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An update from Evaneos

Calpi (Ecuador)

Practical information on Calpi

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Mountain
  • Volcano
  • Museums
  • Handicraft
  • Sustainable Tourism
  • Off the beaten track
5 / 5 - One review
How to get there
15 kilometres from Riobamba by car
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Calpi

Seasoned Traveller
75 written opinions

The rural community of Calpi consists of19 indigenous villages located at the foot of the highest volcano in Ecuador, Chimborazo. Calpi lies halfway between Cuenca and Quito and is definitely worth the trip, especially if you like the idea of supporting local community tourism projects. 

My suggestion:
There is very little accommodation here. So it's a good opportunity to try the option of spending a night in the home of one of the locals, or at one of the communities!
My review

I left Guamote in the morning and I decided to stop off at the rural community of Calpi before returning to Quito, primarily to try some of the various activities offered by the local women's association, which is trying to develop an alternative form of tourism. The project arose out of a desire to improve living conditions for local people, limit the rural exodus, and preserve the local culture.

I arrived around midday and was met and welcomed by the French priest responsible for supervising the project. Meals are normally taken communally, but here I was on my own (I seem to have a gift for choosing places where there are very few tourists: something I've managed to do many times in Ecuador!).

So what I now had ahead of me was three days enjoying the various activities available: a visit to the Palacio Real, which is a facility dedicated to the llama and includes a museum and a restaurant, the only one in the country that serves the meat of the animal (it's reputed to be very rich in protein); short walks through the local fields and villages, which I did leading a llama on a leash (!); and visiting and exploring former haciendas now left to go to wrack and ruin. I also climbed up the local hills around the area, especially along the irrigation canals, and while doing so took advantage of the opportunity to purchase some of the local products: jewellery, soaps, jams, etc. This is one of those places to visit if you enjoy getting off the beaten track!

In the area round San Francisco de Cunuguachay
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