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Excursions in and around Papallacta

Walking tour Sendero de la Isla

This short trip (an hour’s walk) is a must for anyone visiting the hot springs of Papallacta. Before you enter the thermal baths, it is good to get acquainted with the beautiful nature here at 3300 meters above sea level. Near the entrance to the public baths of Papallacta you walk up the stairs for a short while and you will arrive at the guard house of the private reserve Loreto Papallacta.
A local English-speaking guide will accompany you on this short tour that follows a loop along both sides of the Loreto mountain river.

Walking tour Agua y Vida

This walking tour of 5 to 6 hours runs between 4300 and 38300 meters above sea level. We leave Quito in the morning by car and drive to “La Virgen”. The hike starts here at its highest point: from here we slowly descend to Papallacta. On clear days you have a view of some snowy volcanoes: the Cotopaxi, Antisana and Cayambe. On the way we look out for the spectacled bear, the mountain deer, the mountain tapir, paramo wolves and small mustelids. You will find partridges, the chimborazo hummingbird, the Andean gull, ducks, eagles and curiquingues, even condors and other species typical of this ecosystem. A little after noon we arrive at the hot water baths of Papallacta, where you can regain your strength. Here is a great restaurant. By evening, a car will pick you up in Papallacta and take you back to the hotel in Quito.

Hiking to the Baños lakes

This hike takes about 3 hours and starts at the entrance of the thermal baths in Papallacta. By car we drive steeply up the mountain for 15 minutes to the entrance of the Cayambe-Coca National Park at 3800 meters above sea level. From here we walk to the lakes of Baños. In clear weather you have a beautiful view of the Antisana volcano. On the way we look out for the spectacled bear, the mountain deer, the mountain tapir, paramo wolves etc.
Included: local guide with limited knowledge of English, return transport by private car from the entrance of the thermal baths.

Hiking Sendero de la Chorrera

This tour takes about 3 hours and starts at the guard’s house next to the public baths of Papallacta. This trail is located in the buffer zone of Cayambe Coca National Park and the Thermas Papallacta Private Reserve. It is a beautiful mix of high mountains and cloud forest, ideal for nature photography. At the end of the tour you will come to a waterfall that forms in the course of the Pailón river.

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Tom, guide in EcuadorI’m Tom from Belgium and I’ll make sure your trip to Ecuador or cruise in Galapagos goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. I have been living in Ecuador for a decade and have been working in tourism for 8 years now. Before that, I obtained my guides diploma in Ecuador. Traveling and discovering new places is my passion.
Together with the local travel agency Descubre-Ecuador, we offer tailor-made tours in Galapagos and on the Ecuadorian mainland. Over the years, Descubre-Ecuador has built a reliable partnership with the best hotels and the best nature guides in Ecuador. Our small-scale way of working ensures easy accessibility and a lot of flexibility when traveling.
Customer satisfaction is the essence for us. And even in those rare moments of unforeseen difficult circumstances, we make sure that we are there to make sure your trip runs smoothly.
Explore Ecuador and Galapagos!


Indian woman from SalasacasIn South America, Ecuador is one of the smaller countries, but the country is hugely diverse in terms of geography, climate and population. You can visit the Andes, the Amazon rainforest as well as the tropical coast without taking extremely long domestic flights or transfers. And then you have the Galapagos Islands, a once in a lifetime experience. The diversity of flora and fauna per square mile is enormous. Ecuador is South America in a nutshell. Moreover, the country is relatively safe and little visited. The national currency is the USD and you have a wide choice of direct flights to Quito and Guayaquil from Europe and the United States.


Tom - guide in EcuadorIk ben Tom uit België en zorg ervoor dat jullie reis naar Ecuador of cruise in Galapagos zo vlot en aangenaam mogelijk kan verlopen. Ik woon al een tiental jaren in Ecuador en werk nu 8 jaren in toerisme. Daarvoor heb ik in Ecuador mijn gidsen-diploma behaald. Reizen en nieuwe plaatsen ontdekken is mijn passie. Samen met het lokale reiskantoor Descubre-Ecuador, bieden we reizen op maat in Galapagos en op het Ecuadoriaanse vasteland aan. Descubre-Ecuador heeft door de jaren heen een betrouwbare samenwerking opgebouwd met de beste hotels en de beste natuurgidsen van Ecuador. Onze kleinschalige manier van werken zorgt voor een vlotte bereikbaarheid en veel flexibiliteit bij het reizen. De tevredenheid van de klant is voor ons de essentie. En ook op die zeldzame momenten van onvoorziene moeilijke omstandigheden zorgen we dat we er zijn om jullie reis toch perfect te laten verlopen. Ontdek Ecuador en Galapagos!