Ecuador

Antisana and Papallacta Excursion, 2D / 1N, daily from Quito

Antisana and Papallacta excursion (2D-1N, daily from Quito, includes accommodations and all meals) (private)

156-Antisana

Information

This is a spectacular excursion to the high Andes of Ecuador, into the paramo and the montane forest, rich in unusual flora and fauna. The voyage starts with a drive to the Antisana volcano, the fourth in altitude in Ecuador, covered with glaciers and snow, and the surrounding Ecological Reserve. The climb and spectacular scenery on Antisana begins with close-up views of a massive glacial moraine, dating back to 11,000 year ago, jagged rocky peaks and a vast sweep of paramo vegetation above the tree line.

Day by day

Tour Details

This is a spectacular excursion to the high Andes of Ecuador, into the paramo and the montane forest, rich in unusual flora and fauna. The voyage starts with a drive to the Antisana volcano, the fourth in altitude in Ecuador, covered with glaciers and snow, and the surrounding Ecological Reserve. The climb and spectacular scenery on Antisana begins with close-up views of a massive glacial moraine, dating back to 11,000 year ago, jagged rocky peaks and a vast sweep of paramo vegetation above the tree line.

Up in the paramo (at about 12,000 ft. elevation) several stops are made to walk about on level ground and observe the small but beautiful paramo flowers hugging the ground among the lichens and paramo straw: yellow composites, gentians, red Indian paintbrush, orchids and chuquiraguas. Andean birds abound, in both a diversity of species and individual abundance of most of them, such as the highly endangered Black-faced Ibis, Cinereous Conebills, Andean Teal, Andean Lapwings, many Carunculated Caracaras, Black Wing Doves, and the Siskin. Lunch is included. In the afternoon, drive on to Papallacta and its hot springs, amid a breathtaking setting. Papallacta Thermal Springs Resort is nestled high in the Andean Cordillera at the entrance of the Amazonian jungle and features several hot thermal spring pools of different sizes and temperatures. Facilities include a first-class hotel, a full service spa and restaurants offering local and international cuisine with its main specialty: fresh trout.

The second day, start with a nature walk alongside pristine mountain streams, observing the flora and fauna of the humid montane Andean forest of the Canyon Ranch, one of the entrances to the ecological reserve Cayambe-Coca, and then relax and soak away life’s aches and pains and experience the notable, restorative effects of the thermal waters (sulfate alkaline terreous). The water is odorless, crystalline and ever changing. Return to Quito in the afternoon.

Entrance fee to Antisana Reserve is not included.

Entrance to the Spa at Papallacta is not included. (Spa is closed Mondays)

NOTE: Reservations for weekends and holidays must be made with at least 60 days in advance.

Travel Facts

Warm clothing is needed. It is quite windy, consider gloves, hat and ear protection. Don’t forget your bathing suit! Take rain protection from February to May. Sunblock (SPF 40). Good walking shoes. Camera (wide angle lens). Binoculars. Sunglasses.

Altitude: 2800 to 4000 meters (9800 – 12,120 feet)

Average Temperature Day: 5° to 20° C (40° to 68° F)

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