What are the nice sites and cities I can see while travelling Pan American highway in Ecuador?


Country: Ecuador


weel you can star from the norht by visiting Tulcan Citythem going down and visit Ibarra city and theres the city of lakes with two big beautifull lakes. then, of course, Quito with oll the turistic offers from culture, landscapes, mountains and more... between quito and Latacunga city you pass near the Cotopaxi vulcano wich is the biggest active vulcano in the world with 5897 m. and from quito to riobamba city is the vulcano avenue with a lot of big mountains. the Chimborazo is the biggest one with 6310 m. the is the southern par of the central ecaudor qith Cuanca city that is a very pretty one you can find there a lot of artesan products and theres a natinoal park called "EL Cajas" that have like 280 litlle lakes in alll araound and the las city you would see is Loja a bueatifull with a lot of things to do... hope that info it helps you and hope you come and visit my country..
Hi traveler, you'll pass through all the northern sierra region cities, such as Tulcan in wich you can see and enjoy the culture and the food, you'll go through the city of Ibarra ( The white city ), it's a calmed and beautiful city with gorgeus landscapes, then you'll pass by Cotacachi, a city full of leather clothing, and with one of the most beautiful lakes the Cuicocha, it is located in a volcano crater, and it has two islands in the middle of it. Otavalo it's another city in your road, it's beautiful and full of cultural spots, food its delicius as well. You'll get a chance to go to quito as well, the capital of our country, full of colonial art, great gastronomy, places to party, and excellent land scapes. You'll see many volcanoes and mountains, such as the Cotacachi, the Imbabura, The Cayambe, The Pichinchas, The Cotopaxi. Some of this are glaciars and you can climb them.
If you start up north you can visit the province of Carchi (wear your jacket!), then the province of the lakes: Imbabura, here you can visit Ibarra, Otavalo, Cotocachi, etc. Passing by Pichincha province you can start watching the amazing mountains like Cayambe and have some delicious cheese with "bizcochos", then you pass by Sangolqui and have "hornado" (pork). Now you can prepare yourself for the most amazing scenery of the avenue of the volcanos! You'll see Cotopaxi (Cotopaxi province), Chimborazo (Chimborazo province) and many others along the way. In the South part of the Andes the two cities I would definately reccomend are Cuenca and Loja.

All of the provinces have many small towns full with charmed, it all depends if you are just passing by or have the time to stop for a little while. Guaranda in the province of Bolivar and Baños in Tungurahua province are also very interesting cities. In the province of Canar you will find a some Archealogical ruins like Ingapirca; again if you have the time it's worth to see.

If you have any other question, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Saludos desde Ecuador!
Hey there my friend, well, Panamericana pretty much runs all the way through Ecuador so you are definately in for a treat! You Carchi province is a must see and Quito if you are in for a short time. Any special things you wish to see? Let me know!
And don't forget to visit the many indigenous markets, example Otavalo or Saquisilì (on thursday). I suggest you have a look at a guide as Lonely Planet, before starting your trip.

Here below a link to a program that could be useful to have an idea about where to go:

One point: Panamericana is not exactly a highway...
You will see cities and towns from the Sierra region,you will be able to see lots of beautiful landscapes, and be part of the experience of the Volcanoes avenue with the highest peak, the Cotopaxy. If you need more information dont hesitate to contact us.
It depends if you want to travel in the north or south in Panamerican Highway, I assume you will arrive to Quito by plane, from here to the north you can visit Cayambe (biscochos is a typical kind of salty cookie) Otavalo (Los Ponchos Square- the most famous indigenous market), San Antonio de Ibarra (wood carving handicrafts), Ibarra city and finily Tulcán.
If you from Quito to the southern part of Panamerican Highway you can visit Cotopaxi National Park, in Cotopaxi province take a time to visit Quilotoa lagoon (beautiful lagoon in a volcano), Riobamba city and Tungurahua volcano, Cuenca city (beautiful surroundings Chordeleg, Gualaceo, Baños de Cuenca, Ingapirca Ruins, Alausí train, El Cajas National Park), the panamerican highway continue but the road is not in good shape.
If you come from Colombia, the first place will be Tulcan, then you'll find the Imbabura province with beautiful lakes and landscapes. Then it comes the northern province of Pichincha where you'll start to experience the Avenue of the Volcanos that ends in southern Chimborazo province. You can stop in places like Quito, Machachi, Latacunga, Riobamba or Ambato where our andean native culture is alive! Following to the south: Ingapirca national park, Azogues and Cuenca, a must! Finally you'll finish your journey in the province of Loja, where you can rush to the town of Vilcabamba to meet the oldest people in the country.

