Chimborazo Forest Reserve, Protected Areas, Tourist Attractions
Standing out on the Ecuadorian horizon is the massive silhouette of Chimborazo Mountain, fondly referred to as the “King of the Ecuadorian Andes”. Yes, Chimborazo is Ecuador's tallest mountain, with an impressive altitude of 6 310m. Encompassing the mountain is the Chimborazo Forest Reserve, which also extends to the province of Bolivar y Tungurahua. This reserve is an important protected area that guards a wide variety of vegetation and animals, including the rare llama. For a wonderful adventure into the moors of Ecuador, visit the Chimborazo Forest Reserve.
Chimborazo Forest Reserve was established in October 1987. The exquisite Ecuadorian reserve stretches across 58 560 ha, or 145 000 acres, with altitudes varying between 3 800m and 6 310m. Looming over the landscape are the shadows of Carihuairazo Mountain and Chimborazo Mountain. Chimborazo’s sheer sizes made it an awe-inspiring God amongst natives in the past. This giant volcano is topped with a 20km diameter crater and thick ice. Many attempt to climb this tall mountain, which is certainly an attempt only to be made by experienced mountaineers. Tombstones mark the lives lost on the mountain. Two shelters with fireplaces and cooking facilities have been provided for climbers. These are situated at 15 744 feet and 16 406 feet. If you are interested in climbing this grand feature a guide is a necessity. Mountain biking is also a popular activity. Standing beside Chimborazo is Carihuairazo with a 2km wide boiler. Springing from the mountains are the rivers of Ambato, Chimbo and Chambo, which empty into the Pastaza River.
Moor or páramo ecosystems dominate the Chimborazo Forest Reserve, featuring plant life such as piquiles, rosemary, quishuares, sigses and chuquiraguas. Interestingly, the sacred Inca plant known as the “Quinua” grows in the reserve and is a brilliant food source filled with protein. The landscape of Chimborazo offers an outstanding home for a variety of fauna. Amongst the animals residing here are wolves, deer, marsupial rats, alpacas, llamas and rabbits. Due to careful protection of the area over several years, local species have been able to return to their original habitats.
Chimborazo Forest Reserve is found between Riobamba and Ambato, making it an ideal destination for tourists in the region. Just picture yourself surrounded by the beauty of nature, staring up at the marvel of Chimborazo Mountain.