Riobamba is around four hours by bus from the Ecuadorian capital Quito. The drive is quite impressive at times with the mountains and so on, and Riobamba itself seemed like a nice small city, with a bit of a University vibe. I was there to catch a bus to the Nariz Del Diablo, the Devil’s Nose, a spectacular train ride down the side of a mountain that featured switchbacks and an ‘in carriage’ guide.
So if you’re heading to Riobamba that might be your reason too. I had a day to wander the streets and snap a few photos, and there were some nice squares and interesting buildings. I stayed there for two nights mid-October last year, and my accommodation was the ‘Hotel Tren Dorado’.
It might sound somewhat exotic to stay in a hotel called the ‘Golden Train’, and in some ways I think they saw themselves as such. It was not exactly full at the time, just a few other visitors there, maybe three or four, from Korea (seemed to have had a few Korean visitors from time to time).
The location is pretty good for the station, but be aware that this is not where you catch the Nariz Del Diablo train, you need to take a 2 hour bus ride to get to the station for that. However, you can buy the tickets for the train there. The bus station is further away from the centre, so if you want a hotel close to bus, it’s not at all handy for the centre of town.
There were quite a few places to eat close by, although none particularly inspiring. Certainly if you are after a burger you won’t miss out. The entrance and stair, then the reception booth, all very, ummm, rustic shall we say? Dated might be the better word, but it was dated in such a way that there was some style to it. Sort of had a feel that reminded me of motel stays in Australia in the 1980s.
The room too was interesting. Beds were comfortable enough, the shower was okay and bathroom a decent size. There was like a window box between inner and outer windows, I was on the first floor over the entrance I guess. The noise from the street was something to contend with, on a Friday and Saturday night plenty of partiers in cars with the volume turned right up.
The staff seemed friendly, willing to help. The restaurant was only open for special meals to groups it seemed. The wifi was the best wifi I had anywhere in Ecuador, but that’s not saying much. Anyways, the verdict – if you’re looking for a place to stay in Riobamba that’s rustic, colourful and cheap, then Hotel Tren Dorado might just be for you!
Value for Money: 3/5
Total: 14/25 (56/100)
Thanks for reading! May the Journey Never End!