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Guaranda, Ecuador - An Awesome Day Trip From Ambato By Bus

Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman - June 2009 July 2015   » View Photoset (74 Photos)

Mark Berman, South America backpacker for 10yrs!

Awesome Day Trip

A day trip from Ambato, the journey from Ambato to Guaranda is one I have enjoyed twice now. It's a fantastic 2hr bus ride (each way)
Ecuador Photo - Red and yellow flower at Bolivar Park in Guaranda.
Red and yellow flower at Bolivar Park in Guaranda.
through the beautiful green Ecuadorian highlands passing just 5kms within Chimborazo Volcano and passing up, through and above the clouds. This journey starts from the Ambato bus terminal and takes a good 20mins to get out of the city, but once you see the monument of the 50ft woman holding a basket on the outskirts of town, the fun begins!

Bus to Guaranda

Along the way you will pass many Quechua farming communities as well as many specially marked roads with large signs that say Red Vial Tungurahua - I believe these roads all lead to higher ground in case of
Ecuador Photo - Man at a bus-stop, streetlamps above, outside a blue house in Guaranda.
Man at a bus-stop, streetlamps above, outside a blue house in Guaranda.
earthquakes and eruptions. I actually saw the Tungurahua Volcano eruption in 2010 while in Banos and the whole town was evacuated! At a point on the journey the view disappears for a short time as the bus ascends up into the clouds to over 4000 meters above sea level. The best views are mostly on the right. When I arrived in Guaranda I left the bus in the town center.

Chimborazo Volcano

About an hour into the trip you pass Chimborazo, if it's a sunny day hopefully you will get a good view. Look out for wild deer in the highlands near the road too! A little way before Guaranda is the turnoff to Salinas (20kms), the place to visit to eat chocolate and cheese.

Looking Around Guaranda

After arriving in Guaranda I had a some lunch and enjoyed a few hours having a look around town for which I
Ecuador Photo - Street, shops and balconies in the center of Guaranda.
Street, shops and balconies in the center of Guaranda.
was pleasantly surprised by its color, charm and historic architecture. The central park Parque El Libertador Simon Bolivar is beautiful and has colonial buildings all around it. In one of the buildings Manuel de Echeandia (1783-1850) was born, he was active in the independence of Venezuela. Angel Polibio Chaves (1855-1930), an important writer was born in another house nearby. The park has the cathedral on one side and many trees and beauty all around it. This is the nicest part of Guaranda and not to be missed! Down the road a little is the market Mercado Municipal 10 de Noviembre with the usual fish, meat, fruit and vegetables for sale. Along the streets around town, houses stand in
Ecuador Photo - Pink flowers near the church in Bolivar Park in Guaranda.
Pink flowers near the church in Bolivar Park in Guaranda.
colorful rows and have interesting balconies and doorways. Uphill a little at Plaza 15 de Mayo is another nice part of town with views of around Guaranda and some of the other churches including Iglesia Mariana de Jesus, the local market is held here each Wednesday and Saturday. Guaranda has a healthy scattering of statues and busts of important people and other plazas, parks and places including Plaza Roja, Parque Montenegro, Parque 9 de Octubre, museum Museo Escuela de Cultura Andina and theatre Teatro Municipal Nilo.

Bus to Ambato

When I left town I walked 10mins to the bus terminal which has some nice views of the valley to see on the way and headed back to Ambato. I look forward to exploring more of this part of Ecuador next time I am here!

