside is also marked. Several times a year are held international championships in paragliding on Yahuarcocha. Our friend Pedro, flight instructors a paragliding school offers double flights and accompaniment for individual flights. Prices and information on departure times and locations may be obtained from us.

Historical train trip to Salinas

Since 2012, the historic railway from Ibarra in the 20 km Salinas is again passable and an experience in itself. 4 days a week nostalgic the train leaves the station of Ibarra direction Salinas. The journey leads us through the suburbs of Ibarra and then through tunnels, canyons and over bridges past sugarcane plantations into the valley to Salinas. The journey takes about 2 hours to the train station in Salinas. There, passengers will be welcomed with national dances and hosted in local gastronomy. The price includes a tour of the place and the visit of the salt museum. In the early afternoon the train back to Ibarra. Add to Wagons the history of the railroad line and the environment is multilingual explained by the country and people while driving.
Pre-registration required

Tour over Aluburo to Chota Valley

Volcanic hot springs Chachimbiro

The are several hot springs below the volcano Cotachimpiro feeding a thermal bath. The source of he hot water is coming from the extinct volcano Viuda.

Several pools with hot mineral water and different temperatures offer relaxing wellness.

The site is open till late night with nice ambient lighting.

Trip to the volcano craters of Cuicocha Lake and Mojanda Lake

The nice laguna de Cuichocha (guinea pig lake) is located at the bottom of the volcano Cuicocha. In the middle of the lake are two small islands which can be explored by a boat trip. It is also a good area for hiking and offers close looks to fauna and flora. (i.e orchids, bromeliads, pumamakis, kolibri or even condor)

The reason for the name "guinea pig lake" is still unclear. The islands in the middle of the lake could call to mind two cuddling guinea pigs or it's just because of the fact that there are so many of them in that area.

Not far away is another laguna with two smaller lakes called Laguna Mojanda. Here you will find a good example for the so called "Paramo" landscape. It can get wet and cold there, so please take appropriate clothing with you.

Trip to the leathertown Cotacachi

A good place to buy leather good from the locals.

Trip to the nature reserve El Angel

Trip to the cementery of Tulcan

If you are taking the E35 from Ibarra to Ecuador is worthwhile to have a short stop in the little village of Tucan. Based on the idea of Azael Franco the local cemetery has been equipped with countless numbers of plant sculptures. As this has been started in1936 nowadays his sons are taking care for the plants. As most of he time a cold breeze is blowing because of the high altitude, take your jacket with you. Imbabura

Climbing the volcanoes Imbabura, Cotacachi o Cayambe

The Imbabura is a so called "complex" volcano. The highest crater of the volcano hasn't been active for thousands of years. It is also called Taita Imbabura and has the status of a holy place in the mythology of the indian population.

If you want to have a photo of the summit taken, be there early morning or at sunset.

The Cotacachi is an extincted and heavily eroded stratovolcano with a remaining height of 4935m. The volcano belongs to the natural reserve Cotacachi. There is also a nice lake at the foot of the volcano.

The summit of the Cayambe has a height of 5796m and is located 4km north of the equator. During the rainy season especially the southern slope is coated with snow and the only "white" place on earth on this degree of latitude .

The top of the mountain contains an area of permanent glaciers which can be reached by car (4x4, 40$ fare) till the height of 4500m. The remaining route is then up to you and your condition.

Note: This hike is only recommended for trained people, equipped with all necessary gear. A registration is mandatory upfront.

Visit the glaciers of vulcano Cayambe at 4600 m

The summit of the Cayambe has a height of 5796m and is located 4km north of the equator. During the rainy season especially the southern slope is coated with snow and the only "white" place on earth on this degree of latitude .

The top of the mountain contains an area of permanent glaciers which can be reached by car (4x4, 40$ fare) till the height of 4500m. The remaining route is then up to you and your condition.

Note: This hike is only recommended for trained people, equipped with all necessary gear. A registration is mandatory upfront.

Hike to the cascade Peguche including a place of ancient indian worship

Sightseeing tour to the biggest handicraft market in latin america

Note that there are several markets all around the town from which the most well known is the one on the Plaza de Ponchos. It is open throughout the week except Tuesdays and has the most exhibitors on Sundays which is also the day where most of the tourists are showing up. (and prices are highest) The artesanias market offers products weaved and sewed by the local people but also brought in from throughout Ecuador and from Peru and Bolivia.

There are buses from Ibarra to Otavalo every 10 minutes (0,50$).

Mitad del mundo - Visit the equator monument in Cayambe

Visit the pyramids of Cochasquì

The pyramids of Cochasqui are half way between Ibarra and Quito and well worth to visit. This archeological place of worship was built between 850 bc and 1550 ac and is a UNESCO world heritage place.

So far 15 Pyramids have been uncovered in this biggest (in sqm) archeological site of Ecuador so far. Giving insights to many details of our predecessors.

In good weather the view from Cochasqui offers perfect views of the Tumbaco valley, Quito and the Cotopaxi as well.

Visit the condor parc in Otavalo

Unfortunately there are not many Condors in the Andes anymore. The best chance to see one of these majestic birds should visit the Parque Condor in Otavalo.

It is located atop of the town and comes with a phantastic view on the lake San Pablo and the surrounding Volcanos.

Further information

Parque de Bambu in el Limonal

Thirty five years ago our good Belgian friend Piet has bought a finca approximately 1 hour drive from here into the direction of San Lorenzo.

More than forty different types of Bamboo from all over the world have been planted and grown by him. In addition you can see a lot of indigenous vegetables, fruit and other trees. During an appr. 3h walk around his finca Piet will share his knowledge about nature, medical importance of the plants and biological details with you.

Further information