Ambato, Ecuador

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Ambato, Ecuador

Region: Tungurahua

Geographic Coordinates: -1.241700, -78.619700
Temperature Range: 10.0°C to 25.0°C (50°F to 77°F)
Climate: Ambato has a subtropical highland climate with cool and dry winters and mild and wet summers.
Population: 165185
Language: Spanish

Ambato is a city situated in the central part of Ecuador, Renowned for its rich cultural and historical heritage. It is located at an elevation of 2, 577 meters above sea level and is surrounded by the Andes Mountains. The city has a mild climate throughout the year, Making it an ideal place for tourists who want to escape from hot weather. The most notable attraction in Ambato is its annual Carnival festival held in February. This festival features vibrant parades with dancers wearing traditional costumes and masks.

The celebration also includes live music performances and street food vendors selling local delicacies such as empanadas and hornado (a roasted pork dish). Ambato’s historic center is another must-see attraction for visitors. It boasts colonial-era architecture with buildings dating back to the 18th century when Ambato was founded as a Spanish settlement. Visitors can explore landmarks such as La Catedral de Ambato (the Cathedral of Ambato), Which has been rebuilt several times due to earthquakes over the years. For nature enthusiasts, There are plenty of outdoor activities available in Ambato’s surrounding areas.

The nearby Tungurahua volcano offers hiking opportunities with stunning views of the Andes Mountains and valleys below. Additionally, Visitors can take a dip in one of many hot springs located just outside the city. Ambato is also famous for its textile industry that produces high-quality fabrics made from alpaca wool and other natural fibers. Visitors can purchase locally-made textiles at markets such as La Feria Libre de los Pájaros (Birds’ Free Market) or visit workshops where artisans create these beautiful pieces by hand.

foodies will find plenty to enjoy in Ambato thanks to its diverse culinary scene that blends indigenous traditions with Spanish influences. Some popular dishes include fanesca (a soup made from grains and seafood), Churrasco (grilled beef served with rice and beans), And guaguas de pan (sweet bread shaped like dolls). Visitors can also sample local fruits and vegetables at the city’s markets, Such as the Mercado Modelo. Ambato is a fascinating destination that offers a unique blend of culture, History, Nature, And cuisine.

Whether you’re seeking an adventure in the mountains or looking to immerse yourself in Ecuadorian traditions and customs, This city has something for everyone.

Important Landmarks

  1. La Catedral de Ambato (Ambato Cathedral)
  2. Parque Provincial de la Familia (Family Provincial Park)
  3. Casa Museo Juan Leon Mera (Juan Leon Mera Museum House)
  4. Mercado Modelo de Ambato (Ambato Model Market)
  5. Monumento a la Fruta (Fruit Monument)
  6. Museo del Carmen Alto (Carmen Alto Museum)
  7. Parque Montalvo y Mirador Bellavista (Montalvo Park and Bellavista Viewpoint)
  8. Plaza de Fiestas y Ferias de Ambato (Ambato Festival and Fair Square)
  9. Complejo Turístico La Quinta Colorada (La Quinta Colorada Tourist Complex)
  10. Iglesia y Convento de las Madres Conceptas(Church and Convent of the Conceptual Mothers)

Primary Industries

  1. Ambato, Ecuador is known for its textile and clothing industries.
  2. Other major industries in the city include food processing, agriculture, and tourism.
  3. The city is also home to a number of small businesses such as restaurants, shops, and service providers.

Noteable History

  1. The earthquake of 1949: Ambato was devastated by a massive earthquake in 1949 that destroyed much of the city and killed thousands of people.
  2. Juan Montalvo: A famous writer, essayist, and political figure who was born in Ambato in 1832.
  3. The Battle of Ambato: In 1820, the Battle of Ambato took place between Spanish forces and Ecuadorian revolutionaries led by Antonio José de Sucre. This battle played a key role in securing Ecuador’s independence from Spain.
  4. Luis A. Martínez: A prominent artist born in Ambato who is known for his paintings depicting Andean landscapes and indigenous peoples.
  5. La Mama Negra Festival: This annual festival is held every November to celebrate the city’s patron saint, the Virgin Mary of Mercy, as well as its Afro-Ecuadorian heritage.
  6. Carlos Julio Arosemena Monroy: Born in Ambato in 1919, he served as President of Ecuador from 1961 to 1963.
  7. The Tungurahua volcano eruption: Tungurahua is an active volcano located near Ambato that has erupted several times throughout history, including a major eruption in 1999 that caused widespread damage to nearby towns and villages.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Juan Leon Mera Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and works of Juan Leon Mera, one of Ecuador’s most famous writers.
  2. Casa de Montalvo Museum: This museum is dedicated to the life and works of Ecuadorian writer Juan Montalvo.
  3. Museo de Arte Moderno: This museum showcases modern and contemporary art from Ecuador and around the world.
  4. Parque Nacional Llanganates: This national park is known for its stunning landscapes, hiking trails, waterfalls, and wildlife.
  5. La Catedral de Ambato: This beautiful cathedral was built in the 19th century and features neoclassical architecture.
  6. Monumento a la Fruta: This colorful monument celebrates Ambato’s reputation as the fruit capital of Ecuador.
  7. Plaza de la Independencia: Located in the heart of Ambato’s historic center, this plaza is surrounded by colonial-era buildings and is a popular spot for locals to gather.
  8. Mercado Modelo de Ambato: The largest market in Ambato offers a wide variety of goods including fruits, vegetables, textiles, handicrafts, and more.
  9. Parque Provincial de la Familia: A popular park with families featuring playgrounds, sports fields, picnic areas and more recreational activities.
  10. Paseo De Los Ponchos Artisan Market: An open-air market located on Sucre Street where you can find handmade crafts such as ponchos or blankets made from alpaca wool or leather goods made by local artisans.

