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Ibarra Ecuador

Ibarra Ecuador, sightThe charming colonial town of Ibarra, 22km northeast of Otavalo, is the provincial capital of Imbabura. The city is only a 2 hour drive from Quito. Many of Ibarra's houses are built in the colonial style and their red-tiled roofs and whitewashed walls have given Ibarra the nickname of " The White City".

In Ibarra there are well-preserved parks such as Moncayo Park and La Merced Park. Art exhibitions are displayed in the Catholic University, the Universidad del Norte, the Culture House, and the Colegio de Arquitectos. There are also several museums with archaeological, numismatic, philatelic, and paleontological displays, among others. Ibarra itself has a mild, humid climate, and is set in the midst of orchards and gardens.

Ibarra has a unique blend of students, mestizos, highland Indians and Afro-Ecuadorians from the nearby Valle del Chota, a combination that gives the city an exciting multicultural edge. When you're through relaxing in its leafy plazas, take a stroll around the train station and market area which is always abuzz with interesting activity.

Market day, a bustling local affair, is Saturday, Ibarra has manufactures of cotton and woollen fabrics, hats, sandals (alpargates), sacks and rope from cabuya fibre, laces, sugar and various kinds of distilled spirits and cordials made from the sugar-cane grown in the vicinity.

Ibarra Ecuador, city parkAfterwards, the local men play pelota de guante, a strange Ecuadorian paddleball game played with a small, soft ball and large, spiked paddies that look like medieval torture implements.

Ibarra, which was founded in the early 17th century, is also a bishop's see. There are also quite a few festivals held annually in Ibarra, such as the Fiesta de los Lagos which is held on the last week of September. The El Pregon and Virgen del Carmen are both colourful events with parades and festivities. They are held on July 16th. The town has a wealth of hotels, bars, and restaurants that serve delicious local cuisine. continues...




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