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Top Ecuador


Altitude: 39,000 meters (128,000 ft)
Population: 30,473
Phone Code: 02

Cayambe is a medium-sized Andean town, located at the foot of the volcano of the same name. Most visitors to Ecuador will get to see the town, at least in passing, as Cayambe is squarely on the route between Quito and Otavalo.There are a couple of good restaurants in town, and most Ecuadorians will not drive through Cayambe without picking up a bag of freshly made bizcochos, the specialty of Cayambe. Bizcochos are long, thin, yellowish-orange biscuits, made by hand and baked in ovens similar to pizza ovens. They are not sweet but salty, and many Ecuadorians like to eat their bizcochos dipped in manjar de leche, a milk product similar to caramel.

The main road through Cayambe is home to seemingly dozens of small bizcocho bakeries, most of which will be happy to show you how they’re made if you ask. The bakeries usually also sell queso de hoja (“leaf cheese”) which is a bit like string cheese. Back in the day, this fresh mozzarella-like cheese was made and then wrapped in leaves (hence the name), but nowadays they use plastic baggies. A small sack of bizcochos, a couple of leaf cheeses and some manjar de leche for dipping will set you back less than two bucks, so it’s worth your while to give them a shot if you’re passing through.


Other places nearby Cayambe: Agato, Oyacachi, Salinas Valley, Lago San Pablo, San Antonio De Ibarra, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Cotacachi, Ibarra, Quito and Lagunas de Mojanda.

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
18 Mar 2013

Bizcochos: Cayambe's Bread and Butter


Crumbling on the edges, every buttery bite of the bizcocho Cayambeño evokes Spaniard traditions kneaded by generations of hard-working Andean hands. As you drive through the Ecuadorian capital of ...
Cayambe, Ecuador
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