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Altitude: 2,225 meters (7,300 ft) Population: 109,000 Phone Code: 06

Ibarra, Imbabura's provincial capital and the most populated highland city north of Quito, is also known as the "White City," due to its colonial whitewashed buildings (though some visitors find it a bit more lackluster than it sounds). Cobblestone streets and red-tiled roofs add to the historic ambiance. In the past, busloads of travelers came to Ibarra to hop aboard the train which rolled its way down to the coastal town of San Lorenzo; unfortunately, this route is currently under construction (and has been for some time). There is an alternative however, and visitors can now opt to take the train on the beautiful, 30-kilometer (18.6 mi) route to the Afro-Ecuadorian town of Salinas.

Ibarra is a peaceful, pleasant place to spend a day or two, with its pretty plazas, sunny climate, relaxed café culture and excellent sweets treats (such as the famous helado de paila, a sorbet-like dessert, which is sold everywhere). It is also a good base from which to explore the surrounding countryside, including nearby Laguna Yahuarcocha and the highland hamlet of La Esperanza, which sits at the foot of Volcan Imbabura.

Neighborhoods in Ibarra: Chota Valley, Yacucalle, Around Ibarra,

Other places nearby Ibarra: Quito, Oyacachi, Agato, Cahuasqui, La Esperanza , Otavalo, Peguche, Tumbabiro, Cotacachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve and Lago San Pablo.

26 Oct 2012

Top Places in Ibarra


114403Located not far to the north of Ibarra and near the town of Chota, Mascarilla is a small town that is not yet on the tourist trail in Ecuador. The roughly 1,000 inhabitants of Mascarilla are ...
Mascarilla, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador


Cahuasqui is a beautiful, but remote village where the residents depend largely on subsistence agriculture. Their farming techniques employ methods which have remained unchanged over the course of ...
Cahuasqui, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador


Tumbabiro is a small, rural village located approximately 40 minutes northwest of Ibarra. Most of the people who live in this area still cultivate crops using largely traditional methods. Many of the ...
Tumbabiro, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Salinas Valley

Salinas, located just 30 kilometers from Ibarra, gets its name from the high concentration of mineral salts in the area soils. Up until fairly recently, people were still extracting mineral salt by ...
Salinas Valley, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

San Antonio De Ibarra

San Antonio de Ibarra, located on the southern outskirts of Ibarra, is a village where roughly 25 percent of the 15,000 residents are involved in some form of sculpting or wood carving. Carpentry ...
San Antonio De Ibarra, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Things to do in Ibarra


145399Located a half an hour outside of Ibarra, Hacienda Piman is an excellent example of an historical Ecuadorian hacienda, founded in the 1620;s and remaining in the same family from the 1680\'s until ...
All-inclusive Resort Lodge
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Hacienda Zuleta

102378Located about an hour from Otavalo, Zuleta is a good option for travelers who are looking for an authentic hacienda experience. Like the haciendas of old, Zuleta is a working, 1620-hectare ...
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

HosterĂ­a PantavĂ­

145077HosterĂ­a PantavĂ­ has 12 lovely rooms in a beautiful, peaceful setting. There is a variety of ethnic art on the walls of the main house, painted by the owner, Camilo Andrade. Many of these pieces ...
Tumbabiro, Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Hacienda Chorlavi

If you interested in rustic accommodation that\'s still comfortable and charming, then Hacienda Chorlavi is the place to come to. The hotel consists of a converted colonial hacienda, complete with ...
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Hotel Ajavi

Hotel Ajavi is one of Ibarra\'s nicest hotels, with rates that are lower than would be expected from a hotel of this quality. It has many luxury features, including a huge outdoor pool, gym and spa ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Hotel Montecarlo

Centrally located, Hotel Montecarlo is a spacious establishment with 33 rooms and two suites, all of which have private bathrooms, cable TV and WiFi. While not a luxury retreat, the establishment is ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Rancho de Carolina

The peaceful Rancho de Carolina is set back on a small dirt road, away from nearby Pan-American Highway. The ranch, located among the green mountains of the Imbarabura province, offers a place to ...
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Hostal El Ejecutivo

Hostal El Ejectivo has been owned and operated by the Chacon family of Ibarra for over 30 years, and is a clean, comfortable establishment with hospitable staff. There are 16 rooms in total, all ...
Ibarra, Ecuador


Travelers on a budget, or those interested in spending the night in a charming but run-down colonial house, should make their way to Imbabura. The hotel has an interior courtyard, soaring ceilings ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Hacienda Lulunqui

Nestled in the rugged Andes Mountains of northern Ecuador, Hacienda Lulunqui is a working dairy farm and hacienda offering spectacular accommodation, coupled with scenic views and the option of ...
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador

Hotel Nueva Estancia

Hotel Nueva Estancia is a deceptively spacious hotel overlooking the pleasant Parque La Merced. Unfortunately, its location is probably its best asset however, as inside it feels a little run down; ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Top Thing to do in Ibarra

Laguna Yaguarcocha

If you’re looking to escape the city, Laguna Yaguarcocha is a pleasant side-trip on the outskirts of Ibarra. What is now a peaceful lake set among rolling green hills, was once the site of a bloody ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Museo Central Cultural

The excellent Museo Central Cultural consists of a number of rooms containing over 350 Ecuadorian archaeological finds, including prehistoric ceramics, gold artifacts, and masks. There are also two ...
Ibarra, Ecuador

Tren De La Libertad

It may no longer be possible to go to San Lorenzo by train from Ibarra, but, since 2011, there has been an alternative: the scenic tourist train to Salinas, an Afro-Ecuadorian community some 30 ...
Other Activity
Ibarra, Ecuador

Guayabillas Animal Rescue Center

Set in a park of 4.6 hectares (11.36 ac) overlooking Ibarra, the Guayabillas Animal Rescue Center is a wonderful place to visit. Founded in 2005, the center houses dozens of animals, most of whom ...
Other Activity
Ibarra, Ecuador

Volcán Imbabura

This long-extinct volcano is located just south-west of Ibarra. The 4,630-meter (15,190-ft) high summit can be climbed in one long day (around 10 to 12 hours round trip) and, although not technically ...
Around Ibarra, Ibarra, Ecuador
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