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Ambato Travel Guide
Overview | Sightseeing | Accommodation | Restaurants | Fun | Ambato Festivals | Ambato Shopping | Ambato Transport | Tour operators in Ambato | General information | Write a review about Ambato

 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Overview
Ambato elevation: 2577m
Area code: 03
Population: 175,000

Ambato, is a nice town to amble around surrounded by gorgeous mountain ranges all reachable for hiking and walking. Located some 138 km south of Quito, is the capital of the province of Tungurahua, well known for its leather industry, Carnival festivities (In February) and massive fruit markets. Most hotels and restaurants are close to the center as are one or two parks well sheltered with fauna, flowers and fountains though traffic congestion is heavy on weekdays. The Monday Market in the city's downtown is one of the biggest in Ecuador and is worth visiting.
The nicest suburbs in Ambato are Miraflores and Atocha, which you may access by bus or taxi.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Sightseeing
Ambato apart from its excellent bread and cakes is known as the "City of Flowers and fruits". This has been mainly attributable to its plethora of parks, gardens and tree filled streets. The city is also famous in writing circles and has also been penned as "The land of the Three Juans" (Tierra de los tres Juanes) after Juan Montalvo, Juan Benigno Malo and Juan León Mera, who have been also immortalized through park monuments and museums in Ambato.

The statue of the famous writer Juan Montalvo, is located in Parque Montalvo right in front of the modern Cathedral, the actual burial site is in a parallel street. Juan Montalvo's house (Tel. 2824248) is located at Bolivar and Montalvo street and is open to the public Monday to Saturdays from 09:30 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30 (Admission fee $1).

Quinta de Juan Leon Mera (Tel. 2820419), an old mansion with beautiful gardens in the Atocha suburb on Ave. Los Capulies s/n, is worth visiting (Open 09:30 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:30). Another area for nature historians or interested parties is the Botany, ethnographic collections, stuffed birds and other animals at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales Héctor Vásquez (Tel. 2821958), at Colegio Nacional Bolivar on Sucre between Lalama and Martínez. Open Mondays to Fridays from 08:30 to 12:30 and 14:30 to 17:30. And Saturdays 09:00 to 17:00.

For a day's excursion around Ambato, either a taxi can be hailed down or a serene stroll along the Rio Ambato can be enjoyed to Miraflores. Miraflores is also a center for personally made leather crafts along with a range of various tourist shops keeping the tourists entertained for hours and all items from Leather, hand bags down to lesser items at super low prices. July to August at Pillaro (10 km to the northeast of the city), you may either participate or view the town's Annual Bull run and Bullfights (August 10) as well as colorful Parades on July 15 when Fiesta del Apostolo Santiago is celebrated (St. James). Also, Pillaro is the main entry point for the Llanganates National Park. Another interesting excursion close to Ambato is the village of Quizapincha, which is located some 10 Km west of Ambato well known for its fine inexpensive leatherwork. A couple of additional interesting excursions near Ambato are to Picaihua (frequent buses available) to see the local work from cabuya fiber and to Pinllo for more local leather work.

The main market is held on Mondays. This is considered one of the biggest around the area and the largest city market of the country. Most of the commerce in Ambato takes place in the streets but, the latter has been recently well run into modern buildings located some 10 blocks from the center. There are many other smaller markets which do not offer as many items for tourists as the main one. However, most items are not for travellers but worth a visit just to experience life in a market town.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Accommodation
Important Notice: If you wish to book in advance any of the below listed hotels, motels, resorts, or bed and breakfasts in Ambato for either a high standing or affordable place to stay during a business trip or vacation. By filling in our online Hotel reservation form, a BOE specialized agent will be able to search for the best and most affordable accommodation rates. Save time and money and take advantage of immediate discounted hotel rates!.

Rates for the following hotels vary between 40 and 80 Dollars per room, per night. The most recommended hotels in Ambato are listed below as follows:

Hotel Ambato.- The hotel offers lovely views over the Rio Ambato, casino, a good bar-restaurant, comfortable rooms with private bath (hot water), Cable TV, and telephone line. Located in the center of the city on Guayaquil 0108 and Rocafuerte. Book Now!

Hotel Miraflores.- Comfortable rooms with cable TV and private bath. Their room rates include breakfast. Address: Ave. Miraflores 2-27 (on the suburb of the same name). Book Now!

Hostels

The below listed hostels are safe and acceptable amongst all budget hostels in Ambato. Rates vary between 5 and 20 Dollars per room, per night.

Hostal Señorial.- Single and double spacious rooms with Cable TV, telephone and private bath. Address: Cevallos and Quito. Book Now!

