Getting local money
Ecuador uses the US dollar. There are banks in Riobamba but it’s best to take out money in advance in Quito where there are many ATMs.
When to go
The central highlands have an all year round spring-like climate with temperatures averaging 21°C. The best time for a visit is Dec-Jan, while a lot of rain can be expected Mar-May. Jul-Aug are the driest months. Visit Saquisili on a Thursday to see the market. Other towns have different market days.
GMT -5 hrs
It’s a drive of 190 km from Quito to Riobamba, taking 2 hrs 40mins if you drive direct.
Ecuador’s colonial southern city, graceful Cuenca, 250 km from Riobamba by road (3.5hrs) or rail and road.
Fiesta de la Mama Negra, Latacunga, 23-25 Sep, a multi-cultural event with a historical narrative and costumed dancing and parades.
Corpus Christi: Pujili, Quilotoa Loop: May-Jun. Masked parades, fireworks and competitions.
Riobamba: There are several fiestas and parades, including one in celebration of Jesus in January; Holy Week, and the Fiesta de Abril on the town’s independence day, 21 Apr.