Ecuador is beautiful, enjoy it!
Hey there, The panamerican highway is the road that crosses Ecuador from North to South through the andes mountains. This road was designed to pass through most cities and small towns located in this area, so pretty much you will be able to visit all of them just by jumping off the bus or car. The highlights are from the North: The border city of Tulcan (only the cemmetery, The city of Ibarra (and nearby indigenous and colorful town of Otavalo, a must see). Then of course the city of Quito (colonial downtown mostly) and continuing south, the beautiful scenery through the cities of Latacunga (the volcanoes) then near the city of Ambato (about an hours drive) is the city of Banos (A MUST SEE) is full of tourists, and has lots of activities such as rock climbing, sightseeing, rafting, and many more. Continuing south and near the small town of Tambo in the Canar province are the biggest pre-colonial ruins in the country (Ingapirca) another must see. Continuing south is my beautiful city of Cuenca (colonial downtown and churches).
About 4 hours south of Cuenca is the city of Loja which is pretty much a border city, it is also lovely and nearby is the valley of Vilcabamba which is famous for the longevity of its inhabitants. Have a safe trip!.
Everithing my friends have already answered, plus the magnficent view of the volcanoes avenue, along the Pan American HIghway are: the Cayambe, Ilinizas, Cotopaxi, Pichincha, Chimborazo, Tungurahua, Altar among others, come and you will never forget this country!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don't know if you're coming from North or South, but I'll try to give you "hot-pits".
Otavalo is an indigenous city, its market is the best place to visit, it's normal to bargain (try to pay at least 30% off the price, you offer and they accept), many of them will call you to buy Llama sweaters, sewed hats, cotton coats, handcrafts, etc if desirable you could stay a night in their huts living like one(agency is across the market around $15 a night). 10 min. North is Peguche, a nice waterfall I bet $20 that you don't take a bath in there.
Quito is a Colonial City, Churches are better at night, try the walk at 5:00 and finish at 7:30, or a City Tour around $12 each/on bus), then go to the Middle of the World, (there's a secret there, I won't tell you what it is). Hiking?, go to "El Teleferico" it's a cable car ($7 each)and go up to the Volcano "Guagua Pichincha", breath deeply.
Driving South to National Park Machachi, rent a bike take an ride around the town for an hour, take pictures of a typical town in The Andes, just in front of Cotopaxi Volcano.
Ambato is my wife's hometown, quiet, bright, you must to visit Juan Leon Mera's country house, you'll be visiting the Ecuador National Hymn writer place, that is History, part of our identity.
If you get time and want to visit the gate to the Amazazon drive to the East 30 min to Banos it's a fantastic place, termal waters, hikking, bungee jumping, waterfalls, cable cars, etc I bet you'll love it.
Alausi there's a train, you could do the trip in a day, it's cool.
In Cuenca I recommend Hostal Haro, you could do some climbing in Sayausi 8Km west from downtown.
By the way from Ambato to Cuenca the highway is a disaster, drive safelly.
Have a nice trip!
Hello, are you travelling by car or by bus? The sites located through the pan american highway are -North to South: Tulcan, Ibarra - Cotacachi, Otavalo, Quito - Middle of the World, Pasochoa, Latacunga, Salcedo, Ambato - Baños, Guaranda, Riobamba, Azogues, Cuenca, Loja, Macara. Those are mainly the cities you will pass through when going by the pan american highway, which code is E35. The way from Tulcan up to Riobamba, and just some bits of what's left of it, is very well signposted, both touristic and signposts showing the E35 sign. Hopefully, in six months time, Cuenca-Loja will be signposted all the way and the way will be in perfect state for proper travelling. Take some time to visit Saraguro, a little town in the province of Loja, where the Saraguro indigenous people live. It is located when travelling south from Cuenca, the way is a bit bumpy, but -and once you get there you'll agree with me! it is worth the travel. It's not as touristic as Banos, but it is very beautiful and you'll be able to see the Saraguro people all the time, their typical houses, the market, women sitting knitting in the park, other women selling handcrafts, etc. You might as well google it to learn more about them, you'll be fascinated!
Do not hesitate to ask!!
Hi there traveler,

I found this article at Im sure it will help you find what you are looking for. Next I have searched some web pages you can find useful information. Pleasure to help, enjoy you’re stay.



Ecuador Highway 35, the "Troncal de la Sierra" (Highland's Road), is commonly known to Ecuadorians as "La Panamericana". This road is Ecuador's portion of the Pan-American Highway. It connects all the cities and towns from the Sierra region, from Tulcán at the north (border with Colombia), passing through Quito, the country's capital, to the southern border with Peru. Part of this highway is a toll-road administered by Panavial, a private concessionary. The road condition is quite good, but it mostly goes through mountains and it has some bad trails around the province of Cañar (center of the country), making it a fairly dangerous road to drive on.


The Pan-American Highway in Ecuador begins at the border with Colombia in Carchi province and almost immediately enters the city of Tulcán. Tulcán is the capital of Carchi province. The population of Tulcán is approximately 53,000. Tulcán is known for its hot springs and a topiary garden cemetery created by José Franco.
From Tulcán, the Pan-American Highway continues south for 125 km where it reaches the city of Ibarra.


