Riobamba is located in the center of the country in the sierra region, in close proximity to the Chimborazo volcano. Like many cities in Ecuador, Riobamba has a near constant temperature year-round, with a wet and dry season. Its altitude (2754 m) and closeness to Chimborazo give the city a cool climate year-round, with temperatures averaging between 23 °C and 14 °C.
The region surrounding Riobamba was inhabited by the Puruhá nation before the advance of the Incas during the late 15th century. The Puruhas presented a fierce resistance to the Inca intentions of conquering the north of today's Ecuador, and therefore obliged the Inca Huayna Capac to find an alliance in order to pacify the tribes who sided with Condorazo, the general of the Puruha nation. This alliance sealed the peace between the Shyris confederation, named by the Jesuit historian Juan de Velasco to the group of tribes whose ruler were the Duchicela dynasty, and the Inca Empire. The Inca Huayna Capac took as his wife the princess Paccha and gave special treatment and social status privileges to the higher castes of the new subjects. The offspring of this dynastic relation was Atahualpa, the last king of the Incas.
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