From Ambato, most tourists head either east to Baños or south to Riobamba, with few opting for the route west to Guayaquil. This is a shame, as the road provides one of the most scenic bus rides in the sierra – especially the first 99km to Guaranda through low, round, intensively cultivated hills, with some dizzying views onto Chimborazo. Guaranda has a beautiful location and some handsome colonial-style architecture, but there’s little to keep you interested for more than a couple of hours. Nearby, Salinas is one of the prettiest and most rewarding villages in the whole sierra.

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