"Have you really been living in Riobamba with your family for over 10 years?"
That's my favorite question, whenever I met a tourist and we start to exchange travel stories.
The reason it's my favorite question?
I don't even need words to answer! I just say (OK, maybe a few words), look around you.
And they do.
And they understand just how beautiful this place really is.
The province of the Chimborazo is one of the most amazing places in Ecuador;
this town's undisputed natural beauty is one of the main tourist attractions.
"Riobamba is a diamond in the rough".
Mm. Ah. The smell of pure air. Think you know what the color green really looks like? Only here can you rediscover the color green, the color of nature, the color of life itself. A town where you can experience life in its purest state.
The sun high in the blue-blue sky, the snow that never seems to melt off the top of Chimborazo, one of the many (extinct) volcanoes that surround this town, giving it a picture perfect scenery.
Living in this town has been a life changing experience. It is definitely a get-away-from-it-all kind of place. A place for nature lovers.
To get away from the pollution, the dirty cities, the traffic, the highly stressful jobs. A place where you can just lay back and finally relax!
This town has the power to immediately put a visitors mind at ease.
They say time flies when you are having fun, well who ever said that must have at some point in their lives made a trip to Ecuador. As a family who came to Ecuador just for a visit (our vacation here was only supposed to last a week then we were going to take a plane back to Long Island where we're from).
But the tranquility and natural beauty captivated us, we stayed, and moved near our relatives (by the way, half my family is Ecuadorian).
Also the low-cost life style was one of the many motives that helped my family make the big decision of moving here. Despite being a low-key place, Riobamba, also known as "the heart of Ecuador", is one of the few places on earth where you will find it impossible to get bored (another motive).
Such an incredible town that has so much to offer: from its colonial architecture style building with cobble streets that give off a post-colonial feeling, to its parks and monthly colorful parades.
Then its mouthwatering food, next of course is the famous indigenous market that later on you will see why I call it an "outdoor eBay", last but not least is people here that have been known to treat tourists as family.
Yes, in case you are wondering that is a roasted pig. One of the city's many delicious traditional delights. Another attraction is, due to the fact that that this town is high in the central Andes of Ecuador.
Surrounded by mountains and volcanoes which attract hundreds of professional mountain bikers, and mountain climbers from all over the planet every year.
And don't think you have to have an over-sized wallet to enjoy the many things this town has to offer tourists, no way! This town has proven time and again to be (in my family's opinion) the best place in the world for an unforgettable low-cost vacation.
There is just so much to see, eat, explore, do, and experience. That by the end of the day you will need a good night's sleep under the blanket of stars that aren't but should be an attraction in Riobamba.
With that said I hope you enjoy your vacation!