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Introduction

Ibarra is the capital of Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador. It lies at the foot of the Imbabura Volcano and on the left bank of the Tahuando river. It is about 70 kilometres northeast of Ecuador's capital Quito.

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Sights and Activities

  • Tren de la Libertad, ☎ +1800-873637 (in Ecuador). Th-Su and holidays 11:25 to 16:40 - passengers must arrive 30 minutes before departure time. Advance booking is recommended. A 2-hour train ride Ibarra – Salinas – Ibarra on a type of bus converted to run on the railway line. With seven tunnels and tall bridges across steep canyons, the la Libertad Train travels from Ibarra to Salinas. In Salinas you’ll discover colorful murals commemorating the history and culture of Afro-ecuadorian people. Bring a light jacket, walking shoes, hat, sunscreen (SPF 70 at least), sunglasses, camera, cash and insect repellant. Altitude ranges from 1,600 to 2,200 metres above sea level. The temperature ranges from 14° to 25 °C. A guarded parking area is available at Ibarra Station. Ibarra is 126 kilometres north from Quito - 2½-3 hour’s drive. In Otavalo there are paid parking lots nearby the railway station. Otavalo is 90 kilometres north from Quito –a 2-2½ hours’ drive. Adult $30; child, senior or person with disabilities $21.
  • Lago Yahuarcocha. A beautiful lake 3 km from Ibarra. It is possible to take boat trips, go fishing or paragliding. Has hotels and restaurants specialising in fish dishes. Also has a racetrack which hosts local car and bike racing.
  • Valle del Chota. An area populated by African-Ecuatorian descendants. It is possible to visit typical villages and go fishing, rafting or kayaking.
  • Otavalo. This town is famous for its market. It is 30 mins away by bus. Buses leave every 10 minutes.

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Weather

Ibarra features a warm-summer mediterranean climate under the Köppen climate classification. This is possible due to the town's high elevation in the Ecuadorian Andes providing cooler temperatures and a seasonal rain-shadow characteristic. The dry/warm season is technically local winter due to the town's location being south of the Intertropical Convergence Zone from June to September. However, since Ibarra is located just north of the equator this season could be classified as a summer. The highland climate is mild all year round.

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Getting There

By Bus

Ibarra has a modern bus station, although some buses that pass through the town don't go there. The bus from Quito costs $2.5$ and takes 2.5 hours. To Tulcan costs 3$ and takes 2.5 hours.

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Getting Around

By Car

A taxi within the city costs $1.

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Eat

  • Chifu Oriental. Good Chinese restaurant on Calle Bolivar 2 blocks south of Gomez de la Torre.
  • Olor Cafe, on the main square. Great coffee, has a "CNN breakfast" for $4.50.

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Drink

  • Heladeria Rosalia Suarez. More than a hundred years old, you can watch the workers making the ice cream manually.

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Sleep

  • Hotel Plaza Victora, Bolivar 12-101 y Rafael Larrea, ☎ +593 6 2 600 887. A comfortable hotel in the city centre. Single/double with bathroom and TV $15/25$.
  • Finca Sommerwind, Autopista Yahuarcocha, km 8 Ibarra (GPS: N 00°22'51,0" W 78°05'22,1'), ☎ +593 93 93 7 11 77, e-mail: info@finca-sommerwind.com. Great place outside of town. Nice facilities, wonderful hot showers.

You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes can be found nearly everywhere in the major cities and in many of the smaller ones. Cost is from $1 to $2 per hour in the large cities, and the better places have high-speed access. In some cafes, restaurants, and hotels you can find free wifi access, most of them protected by passwords; in most cases, you just have to ask for the password.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code for Ecuador is 593. The general emergency number is 911, but there are special ones of police (101) and fire (102).

The centre of most towns, cities and villages have telephone 'shops', advertised in the street as 'cabinas'. Go in, ask for a free phone booth and call. There is usually a digital display giving the cost (per second) of your call, whether local, national or international. You can call the United States for about $0.10 per minute and Europe for a bit more. Avoid making a phone call through an operator; the cost for an international call can be $3 or more per minute. For calls within Ecuador, it is possible to use a telephone cabin.

Some mobile phone SIM cards of various networks have problems working in Ecuador - you can purchase a local network SIM (for an unlocked phone) for a few dollars in local mobile phone shops. The costs of calling are higher though at around $0.45 an hour.

Post

Correos del Ecuador is the national postal service of Ecuador. It's fairly reliable to send postcards and letters to other countries, though count on at least 5 days up to weeks for it to arrive. In general, postal services to North America are much faster than to other western countries. Prices start at around $1 (up to 20 grams), but rise steeply after that. You can get stamps at post offices or small shops/kiosks. Post offices generally are open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays, although there are slight variations throughout the country. If you are going to send heavier post or post which has more value, it might be better to contact private courier companies like DHL, TNT, UPS or FedEx, which are generally about the same price and much faster!

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Accommodation in Ibarra

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Ibarra searchable right here on Travellerspoint.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 15:40 on Feb 19, 18 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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