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subtropical valley


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Photo belongs to Delphine Ménard

In the Southern Andes near Cuenca, we find El Cajas National Park, located in the majestic west mountain range. It is one of Ecuador’s natural wonders that must be added to the repertoire of every trekking amateur. Cajas lies at an altitude between 3200 m and 4500 m and boasts 28,544 hectares of numerous species of flora and fauna and impressive rock formations.  Its 235 glacial lakes feed into breathtaking waterfalls, as its rivers descend toward the Pacific while others flow through “el Oriente”, ultimately arriving to the Amazon River.  In addition to hiking, you can enjoy freshwater trout fishing, while listening to the wild birds singing in the background. There are approximately 125 species of birds inhabiting Cajas which include: the condor, the violet-tailed metaltail, sword-bill, shining sunbeam, sparkling violet-ear, etc.

If you wish to combine culture and nature with active travel, you must do the Inca trail, which takes you along the very same path than the Incas used to follow. This ancient main trail has also been used by merchants and travelers. The trail passes through astonishing natural landscapes, small hidden villages, past Culebrillas Lake, finally arriving at Ingapirca, our most famous Inca ruins. In the area we also find other important ruins such as Colloctor and Cojitambo and the colorful Cañari Indian markets of Ingapirca (Fridays) and Cañar (Sundays). It is also worth mentioning the amazing scenery, formed by farming landscapes of different crops and lots of cattle farming. This photo belongs to Julia Rubinic

The Northern Andes of Ecuador offer beautiful snowcapped mountains and volcanoes for great trekking trips. We must add to any itinerary the highlights of the amazing surrounding area such as lakes, moorlands, forest, Indian markets and villages, haciendas and all the components for a unique trekking experience.

The Central Andes offer excellent trekking options around the Chimborazo (6310m), highest mountain in Ecuador; Carihuairazo (5200m) which requires a moderate effort for a summit attempt and Altar, well known for its amazing landscapes. This photo belongs to Germania Rodriguez

We recommend visitors to have an appropriate acclimatization process for a better adjustment to the altitude. You can enjoy our daily tours or join a moderate trekking adventure of 2 or more days camping in spectacular natural spots.

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The most southern province of the Ecuadorian Andean region, Loja, is full of interesting natural and cultural highlights. This trip combines those sites, starting with a visit to Saraguro, the center of a very special native group, where we will witness parts of their traditions and handicraft work. Vilcabamba is located in a warm subtropical valley with a very pleasant andrelaxed atmosphere excellent for hiking or simply enjoying the natural scenery and landscape. It is known for its spa facilities and laid back life style. We also visit the Podocarpus N.P. for a walk on the cloud forest area of Cajanuma. Finally we tour around the city of Loja known for having excellent urban planning and very interesting visitor sites. We then return to Cuenca.

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This is a 5 days 4 nights itinerary that take us to the most important bird watching sites in Southern Ecuador, from high moorland (paramo), to cloud forest areas, subtropical valleys, dry forest and tropical zones, so it gathers a wide range of great ecosystems for an abundant diversity of birds, including some endemic species, also in a very small area we have the chance to see completely different areas.

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After (85 Km) the route takes us into an inter-Andean valley which marks a transition to the coastal plain, with different climatic zones and ecosystems: the western Andean foothills, the subtropical valley and the desert like zone. It is also the doorway to the Tumbesian region. Crimson-mantled Woodpecker, Stripped Owl, the endemic Tumbesian Pacific Elania and the Pale-headed Brush-Finch, were rediscovered in 1998 and it are quite common in the area. Also Yunguilla is known as the best place for rest in the Azuay area thanks to the nice weather conditions and the different facilities we find there.

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