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Picture from the road to Guaranda




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More cities of Ecuador

Ecuador, Azogues churchAzogues

This bustling town is the capital of Cañar Province and an important producer of Panama hats, although these are finished and sold in Cuenca. Saturday is market day. Azogues lies about 35km north of Cuenca on the Ecuadorian Panamericana.


Ecuador, Guaranda's carnivalGuaranda is a quiet, dignified, provincial town surrounded by pretty hills in the mountains of Bolivar Province. Although it's the capital of this agricultural province, it's nevertheless a small town. Seven hills surround Guaranda, which inspires locals to call their town 'the Rome of the Andes'. It certainly can't be described as exciting, and the main reasons to visit are probably the bus rides, to walk the streets, relax and perhaps explore the surrounding countryside.

Carnaval is very popular - people stream in from all over the province and beyond for such rural festivities as water fights, dances and parades. Groups of local amateur musicians stroll from house to house playing music and getting invited in for a drink or snack.


Ecuador, Latacunga parkLatacunga is the capital of Cotopaxi Province. Although not an exciting town, it has an interesting history and is a good base for several excellent excursions.

The drive from Quito to Latacunga is magnificent in clear weather. Like a mammoth ice-cream cone, Cotopaxi looms to the left of the Panamericana as you travel south, and the two Ilinizas, also snowcapped, are on your right. Several other peaks are visible during the 90km drive, including distant Chimborazo if you are lucky. On exceptionally clear days, nine of Ecuador's 10 highest peaks can be seen.


Ecuador, Portoviejo churchThis large city is the capital of Manabi Province and is important for coffee, cattie and fishing. Founded on March 12, 1535, it is one of the oldest cities in Ecuador and is the sixth largest.

Portoviejo has a thriving agricultural-processing industry and is an important commercial center, with good road connections to Quito and Guayaquil. continues...

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