|Motto(s): It is my passion (Es mi Pasion)|
|Legal creation||July 23, 1883|
|Elevation||2,830 m (9,280 ft)|
|Population (INEC census 2010-11-28)|
|Decadal national census by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos (INEC)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (ECT)|
Cayambe is an agricultural service city (population 39,028 at the last census on November 28, 2010) in highland Ecuador. It lies at the foot of the Cayambe volcano. While the city is mainly peopled by mestizos, the surrounding rural population is primarily composed of indigenous people who are mainly involved in subsistence agriculture, dairy farming and procurement of lumber. It's the third largest city in Pichincha Province.
Cayambe's indigenous people of today are descendants of the pre-Inca Kayambi people. The Kayambi were resistant to Inca expansion and were only definitively conquered by Huayna Capac (the eleventh Sapa Inca of the Inca Empire) after a bloody 20-year war. At that time, the Kayambi people adopted the Kichwa language, a dialect of the Quechua family of languages. Not long afterwards, in the 16th century, the first Spanish conquistadores arrived in the region. Kichwa survives in some of the hamlets today, while in others it has given way to Spanish.
The area hosts numerous flower plantations whose products are destined for the overseas cut flower market. Among the local food products, better known are cheese and biscochos de Cayambe (a crumbly biscuit).
Points of interest
There are two monuments to the Equator in Cayambe: One, is the Quitsato Sundial, a touristic sundial, and very possibly one of the most accurate places in the world created to determine equator position. Two, is a globe monument, known there as "La Bola" (The Ball) located in the 46km from Quito at Pan-American Highway.
In the surroundings of Cayambe are some interesting points to visit: The waterfalls of Cariacu, the virgin forests of Paquiestancia and the arquelogical museum near Puntazil.
- Quitsato Sundial
- Dolores Cacuango, indigenous activist from Cayambe
- Paquiestancia community and virgin forests