Ecuador travel blog by Mark Berman -
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Machachi is the first town along the Pan-American highway you pass-by south of Quito (45mins by bus from Quito's southern terminal - Quitumbe).
The town is about 1km to the side of the highway. There's not a lot to see in the town itself but it does have a beautiful setting surrounded by
mountains and is very close to Cotopaxi National Park which offers hiking, camping, cycling, picnicking, birdwatching and horse riding. Machachi
however does have a nice central park with several historic buildings around it and a lot of street art and murals around town.
actually 8 historic buildings in Machachi and 6 are schools - Escuela Isabel Yanez, Escuela Mariano Negrete, Escuela Luis Felipe Borja and Escuela
Santa Luisa de Marillac. Plus another school for young kids - Casa de la Juventud and the college - Colegio Nacional Machachi. There is the
Municipal Palace and the church Iglesia Matriz also.
Views of Volcanoes
It's a peaceful place and very laid-back considering it is so close to Quito. From Machachi,
in any direction you look, you will see one of the 9 volcanoes that surround it, it's beautiful on a sunny day! The streets around town are nice
to walk around because there are great views of the mountains at the end of them all.
I was unlucky to be about a week late for the 'El Chagra'
celebration which happens at around the end of July and has rodeos, cowboys and parades.
Market day in Machachi is Sunday but if it's markets you
want to see I would head 40mins (50kms) south to one of the most famous ones in Saquisili
(near Saquisili) also has a market on
Wednesdays and Sundays.
Good Stopover Point Latacunga
, about 1hr south of
Machachi is by far a much more interesting town than Machachi as far as historic buildings and plazas go etc. Machachi is a good place to spend a night if you have come from the south and don't want the hassle
at the end of a hard days travel. After I spent the night
in Machachi I bused north to Terminal Quitumbe - Quito's southern terminal where I stayed in a hotel close to the terminal
for a couple of nights.