Located on the famous Avenue de Volcanoes, Riobamba is the undisputed trekking and mountain climbing capital of Ecuador. Situated in the middle of the country this sprawling friendly town is surrounded by four of Ecuador’s largest volcanoes. The western side of the city is watched over by the imposing Chimborazo volcano (Ecuador’s highest mountain) and the slightly smaller Carihuazo. The east of the city is home to El Altar, a volcano once believed to be bigger than Everest before it violently exploded 400 years ago; and north of the city lies Riobamba, a still active volcano that can be witnessed safely smoking large plumes of ash and lava into the air.
Riobamba is famous for being the start point of the legendary Devil’s Nose Railway, a death defying railway journey that takes passengers to Sibambe and descends 1000 metres down a steep slope on a series of switchbacks before ascending back up. Previously passengers and certainly dare devils were allowed to ride the roof of the train, this is no longer the case however, be sure to get a window seat as this is a ride not to be missed. As well as taking the Devil’s Nose railway whilst in Riobamba it is also possible to climb Chimborazo in a day, with a guide. As Riobamba is already 4500m above sea level, when you reach the top of this mountain you are actually further away from the Earth’s core than if you had summited Everest!