Some web info: Ibarra (full name San Miguel de Ibarra) is a city in northern Ecuador and the capital of the Imbabura Province. It lies at the foot of the Imbabura Volcano and on the left bank of the Tahuando river. It is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) northeast of Ecuador’s capital Quito.
Today, Ibarra is a market town popular with tourists. It has mild weather, colonial white-washed houses (giving it the nickname The White City), and cobbled streets.
Helados de paila (handmade ice cream or sorbet) is still sold today. It was first made in Ibarra during Incan times (but not by Incas), using snow or ice from the nearby Imbabura Volcano (which is no longer snow bound). Using a large bronze pan surrounded by ice shavings, the juices of various fruits are stirred into the pan to freeze. (Helados Rosalia Suarez, at Miguel Oviedo y Olmedo, Ibarra, is a popular place to go and watch the ice cream being made.)
(Ibarra has a new shopping center called Laguna Mall. It also has the Supermaxi Plaza shopping center, as well as, a Gran Aki. And, the downtown area has a lot to offer.)
The tourist train to Salinas de Ibarra is a very popular day trip. It now also runs from Otavalo, with one of the stops being Atuntaqui. For more info & schedule see: Tren Excursiones Ecuador The pictures below are from Ibarra to Salinas de Ibarra only.
On another occasion when we took this train run, this was the only train car that ran that day, and we had the front seats right behind the driver, along with our guests from the States.