Wedged between snowy summits and lush forests, the stark beauty of the Andean ‘paramo’ grasslands will hold you transfixed on this trekking tour in the Antisana Ecological Reserve.
The Reserve's main attraction is the snow-capped Antisana Volcano, the fourth highest peak in Ecuador. Located on the slopes of this imposing 5705-meter high volcano, the Reserve offers a trek through the unique flora and fauna of the Andean ‘paramo’ (at an altitude of 3600-4800 meters). A stunning ride 4000 meters above sea level will give you a powerful sense of Ecuador’s dramatic landscape as you traverse rolling meadows, plunging ravines and lakes bordered by ‘pillow moss’, hump-like pillows of vegetation. Swooping Andean gulls, hummingbirds, ducks, and if you are lucky, the elusive Condor, will also vie for your attention as you revel in the sheer expanse and beauty of the environs.
The trek in the Antisana Reserve is a classic paramo hike with excellent views of snow-capped volcanoes and a chance to see the endangered Andean Condor.
This tour is available in two options: Shared and Private. The private option offers you greater convenience and flexibility of time.
You will be picked up from your hotel (or closest pick-up point) in Quito and taken in a private air-conditioned vehicle for a trekking tour to the Antisana Ecological Reserve. The drive takes about two hours. An English-speaking guide will accompany you on this tour.
Drive southeast from Quito for about an hour, covering approximately 60 kilometres, and then begin the climb up the Antisana volcano, Ecuador’s fourth largest volcano. Admire the spectacular scenery on the way up with close-up views of a massive glacial moraine, said to date back to some 11,000 years. As your vehicle climbs higher on a good paved road, you can feast your eyes on the spectacular scenery with jagged rocky peaks and the glacier-covered summit above the tree line.
You will ascend upto 4000 metres above sea level to where the Reserve is situated. On arriving at the Reserve, you will begin your trek, covering a distance between 1 to 5 kilometres across the Reserve. The ground is fairly level and you can observe the beautiful but small paramo flowers growing close to the ground among the lichens and paramo straw, gentians, red Indian paintbrush, orchids and chuquiraguas. A great variety of birds can be spotted around the many paramo lakes and ponds, such as the highly endangered black-faced ibis, cinereous conebills, brown speckled teal, Andean lapwings, many carunculated caracaras, black wing doves, and the rare siskin. The trek will last for approximately two hours.
Enjoy a packed picnic lunch in the Reserve.
After lunch, drive back to Quito amid breathtaking settings. At the end of the tour, you will be dropped back at your hotel/closest drop-off point in Quito.
Approx. 7 hours
Start time: 08:00am
Duration: Approx. 7 hours (The duration of the trek is approximately 2 hours)
You will be picked up from selected hotels in Quito.
(Please advise your hotel at the time of booking. If your hotel is not a pick-up location, you will be advised of the closest pick-up point. If you do not have this information now, please contact the local activity operator 24 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details.)
Selected hotels/ closest drop-off point in Quito
Warm clothing is needed and hat or cap. Sunblock (SPF 40) is recommended. Wear strong hiking boots. Carry a camera (wide angle lens), binoculars, sunglasses
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Children under 12 years not allowed
See the Cancellation policy for this product