Frequently Asked Questions Karanki Magdalena

1. How can I get to the community?

There are two ways of access:

  • Ibarra –Magdalena 16km (9.94mi) stone paved road. One-way taxi fare from Ibarra is $ 12 and it takes about 30 minutes.
  • Cayambe – Magdalena 33 km (20.5 mi), ballasting and stone paved road. It takes about 50-60 minutes. A taxi fare from Cayambe is approximately $ 50. Cayambe is 78 km (48.47 mi) northeast of Quito approximately 1 hour.

2. What to expect there?

The Karanki project offers cultural interaction with this indigenous group where you will share its daily life. You will be accommodated in one of the houses of the community, enjoy their food and learn about their culture and traditions. The families have been trained in cooking & service and they are capable of doing this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are optional activities (link a optional activities) at an extra cost, such as horseback riding, biking, trekking, and more!

3. What kind of weather can I expect in Magdalena?

The average temperature is 14ºC (57F) during the morning and 8ºC (47F) at night. Winter goes from September to May and summer from June to September.

4. What should I pack?

Warm clothes, a raincoat, umbrella, comfortable shoes or hiking boots, sun protection, binoculars and a camera.

5. Do the people of the community speak English?

No they don’t, but the guide will be with you and there are radios in the houses to communicate with each other.

6. How can I pay for the extra services?

Extra activities should be booked beforehand with, if not payments can only be paid in cash directly to the family who will give you an invoice.

7. Is there Internet and telephone available?

Internet and phone are not available in the community.

8. Is there a hospital or medical assistance nearby?

There are clinics and a hospital in Ibarra 16km (9.94 mi) away (30 min) working 24-hours.

Frequently Asked Questions “Chaski Antawa” Train

1. Where does the train ride start?
The “Chaski Antawa” train leaves from Ibarra’s train station. Ibarra is located approximately 45 miles north-east of Quito.

2. What kind of weather can I expect?
Ibarra is usually cool; the average temperature is 18ª (64.4F) and in the valley of Salinas is 20ª (68F) and dry.

3. How long does the train ride take?
It normally takes 2 hours but it sometimes could last a little bit longer due to rails condition.

4. What can I wear and bring to ride the Chaski Antawa Train?
You should wear comfortable clothes and shoes, light clothes. Bring sunblock and mosquito repellent, a good camera and plenty of memory or film, binoculars, sunglasses, hat or cap.

5. Is there any bathroom along the train ride?
No there is not one, but there is one in the Ibarra train station and then in Salinas station and in the restaurant where you will enjoy your lunch.

6. Are there any language restrictions?
We can guarantee English and Spanish, other languages upon request, and an extra fee may apply.

7. What can I expect when I get to Salinas?
The valley of Salinas is mostly inhabited by Afro-Ecuadorians whose ancestors used to work in salt mining and in sugarcane plantations. Nowadays is a town that has been organized by the president’s community and many projects have been undertaken and we have supported many of them where women have been given the opportunity to support themselves and become an active member of the community. Some of the projects are: setting up a traditional workshop for recycling paper, arts and crafts, agro industrial, museum of salt, restaurant, and others. Children have also been involved and there are workshops where they can express themselves and enjoy their free time, they also formed a band that will receive you when you get to Salinas and a dance group that will delight you with its performance.

8. Can I go on top of the train?
No you cannot. The Chaski Antawa train has panoramic windows that will allow you to take pictures and enjoy the great view of the Imbabura Province in a safe way.