Sitting in a fertile agricultural zone some 47km south of Latacunga, Ambato is an important commercial centre with a bustling downtown core; there’s little here to hold your interest for more than an afternoon, and many travellers choose to pass straight through on their way to Baños or Riobamba. Still, it’s handy as a jumping-off point for a couple of neighbouring low-key attractions, including Quizapincha, a major producer of leather goods, Salasaca, famous for its weavings, Patate, a small village set in a fruit-growing valley, and, for the more adventurous, the Parque Nacional Llanganates, one of Ecuador’s least-explored wildernesses.

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Ecuador features

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