Ibarra (population of 80,477) is a town in northern Ecuador and the capital of the Imbabura province. It lies at the foot of the Imbabura volcano and on the left bank of the Tahuando river. It is about 45 miles (72 km) northeast of Ecuador's capital Quito. Ibarra is a market town popular with tourists. It is blessed with fine weather, colonial white-washed houses (giving it the nickname The White City) and cobbled streets. The Santa Domingo church houses a museum holding paintings.
From Ibarra, the Pan-American Highway continues south for 115 km until reaching the city of Quito.


Quito is the second largest city (after Guayaquil) and capital city of Ecuador in northwestern South America. It is located in northern Ecuador in the Guayllabamba river basin on the eastern slopes of the Pichincha (4794 m), an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains. It is the highest (2850 meters/9300 feet above sea level) capital city in the world. The population of Quito, according to the most recent census (2001), is 1,399,378. Points of interest include the Museo del Banco Central (Museum of the Central Bank) and several parks, including Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park), La Carolina, El Ejido, and La Alameda. Parque Metropolitano, with its 5.57 km² (1376 acres) is the largest urban park in South America and is larger than New York City's Central Park.
From Quito, the Pan-American Highway continues south for 89 km where it reaches the city of Latacunga.


Latacunga is a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of Cotopaxi province, near the confluence of the Alaques and Cutuchi to form the Patate, the headstream of the Pastaza. Latacunga stands on the old road between Guayaquil and Quito and has a railway station between those cities. It is 2786 meters (9141 ft) above sea level and is located near Cotopaxi volcano.
From Latacunga, the Pan-American Highway continues south for 47 km where it reaches the city of Ambato.


Ambato (officially known as San Juan de Ambato) is a city in the center of Ecuador near the Ambato River. It is the capital of Tungurahua province, at an elevation of 2,600 meters above sea level. The population is 154,095. The city is a leading commercial and transportation center on a fertile region near the northern foot of the Chimborazo volcano. It hosts the largest animal market of the country. Landmarks include the mausoleum of Juan Montalvo, the estate of Juan León Mera, and the white Ambato Cathedral.
From Ambato, the Pan-American Highway continues south for 52 km where it reaches the city of Riobamba.


“Traveling is man’s search for mankind”
you will find interesting places to visit all the way in the panamerican Highway, in Ecuador this highway its known as the Avenue of the Volcanoes because it is surrounded by mountains on both sides, interesting towns, cities, lakes and volcanoes are to find all the way from the Province of Carchi in the North, going through Imbabura, Pichincha, Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Cañar, Azuay and Loja, all the Highland Provinces of Ecuador
OK, personally the pan american cities are beautiful, but it depends on what you want. I will recomend to visit the must; starting from the north; Tulcan, then Ibarra, the capital Quito, Ambato, Riobamba, Azogues, and finally Cuenca. But i recommend detours...I will recommend to buy the lonely planet book about Ecuador it will really in handy...
My dear friend, you will need lot of time since here is where you will find nice cities starting with Tulcan, Ibarra, passing by Quito down to Ambato, Riobamba and so. The bottom line here is not only the cities but also its surroundings which are the special thing there.
As you pass by Ibarra you can ask for Otavalo which is a grate place to do some craft shopping. If you are into woodcraft don't miss San Antonio, you could get crazy there with all that art and marvelous craft. If you like leather, Cotacachi is the right place to go and find all you can imagine with lather at grate prices. Atuntaqui is the right place to go if you want to find clothing and if jewelry is your thing you can always go south passing Cuenca to Chordelec. The thing is that you will need a plan and a good map or good guides to do all this visiting that are a little bit hidden.
If you need any assistance I can give you a hand coordinating a good guide to help you out with the travel and make sure you have a wonderful time here. Just let me know by contacting me. One thing is for sure, whit a well planned trip this place is full of fun.
Panamericana highway is a good choice for meeting Ecuador, but only the cities of the highlands. Many people here have told you about cities like Ibarra, Otavalo, Quito, Ambato..etc. i agree with them because all those cities are beautiful. However you would need more than one month to know all those cities, but if you dont have too much time i recomend: First Ibarra and Otavalo ( they are close one to each other, you will see many lakes and you can visit the indigenous market); then Quito ( only Quito would need at least one week, because from Quito you can go to Mindo,or Cotopaxi volcanoe, whcih are not in the panamericana but they are worth seeing ); then you can go to Baños. Baños is not in the panamericana, but you can use the Panamericana to go to Ambato and then go to Baños, you should not miss Baños, its really great! because you are very close to the Amazonia and you can practice extreme sports. Then, you have to come back to Ambato to take Panamericana again, and i recomend that you go directly to Cuenca. Cuenca is also one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador. From Cuenca you could meet the biggest Inca Ruins in the country. If you still have time you can go to Loja.

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