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There is nothing to do here unless you want to climb the extinct Volcano Chimborazo or mountain bike downhill. The supposedly amazing Nariz del Diablo (Devil’s Nose) train ride begins here but you can catch it further south at Alausí, which has to be a more interesting town than Riobamba. The bus ride south to Cuenca gives you similar views as the train ride.
Chance Of Hooking Up Rating: 1 out of 5 ?
Sierra Nevada restaurant has a $3 lunch which includes empanada appetizer, soup, main dish, and juice. It’s located in the middle of the town near the train station. There are a lot of bakeries throughout town selling cheap but tasty sweets.
Hostal Oasis (Veloz 15-32)
$9/night for private room. I saw a flyer for this family owned hostel advertising a llama and two parrots in the garden, but all I found was a crazy pug. I was the only person staying there when I went but my room had cable TV and all the movie channels. No porn though.
Other Cities In Ecuador
If you're only going to visit only Ecuador then I recommend you get this guide, which is far more detailed than the continental guide below, with options that cater to a range of budgets instead of only the shoestring backpacking crowd. Also it gives more respectable treatment to small cities and towns that the larger guide breezes over with a paragraph or two.
South America On A Shoestring Guidebook
This is the guidebook that I used in my six month trip in South America. The maps are excellent, the information is complete and thorough, and the reviews are accurate, which is why it's often called "the bible" by many travelers. The only problem is that everyone else has this book so if you are the type of person that wants to hit the isolated small towns you will be disappointed. My advice is to use this book for its maps and information on getting from city to city, but talk to the locals and other travelers for those isolated gems that Lonely Planet for some reason didn't find worthy to include.
Spanish For Beginners
My copy of this book is so beat up and weathered it's disintegrating before my eyes. I took it with me to South America because I loved how it was organized in a logical way that kept me motivated to keep studying. Lessons start short and easy and increase in complexity as you tackle frustrating readings that help take you to the next level. The only downside of this book is that it was originally published in 1957 so some of the vocabulary is very dated. Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a modern equivalent of this book whose teachings approach the same quality. Last time I checked you can grab a used copy from Amazon for less than a dollar.