Santiago de Bolivar
Located at 15 km from Guaranda the capital of the Province of Province of Bolivar and 5 kilometers from San Jose de Chimbo. You maye get here only by car. It usually takes about 4-5 hours from Quito, the capital of Ecuador and 10 minutes from San Jose de Chimbo on a now days pave road in very good conditions
Getting around Santiago is as easy as it gets: You may want walk to the near by areas and visit some interesting sights, another possibility is to ask in town if someone can offer you a horse back riding, usually there is a chance, you may get around town by horse enjoying the views and landscaping. The most common way is to hire a pick up in the main square and ask for the driver to take you where ever you want for the time you need, usually they take you to one point and then you make arrangements for them to pick you up later.
Spanish mainly. You may get English assitance by contacting a local guide in the capital or travel assistance for the area.
See the main church, a nice building with nice religious art Visit the water mills out side town on the Santiago River banks Climb up to the "La Loma" for nice photos and observation of Andes and the fields Contact famous local painter Ivo Mora to see his art gallery
Santiago offers multiple activities for nature lovers and people who is looking for a time out, outdoors are a must while you visit Santiago, but also you may just want to take a cup of coffee and enjoy the afternoons sunsets from the view points or your
You can do: -Trekking and hiking -River Fishing -Bird watching -Mountain Biking and downhill -Camping
Cultural activities: Visit the "Route of the Saint" name after all the multiple towns located in the surroundings that were founded by the Spanish conquistadors over 500 years ago. These are San Lorenzo, San Simon, San Vicente,San Jose de Chimbo, among others. You would love the drive and scenery
-Mingle with the locals and share together their stories and legends while taking a walk across the town. -Make bread with a local family in the typical wood burning oven -Participate in the local harvest usually from June to September -Be part of the Carnival festivities in February, a very traditional parade that takes place not in only in Santiago but in the whole region -Atend to the festivities of the "Señor de la Salud" in July, party time and multiple festival in town organized by locals and residents of Santiago that come together from all over the country.
Cashca Totoras Protected Forest and Reserve Located not far from Santiago you will find your self in one of the last endemic Andean forest of medium range altitude, this is last remnant of the subtropical forest of high altitude, place with an important and unique biodiversity. It is located 20 minutes from Santiago by car on dirt road, the landscaping and scenery are incredible. This forest it threatened to disappear as is being cut, some efforts are being done to protect this area for future generations. Some projects have endeavor to work with the local community settled in this are to protect the are through communitarian tourist initiatives.
The local dishes consisting mainly in what is know "comida typica" or local food. You may want to try and ask for: tortillas de maiz or trigo( corn or wit tortillas made on the wooden burning stove) very good and fantastic flavour with local coffe aside. Pork meat is another speciallity
Ask for "Puntas" fire water or liquorish, tasty flavour of the Andes "Pajaro Azul" or Blue Bird is a traditional drink typically distilled in the local stores
Local beer is always available at any of the small stores around the main squares.
Safety as always is a must, we are proud to say tha in Santiago you will feel safe at all times and by all means, no crime or delincuency is regitered in this area, local residents and travellers are taken care in the best way, the police presence is here all the time.
Although we can always suggest you to take your precautions when travelling abroad. Hire a travel insurance just in case.
Getting out of this beautiful area is as easy as you got in. Buses are running in daily basis, please ask in the main square for schedules.