     

View all photos in the Guaranda Photoset


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Distances & times (if available) from Guaranda (Ecuador) to:


Map location: Guaranda, Ecuador. They say that half the fun is the journey to get here and how do you do that? From Ambato! Guaranda is a nice little town in the mountains, you can get to Guayaquil and the coast from here.
 A : Riobamba & Colta Lagoon - Ecuador 36 kms 36 kms straight distance | 1hr 32mins 1hr 32mins by car (79 kms) | 1hr 50mins 1hr 50mins by bus (79 kms) (79 kms)
 B : Ambato - Ecuador 53 kms 53 kms straight distance | 1hr 54mins 1hr 54mins by car (101 kms) | 2hrs 16mins 2hrs 16mins by bus (101 kms) (101 kms)
 C : Banos - Ecuador 67 kms 67 kms straight distance | 2hrs 29mins 2hrs 29mins by car (133 kms) | 2hrs 58mins 2hrs 58mins by bus (133 kms) (133 kms)
 D : Latacunga - Ecuador 85 kms 85 kms straight distance | 2hrs 33mins 2hrs 33mins by car (142 kms) | 3hrs 3mins 3hrs 3mins by bus (142 kms) (142 kms)
 E : Pujili - Ecuador 77 kms 77 kms straight distance | 2hrs 31mins 2hrs 31mins by car (151 kms) | 3hrs 1min 3hrs 1min by bus (151 kms) (151 kms)
 F : Alausi - Ecuador 69 kms 69 kms straight distance | 2hrs 39mins 2hrs 39mins by car (156 kms) | 3hrs 10mins 3hrs 10mins by bus (156 kms) (156 kms)
 G : Saquisili - Ecuador 91 kms 91 kms straight distance | 2hrs 49mins 2hrs 49mins by car (164 kms) | 3hrs 22mins 3hrs 22mins by bus (164 kms) (164 kms)
 H : Puyo - Ecuador 108 kms 108 kms straight distance | 3hrs 39mins 3hrs 39mins by car (191 kms) | 4hrs 22mins 4hrs 22mins by bus (191 kms) (191 kms)
 I : Guayaquil - Ecuador 138 kms 138 kms straight distance | 3hrs 56mins 3hrs 56mins by car (197 kms) | 4hrs 43mins 4hrs 43mins by bus (197 kms) (197 kms)
 J : Machachi - Ecuador 128 kms 128 kms straight distance | 3hrs 11mins 3hrs 11mins by car (200 kms) | 3hrs 49mins 3hrs 49mins by bus (200 kms) (200 kms)
 K : Quilotoa Lagoon - Ecuador 81 kms 81 kms straight distance | 3hrs 43mins 3hrs 43mins by car (215 kms) | 4hrs 27mins 4hrs 27mins by bus (215 kms) (215 kms)
 L : Macas to Zamora - Ecuador 122 kms 122 kms straight distance | 4hrs 34mins 4hrs 34mins by car (246 kms) | 5hrs 28mins 5hrs 28mins by bus (246 kms) (246 kms)
 M : Tena - Ecuador 146 kms 146 kms straight distance | 4hrs 59mins 4hrs 59mins by car (273 kms) | 5hrs 58mins 5hrs 58mins by bus (273 kms) (273 kms)
 N : Cuenca - Ecuador 144 kms 144 kms straight distance | 5hrs 30mins 5hrs 30mins by car (314 kms) | 6hrs 36mins 6hrs 36mins by bus (314 kms) (314 kms)
 O : Mindo - Ecuador 173 kms 173 kms straight distance | 5hrs 40mins 5hrs 40mins by car (347 kms) | 6hrs 48mins 6hrs 48mins by bus (347 kms) (347 kms)
Driving times are accurate but approximate and are listed in the order of driving distance! Drive times are always affected by weather conditions, the terrain, time of day, altitude, dinner and bathroom stops, animals on the road, protests, a fast or slow bus driver, police checkpoints, border and river crossings, dropping off and picking up passengers etc. These drive times are obtained from Google Maps and are meant as a guide. Note however, times quoted in the main text of this page are exactly as the author experienced it.


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Guaranda, Ecuador - An Awesome Day Trip From Ambato By Bus. They say that half the fun is the journey to get here and how do you do that? From Ambato! Guaranda is a nice little town in the mountains, you can get to Guayaquil and the coast from here.

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