Sports Teams

  1. Club Deportivo Macará – Founded in 1939, Macará is one of the most popular football clubs in Ambato. The team plays its home matches at Estadio Bellavista and has won several regional titles over the years.
  2. Club Social y Deportivo Técnico Universitario – Commonly known as Técnico Universitario, this football club was founded in 1971. The team plays its home games at Estadio Bellavista and has won two national championships.
  3. Club Atlético Audaz Octubrino – This football club was founded in 1955 and played in the Segunda Categoría until it was dissolved due to financial problems in 1994.
  4. Club Social y Deportivo Patria – Founded in 1962, Patria is a football club that played for many years in the Segunda Categoría before being dissolved due to financial difficulties.
  5. Club Deportivo San Francisco de Ambato – This basketball team was founded on November 14th, 1945 and participated actively during the golden age of basketball from the late forties until early seventies when it disappeared from official tournaments due to lack of funding.

Cultural Events

  1. Festival of Fruits and Flowers (Fiesta de las Frutas y las Flores) – This is the most important festival in Ambato, held annually in February. It features a colorful parade of flower floats, traditional dances, music performances, and food fairs.
  2. Carnival (Carnaval) – This is a popular festival celebrated across Ecuador in February or March, but Ambato’s carnival is known for its lively water fights and street parties.
  3. Holy Week (Semana Santa) – A religious event celebrated with processions and masses during the week leading up to Easter Sunday.
  4. Independence Day (Día de la Independencia) – Celebrated on August 10th with parades, fireworks displays, cultural events, and concerts.
  5. All Saints’ Day (Día de los Difuntos) – A day to remember deceased loved ones by visiting cemeteries and offering flowers or food at their gravesites.
  6. Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) – A festive night filled with family gatherings, traditional foods like roasted pork or turkey, fireworks displays at midnight to welcome Christmas Day.
  7. New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja) – Celebrated with street parties featuring music performances and fireworks shows at midnight to welcome the new year.


Traditional Ecuadorian Dishes

  1. Hornado: roasted pork served with potatoes, corn, and avocado.
  2. Fanesca: a soup made with 12 different grains and legumes, served during Easter.
  3. Churrasco: grilled beef served with rice, beans, and fried plantains.
  4. Llapingachos: potato cakes filled with cheese and served with peanut sauce.
  5. Locro de papas: a potato soup made with cheese and avocado.

Popular Restaurants in Ambato

  1. La Cabaña del Abuelo – known for their hornado
  2. El Fogón de los Arrieros – serves traditional Ecuadorian dishes
  3. Restaurante El Palacio del Pollo – specializes in grilled chicken dishes
  4. Café Colón – offers a variety of coffee drinks and light bites
  5. La Taberna del Negro Guerrero – serves seafood dishes such as ceviche and shrimp cocktails

Parks and Recreation

  1. Parque de la Familia: A large park that features playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas.
  2. Parque Juan Montalvo: A green space that provides walking paths, benches, and a small lake for visitors to enjoy.
  3. Parque Provincial de la Laguna de Colta: A nature reserve that offers hiking trails and birdwatching opportunities for nature enthusiasts.
  4. Parque Nacional Llanganates: This national park is perfect for hiking and camping with its mountainous terrain.
  5. Centro Recreacional Bellavista: This recreational center has swimming pools, tennis courts, and other sports facilities available for use by guests.
  6. Complejo Deportivo La Providencia: This sports complex is equipped with soccer fields, basketball courts, and an indoor gymnasium to cater to the needs of athletes.
  7. Paseo Ecológico La Liria: An ecological trail that takes visitors through the countryside surrounding Ambato while enjoying the beauty of nature.
  8. Mercado Modelo Ambato: An open-air market where local produce and handicrafts are sold.


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