Antisana Ecological Reserve, Protected Areas, Tourist Attractions

The pristine natural refuge known as the Antisana Ecological Reserve is simply breathtaking. Striking mountains unfurl into dense forest and deep gorges while crystal clear lakes reflect the mesmerizing mountain scenery around them. The reserve stretches out over some 120 000 hectares of land and, if you do decide to visit it, you should make sure that you remember to bring your camera with you.

Situated within the confines of the reserve you will find the Antisana volcano, which rises to a height of 5 758 meters above sea level. The mountain has a reputation for being a hard climb, but it is likely that the striking views make it even more rewarding to hard-core climbing enthusiasts. The volcano is surrounded by striking lagoons that tend to reflect the Antisana Peak in their clear and undisturbed waters – a most memorable sight. In the native language, Antisana means ‘dark mountain’. The volcano is estimated to be roughly 800 000 years old and, while it has not erupted in many thousands of years, the more recent lava that can be found on the slopes of the mountain have seeped out cracks in the side of the mountain. The reserve was created in 1993 and it is wedged between the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve and the Sumaco Napo Galeras National Park. Together the three areas possess immense natural wealth.

Besides the Antisana Volcano, visitors might also want to visit the Micacocha lagoon which is the biggest in the reserve. The Muerte Pungu Lagoon offers great fishing, while the Santa Lucia Lagoon offers a bit of fishing and great camping and sight-seeing. The Secas Lagoon possesses beautiful emerald-green water that gives the lagoon a whole new dimension and is probably quite closely related to its proximity to the volcano. A trip to the El Tambo waterfalls will leave you feeling refreshed while the Caves of Jumandi offer a spectacular view of the reserve with its differing biospheres. Last, but not least, the Barrancos or Peñas del Isco is a great place to get better acquainted with Andean condors as well as the Ecuadorian Hummingbird. So visit the Antisana Ecological Reserve and make the most of this beautiful refuge.

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