The city of Riobamba is the capital of the province Chimborazo, which is named after the famous volcano. The 6,300 meters high volcano Chimborazo lies only 30 km from the city and can be seen from there on clear days.
The Chimborazo, view from the street Riobamba — Guaranda
Riobamba has about 120,000 inhabitants and lies at 2,700 meters above sea level. The city center is quite lively and there are some museums and parks. We came to Riobamba in order to do some hiking and see the volcano.
Typical grass at the Reserva de Produccion Faunistica Chimborazo
It turned out that it is not that easy to get there for hiking. There are some tour companies which offer to climb the mountain or do mountain biking there, but we just wanted to hike a bit on our own. So we took the bus from Riobamba to Guaranda in the morning because that road passes by the volcano.
A vicuña (Vicugna vicugna) at Reserva de Produccion Faunistica Chimborazo
It was very cloudy and we could not see a thing for the first 30 minutes of the trip, then we caught a short glance of rock high in the clouds. We left the bus in the middle of nowhere a few minutes later, about 2 km after some houses and a sign to the ‘Casa del Condor’ hostel showed up.
Flowers at the windy summit of Loma Chalata at 4,230m
It turned out that this was a good idea. The weather improved more and more while we walked towards the volcano, and we could see it pretty well by the time we reached the summit of the 4,230m high Loma Chalata (we found the sign on the summit by chance on our way back and discovered that there is a way down to the street there.)
Clouds rise at Chimborazo
After some hours of hiking, we hitchhiked back to Riobamba.
A last view of Chimborazo (6,268 metres). The flat hill behind the sheep is 4,230m high Loma Chalata.