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El Ángel

Altitude: 3,000 m (9,842 ft)
Population: 5,000
Phone Code: 06

The sleepy little village of El Ángel, nestled high amid the pretty rolling green pastures of the Carchi province, is the base for visiting the ecological reserve of El Ángel 17 km away.

The most basic services like telephone, tourist information and pharmacies are available in the streets around the main square. Beyond that, and apart from strolling up and down the Monday food and clothing market, you will not find much to do in the village. If you have your own wheels, you can drive to the waterfalls and pools in the surrounding area. But the major attraction nearby, the Reserva Ecológica, can only be reached by 4x4 or by hiring a pick-up from the town center.

There are a couple of cheap accommodation options in town, plus the well-kept El Ángel Hostería, then a luxury lodge, the Polylepis, much further out, and a few simple eateries scattered around. El Ángel was named after the Indian chief Blas Angel, whose statue you can see on the Botijuela monument in the middle of the roundabout at the entrance of town. The 1926 church and the main park with clipped cypress trees are about the only other noteworthy landmarks.

Tourist information

The InfoTur tourist information center on the main square (on the Esmeraldas side) is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., and can deluge you with brochures about the area. Tel: 06-2977-147.

The office of the Reserva Ecológica just a few meters away on Salinas and Esmeraldas is much more knowledgeable and helpful when it comes to organizing a tour of the reserve and can give you maps of the park. Open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Tel. 06-2977-597.


You will find a few cheap eateries on the main streets, like Asadero Rico Pollo on Espejo and Segunda Transversal, or Doña Mary which serves $1.50 set lunches, on the corner of Crijalva and the main square. The only place that deserves to be called a restaurant is La Pozada Café-Deli, on Río Frio and Segunda Transversal (Tel. 06-2977-371, E-mail: which offers burritos and enchiladas from $1.60 as well as sandwiches and salads ($1.30-1.80) and breakfasts ($1.50-2.50).

Phone Andinatel is on the corner of Espejo and José B. Crijalva and there are cabinas Porta on the same street one block before the main park.

Hospital Tel. 06-2977-166

Police Tel. 06-2977-101


Other places nearby El Ángel: Lagunas de Mojanda, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve, Otavalo, Quito, Salinas Valley, Agato, Oyacachi, Tumbabiro, Cahuasqui and Lago San Pablo.

By Andrea Davoust
After more than two years of working and living out of a suitcase in Eastern Europe and in various improbable African countries that no-one has ever...
15 Apr 2013

Places to Stay in El Angel

Residencial Las Chimeneas

130060This quiet little hole-in-the-wall place offers just four rooms for rent on the first floor of the owner’s house. The wooden rooms are pretty basic, with sagging beds and thin walls, and the ...
El Ángel, Ecuador

Polylepis Lodge

Polylepis is a unique eco-lodge tucked inside El Ángel Ecological Reserve. The reserve protects 30 acres of rare polylepis forest that dates back to about 2 million years. The lodge has a mix of 14 ...
El Ángel, Ecuador

Hostal San Blas

Right on the roundabout at the entrance of the village, Hostal San Blas offers very basic and somewhat dark rooms with tiled floors. Some have a private bathroom. While distinctly lacking in charm, ...
El Ángel, Ecuador
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