Guamote

  • Altitude: 2600 meters
  • Inhabitants: 1912
  • Region: Central-Andes

Guamote is a small town located in the Chimborazo Province. It is a charming town with a large indigenous community and is therefore a perfect place to experience the ambience of the local Andean communities and the traditional Kichwa culture. Guamote is located about an hour drive from the larger city of Riobamba, along the Panamerican Highway. Keep in mind that there is no ATM in Guamote.

Thursday market

Guamote is famous for the Thursday market when everyone from Guamote and the surrounding communities come to the town to display their goods in stalls all around town. It is not a market for artisanal goods and souvenirs but instead a market for the local people where they buy their food and other necessities. The market is a perfect place for people watching since the men and women often dress in traditional clothes. It´s strongly recommended always asking permission before taking a picture. On Thursdays there is also an animal market where livestock is bought and sold. It is a short ride out of town or a ten minute walk.

La Florcita

In the Kichwa-community of the town Bayushi de San Vicente, an hour drive from Guamote, 25 women have started a project called La Florcita. The women make quinoa cookies and quinoa pasta and by selling these cookies and pasta, the women hope to improve their financial situations and thus their standard of living. The main ingredient is quinoa, which is a type of grain that is typical for the Andes region and has been growing here for over 5000 years. When a visit to the project is included in your program, you can buy the quinoa cookies and quinoa pasta at the project. It is also possible to buy the products of La Florcita at the guesthouse of Inti Sisa and in this way you´ll support this wonderful project.

Activities by Inti Sisa

Inti Sisa is more than only a guesthouse, as the Inti Sisa Guesthouse finances all activities of the Inti Sisa foundation. This foundation, which opened the doors of its educational center in 1999, has the vision to offer educational support to the underprivileged of Guamote and its surroundings, especially to young girls and women. This is done by providing workshops, such as computer classes, sewing courses, musical classes, pre-school and English classes in the educational center in Guamote and in the surrounding communities. The guesthouse of Inti Sisa can organize horseback riding or mountain biking in the area as well as a tour to the Chimborazo volcano and a community tour where you visit local communities around Guamote. It is possible that these activities are already taken up into your program. However, if the time allows it, it is often possible to do extra activities like a workshop ‘how to make empenadas’ or a scavenger hunt through Guamote. Ask the Inti Sisa guesthouse for the possibilities. More info: www.intisisa.com

Click on the following link for more activities and tours: Guamote (Inti Sisa)

Insiders´ tips

  • Buy a piglet or other animal on the market and give this to a local family during a community tour. They will be very happy with this and it´s a great experience to interact with the locals.
  • Donate clothes, toys or school supplies at the guesthouse of Inti Sisa which will then be distributed in local communities.

Restaurant tips

  • The best restaurant in Guamote is the restaurant at the guesthouse Inti Sisa. Every day the restaurant serves a delicious meal with local products in a nice atmosphere that makes you feel at home.
  • Don’t miss the opportunity to eat a delicious pastry or to enjoy a good coffee at the cafeteria of Guamote’s train station. Only opened on Thursdays between 08.00AM and 12.30PM.

Medical attention
The closest hospitals are in Riobamba:

  • Clinica Metropolitana. Address Junín 2528 y España. More info: +593-3-2941-930.
  • Hospital de Especialidades San Juan.  Address Veloz y Autachi. More info: +593-3-2945-871 or +593-3-2963-098.