Altitude: 3,396 meters (11,140 ft) Phone Code: 03
Climbing up from PujilĂ, the rolling hillsides ascend towards the jagged peaks of Cotopaxi and the Ilinizas. Here lies the tiny village of Tigua, which has become world famous for a special style of painting of the same name. Colorful pieces depicting Andean life can be bought directly from the artists at the GalerĂa de los Pinturas de Tigua, run by the association of indigenous painters of Tigua. Be on the lookout for paintings by the Toaquiza family, who originally conceptualized the Tigua style.
Thereâ€™s not much of a town center, more a scattering of several clusters of houses and the occasional shop, but Tigua is close to the larger town of Zumbahua. There are pretty walks in the area, and two excellent lodging options make Tigua an appealing place to base yourself in while exploring the region. Both of these accommodations provide meals, as there are no restaurants in Tigua.
Mount Amina hovers over the eastern side of the village, which, according to local Quichua legend, is a giant who came from the coast to rest in Tigua and has been sleeping there ever since. Every summer locals gather on the mountain for a ceremony.