Ibarra is the perfect destination for those seeking a weekend away from Quito, Ecuador’s bustling capital. Take in the view at Volcan Imbabura or marvel at the White City, Ibarra’s historic centre featuring impressive colonial architecture. Here we list the top things to do and see in Ibarra, Ecuador.
As part of a government initiative to bring passenger rail back to the country, the Tren de la Libertad is one of the most enjoyable ways to immerse yourself in some incredible Ecuadorian scenery. Ready to board? The journey starts in Ibarra, with the train going past steep canyons and towering volcanoes. En route, glimpse villages where Afro-Ecuadorian heritage is preserved in food, music and beautifully carved masks. The culture of these people also prevails in Salinas where the train journey ends.
Not even four km (2.5mi) south of the White City (as Ibarra is known) is the unhurried city of San Antonio de Ibarra, which is lined with galleries where artisans carve blunt timber into sculptures, decorations and furniture. There are more than a dozen of these traditional gallery workshops, including the gallery of famed wood sculptor Luis Potosi, who creates incredibly detailed and lifelike renderings. This is a city oozing charm and tranquillity, with a main plaza that entreats you to sit and people watch, possibly for an afternoon or more.