Old Town Quito & Teleferiqo
Highlights: Exploring this 'hot spot' of biodiversity
Birdwatching opportunities range from spotting the Andean Condor soaring above to watching the many species of Ecuadorian hummingbirds hovering over rich floral blossoms
Soaking in the clear blue thermal pools at the Termas de Papallacta Resort and Spa
The Antisana Ecological Reserve is located southeast of Quito, on the edge of the Amazon. The region includes the high river basins of the Coca and Napo Rivers and the dormant volcano of the same name. The Reserve was created in 1993, with the goal of preserving the unique native flora and fauna of the Andean páramo. The cloud forest filled ravines, páramo grasslands and glacier fed streams and lakes support herds of wild horses, wolves, llamas, mountain tapir, spectacled bear and many birds, including more than 10 species of hummingbirds.The native flora consists of shrubs, orchids, mosses and other plants specially adapted to the environment.
Throughout our trek we will have the snowcapped volcano Antisana (5,758 m/ 18,891 ft) as a backdrop. Antisana is a Quichua word meaning "Man of Wind and Snow”, named after the fact that all four of its peaks are covered by beautiful blue tinted glaciers.
Our trip takes us through the access town of Píntag, a quaint hamlet characterized by its cobbled streets and tiled roofs. Then we hike through well preserved stretches of páramo, into the cloud forest and across lava and mudflows. There is a good chance of seeing the Andean condor soaring overhead; as it has been reported that fifty percent of Ecuador’s population of these rare birds inhabit Antisana’s ecological reserve.
After the trek, there is an optional day extension in the famous Papallacta thermal springs. Here we can reward ourselves in the thermal pools after a long trek and take advantage of their exceptional massage and aromatherapy services.