Cayambe Coca Reserve Hiking and Papallacta Hot Springs Full Day Tour
DEPARTURE / RETURN LOCATION:
Quito City Hotel
(Airport & Valley Area with extra cost)
Tour duration: 9 hours
The departure hour for our Cayambe Coca Reserve Hiking Papallacta Hot Springs Full Day Tour is 07:00am, when our private car will collect you from the hotel in Quito. There will be several stops on the way. We could have the chance of seeing the impressive Andean condor, an endangered species that has become a symbol for Ecuador, present even on its national flag. Our next stop is 38km from Quito, at the Cayambe Coca reserve, a national park that preserves the Sierra or the Andean Highlands, the Amazon basin, and miles of spectacular cloud forest between them. There are two hiking options that you can choose from.
Option 1 – The 7.5 km Agua y Vida Trail will take approximately 4-5 hours of hiking with box lunch included.
Our Cayambe Coca Reserve hike will start at the pass antenna, at 4,194m altitude. The trail takes us by several lagoons, like the Black Lagoon, the Parcacocha Lagoon, beautiful lakes surrounded by lush vegetation, and the Andean Bear Lagoon, named after the elusive animal that can sometimes be spotted in this area, the Andean Bear, also known as the spectacled bear. The path will then take us through the Polylepis forest to the Baños Waterfall or the Milagrosa waterfall, one of the area’s attractions. Its name comes from the belief that it was used by a shaman in his rituals. The driver will pick us up from the east entrance, at 3,700m altitude, to take us to our next stop, Papallacta Hot Springs, a gorgeous haven in the Andean cloud forest, an incredible spa with relaxing hot spring pools.
Option 2 – The 8km Andean Bear (spectacled bear) Trail will take 5 hours of hiking, with box lunch included. We will begin from the highway, pass by some amazing lagoons, trying to catch a glimpse of the shy Andean bear, also known as the spectacled bear, because of the marking on its face that makes it appear that it’s wearing spectacles. Sighting one of these bears is truly an experience, as it is the only bear species native to South America. As we hike through the Polylepis forest, we will reach the next stop on our list, one of the reserve’s attractions, Baños Waterfall, or the Milagrosa waterfall, deriving its name from the belief that a shaman used it in his rituals. Our hike will end at the east entrance, at 3,700m, where our driver will be waiting to take us to Papallacta Hot Springs, a first-rate spa and a real oasis of relaxation.
After our hike, we will stay for a few hours at Papallacta Hot Springs, where you can enjoy a relaxing soak in one of the hot springs after hours of hiking, still in the middle of nature, with mountains in the background. Upon reservation, you can also book Essential spa treatments that will make you feel completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
Our tour will end 5:00pm, when we return to the hotel.