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Latacunga is a city in the Central Andean Highlands region of Ecuador. It is a good starting point for trips to Cotopaxi and the Quilotoa Loop.

Cathedral of Latacunga


Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

  • Cotopaxi International Airport (LTX IATA). TAME, the national airline of Ecuador, ceased operations leaving Latacunga with no commercial air service. Cotopaxi International Airport on Wikipedia

By bus[edit]

There are frequent buses from Quito and other cities in the highlands. The bus from Quevedo cost $5 and lasts 4 hours with the company Cotopaxi.

By train[edit]

There is also a train connecting it with Quito and Guayaquil; however it is not in operation as of January 2016.

Get around[edit]

Map of Latacunga

Latacunga center is a small and it is an easy 10-minute walk to the bus terminal. The center is compact and best explored on foot.


1 Parque Vicente Léon. A nice place of the city center were stands the cathedral which dates from the 17th century and contains an altar made from pumice. Next to the cathedral there is the Palacio municipal also made from pumice.


  • Ideally located near the Cotopaxi, Latacunga allows the organization of mountaineering. Most of the agencies to organized guided climbs are on Guayaquil street. They offer tours to Chimborazo and Quilotoa as well. In addition, the prices for expeditions are cheaper compared to the one organized from Quito.
  • 1 Reserva Ecológica Los Illinizas (Iliniza) (most visitors enter the reserve by the small Chaupi village). The ecological reserve allows hiking and climbing. Most of the people spend a night in the Refugio Nuevos Horizontes and then scramble to the Illiniza Norte summit (5126m). The Illiniza Sur summit (5248m) offers much more technical climbing routes.


You may find almost anything as long as it’s made of plastic, including warm clothes for trekking. However don’t expect to find other outdoor stuff: shoes are mostly expensive fakes ($50-90), there are no walking sticks (unless you go to The Mall, apparently).


The most famous and unhealthy dish from Latacunga is call the Chugchucaras is made of deep fried pork, boiled hominy, potatoes, fried plantains, sweet empanadas, popcorn, and pork rinds. It is accompanied by aji, a spicy sauce made with hot peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions. If you are hungry you can order one for yourself but it can be easily shared. Most of the restaurant which served the Chugchucaras are located on Quijando y Ordoñez street. You may also easily find cebichochos (vegetarian chick peas ceviche) on the street.

  • 1 Pizzeria Buona, Sanchez de Oreliana, +593 99 920 8261. 13:00-22:00. Nice and generous pizzas or pastas to eat in the restaurant or to take away. There are some vegetarian options as well. $6-10 for a pizza.
  • 2 Mercado Cerrado Latacunga, Plaza Chile. At the first floor of the market building there is a plenty of option for a typical and cheap lunch. The market itself is also a nice option to buy vegetables and fruits. The options are reduced the Sunday. $2 for the lunch..
  • 3 Santa Maria supermarket (next to the bus terminal). The biggest supermarket of town with anything available, ideal to do provision before trekking.
  • Kipi, Corner of Guayaquil and Quijano y Ordonez (around the corner from Hostel Tiana). Excellent locally-owned place with delicious vegetarian and vegan fare. Set menu that changes each day and includes a soup, a main, and a freshly blended juice for $5 (May 2022). Super friendly owner that is knowledgeable about dietary restrictions and can give you lots of tips on Latacunga and Cuenca. Around the corner from Hostel Tiana.
  • Ancestral. Cheap and gourmet Ecuadorian restaurant run by lovely people. Delicious vegetarian ceviche, and many other dishes revisited by the chef. You may also find quick eats (piqueos, good Mexican food, burgers) and good drinks (cocktails, beers). Very decent prices ($5-7 for mains).



1 Hotel Rosim, Calle Quito 16-49, +593 99 500 4480. Nicely located hotel near the main square. The staff is very helpful to find information to organize trip by yourself to the surrounding parks. $10 for a double room, $15 with breakfast.

2 Hotel Rodelu, Calle Quito No 1631 and Padre Salcedo, +593 3-280-0956, . Located next to the Hotel Rosim, it is its the midrange version. The hotel restaurant offers tasty and affordable food. $45 for a double room.

3 Hostal Tiana, Vivero 1.31 and Quijano y Ordonez, +593 3 281 0147, . Hostel which offers services for organizing mountaineering to Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Illinizas and Rumiñahui. $10.50 for a dormitory bed and $25 for a double room..


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