Piramide Inn.- Single and double comfortable carpeted rooms with private bath, cable TV and telephone line. Address: Cevallos and Eguez. Book Now!

Hostal La Union.- Rooms with shared baths (hot water). Address: Espejo and 12 de Noviembre. Book Now!

Special note: Around Parque 12 de Noviembre there are several "residenciales" and restaurants (Not safe or recommended).
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Restaurants
The most recommended restaurants in Ambato are listed below as follows:

El Alamo Chalet.- Set meals, à la carte, Ecuadorian & international food. Address: Cevallos 17-19 and Montalvo, Tel. 03-2824704.

Pizzeria Fornace.- The best Pizzas in town. Self-service, set meals. Address: Cevallos 17-28. Tel. 03-2823244.

La Buena Mesa.- 60s Atmosphere restaurant. Good French style cook. Address: Quito 924 and Bolivar, Tel. 03-2824332.

El Gaucho.- Argentinean Grills. Address: Bolivar and Quito, Tel. 03-2828969.

Farid.- Middle eastern style. Address: Bolivar 16-74 and Juan León Mera, Tel. 03-2824664.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Fun
El Coyote.- Disco Club. Address: Bolívar and Guayaquil.

Cerveceria Bufalo.- For a good beer and dancing. Address: Olmedo and Mera.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Festivals
The famous Festival of Fruits and Flowers (Fiesta de las Flores y de las Frutas) in Ambato, is held annually in the last two weeks of February during Carnival. This is one of the most attractive holidays of the region with colorful parades, festivities and Bullfights for up to four days. Unless one books prior it is difficult to find accommodation easily. (See Festivals).
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Shopping
If you're looking for leather jackets, bags and belts in Ambato. They are available on the Vela street between Lalama and Montalvo. Many stores for leather shoes can also be found along "Bolivar" street.

Supermaxi.- For food provisions. Address: Ave. de los Capulíes and Mirabeles, in Ficoa.

Calzado Piedrahita.- For leather hiking boots. Address: Bolivar 15-08 and Lalama.

Supermercado.- Centro Comercial Ambato, Parque 12 de Noviembre.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Transport
Bus

The main Ambato Bus station is located 2 km north from the center on Ave. Colombia and Paraguay, Tel. 03-2821841. Buses to all destinations leave from here as listed below:

To Guayaquil, 6 1/2 hours (US$6). To Quito, 2 3/4 hours (US$2,00). To Baños, 45 to 1 hour (US$1). To Cuenca, 7 hours (US$7,00). To Latacunga, 45 minutes (US$1). To Santo Domingo de los Colorados, 4 hours (US$3). To Riobamba, 1 hour (US$1). To Guaranda, 2 hours (US$1.80). To Tena, 6 hours. (US$4.50). To Macas, 6 1/2 hours (US$4). To Puyo, 3 hours (US$3). To Loja, 12 hours (US$9). To Machala, 8 hours (US$6). To Esmeraldas, 8 hours (US$6).

Car hire

Localiza.- Address: Juan Cajas and 12 de Noviembre, close to the bus station. Tel. 03-2849128.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Tour operators
Metropolitan Touring.- Tel. 2-824084. Address: Rocafuerte 1401. Another branch in Centro Comercial Caracol.
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 Ecuador and Galapagos Travel General information
Tourist offices.- The Ministerio de Turismo is next to Hotel Ambato. Address: Guayaquil and Rocafuerte. Tel. 03-2821800.

Money

Cambiato.- Good for Traveler's checks. They also deal with European and Latin American currencies. Address: Bolivar 686.

Banco del Pacífico.- On Cevallos and Lalama and also on Cevallos and Unidad Nacional. Traveler's Checks and Mastercard.

Banco de Guayaquil.- On Sucre and Juan León Mera. For American Express, Visa, Mastercard and Traveler's Checks.

Produbanco.- On Montalvo and Sucre. Travellers Checks and currencies.

Airline offices

TAME.- For flights reservations (to other destinations) and emergencies only. Their offices are located on Bolivar 20-17, Tel. 03-2826601 / 2822595 / 2820322.

Communications

Andinatel.- On Castillo 03-31 and Rocafuerte street, Open from 08:00 to 21:30.

Post Office.- On Castillo and Bolívar street, by Parque Juan Montalvo. Open from 08:00 to 18:00.

Internet (rates around US$1,50 per hour.)

Net Place.- On Juan Montalvo and Cevallos.

Café de la Casa.- On Bolivar and Montalvo, inside Casa de la Cultura.

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Ambato Travel Guide:
Overview | Sightseeing | Accommodation | Restaurants | Fun | Ambato Festivals | Ambato Shopping | Ambato Transport | Tour operators in Ambato | General information | Write a review about Ambato
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