Papallacta is located to 55 km of the city of Quito toward the east. This area characterized by thermal hot springs and wide moors and areas of Andean forest. This natural place is the perfect site to trek among the nature. Several routes are opened waiting for adventurers.
To arrive to Papallacta, we take the road Quito - Cumbayá -Tumbaco - Puembo. From this town they are approximately 30 minutes until we arrive to the entrance to the papallacta thermal Hot springs, place from where it begins the Path of the island.
In the entrance, you will found a tourist information point where the trekking circuits begins. The route of the Island in papallacta is a circuit that lasts between 2 and 3 hours. This trek is suitable for all ages, climbers who want to practice a little bit before visiting higher mountains have the perfect chance around this area.
The natural surroundings full of paramo vegetation and Andean forest are appropriate places for the observation of fauna, specially birds. In so short circuit it is possible to observe easily to near 10 species of birds. Across this road, we will find several small bridges to cross the river papallacta, in which waters we enjoy a great relaxing experience just after we complete our circuit.
The route takes us for a clearly demarcated path, typical vegetation as ferns, pumamaquis, bromelias and epiphytes decorate the road.
Rain is a basic part of the paramo ecosystem, so you must expect to rain at any minute. Be prepared. Raincoat and mountain boots are the basic gear you need to bring to this adventure. The rains are usually very frequent and unexpected in the high parts, and inclusive in certain occasions it is presented with fall of snow.
In the highest part of the road, there is a small waterfall that descends from the high part of the moor through a formation of rocks. This is the final point of the road. Next to this site, you will find the road to go back down to the entrance near to the hot springs.
Las terams de papallacta are the best in town. This resort offers you spa, swimming pools, restaurant, hotel, and several thermal pools located just next to Papallacta River where you will have the opportunity to relax after a full day of walk.
In the town, you will find another pools next to a small hostel where you can spend the night with out paying a lot of money. Typical food can also be found in the town. Papallacta is located 10 minutes away from the hot springs.
In our way back to Quito, we stop in the area of la Virgen. This paramo section is one of the highest points of the highway in our way to Papallacta. From this point, a small trek can be done crossing the paramo. In a clear day you will have a spectacular view of the volcano Antisana and of the Papallacta lagoon. In this place it can also be carried out a short walk to appreciate the strange highland flora adapted to the extreme drops temperatures between day and night.
After 30 minutes, we get to cumbaya and stop for a delicious box lunch of the traditional fritada before our arrival to Quito.
This trekking can carry out it in one day or half day. It is a natural and gastronomic experience worthy of being lived.
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