Things to do in


Top Activities and Attractions in Ambato



About an hour and a half outside of Quito, Ambato receives most of its tourist traffic because it happens to have a bus terminal that connects the Quito and Baños routes. Although Ambato pales in comparison to the many sites of interest in other Andean cities, it does have some interesting things to see and do. Still, if possible, it’s generally a better option to hop on the bus to Quito or Baños and spend the night in one of those cities than in Ambato.

Ambato does have a large-scale Carnaval festival, however, and the second half of February is the liveliest time of year here. During the Fiesta de las flores y las frutas, the city streets thrive with parades, outdoor parties and traditional events like bullfights. Accommodations fill up quickly during Carnaval, so be sure to plan in advance.

Ambato Facts & Statistics

Full name: San Juan de Ambato
Population: 450.000
Year founded: Most of colonial Ambato was destroyed in an earthquake eruption in 1949. Almost all of the city was rebuilt after that year.
Distance from Quito: 123km south of Quito

Things to Do in Ambato

Although more of a stop-over than an actual destination, Ambato does have a good selection of Indigenous Salasaca woven tapestries, particularly on Mondays, the main market day. The town of Salasaca is further down the road towards Baños, and many Salasaca artisans sell their work in Ambato because it is more heavily trafficked than the small village.

Other things to do include the Quinta de Mera, a preserved historic home and the stately Parque Juan Montalvo.

Ambato lends itself to daytrips to Chimborazo (Ecuador’s highest peak), and of couse the town of Baños with its many attractions and outdoor adventure opportunities.

The second half of February is always a good time to visit, for the Fiesta de las flores y las frutas Carnaval festival.

How to Get to and Away From Ambato

Ambato falls in the middle of the route between Quito and Baños, and the Ambato bus station is a well-connected hub, with daily buses to Guayaquil, Quito, Baños, Cuenca, Latacunga, Santo Domingo, Riobamba, Guaranda, Tena, Macas, Puyo, Loja, Machala and Esmeraldas. The bus station’s phone number is 032821841. Buses leave Quito’s Terminal Terrestre Cumandá for Ambato about every 20 minutes.

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About an hour and a half outside of Quito, Ambato receives most of its tourist traffic because it happens to have a bus terminal that connects the Quito…