Ambato is known amongst Ecuadoreans as 'El Culo del Mundo' (translation would be too explicit for this guide). This negative way of looking at Ambato is not deserved by the town. It may not become the highlight of your trip in Ecuador, but it is a pleasant stop for a day or two.
The capital of Tungurahua province is a nice place with a lot of different things to do.
In Ecuador everybody knows Ambato for their big festival, fiesta de las frutas y flores. This huge event includes performances by national artists, dances, drinking and a big colourful parade. If you are in Ecuador beginning of February you don't want to miss out on these festivities.
When there is no festival going on, Ecuadorean culture is still very present in Ambato. The city is famous for their three Juans, being writers Juan Montalvo, Juan Leon Mera and Lawyer Juan Benigno Malo. There are a few museums and parks in Ambato which can tell you moreabout their importance for Ecuador.
Get some of the nicest bread in Ecuador in Ambato. Go to the suburb called Pinllo to enjoy the pleasures of the sweet or salty breads of Ambato. If you goearly in the morning (around 7 AM), you can see how they make it. Many bakeries have tried to copy Pinllo's bread, but the secret still stays preserved!
Places to stay in Ambato +
Places to stay in Ambato
Mid-range Hotels: Yes
High-range Hotels: No
Places to eat in Ambato
There are several great places to stay in Ambato. Just pick one of the larger. Try around Parque Juan Montalvo for some good budget places. Ambato is a big city with many good places to eat. The city is famous for their great bread, Pinllo being the top neighbourhood. Try some of the local dishes like Llapingacho and Cuy (guinea pig).
Practical information about Ambato +
Details about Ambato
Museum, Biking, Shopping, Clubs and Bars, Theatre/Cinema, Markets, Religion and churches
Events in and around Ambato
Getting to and around in Ambato +
How to get to Ambato
Ambato is on the located on the Panamericana. It is easy to reach from all the major cities. Direct busses from Quito leave for Ambato every 15 minutes. You can also easily reach Ambato from other large cities like Latacunga, Riobamba, Cuenca, Guayaquil and Puyo.
Map of Ambato