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Papallacta River Hike

Wednesday, 28 October 2015 00:00

Emma from Original Ecuador, and her 10 year old daughter Emilia, set off to Papallacta this weekend to explore the Papallacta River Hike. Read about their mini adventure here.

In the mountains outside of Quito, a little paradise awaits us. Our journey takes us across the Papallacta Pass in the Andes. At an altitude of over 4000m, it is also the continental divide.


We drive through a beautiful section of Andean scenery - rugged, stony mountains with green & yellow flanks, Antisana Volcano peaks at us every so often through the clouds.

We drive with care, we’re in the land of the spectacled bear, and the bears have been known to come down to the road to cross, though not today…


We arrive at our destination, Papallacta Hot Springs, and take the trail behind the thermal pools. The circular route is pretty and winding and follows the banks of the small, but raging, Papallacta river.


Along the way we encounter llamas, waterfalls, hummingbirds, orchids, river lookouts, bromeliads (my favourites!) and great views of the surrounding mountains.


The trail takes us through thick Andean forests, across wooden bridges and at one point we are climbing along the rocky edge of the river where luckily a rope has been placed to keep things safe.


Taking it easy and enjoying the sounds, smells and sights of the river, the route takes us around an hour in total.


After a picnic lunch, it’s time to take a dip in the natural hot springs at the Termas de Papallacta. The thermal waters here are known for their healing properties, we can think of worse ways to pass the afternoon…

 All in all a very successful girl’s day out!

The Papallacta River Walk is included on Day 2 of our Ecuador Family Adventure Tour. Or if you are looking for a day out from Quito take a look at our 1 Day Papallacta Hike.

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