This little village close to Guaranda has become semi-famous because of its micro-businesses which function as co-operatives. These were first promoted by a Swiss missionary and has expanded to include production of cheese and chocolate and making footballs.
It is quite interesting to visit the cheese and chocolate factories and the products are really good (we always eat Salinerito cheese which you can buy in Guayaquil). However the village is very small and simple and still looks a bit poor. In other words there is nothing else to do. You can climb up a path behind the church to a viewpoint marked by a cross. After that you
should either chat to the locals or go for a walk in the beautiful surrounding countryside.
A map on the community centre next to the church shows some ideas for walking, although it will be easier for you with a guide or a proper map. Horse riding and fishing is also possible.
Near the town of of La Palma is the Bosque Peña Blanca, a native cloud forest reserve with a spectacular 300-m-high waterfall, La Chorrera. You can visit as part of a 2 day trek along a dirt road to Los Arrayanes and then a mule track down to Chazo Juan, continuing down to Echeandía. Details are provided in Trekking in Ecuador.
Where to Stay and Eat
The one hotel I found open was El Refugio on the road to Los Arrayanes (you can see it to the left of the village as you approach). It´s nice. There are no great restaurants but a few little cafés and diners. There were so many people when I was there on a public holiday that we couldn´t get a seat anywhere.
You reach Salinas along a side road off the main Guaranda – Ambato highway. The turning is about 2km north (uphill) of Guaranda and clearly marked. The road is paved. Buses connect Salinas with Guaranda but not that frequently so you might be better to get yourself to that junction and try and thumb a ride.